fires at the gap between this and Trap and the force. The road is narrow, as also the ridge, practicable with difficulty for artillery (as far as I went), and I hear from a citizen that is so as far as the gap and probably so as far as Ashby's Gap. The hill-top is at intervals open and woody and intersected with ravines. The road and country is practicable for cavalry and infantry as far, I presume, as Ashby's Gap. Your dispatch of 1.30 p. m.* was received during my absence, and a copy at once sent to Colonel Couch. The receipt is acknowledged and just received from him, two miles this side of Upperville, in camp. A deserter now in my possession gives the accompanying statement, which I condense while it is being written up: Longstreet's command left one weeks ince, and is believed to hae gone to t he Rappahannock or Rapidan; at all events he is at or beyond Front Royal and Piedmont. D. H. Hill, of Jacksoin's corps, left Woodville at 12 yesterday for Middleburg; got within three miles of Upperville, and fell back to Ashby's Gap, posting one brigade on Lost Mountain, one on opposite side of road, and two farther back in the gap. The trains (quartermasters and ordnance) wee turned back and to the south. The baggage wagons were to move to-day (probably those seen by us). A. P. Hill's division is at Berryville. The remainder of Jackson's force had not yesterday left vicinity of Bunker Hill. (We must have seen some in motion to day.) Walker's division followed Longstreet, and is beyond his hearing. If Ashby's Gap is carried and Hill whipped, Jackson will be cut off. All feel confident of success. Men badly shod and indiffeently fed. Men believe the line of the Rappahannock or Rapidan is to be held and this part of the country abandoned. Stuart lost two pieces yesterday, owing to pickets failing to report; we occupied a place he did the day before. Our battery killed all the horses. The road from Ashby's Gap to Trap is almost impassable. Will send him down to-morrow.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. PORTER,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
November 3, 1862.
Commanding, Snicker's Gap:
Dispatch, inclosing one from General Tyler of 11 a. m. received.+ Information from the gap opposite Woodgrove tends to show the enemy retiring and covering the fords to prevent injury. If afte examining the ground you conclude it safe or proper to put artillery (if it can be done) to help the enemy on their course, act on your own judgment.
F. J. PORTER.
SNICKERSVILLE, VA., November 3, 1862-12 m.
General A. A. HUMPHRYES,
GENERAL: The enemy are moving trains southward and have posted troops at every ford and ferry; those opposite Snicker's Gap, in large numbers, apparently acting on the defensive. Such gathering of force may be designed to defend the fords of the Shenandoah, as it has been
*See VOL. XIX, Part II, p. 539.
+See VOL. XIX, Part II, p. 540.