I made my escape to the mountains and staid on the mountain forty-two hours, and then left and joined our cavalry at Bloomfield on the 19th. By being with them and talking with them I have reason to believe their troops were old ones and well disciplined. They had with their artillery caissons to each piece, and an ammunition train. They claimed the object of their raid was to get horses and provisions, that they did not expect to take Washington and hold it, but thought they could raid through the city and capture the President, if there, and draw Grant's forces from Petersburg. They told me they were going to Winchester and then back to Maryland and Pennsylvania. I think that their whole force crossed at Edwards Ferry. They crossed the mountain at Snicker's Gap, all but the prisoners and beef-cattle and eight pieces of artillery, and I should judge about 300 cavalry with fifty or sixty wagons marked "ordnance" and loaded with hay. These crossed at Ashby's Gap. They had between 600 and 700 prisoners. So far as I know I am the only man who escaped after we crossed the Potomac.
N. A. FITTS,
Artificer Company B, Ninth New York Heavy Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF ENGINEER OF DEFENSES,
July 25, 1864.
The within statement of Artificer Fitts is respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant-General of the Army.
I would remark that I have been acquainted with Artificer Fitts for the past year. For some time before his regiment joined the Army of the Potomac he was detailed on account of his intelligence and mechanical skill to act as foreman of carpenters on the defensive works north of the Potomac, and in this capacity he was thrown under my observation. I think the most implicit confidence may be placed in his statements. His estimate of the enemy's numbers may, perhaps, be received with a grain of allowance, but of the forty-two pieces of artillery at Edwards Ferry I have no doubt, a fact which it may be well to know.
Should any investigation into the conduct of the citizens of Maryland residing on the roads over which the enemy marched during his late incursion be made, Artificer Fitts might be a useful witness in certain cases.
B. S. ALEXANDER,
Numbers 38. Report of Brigadier General Montgomery C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, commanding Provisional Division, of the defense of Washington.
Washington, July 25, 1864.
COLONEL: On Saturday, the 9th of July, after consultation with the Secretary of War, I directed the clerks of the Quartermaster-General's Office, and the clerks and workmen employed by the offices of the quartermaster's department in the District of Columbia and in Alexandria to be organized and armed. On Sunday, the 10th,