some dismounted men. A few shots were fired and we withdrew, having found their line quite strong, and posted, as nearly as we could learn from citizens, about where it has been for the last ten days. Citizens also report the enemy's infantry at New Market and Forestville. Drums were distinctly heard in direction of Forestville. I send you a man whom I picked up at Woodstock; he is a stranger there, and came in yesterday from Staunton. Thinking he might give some valuable information I brought him along. The command left camp at 8 a.m., being detained two hours by the detail from the Sixth Michigan Cavalry. Arrived in camp at 8 p.m.
All of which is very respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. H. DARLING,
Captain C. H. SAFFORD,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
No. 143. Report of Colonel Louis P. Di Cesnola, Fourth New York Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations August 29.
CAMP NEAR LEETOWN, VA.,
August 29, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report on to-day's operations:
My brigade was ordered to form on the left of Smithfield at about 2 p.m. As soon as I had massed it I received orders to dismount two regiments and support, or rather re-enforce, the Reserve Brigade, which I promptly did. I placed two pieces on the outskirts of the town and checked the enemy's advance in my front quite effectively. Some time afterward I was directed to withdraw on account of the First Brigade having fallen back on the right. I then deployed a regiment as mounted skirmishers in order to protect the withdrawal of the two dismounted regiments. I remained in the rear until I succeeded in withdrawing all my dismounted men, but before I reached the center of the town I found the enemy had already occupied the right of the town, and I was compelled to order the dismounted men to enter the field in the rear of it, and reach their horses, which were brought to the rear as soon as possible. The withdrawal of the other two brigades had been too quick to give me the indispensable time to bring out the brigade in a proper condition to make an effective stand at a short distance from the town. Besides, the pack train of the Reserve Brigade got among my men, many of whom had not yet reached their horses. Knowing how necessary it was to find out a position where to make an effective stand and to hold the position until the infantry could to our support, I rode with one my battery officers toward the rear to select a commanding position. I selected the spot where, afterward, the infantry relieved us. I put the two sections in position, one to the right and the other to the left of the road. I was afterward directed to withdraw the section on the right of the road, having been informed that General Custer would hold that side of the road. I then placed in position the other section on the left also, and having dismounted the two regiments I had with me (Ninth New York and Seventeenth Pennsylvania