War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0277 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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MUDDY BRANCH, MD., January 27, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: The following communication has just been received be me from Captain Dunning, the officer commanding the upper end of picket line. I forward it by telegraph for your information:

YOUNG'S ISLAND FORD, MD., January 27, 1865.

MAJOR: I have just received information from P. S. Trundle, whose pass I inclose, that there are now in Leesburg about 300 rebels who intend attacking our lines. Their plan, he states, is to cross between the block-house and horse-pen culvert and attack the pickets simultaneously, also to cross another party between Lieutenant Day's post and Lieutenant Black's, and cross under the culvert at White's Ford. Their principal object is to capture horses. I find since I sent in my report this morning the ice in the river will bear at most any point. They are well acquainted with our number and strength and where each picket is posted. I have given instructions to be prepared at the upper end of the line.

I am, sir, respectfully,

E. C. DUNNING,

Captain, Commanding.

J. F. ANDREWS,

Major, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST SEPARATE BRIGADE,

Fairfax Court-House, Va., January 27, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff and Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of Washington:

I have the honor to report all quiet along the line of my command.

WM. GAMBLE,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON, 22ND ARMY CORPS,

Washington, D. C., January 27, 1865. (Received 3.20 p. m.)

Colonel WILLIAM GAMBLE,

Commanding First Separate Brigade:

COLONEL: There are a number of steamers in the Potomac between Alexandria and Aquia Creek supposed to be fast in the ice. The major-general commanding directs that you send a battalion of cavalry to scout the country bordering the river to Aquia. The headquarters should be made at or near Dumfries. It is presumed that attempts may be made by guerrillas to destroy these vessels, taking advantage of the ice, and it is expected that you will prevent their success. The patrol should be preserved until the river opens.

Respectfully,

J. H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON, 22ND ARMY CORPS,

Washington, D. C., January 27, 1865. (Received 4.30 p. m.)

Colonel WILLIAM GAMBLE,

Commanding First Separate Brigade:

COLONEL: A reliable man reports about 300 rebels at Leesburg, concentrated for the purpose of attacking our picket-line on the upper Potomac. Send at once a sufficient force under a competent officer to