APRIL 21-24, 1863.- Scout to Leesburg, Va.
Report of Major Thomas Gibson, Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
CAMP OF THE FOURTEENTH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY,
April 24, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I respectfully report that agreeably to the orders of General Kelley, on the evening of the 21st instant, at 11.02 o'clock, I started with 211 men and 6 commissioned officers for Lovettsville. I arrived at Lovettsville at daybreak on the 22d, and found that Captain Means' company was at Grubb's Mill, three miles distant; that a party of rebels twelve strong had stolen a horse from John Snoots about five hours before my arrival. I put out patrols and vedettes, and permitted the men to rest until 8 a. m. I joined Captain Means at Grubb's Mill, and fed from the corn of one Joseph Mead, a rebel. I scouted the country between the west slope of the Catoctin Mountain and Waterford. I camped at Waterford awaiting the arrival of Captain Hall, who was sent to catch Mobberly, the guerrilla. Mobberly was not found. On the morning of the 23rd it commenced to rain. We pushed on for Leesburg by the eastern slope of the Catoctin Mountain, Stumptown, and Goresville. At Leesburg we found Charles Cooper and John Taylor, of White's cavalry, hidden in a haymow; George G. Harper, who was pointed out by a negro as a spy from Richmond; James Shehuf, a refugee from Alexandria. Near Leesburg we found William Fletcher, formerly of the Loudoun Cavalry, who says he was never mustered in, and served as wagon-master of the Eleventh Virginia for three months. I returned to Waterford and remained for the night. On this morning it continued to rain. Our men were out of rations, and the creeks all unfordable, and after gleaning all the information possible from scouts and refugees, I continued by a circuitous route, on account of the creeks, my way to camp. I learned that Mosby had been in Waterford in person; that he intended to attack our outposts at this place on the night of the 21st; but as he was doubtless gone two days I thought any attempt to cut him off between Hillsborough and the Ferry, considering the roads, to be useless. I learned that Fitzhugh Lee had fallen back, leaving Mosby and four companies to catch any small parties we might send out, particularly Captain Means' company. Mosby was last camped at Bloomfield, six miles from Leesburg. I took a horse from Mrs. Loudes, near Lovettsville, telling her that if she brought in the one left, a worn-out one, she should have her own. We got five prisoners and four horses. Forage in the country scouted in is plenty. The people complain of the rebels stealing horses, and many express themselves gratified at our presence. There is one Shugart, near Leesburg, who harbors and feeds the rebel horse-thieves. The prisoner Cooper took the oath of allegiance once. The man John Taylor admitted that he was a native of Baltimore and a deserter from a Maryland regiment. Cooper should be tried by a military commission for bushwhacking and horse stealing. He admits having shot pickets.
Major, Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Captain T. MELVIN,
12 R R - VOL LI, PT I