War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0871 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VA. AND EAST TENN.,

Dublin, December 12, 1863.

Colonel JOHN McCAUSLAND,

Narrows:

Brigadier-General Echols has fallen back this side of Greenbrier River on the road to Union. Move up your command to his support, leaving only a sufficient guard for the public property. Move in the morning.

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VA. AND EAST TENN.,

Dublin, December 12, 1863.

Colonel JOHN McCAUSLAND,

Narrows, Va.:

Brigadier-General Echols reports the enemy encamped at Meadow Bluff last night and advancing on Lewisburg. Hold your command in readiness to move to his support at the shortest notice. Send if you can a courier to Major Smith, of the Seventeenth Cavalry, informing him of the enemy's move. It will give him more freedom of action, and he can avail himself of their absence to accomplish much.

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Chaffin's Farm, December 13, 1863-9.15 p. m.

Major T. O. CHESTNEY,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: Your dispatch is received and its directions shall be complied with. The last information I have received of the strength and movements of the enemy is in a dispatch from signal corps. It states that the enemy crossed Forge Bridge about daylight, and attacked the cavalry at Charles City Court-House, about an hour by sun, capturing nearly the whole command. Major Robertson escaped. The enemy's force is estimated at 400. I presume Forge Bridge was picketed; my orders were positive to that effect. The dispatch from signal corps informs me that the enemy retired about 10 a. m. to-day toward Forge Bridge.

As soon as I heard of the capture of Major Robertson's command, I sent out Lieutenant-Colonel Berkeley, with about 150 men, to picket in my front. He is at New Market, with a picket on the river road and one on the Long Bridge road where it is crossed by the Central or Darbytown road. This guards all the approaches, I think, to Richmond and this point, excepting the Charles City and Williamsburg roads, which Colonel Shingler is directed to watch and hold. I also ordered Colonel Shingler to watch, as far as the capacities of his command would allow, the defiles of the Chickahominy until a cavalry force could be procured to take the place of that captured. I hope General Elzey will be able to furnish me with this cavalry.

I feel exceedingly indignant at what I suppose to be a complete surprise, and somebody should suffer for it. I have directed Major