Massachusetts Cavalry, commanding cavalry at Centreville, who caused the party to be pursued. I visited the bridge in person, and found the damage done trifling and repaired with little loss of time.
Cameron Run Bridge was burned September 30; located 3 miles from Alexandria.
Certain parties threw coal-oil or some other inflammable fluid on the bridge and fired it. It was discovered and extinguished without damage and without interruption to the trains.
Raid near Burke's Station, September 24, capturing 8 mules.
These 8 mules were turned over, so far as can be learned, to the railroad company by the assistant quartermaster at Alexandria, and, at the time of capture, were being herded near Burke's Station. There was no notification given to these headquarters of the necessity for a guard for these mules, nor was it ever known that they were there.
Raid near Burke's Station, October 1.
A wood party stationed there were attacked. The guerrillas were beaten off by the guard, doing no damage. The same party captured 3 trackmen at Springfield. It is supposed that if these 3 men were doing their duty at the time of capture, they would have been on the railroad, and consequently that the guerrillas were in possession of it. They did no harm to it, and the inference naturally arises that the 3 men were straggling from their posts.
I invite attention tot he appended statement, marked A:
Our brigades are constantly exposed; so far as my knowledge extends, none of them are guarded.
With regard to the troops stationed at Warrenton Junction, I have only to state that, not being in my department, I have no control over them.
The different bridges on the railroad will be protected by block-houses.
Their erection was ordered at or about the 6th of June. For reasons why they have not been completed, I respectfully refer to the paper appended, marked B.
With reference to the method pursued at these headquarters to protect property when sent beyond the line of defenses proper, I respectfully refer to the paper appended, marked C.
In conclusion, I would state that the Orange and Alexandria Railroad runs through a country in many places either thickly wooded or covered by undergrowth, rendering it an easy task for two or three active and energetic men to keep the entire available command I have on the road on the qui vive, and even with the utmost vigilance exercised, rendering it not strange or unnatural that on any night an inhabitant of the country should place an impediment on the track sufficient to throw a train off, to remove a rail, or even to destroy a bridge with a span of only 4 or 5 feet.
To prevent these incursions, I am enabled to keep only 590 to 600 effective cavalry in camp, near Centreville, ready for instant service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. HEINTZELMAN,