War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0674 Chapter LV. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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The enemy, about 200 strong, attacked the post from different directions, dismounted. They were commanded by a major. Lieutenant Baylor was also with them, as his name was frequently mentioned by them at the time of the attack. Information was obtained from citizens this morning to the effect that the enemy intend to make another attack on the camp, which renders it very desirable that we should obtain re-enforcements. A call was made on the detachment of infantry stationed above this place last night, to which they did not respond. We have only now only twenty men and horses available.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

NATHANIEL PAYNE,

Captain, Commanding Camp.

[Lieutenant S. F ADAMS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Haper's Ferry, Va.]

DECEMBER 19-22, 1864.-Expedition from Kernstown to Lacey's Springs, Va., and action at Lacey's Springs (21st).

Report of Byt. Major General George A. Custer, U. S. Army, commanding Third Cavalry Division.*

HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION, MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,

December 23, 1864.

In obedience to the instructions of the major-general commanding I submit the following report of the recent expedition of this division up the Valley:

Late on the evening of the 18th instant I received instructions from the chief of cavalry to move with my division up the Valley pike at an early hour on the morning of the 19th. A copy of my orders have already been forwarded to you. My command was supplied with three days' rations and forage for one day. At 7 a. m. on the 19th my command left camp and moved to Newtown, when it followed the pike. Upon arriving at Strasburg i learned that a force of about fifty of the enemy had passed through Strasburg up the valley, having come from the direction of Front Royal. When within about six miles of Woodstock two scouts of the enemy were discovered in front of the advance. Several attempts were made to effect their capture, but without success. They continued in sight of the column until the command had reached Woodstock, when, my impression is, they conveyed the intelligence of our approach to the force stationed near New Market, from which point the report was forwarded by telegraph to Staunton and Waynessborough. In Woodstock I learned there was no force of the enemy north of Staunton, except a picket force of three companies, which were posted so as to watch the three roads-pike, Middle and Back roads-the right of the line resting near Edenburg, the left extending to Little North Mountain.

At daylight on the morning of the 20th my command moved from Woodstock; a small force of the enemy continued to annoy my advance, but without causing any damage to be inflicted. My instruc-

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*See also Lee's dispatch of December 23, p. 679.

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