Aldie directed me to send forward one brigade through Aldie and thence toward Front Royal, and later to join the division at Noland's Ferry. The Second Brigade, Brigadier- General Kilpatrick commanding, moved forward rapidly to execute this order. Arrived within less than 1 mile of Aldie, the advance guard of this brigade encountered the advance of a column of the enemy's cavalry. A reconnaissance to the front ascertained the presence of the enemy in force. General Kilpatrick at once made his dispositions and attacked the enemy. The First and Third Brigades arriving about this time, were placed in position to support the Second Brigade in its attack. Moving to the front, I found the Second Brigade hotly engaged with a superior force. The necessity for re-enforcement being apparent, the First Maine Regiment was ordered to report to General Kilpatrick. This regiment moved to the front, charged the enemy at the critical moment, and, in connection with the regiments of the Second Brigade, which had been charging the enemy and resisting his charges, drove the enemy from the field, inflicting upon him severe loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. This action was very severe. The enemy, strongly posted and in superior force to Kilpatrick's brigade, seemed determined to repossess himself of the town, but the gallant charges of the Second New York, First Massachusetts, Sixth Ohio, Fourth New York, and First Maine, and the well directed fire of Randol's battery, were more than enough to make him fail in this, and compel his flight to the hills beyond. In this action the brave and generous Colonel C. C. Douty, First Maine Cavalry, fell, at the head of his regiment. On the 18th instant, agreeably to orders from Brigadier-General Pleasonton, commanding Cavalry Corps, I sent forward the Third Brigade, Colonel J. I. Gregg commanding, to make a reconnaissance toward Middleburg and Upperville, and, if possible, take possession of the former place. After a sharp skirmish with the enemy's cavalry, Middleburg was taken possession of, and on the same evening, agreeably to orders, Colonel Gregg fell to a point midway between Middleburg and Aldie. On the morning of the 19th, the brigade was again advanced to Middleburg, which, during the night, had been reoccupied by the enemy. A gallant charge of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry cleared the town. The enemy (Robertson's brigade) took a strong position on the wooded heights about a mile beyond the town, on the road leading to Upperville. At this time I arrived upon the field, and found the enemy's line well extended along a commanding crest, his center resting upon the turnpike, So extended was this line that almost the whole of Colonel Gregg's brigade was deployed as skirmishers against the enemy. The enemy's artillery was posted in such positions as to have a raking fire of canister upon our skirmishers, and his skirmishers, concealed in wheat-fields and woods, made any advance of our line apparently impracticable. Determined to drive the enemy from his position, I directed Colonel Gregg to disregard the menaces on his flanks, and to direct all his available force upon his center. An increased force of dismounted skirmishers was placed to the right and left of the turnpike, and regiments held in readiness to charge upon the road. An advance, was ordered, the fields cleared, and a brigade of rebel cavalry discovered, which was gallantly charged. The enemy made a strong resistance, but at last yielded and abandoned his position, leaving his dead and wounded upon the field. A large number of prisoners was taken.