two or three hours about one and a half miles east, on the Little River pike; when Mosby learned this he moved south, and struck the pike about one and a quarter miles east of the major's position, being hidden till he had reached about half a mile west on the pike. Major Forbes was duly notified by his advance guard, mounted his men, and moved them from the north to the south of the pike. As the rear was crossing Mosby fired one shell from his 12-pounder (the only time it was fired), which burst entirely too high. As Major Forbes formed on the south his advanced guard, which had dismounted and fired as Mosby came up, fell back, still keeping a little north of the pike, and took an excellent position somewhat on the flank. Up to this time I think all the dispositions were admirable. Major Forbes' two squadrons were formed, his third squadron and rear guard not formed, but nearly so, and no confusion. Mosby's men, who were not in any order, but were down the road in a "nick," had just reached the fence corner some 225 yards off, and a few had dismounted, under a fire from the advanced guard, to take down the fence. When two panels of fence were down the men trotted through for about seventy-five yards, and came gradually ordered to fire with carbines. Here was the first mistake. It created confusion among the horses, and the squadron in the rear added to it by firing a few pistol shots. Had the order been given to draw sabers and charge the rebels would never have got their gun off, but I think Major Forbes, seeing how uneasy his horses were at the firing, must have intended to dismount some of his men. At any rate, he attempted to move the first squadron by the right flank. The rebels saw their chance, gave a yell, and our men, in the confusion of the moment, broke. The two rear squadrons went off in confusion. Attempts were made, with some success, to rally parts of the first squadron in the next field, and again near Little River Church, one mile off.
Captain Stone was wounded here, and I believe all the non-commissioned officers of A and L Companies present wounded or killed. There was little gained. I have only to report a perfect rout and a chase for five to seven miles. We lost Major Forbes, Lieutenant Amory, and Mr. Humprheys (chaplain), from Second Massachusetts, and Lieutenant Burns, Thirteenth New York Cavalry, prisoners, all unhurt. Captain Stone, Second Massachusetts, and Lieutenant Schuyler, Thirteenth New York, very badly wounded. Lieutenant Kuhls alone came safely to camp. Of men, we lost, killed outright, 7, Second Massachusetts; 5, Thirteenth New York. Wounded we brought in 27 will die. About 40 others have come to camp half mounted, and Mosby was reported to have 44 prisoners; quite a number, you will see, still unaccounted for. Some of them are probably wounded, and some still on their way to camp, and others will be made prisoners.
Mosby went up toward Upperville with his prisoners and his dead and wounded about midnight Wednesday. I reached the ground about 11.30 a. m., and remained in plain sigh for about three hours; then searched through all the woods and moved to Centreville, where I again waited an hour in hopes some stragglers would join us. We only picked up half a dozen, however.
The soldiers and the citizens all speak in high terms of the gallantry of the officers; Major Forbes especially remained in the first