War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0757 Chapter XXXIII. SCOUTS IN FAUQUIER COUNTY, VA.

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of Southern troops on the other side. Both fords are again easily crossed by cavalry or even artillery, as the water is reported lowered. Another scouting party went toward Bristersburg early this morning, and came by Elk River and Morrisville Post-Office,a and reports all quiet in that direction. A third scouting party, sent to Ellis' Ford and Kellysville, chased a party of rebel scouts toward Mount Holly Church, one of whom was captured and sent to your headquarters. Other scouting parties, sent on the Warrenton road, brought in 17 deserters, belonging to General Burnside's army (Butterfield's corps) and General Hooker's grand division. They have reported the woods filled with deserters (I think exaggerated), amounting to a whole division. I have sent all the cavalry I could dispose of safely to pick them up, but the larger number of my forces are so exhausted that I am afraid they will not be able to reach them before dark. I have given orders to my troops to concentrate themselves before dark at a certain point and fall back. My opinion is that the rebels will catch all the deserters, as they are going in that direction. I have, however, reported the fact to General Schurz, requesting him to send some of his infantry after them.

Many neighboring farmers are continually coming to the line of my outposts and asking for protection, reporting horrors committed by these deserters.

My whole command is orderly and quiet, and ready to fight in earnest. I have also to report Captain Hanley's arrival in camp, and, from what the commanding officer of the regiment told me, his reason for having passed his leave of absence seems to have arisen from a row occurring in New York between him and civilians, for which he was confined in the Tombs for several days.

Several horses have died, but most of them were replaced by captured ones.

I am, general, with great respect,

L. P. DI CESNOLA,

Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Brigade.

Brigadier-General STAHEL,

Commanding Eleventh Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE,

Alcock [?], January 26, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the concentration of the enemy's forces at Rappahannock Station, previously reported to the commanding general, seems to be verified this morning, as my scouting parties have been attacked in every direction, and firing is going on now. I have sent out re-enforcements to them. I would most respectfully suggest that your division might be held in readiness in case of an emergency. I will, however, in proper time keep you informed how things are going on.

I am, general, your most obedient servant,

L. P. DI CESNOLA,

Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Brigade.

Brigadier-General SCHURZ,

Commanding Third Division.