men, who ran for about half a mile, when they also dismounted and escaped to the woods, when he took possession of the horses. Nothing of importance transpired until he arrived at a point about one mile this side of Aldie, where is a tanyard. He was informed by a colored woman that rebel soldiers had been receiving leather from that place. He could not find any finished leather, but the vats were all full. There are five or six men at work there. He then passed through Aldie, where nothing of importance transpired, but was informed that rebel soldiers were in the habit of passing through the town nearly every day. He stopped the command, fed the horses, and then proceeded to Middleburg, a distance of about seven miles from Aldie, on the Winchester turnpike. After going about two miles he came in sight of several mounted men (apparently soldiers), who ran as soon as they discovered his command. He sent a squad of men after them, ordering not to follow any farther than a bridge this side of Middleburg, where heand and charged through the town. While there he heard heavy cannonading in the direction of Winchester. He saw about eight soldiers going out of the town in the direction of Upperville. His command was not large enough to surround the town, which might have enabled him to capture the entire party. Thinking that his command was too small to advance any farther, and in consideration that the horses were very much fatigued, he returned to camp by the way of Centerville, finding nothing of importance. He rested his command for about four hours near the so-called double tollgate on the Fairfax pike, and arrived in camp on the 23rd about 10 a. M., making the march (a distance of sixty miles) in thirty hours.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. COVODE,
Major, Commanding Regiment.
Major ROBERT A. McCOY,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Third Division, Fifth Army Corps.
JANUARY 27, 1864.-Skirmish near Wayne Court-House, W. Va.
Report of Captain John S. Witcher, Third West Virginia Cavalry.
BARBOURSVILLE, W. VA., January 29, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in pursuance to orders received from you on the 27th instant I marched at daylight on the 27th with twenty-five men of my company in pursuit of a body of rebels who were reported to be in the vicinity of Guyandotte. I marched to Guyandotte, crossed the suspension bridge, and went up to the mouth of Russell's Creek, about one mile above the mouth of Guyandotte River. I there learned that a body of rebels under the command of the notorious Captain Hurston Spurlock had been there, and after capturing Mr. Smith, the deputy sheriff of Cabell County, whom they robbed of about $500, and Mr. Wright, commissioner of the revenue of Cabell County, John Ferguson, a magistrate, and four or five veteran soldiers of the Fifth and Ninth Virginia Volunteers, they had left the neighborhood, taking the direct road to Wayne Court-House. I pursued them until I came to the forks of the road about two miles and a half from Guyandotte. I there found that they had divided their force, one party going on the Beach Fork road and the other the forks of Twelve Pole road. From the best information that I could obtain at this point, I was satisfied that the largest party had gone by the Twelve Pole road; this party numbered