rear. General Chapman had, at the first attack, moved the First Vermont and Twenty-second New York from the left of the pike, and when the column of the enemy advanced near enough attacked with the First Vermont. The enemy, after his first attack upon the Eighth New York his only object was to get safely away. He did not attempt to engage any of my troops, although by the cheering kept up by my command be could early have determined their locality. One regiment, the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, charged Pennington's brigade, but was met by one of his regiments which was already advancing an repulsed, with little or no fighting, in which Pennington's brigade, but was met by one of his regiments which was already advancing and repulsed, with little or no fighting, in which Pennington suffered no loss, while the enemy suffered a loss of several in killed, wounded, and missing. Ten of the enemy were left dead on the ground. Chapman attacked the enemy wherever he could be found, and with one regiment, the First Vermont, drove him over a mile in the direction from which the attack had come. The division was in position to give or receive battle, and waited until after daylight, but the enemy made no further demonstrations at that point.
My loss in prisoners, although not officially reported to me yet, will not, I think, reach twenty. I have thirty-two of the enemy taken in the fight. My loss in wounded is twenty-two; most, if not all, are saber cuts, as the enemy had orders to charge with the saber. As my men used the carbine alone, and at short range, I am confident, from the number of dead left on the ground by the enemy, and from the verbal reports of brigade and regimental commanders, that the enemy's loss in wounded was more than treble my own. I do not think that more then one or two of my command were killed.
From prisoners I learned that the enemy had left their camps, five miles beyond Staunton, at 10 a. m. the day previous, marched until 10 p. m., then halted two miles beyond Harrisonburg until 1 a. m., when the march was resumed in the direction of New Market. At Harrisonburg Payne's brigade marched on the Middle road; Rosser's old brigade and Wickham's moved on the Back road. Payne's brigade attacked the Eighth New York and First New Hampshire immediately upon arriving in front of them. The prisoners reported that the halt did not last over five minutes, and that the enemy was under the impression that reveille had not been sounded yet in my camp, and that by charging upon us the men would be asleep and taken by surprise. Instead of this they found the command in the saddle, and they became the surprised party. I do not think the entire loss of the enemy will fall short of 100.
I was confident of my ability to defeat Rosser, although he had three brigades; and although some of [the] prisoners stated that division of infantry was expected to follow them, I knew that infantry could not march to that point from Waynesborough in time to be of any assistance to Rosser, but I was influenced by the following reasons: My command would exhaust their rations that night and no opportunity would be afforded to procure any short of two days. Another and stronger reason was my unprepared state to take charge of a large body of wounded, particularly under the inclement state of the weather. In addition, I was convinced that if it was decided to return, the sooner my return was accomplished the batter it would be for my command. Accordingly, my command began the return march soon after daylight and reached their present encampment yesterday p. m.
As the object of your communication yesterday seemed to be to obtain an explanation as to "how it happened that" my "camp was