church filled with supplies, nearly all of which were consumed. Late at night my two wings united on the South Fork, about 10 miles above Moorefield. Here I was joined by the Maryland infantry and the cavalry of Imboden. Being still able to renew the attack, I determined to do so, but the exhausted condition of the horses of Chew's battery and of the Sixth and Seventh Virginia Cavalry made rest absolutely necessary. The infantry was moved down and all put in readiness for an attack on the morning of the 5th. McNeill's company, of Imboden's [regiment], and part of company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, were sent to watch the roads west of Moorefield, and, late at night, reported heavy re-enforcements of infantry, and cavalry from New Creek. This and the condition of my commissariat rendered an immediate return to this place expedient. While on this duty these companies captured 33 men, 46 horses, and 5 wagons, and killed 1 man.
We claim a partial success, for we killed 1 man, captured 99 (among them 1 captain and 2 lieutenants), 51 horses, 18 sets of harness, and 5 wagons, which we burned, and 1 portable bake-oven, which was brought off, and caused the enemy to burn from $15,000 to $20,000 worth of stores. A knowledge of the ground would have enabled me to capture in detail both garrisons and the first re-enforcement. In my entire ignorance of the country I was compelled to trust to others, and lost the rich fruits of hard labor.
The conduct of the men was admirable, and my thanks are especially due to Colonel Dulany, Captain J. H. McNeill, of Imboden's [regiment], and Lieutenant C. H. Vandiver, Seventh Virginia Cavalry. Privates J. W. Kuykendall and J. S. Hutton, of Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, as indefatigable and reliable scouts, have rendered me invaluable service.
Our entire loss was only 1 horse killed and 2 wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. E. JONES,
General R. H. CHILTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of Northern Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 15, 1863.
Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War for his information.
R. E. LEE,
JANUARY 15, 1863.
Officers are always ready to praise when they succeed and to blame when they fail. Colonel Cabell, of the artillery, at Fredericksburg, complimented our ammunition yesterday. Every effort is constantly made to overcome the many obstacles we have had to contend with in the production of the laboratory, and I am quite as much inclined to blame General Jones' artillerists as he is to blame my ammunition. Without wishing to detract from his skill as an officer, I may be allowed to state ammunition is, however, taken in good part, and will only stimulate the endeavor to improve where there is still much room for improvement.