relieve a strictly loyal people who will give you evry aid in their power if you do so. Order a squard of the Rangers with each regiment. They know who are loyal and disloyal.
JAS. M. DOWNEY.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Near Falls Church, Va., August 12, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the return of the scouting party sent out under Major Frazar through the vicinity of Fairfax Station, Chantilly, Hernandon Station, Frying Pan, Dranesville, &c. They saw no force of the enemy. One corporal and four men, selected as scouts to go above Thoroughfare gap, were attacked last night about Frying Pan, and were driven back to camp. Intelligence has been received from the party sent to the vicinity of Leesburg. On attempting to return they found the fords of Goose Creek guarded by White's and Mosby's men, and they turned back and went into Point of rocks. They have not yet returned here, but will be in to-day, probably. I beg to call your attention to the report of the board of investigation, called to examine into the facts of the late disaster at Fairfax Station. I have to say that since the necessity has existed here for a constant examination of the country toward the Rappahannock and Blue Ridge in at least two directions I have resorted to the existed here for a constant examination of the country toward the Rappahannock and Blue Ridge in at least two directions I have resorted to the expedient (in the entire absence of single scouts conversant with the country) of sending small parties of from twenty-five to forty men each to obtain the information desired. There parties have always been instructed to move at night as rapidly as possible in the desired direction, resting by day, and concealing themselves from any force unless they were confident of success in attacking it. I have also set aside a number of men most conversant with the country as scouts, to relieve as much as possible the brigade from heavy details for parties of observation. On the occasion of the attack at Fairfax Court-House, one of the parties had been ordered to the vicinity of Warrenton and the Rappahannock, and the other to the section between Thoroughfare Gap and Aldie. These parties met at Fairfax Station, and were attacked at that point by a force not equal to their own, and by a misapplication of their weapons were totally routed. While the proceedings of the board fully detail the disaster, they contain much relating to the duties of the men of the brigade, rendered very severe from the unusually small number of men for duty. I inclose a statement,* and I invite your attention to it, int connection with the accompanying proceedings.
The scouting parties and parties of observation sent out have been small in numbers because of the constant demand upon the men. It is certain that the duty assigned to this command cannot be done effectively with the present force. A small scouting party sent to Warrenton and the Rappahannock has returned, reporting that trains are running (irregularly, however) to Culpeper. No increase of force is believed to be in that vicinity that heretofore has not been reported. Mosby's loss at Fairfax Station he reported at Fairfax Court-House as being one lieutenant and two men.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. LAZELLE,
Colonel Sixteenth New York Cavalry, Comdg. Cavalry Brigade.