War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0735 Chapter XXXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

no serious opposition, but the whole country is infested with guerrillas, scouts, &c. Colonel Gamble will occupy Chester Gap to-day, and has similar instructions to General Merritt. Gamble was near Barbee's Cross-Roads last night. I hope to be able to learn something of the enemy if they are as low down in the Valley as the gaps named. I am, very respectfully,

JNO. BUFORD,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY RESERVE BRIGADE, Manassas Gap, Va., July 21, 1863.

Brigadier-General BUFORD.

Commanding Cavalry Division:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date is received. I will use every endeavor to find the whereabouts of the enemy. Prisoners captured, among whom are 2 commissioned officers, seem to indicate by their statements that Lee has not crossed the Shenandoah. I have tried every means to get the truth from them. A strong infantry force is reported in my front. I can hold this position against odds. I am now well to the west mouth of the Gap. All the prisoners thus far captured belong to the Seventeenth Virginia Infantry. Some report they come from Staunton (convalescents). From all I can gather, Lee appears to be in the direction of Bunker Hill or Winchester, as I can get no report of his having crossed the Shenandoah. All the prisoners hitherto captured report that they have waded. Corse's division, to which the prisoners belong, report that he [Corse] is about 10, 000 strong. A member of the signal corps reports a large wagon train on the other side of the river, and a column of infantry and a battery on this side, moving this way. A regiment sent out to Front Royal reports within 2 1\2 miles of that place and no enemy. I can gain no further information up to this time.

Very respectfully, &c.,

W. MERRIT,

Brigadier General of Volunteers, Comdg. Reserve Brigade.

HILL NEAR HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 21, 1863-3. 20 p. m.

Colonel LOCKE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifth Corps:

The signal officer on the mountain at Ashby's Gap reports: "The enemy are owing up the Valley in considerable force this a. m. Their train is immense. " They were directly opposite his station.

HILL AND LYON,

Signal Officers.

HEADQUARTERS RESERVE CAVALRY BRIGADE, Near Front Royal, July 21, 1863-5 p. m.

Lieutenant Colonel C. ROSS SMITH,

Acting Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps:

COLONEL: Contrabands living in this vicinity report that Longstreet's (rebel) corps marched into Front Royal this morning, and