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of his command. I doubt if it has left Paw Paw. I should like some written action of future movements, especially with reference to my supply trains.
It takes over an hour to pass four wagons over the river, including getting in and off boats. I may appear over-anxious on this point, but its importance I regard as paramount. I find the Twelfth Massachu. setts and Twelfth Indiana and First Maryland without tents. They are pretty comfortably placed in barns and public buildings here.' I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. S. WILLIAMS,
Brigadier General. Major COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Charlestown.
MARCH 5, 1862.-Skirmish near Pohick Church, Va.
No. 1.-Col. Alexander Hays, Sixty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.
Report of Col. Alexander Hays, Sixty-third Pennsylvania Infantry. CAMP JOHNSTON, NEAR FORT LYON, VA.,
March 8, 1862. GENERAL: In obedience to instructions from you I have the honor to transmit the following statement of circumstances connected with tbe skirmish which occurred on the 4th 15th) instant near Pohick Church between a party of the Sixty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers and a scouting party of the rebels:
Having reason to believe that the scouts of the enemy were in the habit of approaching our line of pickets, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan to take a suflicient force and advance a short distance beyond our lines. He left my quarters at 3 o'clock a. m. with a force of 50 men and three commissioned officers. Two hours afterwards I was aroused by volleys of musketry and cheers. I at once hurried forward a company which I had in reserve at Pohick Church. When I arrived at our picket line I found Colonel Morgan's party retiring, with the loss of 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, and 1 private, killed, and 1 private wounded. I herewith transmit a statement, made by Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, which will explain the affair in detail.
Lamentable as the result has been-most to me, as the commanding officer of the regiment,I have the satisfaction of knowing that the rank and file of my regiment stood nobly to their work. The surprise was sadden, and after the first volley the enemy retreated, covered by darkness and a knowledge of the country, which enabled them to get beyond the bayonets of our men. The death of the two officers reported is more attributable to their own want of caution, in direct violation of my orders, than to any fault of their commanding officer. Respectfully submitted.
ALEXANDER HAYS, Colonel Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. Brigadier-General HEINTZELMAN,
Commanding Third Brigade, Army of the Potomac.
Report of Lieut. Col. A. $. V. Jorgan, Sirty-third Pennsylrania Infantry.
CANP JOHXSTON, March 7, 1862. SIR: I left the line of our pickets about 3.30 o'clock in the morning of March 5, in command of a detachment of about 50 men, including three commissioned officers, going out the Telegraph road, to carry out the plan arranged after consultation with yourself and the guide Will. iamson, that I should take possession of the road, leading from Violet's to Colchester, by which the parties of rebels were believed to come who had been seen on the hills opposite the left of our line. On reaching the point where the road alluded to leaves the Telegraph road, and finding that there was no opportunity to keep the men concealed beyond the fork of the road, I took them into the Colchester road, and plaoed them in ambush along that road in the bushes which are betwoen them. Captains Chapman and McHenry were lying near me in a narrow cleared piece of ground, which runs from one road to the other, and just at the head of my command, the head being towards the forks of the road.
A little before day I heard the footsteps of one man approaching us. I thought at first that it was the guide Williamson, who had disappeared, moving down the open space towards the lower road immediiately after we took the position, and when he had been inquired after no one of the officers knew where he was, but in a few seconds heard a body of men coming, and soon saw that they were passing down the Telegraph road, which is considerably lower in level than the Colchester road. It was too late to change my position, which had been taken in order to see the upper road, and I could just see the outline of inen, not sufficiently to see whether or not they were armed. I could not have said that they were not men of our own regiment, though I believed them to be rebels. The uncertainty as to their character, and the fear that I could not swing my left around in time so that I could have any advantage in the attack, caused me to thiuk that I had better avoid the risk of an attack when I found they were passing by without observing us.
As soon as it commenced to get somewhat light we started to return by the road we went, as I did not think it prudent to risk an attack with another body which might pass along when a body of the enemy was now known to be between us and our lines. The guide Williamson, who appeared just after they were past, reported them rebels, aud that he estimated them to be 30 in number. In returning I sent a ser. geant and 4 men in advance to see that the road was entirely clear of any enemy, Captain Chapman, Quartermaster Lysle, Williamson, and myself walking a little in front of the main body. The advance guard proceeded very cautiously, several times motioning us to stop and then to come on. Captain Chapman and Lieutenant Lysle gradually movell forward until they got half way between the two parties. When the guard reached a run a mile from the lines they stopped, motioning to 114. to stop. The two officers above named went on and joined them. They all soon moved in together. We crossed the run, and soon after again stopped on seeing them appear to suspect something wrong, in a denso thicket, which runs close up to the road and commencing about 125. yards from the run.
The advance guard stopped just before they got opposite the thicket, The two oficers who were with it mored slowly in. Captain Chap!:
stopped once and turned back, then turned and went forwarı, he going
A. S. M. MORGAN,
Commanding Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Fort Lyon, March 14, 1862.
S. P. HEINTZELMAN,
MARCH 7, 1862. Skirmish near Winchester, Va.
No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Alphens S. Williams, U. S. Army.
Report of Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams, U. 8. Army.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE,
Bunker Hill, Va., March 8, 1862. MAJOR: Frequent reports having come to me that the rebel cavalry in small squads were scouting the numerous cross roads west of this, seizing the property and persons of Union people, and that they had a
considerable cavalry camp some miles above, on the Winchester pike, I determined to send out a reconnoitering party on that road with a force of infantry to return on two parallel roads west and beat up the hiding places of these marauding patrols. I sent forward Captain Cole's cav. alry company, accompanied by Captain Wilkins and Captain Beman, of my staff, the latter to make a sketch of the country southwest of this with a reference to the cross-roads. I ordered one section of the artil. lery, under Captain Matthews, and the Fifth Connecticut and Fortysixth Pennsylvania (encamped on that road) to follow, the two infantry regiments to turn to the left and return to camp by the middle road and the ridge road, both running nearly parallel to the pike within a distance of 3 miles west. The cavalry and artillery were to return on the pike when the infantry turned off.
The cavalry came in sight of the advanced vedettes of the rebels soon after leaving the outer posts of our own pickets (say 3 miles above), which, however, retired some miles up, where they joined the main body, deployed on both sides of the pike in the woods. Here they made a stand, and being in much superior force to our cavalry, were able to hold their advantageous position until they observed that detachments of our infantry were getting towards their rear, when they fled up the pike without again balting. Captain Matthews tried his new guns on them as they fled with very satisfactory results, as he reports to me. He could have punished them earlier, but it was reported that our infantry would be able to reach their rear and cut off the retreat of the whole command.
I regret to report that we had 3 privates of the cavalry wounded. The borse of Captain Cole was killed under him, and that of Captain Wilkins, assistaut adjutant-general, so badly wounded as to be permanently disabled.
The officers and men behaved very gallantly while under fire of men sheltered for the most part by the trees.
My staff officers speak with high praise of the cool and daring conduot of Captain Cole and Lieutenant Vernon, of the cavalry.
My two staff officers (Captain Wilkins and Captain Beman) exposed themselves, I fear, almost to rashness.
I inclose a report of Captain Wilkins of this reconnaissance. If the results were not important, the effect has been to stir up the blood of the men and put them in good spirits for any work ahead.
I hear the cavalry have shown themselves again this morniug 3 or 4 miles west of this, seizing horses and committing depredations on all citizens supposed to be loyal. I have but one company of cavalry, and cannot pursue and punish these marauders as I could wish. I propose, however, to send out a pretty large guard of infantry to occupy those cross-roads, and, if possible, get possessiou of some of these rebel robbers. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. S WILLIAMS,
Brigadier General. Major COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General. P.S.-I get nothing but the same contradictory reports from W (Winchester); by some that the rebels are going off, by others that they are thought re-enforced. Citizens from the vicinity of the skirmish yesterday report that the rebels had 6 killed and 7 wounded. I think the report very probable, as we had several amateur officers with their rifles present who had very deliberate aim upon the rebel troops. Major Cook, of Twenty-eighth New York, and Lieutenant Skeels, regimental quartermaster Twenty-eighth New York, were especially active with their fine rides. I inclose report of Captain Cole. I have nothing from General Shields' command.
Report of Capt. William D. Wilkins, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, GENERAL BANKS' DIVISION,
Bunker Hill, Va., March 8, 1862. GENERAL: I bave the honor to report the result of a reconnaissance made by your orders yesterday afternoon on the Winchester turnpike, for the purpose of ascertaining the position and strength of a camp of the eneiny's cavalry, reported upon apparently reliable authority to be situated 4 miles from this place, and also to ascertain whether any defensive works existed on the road for any distance outside the town. The force consisted of Cole's company of mounted cavalry, a section of Matthews' battery, and the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania and Fifth Connecticut Regiments of Infantry. We inet the enemy's pickets of cavalry about 3 miles from this place and drove them before us with our car. alry about 5 miles farther, when, ascertaining at a farm house that they had been strongly re-enforced and that Colonel Ashby was in command, I deemed it prudent to wait for the artillery, and gave the order to balt. At this moment a beavy fire was poured in upon us from a large force (apparently two companies) of cavalry, dismounted, and firing behind stone fences and from a brick house on our left. Hoping to keep them in play until on the arrival of the artillery they inight be shelled to advantage, we continued to exchange shots with them for about twenty minutes, the cavalry advancing by sections, firing, and retiring to reload, with great coolness. Here we lost 2 men slightly and 1 dangerously wounded and 2 horses shot. We observed two of the enemy to drop from their saddles, and several of their borses were seen running loose. The artillery, arriving, opened with shell upon the enemy, and about this time our infantry skirmishers appeared on his flanks. We then charged with the cavalry, and, driving the enemy from behind his fences, pursued him about half a mile tarther, when, deeming the object of the reconnaissance to be accomplished (having advanced to within 3 miles of Winchester), I directed the cavalry to retire, and the troops arrived at camp in good order. We found no defenses on the road of any kind for the distance we aclvanced, but found the turnpike to be very much broken up.
I beg leave to call your attention to the gallant conduct of Captain Cole, who was very conspicuous in leading and cheering on his men and who had his horse killed under him; and to Captain Beman, commissary of subsistence of your staff, whó rendered valuable service in bringing up our artillery and infantry supports and in leading our cavalry skirmishers across the field to the left under a heavy fire. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WILKINS,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General. Brig. Gen. ALPHEUS S. WILLIAMS,
Commanding Third Brigade and other troops at Bunker Hil.
* Not found.