War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0742 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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Numbers 23. Report of Brigadier General William H. F. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.


January 4, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to forward a report of the part taken by my brigade in your late reconnaissance in the enemy's rear.

On December 27, 1862, I moved in direction of Dumfries, on a road south of the Quantico. We met none of the enemy until we arrived at Wheat's Mill, where the Telegraph road crosses the creek. Here we met a picket of 12 men (infantry), which was charged and captured by Captain S. Bolling (Ninth Virginia Cavalry), with his squadron. His squadron crossed immediately, supported by two squadrons. His advance had only reached the suburbs of the town when it was driven back by a column of infantry (two regiments.) I withdrew to the south side of the creek. Captain Bolling fell back, firing on the advance. One squadron of the enemy's cavalry, came forward, but when fired upon went back in confusion. At that time you came up and was present from that time. Captain M. W. Henry, with his battery of artillery, drove the enemy from the position on the north side of the creek with canister, and engaged the enemy's artillery. There was no opportunity for a charge and none was made. Lieutenant-Colonel John Critcher was ordered by yourself on the road leading from Brentsville to Dumfries, and succeeded in capturing a picket of cavalry of 11 men; also, later, some more. Captain W. G. Brawner, of the Fifteenth, also captured a small picket. During the day my brigade captured in all some 50 prisoners. During the rest of the trip my brigade was not engaged.

I have to report-wounded, 1 private; killed, none; missing, 2 non-commissioned officers and 12 privates; horses, 3 killed.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. F. LEE,


Major General J. E. B. STUART,

Commanding Cavalry.

DECEMBER 30-31, 1862. Expedition from Potomac Creek to Richards' and Ellis' Fords, on the Rappahannock River, Va.

Report of Colonel James Barnes, Eighteenth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding First Division, Fifth Army Corps.


Camp near Potomac Creek, Va., January 2, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of a reconnaissance made by your orders, dated December 30, 1862:

By those orders I was directed to proceed with this division, consisting of three brigades and the First Regiment of U. S. Sharpshooters, with one battery of artillery, to Hartwood Church and to co-operate with Brigadier-General Averell.*


*See Parke to Hooker, December 29, p. 897; Parke to Averell, December 30, p.902, and Averell to Parke, December 31, 1862, pp. 922, 923, in "Correspondence, etc.," post.