War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0945 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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MANASSAS GAP, VA., July 21, 1863-9 p. m. CAPTAIN: We have had two small fights to- day with the enemy at the west end of the Gap. The first, in which the First Cavalry was engaged, in attempting to penetrate to Front Royal; the second, in which found the enemy in force at the west end of the Gap. I can hear nothing further as regards Lee's army more than what I have already reported. The only prisoners taken are all from the Seventeenth Virginia. Infantry and number about 20, including 4 commissioned country is enough to hold my entire brigade in check, as I cannot use my artillery to advantage. The wounds inflicted on the men of my brigade are very severe, and the arms captured from the enemy are the Springfield riffle. Longstreet is reported at Front-Royal, and it is said, has sent out a force this way and toward Chester Gap. I at first thought they had only one regiment in my front, but am now convinced that Hoover's brigade of Corse's division* is this side of Front Royal. The fact that we have captured prisoners from only one regiment is attributable to this regiment being on picket -to-day. I will feel them again to-morrow.

Very, respectfully, &c.,

W. MERRITT

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

Captain KEOGH, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY RESERVE BRIGADE,

Rappahannock Station, Va., July 31, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I submit report of the operations of the brigade, including the time embraced by list of casualties inclosed herewith. On the 20th, the brigade was detached from the division at Rectortown, with orders to march to and occupy Manassas Gap. On the 21st, the Gap was taken possession of and the summit held white the First U. S. Cavalry was ordered to penetrate as far as practicable toward Front Royal. The enemy was soon engaged, and in superior numbers. The Fifth and Second U. S. Cavalry reenforced the First, and a severe skirmish took place, in which 5 commissioned officers and 21 enlisted men of the enemy's infantry were captured. On the 22d, there was more or less skirmishing all day, but the enemy made no efforts to drive us from the position held, save by turning our flanks. The artillery was used to hold them in check. Early on the morning of the 23d, the brigade was relieved by General Ward's division, Third Army Corps, m and marched to Markham, by orders from corps headquarters; thence, by order from same source, along the ridge of the Blue Mountains to near Chester Gap, for the purpose of observation, &c. Here about 50 prisoners were captured near Chester Gap, after a small skirmish, by part of the Firs U. S. Cavalry.

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*Corse was commanding a bridge of Picket'sdivision. "Hoover's" brigade cannot be indentified.

+Embodied in revised statment, p. 194.

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60 R R_VOLXXVII, PT I