Returning, I passed through Upperville and reached Snickersville at 2 p.m, where, the men being much fatigued, I ordered an hour's halt, sending forward one squadron of the Eighth New York, to Captain Bliss commanding,into the gap. Captain Compson was also in the gap, having crossed from Ashby's to Snicker's Gap by a road on the mountain ridge. About an hour had elapsed, and the men had mostly fallen asleep, when they were suddenly charged upon by a force of from about fifty to eighty of the enemy, and, being stampeded by the surprise, a number were killed, wounded, and captured before I reached the scene of the encounter with the main body. They had approached the gap across the mountains and charged down an easy slope, and they retired by the same way pursued for two miles by my men. It was near sundown, and in the exhausted state of men and horses, I did not deem farther pursuit expedient. Had it not been for this mischance the entire expedition would have been a success, and I regret exceedingly that the officers and men permitted themselves to be surprised, the more so as I esteem them of the most gallant in this command. Captain Compson had captured twelve of the enemy, but they were recaptured. I have sent forward five of Mosby's men and I have about forty captured horses in the command, which I have directed to be taken up on the proper returns and branded. Two of the enemy were killed and a number wounded. From citizens I ascertained that Mosby was wounded some time ago and had gone to Richmond. Judging from indications, I should estimate the force operating under Mosby and his colleagues at from 200 to 250. If they have any encampment it must be in the neighborhood and beyond Upperville.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. CHAPMAN,
Captain L. SIEBERT,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Cavalry Division.
No. 167. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William H. Benjamin, Eighth New York Cavalry, of operations October 9.
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH NEW YORK CAVALRY,
October 12, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to make the following report of operations of my command on the 9th instant:
We broke camp at 6 a.m. and moved out the advanced regiment of the brigade to a place called Mount Olive, where we formed up. We were then directed by Colonel Wells to remove the fences in our front. That being done we moved through a piece of woods a short distance to an opening and formed again. At this time we received further orders to remove to the right of the road and form on a hill which overlooked all. Remaining here a short time, the colonel directed me to take the Eighth and Twenty-second New York Cavalry, move to the extreme right and front, and take a position as would be pointed out by a staff officer from General Custer. Moving through the ravines and woods, I was met by the officer and directed to mass my command to