War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 1039 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 378. REPORT OF Colonel CHARLES R. LOWELL, JR., SECOND MASSACHUSETTS CAVALRY, OF RECONNAISSANCE, JULY 11-14.

LANGLEY, JULY 14, 1863-1 P. M.

CAPTAIN: I HAVE THE HONOR TO REPORT THAT, IN OBEDIENCE TO YOUR INSTRUCTIONS OF JULY 10, I REPORTED TO COLONEL WYNDHAM, AND RECEIVED FROM HIM A COPY OF YOUR INSTRUCTIONS TO HIM, AND AN ORDER TO TAKE ALL HIS AVAILABLE MEN IN CAMP AT ALEXANDRIA. I STARTED EARLY ON THE 11TH, WITH 304 MEN OF THE SECOND MASSACHUSETTS CAVALRY AND 60 MEN FROM COLONEL WYNDHAM'S COMMAND, AND REACHED ALDIE AT 6 P. M., HAVING SEEN OR HEARD OF NO TROOPS EXCEPTING MOSBY'S SCOUTS. I HAD INTENDED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR INSTRUCTIONS, TO SEND 100 MEN BY WAY OF THOROUGHFARE GAP TO COVER MY LEFT, AND TO PUSH ON WITH THE REST OF MY COMMAND TO MIDDLEBURG THAT EVENING, BUT HEARING FROM VARIOUS SOURCES AT ALDIE THAT A PORTION OF JONES' MARYLAND [VIRGINIA] BRIGADE WAS AT MIDDLEBURG, I DETERMINED NOT TO DIVIDE MY PARTY, AND CAMPED FOR THE NIGHT 1 MILE OUT ON THE SNICKER'S GAP ROAD. DID NOT HEAR OF ANY TROOPS OR ANY MOVEMENTS IN THE DIRECTION OF THOROUGHFARE GAP. ON THE 12TH, MOVED FORWARD THROUGH MIDDLEBURG AND UPPERVILLE, HEARING OF NO TROOPS BUT TWO COMPANIES OF [B. H.] ROBERTSON'S BRIGADE (NORTH CAROLINA CAVALRY) AT ASHBY'S GAP, AND SOME OF THE SIXTH AND TWELFTH VIRGINIA AND A PORTION OF JONES' BRIGADE AT SNICKER'S GAP. REACHED PARIS AT NOON; FOUND THREE PLATOONS OF CAVALRY FORMED IN THE VILLAGE, WHICH MY ADVANCE GUARD DROVE OUT AND CHASED UP THE GAP; NEAR THE SUMMIT THEY WERE FIRED UPON BY DISMOUNTED MEN FROM BEHIND STONE WALLS AND IN THE BRUSH, AND FELL BACK. SENT TWO COMPANIES TO TURN THE GAP BY THE LEFT. THE ENEMY IMMEDIATELY LEFT, AND MY ADVANCE GUARD FOLLOWED THEM TO THE SHENANDOAH AND FOR 3 MILES UP THE BANK TOWARD CHESTER GAP. THE DAY WAS SO HAZY THAT I COULD SEE NOTHING OF CAMPS OR TRAINS IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY. THE RIVER AT BERRY'S FORD IS ENTIRELY TOO DEEP FOR FORDING, AND, FROM WHAT I COULD LEARN FROM INHABITANTS, WILL SCARCELY RUN OUT FOR TEN DAYS. THE PARTY AT ASHBY'S GAP SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN A PORTION OF ROBERTSON'S BRIGADE, UNDER CAPTAIN [LEVIS A.] JOHNSON, WITH DISMOUNTED MEN FROM VARIOUS REGIMENTS AND SOME OF MOSBY'S SCOUTS. LEFT ASHBY'S GAP ABOUT 4 P. M., AND PASSED THROUGH UNION TO PHILOMONT, WHERE I CAMPED. AS THE 13TH WAS STILL CLOUDY AND HAZY, I THOUGHT IT USELESS TO MAKE ANOTHER EFFORT TO SEE INTO THE VALLEY, AND ACCORDINGLY MARCHED THROUGH MOUNT GILEAD TO LEESBURG, AND THENCE TO DRANESVILLE, WHERE I CAMPED LAST NIGHT. I OMITTED TO MENTION THAT ON THE WEST BANK OF THE SHENANDOAH, AT ASHBY'S GAP, THE ENEMY HAVE A PICKET OF 20 OR 25 MEN AND A SMALL DEPOT OF COMMISSARY STORES, PROBABLY FOR USE OF DETACHMENT AT GAP; ALSO A SMALL SKIFF. THEY FIRED AT MY ADVANCE GUARD FOR SOME TIME, BUT DID NO DAMAGE. MY LOSS IS 2 KILLED; 1 SEVERELY WOUNDED, CANNOT LIVE; 4 SLIGHTLY WOUNDED; 1 LIEUTENANT AND 3 PRIVATES CAPTURED. I AM ALSO SORRY TO REPORT 4 STRAGGLERS STILL MISSING, AND 1 DESERTER. I LOST SEVERAL HORSES, BUT CAPTURED ENOUGH TO REPLACE THEM. WI HAVE BROUGHT IN 1 LIEUTENANT FROM THE SIXTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY,