War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0022 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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time. Lieutenant-Colonel Cummins opened fire upon them with our infantry picket and repulsed them. They skededdled back in doublequick time. Lieutenant-Colonel Cummins says, if I will allow it, he will take his command and put the rebels across the river before night. This I cannot do without orders; neither would it be safe, as there has been considerable firing off to our right. The cavalry Captain [Benjamin M.] Piatt that there had been 60 of their men cut off.

We had, on arriving here, about 1, 356 men, and relieved about the same number, the cavalry on our right are asking for about 200 men (infantry), but I cannot spare them the line. I have reported the same to General Whipple.

I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,

B. P. BAILEY,

Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding First Brigade Picket.

Brigadier-General SICKLES,

Commanding Thirt Army Corps.

Numbers 3. Report of Brigadier General George Stoneman, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac.

HDQRS. CAV. CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, March 4, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report, in accordance with the following instructions:

The commanding general desires to have as soon as possible as exact report of the forces engaged in the recent expedition against the enemy, showing also the number of men killed, wounded, and missing; the number and description of horses, arms, and equipments of every kind lost and missing; the movements in full of each portion of your command, and the delay of any portion to execute promptly and completely the part assigned it, together with the reasons therefor.

On the afternoon of the 25th ultimo I received a dispatch from General Avarell, informing me that the enemy was said to be in force in front of his line of cavalry vedettes and in the vicinity of Hardwood Church, but that he had sent to find out, and would let me know the result of his investigations. This information I forwarded to headquarters for the information of the general commanding.

Shortly afterward I was sent for to appear at headquarters. Arrived there, I found that General Avarell had taken the precaution to send his information by telegraph to headquarters, and that he had received the necessary orders front thence. The operations of his command in detail will be found in his report and the reports of his subordinates, herewith inclosed.*

By direction of the commanding general, I directed the commanding officer of the First Division to hold his command in readiness at daylight to move at a moment's notice, and sent for the commanding officer of the Reserve Brigade, in order to give him the same instructions. Before he arrived, however, I was directed to have the whole available force in readiness to move at 1 a. m., and shortly afterward the order was changed to "Move at once, " which was communicated to General Pleasonton, First Division, by telegraph, and to Captain [George C.] Cram, commanding Reserve Brigade, in person.

General Pleasonton was directed to move upon the Stafford Court-House and Dumfries road, at a point near Aquia Church, and Captain

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* Not found.

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