War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0814 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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On reaching the crest of the first ridge, of which there are a complete succession running at right angles to the river and road, I discovered a scouting party, numbering 8, of cavalry, coming on the road from the direction of Beverly. I here directed a message to be sent to Captain Burns, informing him of their approach, which I learn he did not receive, though it was unnecessary, as he could not but discover their approach. We then moved forward so as to gain the top of the next ridge, which we did just in time to prevent the scouts being fired on by Captain Campbell, who had halted, and his ; men were in the act of taking aim as the scouts passed up, 6 in number, 2 having halted at Harper's. I ordered him not to fire, and, as soon as I could do so without giving any alarm, moved the head of the column forward to the position occupied by Captain Campbell, reaching this just as Captain Burns opened fire on them, and ordered a charge from his position above. I moved my right down to the road, with orders to fire on them in case they could not halt them. Not reaching the road in time, they fired, killing 3 and wounding 1, 1 having been wounded in Captain Burns' fire, and 1, by having his horse shot under him, was thrown in a fence corner and taken prisoner. The whole 6 were thus killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. One of the killed we found to be Clay Waard, a son of the Mr. [A. B.] Ward at whose house we had halted. We took 3 head of horsed, which were brought off - 1 escaping, wounded, 1 being so badly wounded as to be unfit for service, and 1 being killed - and I presume 5 sabers, 5 Colt's pistols, and 5 Sharps carbines, though they were not all reported to me. We pursued the 2 scouts, who had halted at Harper's, but as the flanking party sent out by me had not gotten in position on the road toward the burnt brigade, they escaped in the direction of Beverly. As your artillery had not yet opened fire, I here halted, and ordered back my flanders, and again moved as directed by your dispatch dated 1 p. m. Some delay was here caused to our movements on account of the non-arrival of my scouts or flanking party from above the burnt bridge, who had not gotten in position when my messenger arrived at the point to which they had been sent. I moved, however, as nearly as l could in the direction of the Earl Hill at 1. 40 p. m., without my guides, and the road being blockaded above, I moved across the country, keeping my skirmishers well out in front, and halting them at intervals, the woods being so dense they could not see each other; occasionally we could move but slowly, and our course was not direct on account of the difficulties already mentioned. Indeed, I was thrown almost entirely on my own resources, as Lieutenant [J. S.] Wamsley knew nothing but the general course. With the arrival of my guides, whom I had directed to come up, I received a dispatch from you, requesting me to move so as to support Captain Marshall if he moved toward the Earl Hill. I was at that time in no position to see any movements that were making on my left, and as I had not sufficient cavalry to scout the country, all I could do was to move so as to gain a point from which I could do as you directed; and at about 5 p. m. I reached Fontaine Butcher's farm, on the hill immediately south of Files Creek. Here I found myself some half a mile to the right of the Earl Hill, but was enabled to get a full view of the position of the enemy on Butcher's or Collett's Hill, northeast of Beverly, where he had his artillery planted. Here I sent out scouts to find out whether Captain