Numbers 404. Report of Captain Erastus Blakeslee, First Connecticut Cavalry, of skirmish near Harper's Ferry, W. Va.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CONNECTICUT CAVALRY, Maryland Heights, July 18, 1863 .
GENERAL: I have the honor to report as follows in regard to a skirmish in which the First Connecticut Cavalry were engaged, on the 14 instant: Major Farnsworth, myself and 50 men crossed the Potomac, by order of General Naglee, to reconnoiter the enemy's position beyond Bolivar Heights, and to ascertain their strength . About 2 miles from Harper's ferry, the advance guard, 18 men, under myself, charged upon the pickets of the enemy, numbering about 30, and drove them in confusion back upon their reserve . Major Farnsworth coming up, now charged upon the whole reserve of the enemy, about 200 strong . The enemy also charged, and it became a fierce hand-to-hand fight, in which, owing to the disparity of our numbers, they repulsed us, rescued several prisoners whom we had previously taken, and, I am sorry to add, captured major Farnsworth and 24 men . The major's horse was shot under him, and he fought most gallantly on foot with his saber until the was overpowered and taken prisoner. I took command remainder of our men, and fell back, bringing with me 1 captain, 1 second lieutenant, and 2 privates, all of whom were captures by the advance in their first charge upon the picket, in which we also shot several horses and wounded the colonel of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, so that he was afterward found and brought in a prisoner . First Sergt. Allen F. Philiphs, Company A, deserves especial mention for his courage and good conduct in the affair .
I am, sir, most respectfully and truly, your obedient servant,
Commanding First Connecticut Cavalry .
[General H. M. NAGLEE.] -
No. 405. Reports of Brigadier General William W. Averell . U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade, of operations May 22-July 28, 1863.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE, Grafton, W. VA., June 21, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following brief report of the operations of the forces composing this brigade during the week ending to-day . On Sunday, 14th instant, at Beverly, 11 p. m. I received the inclosed telegram, marked A. It may be observed that although this dispatch, mentions the point of concentration, yet it contains no order to commence the movement, but I inferred from the information given that an order was intended, and therefore issued orders to the troops at Beverly, Buckhannon, Weston, and Bridge Port to hold themselves in readiness to move at an hour's notice . I waited until the morning of the 15th for further instructions, and then started for Clarksburg .