I learned that McCausland's command passed through Amissville at a very rapid speed in the direction of Madison Court-House at 4 o'clock that a.m. having heard of my movements on the evening of the 11th. Having no artillery he was enabled to move much more rapidly than it was possible for me to move my division. Being surrounded at all times by small squads of guerrillas watching opportunities to dash upon small parties, I deemed it impracticable to allow my command to become separated or scattered. I then moved the command to Flint Hill, collecting and driving off all stock that could be found on our route to that point.
October 13, having learned of the willful and cold-blooded murder of a U. S. soldier by two men (Chancellor and Myers,members of Mosby's gang of cut-throats, and robbers), some two miles from my camp a few days previous. I ordered the execution of one of Mosby's gang whom I had captured the day previous at Gaines' Cross-Roads, and placing the placard on his breast with the following inscription: "A. C. Willis, member of Company C, Mosby's command, hanged by the neck in retaliation for the murder of a U. S. soldier by Messrs. Chancellor and Myers." I also sent a detachment under command of Captain Howe, First West Virginia Cavalry, with orders to destroy the residence, barn, and all buildings and forage, on the premises of Mr. Chancellor, and to drive off all stock of every description which orders were promptly carried out.
October 19, all quiet on my front since the 13th. At daylight this a.m. I heard heavy artillery and musketry firing on my right. Held my command well in hand for any emergency. At 8 a.m. received a dispatch from Colonel Moore, commanding First Brigade, stationed on my right at Buckton Ford, that he was moving back toward Middletown, but gave no reason for doing so. At 9 a.m. Captain Berry, of Major-General Torbert's staff, reached my headquarters with verbal orders to fall back at once, stating that the enemy was between me and our main force and some three miles in my rear, on my right. I moved back slowly on the Front Royal and Winchester pike. On my leaving Guard Hill the enemy charged my picket-line at South Branch Ford, but were repulsed with a loss of four men killed. The enemy's force on my rear following at a respectful distance was said to be Lomax's, Imboden's, Johnson's, and McCausland's cavalry, 3,000 strong. On my arrival at the cross-roads leading to Winchester, White Post, and Newtown I formed line of battle, with a view to attacking the enemy on his approach. From this position and previous to the arrival of the enemy I was ordered by General Torbert to join him at once, which I did by moving across to Newtown, where I remained awaiting orders. Having dispatched General T. the movements of the enemy on the Front Royal and Winchester pike, I was ordered to move my command back to the cross-roads and prevent the advance of the enemy to Winchester. On the morning of the 20th I moved my command forward to Cedarville and learned that the enemy had fallen back to Milford. On the evening of the 22nd I ordered Major Gibson, with detachment of 300 men, up the Luray Valley toward Milford. He met the enemy's picket at Bentonville, charged his reserve, and drove him across Milford Creek; found him in strong force and in his fortifications. On his return to camp found Colonel Dunn's (rebel) battle-flag at the picket-post from whence he had driven him. The road being strongly barricaded prevented the capture of any prisoners. On the evening of the 23rd I ordered Colonel H. Capehart, commanding Second Brigade, with detachment of 500 men, on a reconnaissance in the direc-