Third Division Cavalry, at headquarters First Brigade, at 6 a. m. the 4th instant, and moved out on the Moorefield pike for our destination. After halting three-quarters of an hour for feed and coffee at Wardensville organized the detachments into a regiment, and having a short drill resumed the march at a rapid gait, striking the enemy's scouts, which Major Young quickly drove off the pike toward Harper's; column moving fast as possible, intending to surprise the enemy's camp by moonlight, but at 12.30 at night, when we had reached a covered point within four miles of Moorefield, the sky clouded up, which induced me to halt for rest and feed until 4 a. m. the 5th instant. In the meantime Major Young, who had been a short distance in my advance, was to send his scouts into town and ascertain the exact location of Gilmor's camp, which I had decided to strike at daylight. On moving out at 4 a. m., Captain Hamiltion, Eighth New York Cavalry, reported to me the loss of two men by desertion during the halt; the men being recent recruits from rebel States, I deemed it a more unfortunate event than the next fact which was reported by Major Young, i. e. his scouts had been unable to learn the exact whereabouts of Gilmor or his camp. Reaching the outskirts of Moorefield before light during a heavy snow-squall, I halted to await news from Major Young, who entered town with all of his party in search of information. I here became anxious about the loss of time and moved on, sending word to the major that he should go on down the South Fork till I found the enemy. I left a detachment from the Second Ohio Cavalry to search the town for soldiers, and moved at once across the stream and turned to the left down the South Fork, Major Young taking the advance, when, as it had become light enough, I discovered several of the enemy mounted and rapidly moving across the fields and hills on our right flank, taking the same direction as my column.
On communicating the fact to the scouts a lively race set in, I following with my column in hopes of reaching their camp before the alarm, which it would appear had not before been given. The houses on the banks of the fork were being hastily searched by the scouts, when the large number of horses in the stable next the road to Mr. Randolph's house, three miles from Moorefield, excited much suspicion; and as Major Young asked the colored woman sternly "what soldiers were in the houses?" she at once replied, "Major Gilmor is upstairs." Major Young immediately surrounded the house and seized the major and his cousin Gilmor, late from Baltimore, both in bed. On my learning that our prize had been found I halted column, and prepared to resist the attack of the enemy collecting on the bluff over the house and river and on my right flank and rear. Finding the position untenable, and deeming it impossible to get more of Gilmor's band, from their skillfully selected position, we made haste in getting out, before which Major Gilmor had been brought to me and placed at the head of the column; and as his men were firing into us, he shouted encouragement to them, feeling, as he afterward said, confident of release. On the return march I placed Lieutenant Brown, First Connecticut Cavalry, with thirty-eight men who had been doing good service on the Petersburg road, in the rear, he having fifteen Spencers for that use, with which he successfully checked each days of the enemy. I took the Romney pike by advice of Major Young, who took the advance and turned over to me, at different points on the route, twelve men captured about houses. The enemy last troubled my column as we were feeding at a point thirty-five miles from Moorefield and eight from Romney. Though night had come on I did not think it wise to halt with prisoners, but