he brought orders for me to start my trains. He replied that he did not. He believed that an orderly left brigade headquarters early in the morning, with orders for Lieutenant-Colonel Magruder to move his trains, and supposed that the same person carried similar orders for me. He had not been informed definitely when the movement was to take place, but from conversation he had heard, and from instructions with which he had been charged, he inferred it was to take place that night and the next day. Under these circumstances, I thought best to give the order to hitch up and put everything in readiness for a start.
At 1 p.m. my trains were ready to start. I was expecting every moment to receive the order to mover, but I could not move without it. When I left camp, shortly after, with several of my officers, to carry out General Woodbury's order in relation to cutting out roads for Colonel Magruder, I left Captain Ford in command, with directions to open any communication that might come for me on official business, and if the order to move should come, to start the trains at once. After Captain Beers saw General Woodbury, and received orders to move the trains, he rode back to camp as fast as his horse could carry him, and started the trains immediately. This was about 5 p.m., and the teams had been hitched up and waiting orders for four hours.
Secondly. Why did I not have my teams hitched up and the trains got under way as soon as I received notice of the time and place of crossing? The above reply to the first inquiry has already explained that. Without having received any notice of the time of crossing, I had my teams hitched up in anticipation of such notice; but that I could not move without orders, having received positive verbal and written instructions not to move until I should receive orders. I may also mention that on the day before, viz, on Monday, the 19th, I had my teams all hitched up at 10 a.m., having been informed by General Woodbury that the movement was expected to take place that night and the next morning. My teams stood in harness awaiting orders until after noon, when I received from General Woodbury the note before alluded to.
The general commanding was right in expecting me to take all necessary steps to be on the ground in time that I could take without violating positive orders. I was exceedingly anxious to move early; so were my officers and men. Had I received orders to move when Lieutenant Van Brocklin came to my camp, I could have had my trains parked near the river and my men and horses in camp before dark, and before it began raining. As it was, receiving my orders to move when I did, I could easily, hat it not rained and had I not been delayed by the artillery, have had my pontoons and material all on the ground by 10 p.m. I could not, however, have moved sooner than I did without violating the plainest principle of duty, and thus rendering myself liable to arrest and punishment.
STAFFORD COURT-HOUSE, January 23, 1863.
The following report is received from Colonel Di Cesnola, stationed at Allcock, with a flying battery and 600 cavalry:
My scouting parties to-day have been at the following places without meeting any rebels or even encampments to suppose that they been there lately. There went