War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0751 Chapter XXXIII. SKIRMISHES AT BRENTSVILLE, ELK RUN, ETC.

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ered the rear guard of Hampton's Legion. We there commenced a skirmish, in which we retook 3 prisoners of the First Michigan Cavalry (1 lieutenant and 2 privates), taken at a previous date, and drove the enemy toward Catlett's Station. As my orders were to examine into the condition of the railroad bridge across the Rappahannock, I gave up the pursuit, taking the left-hand road toward Bealeton Station, within 5 miles of the Rappahannock, where I cut the telegraph wire. From there I proceeded to the river, following the railroad track, the enemy's pickets being in sight the whole distance. Leaving a reserve within 2 miles of the river, under Lieutenant Mason, I proceeded, with Lieutenant Blagden and 20 picked horses, to the river, and found a strong infantry guard on the opposite side of the river, at the end of the bridge. I dismounted and thoroughly examined the bridge, and found it completed, with the exception of about 80 feet of stringers, on which the rails are placed. Finding it impossible to thoroughly destroy the work, I retired without being observed by the guard.

I reached the reserve of General Averell's picket about 2 a.m. January 10, after being eighteen hours in the saddle and marching a distance of not far from 80 miles.

The behavior of Lieutenants Blagden, Flint, Mason, and Montgomery in the affair was such as to merit my commendation, and the men under their command showed themselves worthy of such commanders.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAML. E. CHAMBERLAIN,

Major First Massachusetts Cavalry.

First Lieutenant C. F. TROWBRIDGE,

Aide-de-Camp and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First Cav. Brigadier

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY BRIGADE,

January 7, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded. The force which Major C. encountered at Elk Run is all that remains of Hampton's Legion (his old regiment), I am informed by Lieutenant Maxwell, First Michigan Cavalry, who was captured by about 20 rebels yesterday morning near Brentsville, where he happened to be with a party of 7 men, 3 of whom were captured.

WM. W. AVERELL,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

Numbers 3. Report of General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army.

CULPEPER, VA., January 9, 1863.

The enemy crossed the Rappahannock this morning at 5 a.m. at the various fords from Beverly to kelly's, with large force of cavalry, accompanied by infantry and artillery. After a severe contest until 5 p.m., General Stuart drove them across the river.

R. E. LEE.

General S. COOPER.