War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0013 Chapter XXXVII. OPERATIONS IN WESTMORELAND CO., VA., ETC.

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at having transacted the principal portion of its business on Monday, and was, therefore, ready to adjourn. We failed to get the papers or the inspectors, but caught 2 cavalrymen, 2 conscripts (the latter I paroled), and several josses. The other cavalry, and the board made their escape on fresher horses. We also captured near the court-house a quantity of smuggled tobacco, sugar, and coffee, some saltpeter, and nearly fifth barrels of villainous whisky. The saltpeter and whisky I destroyed, and the other articles were divided to my command.

I encamped I visited Warsaw, the court-house town of Richmond County, where I picked up 2 infantry belonging to the Fortieth Virginia, Colonel [J. M.] Brockenbrought. The colonel, as I supposed wound be the case, had taken his departure. I found in a building bearing the title of the Fleetwood Academy the papers and order-book I send with the bearer,* containing a list of names of those persons subject to conscription, and I also discovered a post-office in full blast. The letters, papers, &c., i sent you last night were taken therefrom. The mail-bags, keys, &c., I destroyed, and suspended the office in the name of the Until States. The postmasters had fled. In town I also picked up a couple of horses belonging to some conscripts, who hid themselves on our approach. The distance from Westmoreland Court-House to Warsaw was over 15 miles, and finding it impossible to go any father that day, and appearances indicating a long rain, our horses being wearied, rations becoming short, I returned to Westmoreland, encamped over night, and on Thursday returned to Edge Hill, to my camp.

During my absence I discovered the following facts in regard to matters of every description carried on between Maryland and Virginia, the principal depot being at a place called Union, in Richmond Country, and the principal port of entry at a place called, in Lloyd's military map, the Hague, on the Potomac shore. There are probably 500 Confederate soldiers at home in the counties below this one on furlongs and deserters. At on one time do the rebels send more that from 20 to 30 cavalry across the river to gather up deserters and stragglers, these cavalry being generally called partisan rangers, or, in other words, guerrillas; and, finally, that there are a great many good Union families in those counties, who gladly furnish information when approached properly. I would refer to two families name Swisher, another named Conde, and Rev. G. H. Norton. The roads are good and forage sufficient to supply a large force of cavalry; but horses are scarce, and healthy men few and far between, there having been four drafts made upon the horses and men previous to this one.

I gave Captain Wadsworth, of General Reynolds' staff, the particulars as to where to visit, the roads to follow, and people to call upon.

In accordance with an order received last night, I relieved the two squadrons of the Eighth New York, and turned over to Captain [Caleb] Moore your order. He did not get off until 3 o'clock this morning, however, owing to Captain [Benjamin F.] Foote being unwell and being slow in reporting his squadron to Captain Moore.

Hoping, colonel, that what I have done will meet your approval, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Major Eighth Illinois Cavalry.

Colonel WILLIAM GABLE, Commanding Picket.


* Not found.