when, finding the road was still obstructed, it was decided I should return to the first opening, from my command, and await further advice. On my return to the small plateau north of Scott's Run, and adjoining the woods, which extended to the Plank road, I heard heavy firing and the rebels yelling in the direction of the head of Hunting Run, and surmised at once it was an attack on the right of the Eleventh Corps. At the same moment an aide-de-camp of General Warren, of General Hooker's staff, came up to say the Eleventh Corps was falling back rapidly and a regiment of cavalry was needed to check the movement. I immediately ordered the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry to proceed at a gallop, attack the rebels, and check the attack at any cost until we could get ready for them.
This service was splendidly performed, but with heavy loss, and I gained some fifteen minutes to bring Martin's battery into position facing the woods, to reserve a battery of your corps, to detach some cavalry to stop runaways, and to secure more guns from our retreating forces. It was at this moment you joined me and gave every assistance your authority could command, but time was what we most wanted. Fortunately, I succeeded before the advancing columns of the enemy came in sight in placing twenty-two pieces of artillery in position, double-shotted with canister, and bearing on the direction the rebels were pursuing. To support this force, I had two small squadrons of cavalry, ready to charge upon any attempt made to take the guns. My position was upon the extreme left of the line of the Eleventh Corps, and as it recoiled from the fierce onset of the rebels through and over my guns, it was soon apparent we must meet the shock. In rear of the Eleventh Corps the rebels came on rapidly, but now in silence, and with that skill and adroitness they often display to gain their object. the only color visible was an American flag with the center battalion. To clear up this doubt, my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Thompson, First New York Cavalry, rode to within 100 yards of them, when they called out to him, '' We are friends; come on! '' and he was induced to go 50 yards closer, when the whole line in a most dastardly manner opened on him with musketry, dropped the American color, and displayed eight or ten rebel battle-flags. He escaped unhurt, and I then ordered all the guns to fire as they were advancing. This terrible discharge staggered them, and threw the heads of their columns back on the woods, from which they opened a tremendous fire of musketry, bringing up fresh forces constantly, and striving to advance as fast as they were swept back by our guns.
It was now dark, and their presence could only be ascertained by the flash of their muskets, from which a continuous stream of fire was seen nearly encircling us, and gradually extending to our right, to cut us off from the army. This was at last checked by our guns, and the rebels withdrew. Several guns and caissons were then recovered from the woods where the enemy had been posted.
Such was the fight at the head of Scott's Run. Artillery against infantry at 300 yards; the infantry in the woods, the artillery in the clearing. War present many anomalies, but few so curious and strange in its result as this. I am unable to state what troops were engaged with me, as I left for another part of the field soon after. You probably know the part your artillery took in the affair. We cannot be too proud of such troops. Our loss was heavy. I have not yet received full returns.
In concluding this report, general, you will pardon me for expressing to you the admiration excited by the resources with which you met