relieving Brigadier-General Sullivan, I reported the facts to him, and was ordered by him to send a brigade of cavalry to attack this train on the Leesburg pike. Colonel William B. Tibbits, of the Twenty-first New York Cavalry, commanding the First Brigade, was ordered to proceed with the two remaining regiments of his brigade, the Fifteenth New York Cavalry being already out on the Purcellville road toward the pike, and to attack the rebel train. He also took two pieces of Battery B, First Virginia Light Artillery. He reached the rebel wagon train at the junction of the Purcellville road with the Leesburg pike. Dividing his forces into several detachments so as to embrace as large a portion of the train as practicable, he succeeded in capturing from the rebel train about 200 wagons and about 150 prisoners. The enemy bringing against him a superior (from the rear of their train) consisting of a division of infantry and some cavalry and artillery, he was obliged to relinquish all but 54 of his prisoners and 80 of the wagons. Of these 80 wagons he brought off some 37 and burned the remainder, which were disabled on the road. He also captured about 100 horses and some 50 mules. The wagons captured were filled with various kinds of plunder, which had been stolen in Maryland. This property and most of the wagons, together with the prisoners, were sent under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Vernon, of the Second Maryland [First Potomac Home Brigade] Cavalry, commanding the dismounted men of that regiment, to Harper's Ferry, Va.
I regret to report that in the engagement one piece of my artillery, the carriage having been broken and one caisson broken, were obliged to be abandoned and left in the woods, the enemy pressing too hard to admit of their being brought away.
The loss in Colonel Tibbits' command was as follows: Killed, enlisted men, 3. Wounded, commissioned officers, 1; enlisted men, 5. Missing, commissioned officers, 1; enlisted men, 10. Aggregate, commissioned officers, 2; enlisted men, 18.
Colonel Tibbits is entitled to much credit for the gallant manner in which he conducted this enterprise in the face of the whole rebel army. His force was very small, numbering only about 300 enlisted men.
At 6 p. m. of this day, under orders from General Crook, I started with my command for Purcellville, via Wood Grove. At about 9 p. m. my advance encountered a picket force of the enemy, some 300 strong, at Wood Grove. They engaged them in the dark, and drove them out without loss to my command. The enemy's loss was not ascertained. I encamped at Purcellville on the pike at midnight. The rebel army and train had passed over the road some two hours before in great confusion.
On the morning of the 17th I was ordered to proceed with my division and Colonel Mulligan's brigade of infantry to Snicker's Gap. I reached the gap at about 12 m., meeting with no opposition from the enemy until arriving at the ford beyond the gap, where I found the enemy posted in considerable force on the western bank of the Shenandoah. I engaged them with artillery, infantry, and dismounted cavalry until night. I was, however, unable to force their position, their artillery and infantry completely commanding the ford. My losses this day were as follows: Killed, enlisted men, 7; wounded, enlisted men, 3; missing, commissioned officers, 2; enlisted men, 5; total killed, wounded, and missing, commissioned officers, 2; enlisted men, 15.