Series 1, Volume 29, Part 1
SEPTEMBER 21-26, 1863. – Scout from Harper’s Ferry, W. Va., into Loudoun Valley, Va., and Skirmish (25th) near Upperville, Va.
Report of Maj. Henry A. Cole, Battalion Maryland Cavalry, Potomac Home Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY RESERVE,
Bolivar Heights, Va., September 27, 1863.
GENERAL: In pursuance to Special Orders, No. 238, I have the honor to report that I proceeded with my command, as directed, to Charlestown on the 21st instant, remaining there until the morning of the 22d, where I was joined by Captain Summers’ company; thence I proceeded to Winchester, Va., thence to Berryville, where we encamped for the night.
At daylight on the subsequent morning, I proceeded to Snickersville, via Snicker’s Gap. In the vicinity of Snickersville I came in contact with a few scattering bodies of White’s command; from thence I proceeded to Waterford and encamped for the night. At daylight on the subsequent day, I proceeded to Leesburg, via Snickersville and Leesburg pike. My advance guards charged into Leesburg, capturing one of White’s men; encamped for the night within a few miles of the town.
On the morning of the 25th, I proceeded to Upperville, with the expectation of coming in contact with Mosby’s guerrillas. I was not disappointed in my expectations, for within a few miles of the town I espied Lieutenant-Colonel Mosby with his command, consisting of about 150 men, drawn up in a line of battle on an eligible position awaiting my arrival. His skirmishers were well advanced to the front. As soon as I perceived his disposition, I threw out skirmishers to the front and right flank, and advanced my column under their cover.
When within about 1,000 yards of the enemy’s line I ordered a charge, when they broke and scattered in wild dismay. The result of the skirmish was a loss on the part of the enemy. 1 man killed and 8 prisoners, without experiencing any loss on my part. I also recaptured a man of the Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, recently captured by Mosby at Bull Run. I then encamped for the night near Upperville.
On the morning of the 26th, I took up the line of march for camp, my rations being exhausted, and finding forage exceedingly scarce the evening of the same day. Mosby’s command has been greatly underrated, for I am credibly informed by prisoners, citizens, and contrabands that his force consists of a battalion of 300 men.
Mosby is one of Stuart’s staff officers, being detached for the express purpose of destroying communications between the Army of the Potomac and Washington.
Throughout my scout I found the country almost destitute of forage, except in the vicinity of Waterford. Inclosed find receipts for captured property.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. COLE,
Commanding Defenses of Maryland Heights.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1863