probably the camp-fires of a party of guerrillas, on my left, I moved forward a short distance for the purpose of reaching a road leading in the direction of the fires. My advance moved and were immediately fired into by a squad of five or six of the enemy, who were posted behind a strong barricade in the road in my front. The night was very dark and the shade of the trees made the road so dark that an object was not discernible at ten paces. The enemy's vedettes did not challenge my advance nor make any noise or movements calculated to reveal their presence. My advance charged but were prevented from reaching the enemy by the barricade. They had three barricades in the road between the vedettes and reserve, all of which could only be passed by a detour. These obstructions prevented my capturing any of the picket and gave the main guard of the enemy, composed of two squadrons time to form. I charged the main guard of their outpost, and the enemy fled before us down the main road and through the woods, leaving their blankets, haversacks, &c., strewn about their camp. The outpost was Dunn's battalion. We captured their battle-flag, but the bearer escaped. I kept steadily down the pike at a fast trot, my advance at a gallop, and ran the enemy into their camp in great confusion. The delay at the barricades allowed the outpost time to warn the camp, and, in consequence, the enemy were mostly formed on foot. I charged them in column of fours and drove them in confusion back to the creek, but a line on the opposite side opened a heavy fire and my movement was checked. I formed a line and charged again, but could effect little, owing to the rough nature of the ground and the darkness. I opened a heavy fire, which confused the enemy greatly and drove him in a disorderly mass over the creek, where he formed under cover of earth-works on the opposite side of the creek, which commanded my advance. The darkness and the nature of the ground, together with the superiority of the enemy's numbers, induced me to retire. I did not leave, however, until nearly all the enemy's forces crossed the creek. The camp we attacked contained, at the lowest estimate 1,800 men. I gained from a citizen, at whose house Colonel Dunn, commanding the rebel outpost, staid, that the commands of Lee, Lomax, and Rosser were camped from Milford to Luray. The citizen said they were "camped for fifteen miles along the road," which was corroborated by women and negroes in the vicinity. Rosser is said to have reached Milford at dark yesterday. The movement of wagons could be distinctly heard in the rebel camps on the Luray side of the creek evidently hurrying away. The camps on the Luray side appeared to be of a brigade, besides the fires in rear of the earth-works, supposed and so reported by a citizen to be the camp of a battery of artillery. One citizen to be the camp of a battery of artillery. One citizen reported having seen four guns. Rosser is said to be 3,000 strong and has four guns.
I regret that I could capture no prisoners, but the circumstances made it impossible. I retired from the enemy's front at 2 a.m., and on reaching the cross-roads I crossed to the west side of the river and captured about sixty head of cattle and sheep. The battle-flag captured is that of Dunn's battalion, I believe, Thirty-seventh Virginia Cavalry Battalion.
I am, very respectfully,
Major Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Colonel W. H. POWELL,
Comdg. Second Cavalry Division, Dept. of West Virginia.