War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0072 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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4 or 5 vedettes. It being late in the evening, and our horses very much jaded, I concluded to return. I had gone not over a mile back when we saw a large body of the enemy's cavalry, which according to their own reports, numbered 200 men, rapidly pursuing. I feigned a retreat, desiring to draw then off from their camps. At a point where the enemy had blockaded the road with fallen trees I formed to receive them, for with my knowledge of the Yankee character I knew they would imagine themselves fallen into an ambuscade. When they had come within 100 yards of me, I ordered a charge, to which my men responded with a vim that swept everything before them. The Yankees broke when we got within 75 yards of them, and it was more of a chase than a fight for 4 or 5 miles. We killed 5, wounded a considerable number and brought off 1 lieutenant and 35 men prisoners. I did not have over 50 men with me, some having gone back with the prisoners and others having gone on ahead when we started back, not anticipating any pursuit.

On Monday, March 31, I went down in the direction of Dranesville to capture several strong outposts in the vicinity of that place. On reaching there, I discovered that they had fallen back about 10 miles down the Alexandria pike. I then returned 6 or 8 miles back, and stopped about 10 o'clock at night at a point about 2 miles from the pike.

Early the next morning of my men, whom I had left over on the Leesburg pike, came dashing in, and announced the rapid approach of the enemy. But he had scarcely given us the information when the enemy appeared a few hundred yards off, coming up at a gallop. At this time our horses were eating; all had their bridles off, and some even their saddles; they were all tied in a barn-yard. Throwing open the gate, I ordered a counter-charge, to which the men promptly responded. The Yankees, never dreaming of our assuming the offensive, terrified at the yells of the men as they dashed on, broke and fled in every direction. We drove them in confusion 7 or 8 miles down the pike. We left on the field 9 of them killed, among them a captain and lieutenant, and about 15 too badly wounded for removal; in this lot 2 lieutenants. We brought off 82 prisoners, many of these also wounded.

I have since visited the scene of the fight. The enemy sent up a flag of truce for their dead and wounded, but many of them being severely wounded, they established a hospital on the ground. The surgeon who attended them informs me that a great number of those who escaped were wounded.

The force of the enemy was six companies of the First Vermont Cavalry one of their oldest and best regiments, and the prisoners inform me that they had every available man with them. There were certainly not less than 200; the prisoners say it was more than that. I had about 65 men in this affair. In addition to the prisoners, we took all their arms and about 100 horses and equipments.

Privates Hart, Hurst, Keyes, and Davis were wounded. The latter has since died. Both on this and several other occasions they have borne themselves with conspicuous gallantry. In addition those mentioned above, I desire to place on record the names of several others, whose promptitude and boldness in closing in with the enemy contributed much to the success of the fight; they are Lieutenant [William H.] Chapman (late of Dixie Artillery), Sergeant Hunter, and Privates Wellington, and Harry Hatcher, Turner, Wild, Sowers, Ames, and Sibert. There are many others, I have no doubt, deserving of honorable mention, but the above are only those who came under my personal observation.