resumed the march in passing Hanging Rock Gap, and reached Big Capon bridge after midnight, when we halted for rest until daylight the 6th instant, on the forenoon of which I reached Winchester with prisoners, having ridden near 140 miles in a little over forty-eight hours, over a mountainous country, across swollen streams filled with floating ice, and within the enemy's lines, fully accomplishing the object of the expedition without the loss of a man.
I cannot commend too highly the zeal and hearty co-operation evinced by Major Young, commanding General Sheridan's scouts, who accompanied me. To his personal gallantry is due the successful "bearding of the lion in his den."
To the officers commanding the detachments from the Second Ohio, Eighth New York, First New Hampshire, Twenty-second New York, and First Connecticut Cavalry Regiments, I desire to express my thanks for prompt obedience to orders, and strict attention to the care of their commands, on which I confidently relied in anticipation of a better test than was offered. To Surg. G. A. Hurlbut, First Connecticut Cavalry, who accompanied me with ambulance, attendants, & c., I owe much for valuable assistance rendered outside of his duties. He safely brought in two sick men, and one accidentally wounded, who were unable to ride.
E. W. WHITAKER,
Lieutenant-Colonel First Connecticut Cavalry, Commanding Expedition.
Major WILLIAM RUSSELL, Jr.,
FEBRUARY 6 - 7, 1865. - Scout from Fairfax Court-House to Brentsville, Va.
Report of Lieutenant George R. Maguire, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Fairfax Court-House, Va., February 8, 1865.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the result of the scout made in the vicinity of Brentsville, Va., on the night of the 6th instant.
Pursuant to orders received from you, 125 men and 2 officers of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, under the guidance of a Mr. Jacob Kline, of the Jersey Settlement near Brentsville, Va., left camp at Fairfax Court-House at 6 p. m. and proceeded, via Centerville and Manassas, to Brentsville. From Brentsville the column moved in the direction of Cole's Store, distant some fifteen miles from Brentsville. After marching two miles crossed Broad Run and Kettle Run and moved in the direction of the Jersey Settlement; arrived there at 3 a. m.; went into camp and fed and cooked breakfast. AT 5 a. m. remounted and moved back toward camp as we supposed, but, owing to the ignorance of the guide (Mr. Kline), we moved off in the direction of Dumfries and arrived within five miles of that place before we were made aware of our error. We retraced our steps and moved toward Broad Run and crossed at Bland's Ford; from thence toward Bull run, which we crossed at Union Mills. Bull Run River was covered with ice and we experienced great difficulty in crossing. We moved in the direction of Fairfax Station and arrived in camp at the Court-House at 3 p. m.