fective system of scouting, I know not how it is to be stopped, especially as the Yankees have control of the water.
Could you learn by telegraphing to Gordonsville, vie Staunton, what is known of the direction of the Yankees? I presume they hear from Stuart`s men at Gordonsville.
I would suggest that Colquitt be placed on the Meadow Bridge road, where he could relieve the clerks, &c.
D. H. HILL,
ASHLAND, July 5, 1863.
Commanding Department of Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I am directed by Colonel [W. M.] Browne, commanding reconnaissance force, to report to you directly.
One hundred and twelve of the enemy`s cavalry arrived here at 2 o`clock this morning, burned the depot, wood-house, water-tank, and stationary engine, and slightly, but not materially, injured the railroad track, and left in the direction of Hanover Court-House at 4 o`clock.
The telegraph wire here is also cut, and the first culvert below destroyed. I also learn that at South Anna Bridge the enemy`s cavalry and infantry, at 8 o`clock yesterday evening, attacked our force, but was prevented from getting his artillery in position by the admirable fire of our artillery, and were repulsed after four hours, pursued by our cavalry. Enemy`s force not known. It has since been ascertained the whole force has retired across Norman`s Bridge, in King William County. This information has been derived from Mr. Williams, an employe on the railroad, who has visited the scene of the late fight. I have been sent out by Colonel Browne on a scout to ascertain the position of the enemy, and shall continue my efforts in that direction.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. T. ROBINS,
Captain, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
[JULY 5, 1863]-11 p. m.
The local force will be dismissed in the morning.
Cooke wants his other two regiments. At what hour could you have transportation for them to-morrow?
I am sorry for the order, for I wished to be free move with my own brigades, having the roads guarded by the local force.
D. H. HILL,
DUBLIN, July 5, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
I am anxious to use my troops to produce the greatest practicable effect. Under existing orders, I do not feel at liberty to move them