War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 1004 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

AUGUST 28, 1863.

CAPTAIN: IN OBEDIENCE TO INSTRUCTIONS, I SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING REPORT OF THE OPERATIONS OF THIS DIVISION WHILE UNDER MY COMMAND: ON THE MORNING OF JULY 15, I ASSUMED COMMAND OF THE DIVISION, WHICH WAS THEN LYING NEAR FALLING WATERS. AT THE SAME TIME I RECEIVED ORDERS TO MARCH MY COMMAND AND ENCAMP NEAR BERLIN, MD. JULY 17, CROSSED THE POTOMAC INTO VIRGINIA, AND ENCAMPED NEAR PURCELLVILLE. THE FIFTH MICHIGAN, UNDER MAJOR TROWBRIDGE, WAS SENT FORWARD TO OCCUPY SNICKER'S GAP. THE ENEMY WERE FOUND IN CONSIDERABLE FORCE, BUT, AFTER A BRISK SKIRMISH, WERE DRIVEN THROUGH AND BEYOND THE GAP, WITH A LOSS OF 12 PRISONERS AND SEVERAL WOUNDED. OUR LOSS WAS 2 SLIGHTLY WOUNDED. ON JULY 19 [20], THE FIRST AND SIXTH MICHIGAN CAVALRY, UNDER COLONEL TOWN, OF THE FORMER, OCCUPIED ASHBY'S GAP, AFTER A SLIGHT SKIRMISH WITH THE ENEMY. ON THE MORNING OF JULY 24, I MOVED FROM MY CAMP AT AMISSVILLE, VA., WITH THE FIRST, FIFTH, AND SIXTH MICHIGAN CAVALRY AND BATTERY M, SECOND U. S. ARTILLERY. I PROCEEDED IN THE DIRECTION OF NEWBY'S CROSS-ROADS, AT WHICH POINT I EXPECTED TO ENCOUNTER THE ENEMY'S COLUMN. MY ADVANCE GUARD CAME UPON THE SKIRMISHERS OF THE ENEMY WHEN WITHIN A HALF MILE OF THE ROAD LEADING FROM GAINES' CROSS-ROADS TO CULPEPER, AT A POINT CALLED BATTLE MOUNTAIN. THE FORCE IN MY FRONT PROVED TO BE THE CORPS OF A. P. HILL. I ATTACKED WITH BOTH CAVALRY AND ARTILLERY, COMPELLING THE ENEMY TO HALT HIS COLUMN AND FORM LINE OF BATTLE. HAVING DONE THIS MUCH, AND KNOWING THE OVERWHELMING FORCE THE ENEMY WAS BRINGING TO BEAR AGAINST ME, I PREPARED TO WITHDRAW MY COMMAND. AN UNLOOKED-FOR DELAY OCCURRING IN RELIEVING MY SKIRMISHERS, THE ENEMY SUCCEEDED IN PUSHING TWO BRIGADES OF INFANTRY TO MY LEFT AND REAR. BY THIS MOVEMENT THE FIFTH AND SIXTH MICHIGAN CAVALRY (COLONEL GRAY), AND TWO GUNS OF BATTERY M, UNDER COMMAND OF LIEUTENANT WOODRUFF, WERE ENTIRELY CUT OFF, BUT BY A DISPLAY OF GREAT COURAGE BY BOTH OFFICERS AND MEN, COLONEL GRAY SUCCEEDED IN EXTRICATING HIS COMMAND FROM THIS PERILOUS POSITION WITH BUT SLIGHT LOSS. GREAT CREDIT IS DUE TO COLONEL GRAY, COMMANDING SECOND BRIGADE, AND LIEUTENANT WOODRUFF, COMMANDING ONE SECTION OF BATTERY M, SECOND U. S. ARTILLERY, FOR THEIR GALLANT CONDUCT ON THIS OCCASION. I RETURNED TO MY CAMP NEAR AMISSVILLE, MY COMMAND HIVING SUFFERED A LOSS OF 30 IN KILLED, WOUNDED, AND MISSING, WHILE THAT OF THE ENEMY WAS KNOWN TO BE MUCH GREATER. ON JULY 30, THE THIRD DIVISION VAS RELIEVED BY THE SECOND DIVISION, BRRIGADIER-GENERAL

GREGG COMMANDING. ON THE 31ST, I MARCHED WITH MY COMMAND TO WARRENTON JUNCTION, WHERE THE DIVISION ENCAMPED. ON AUGUST 4, I WAS RELIEVED FROM THE COMMAND OF THE DIVISION BY THE RETURN OF BRIGADIER-GENERAL KILPATRICK FROM LEAVE OF ABSENCE.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED.

G. A. CUSTER,

BRIGADIER-GENERAL, COMMANDING.

CAPTAIN ESTES,

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, THIRD DIV., CAV. CORPS.