Today in History:

37 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne


Ohio Railroad, or any part thereof; where the troops of your (my) brigade were stationed; what bridges on said road were destroyed or injured; whether such bridges were protected by block-houses or otherwise, and through whose fault, if any, the injury occurred; also what, if any, losses, of men, animals, transportation, ordnance, quartermaster's and commissary stores, in the last two movements of the rebel force in West Virginia, and also, as far as you have the means of knowing, the captures from and losses to the enemy in these operations,"I have the honor to report as follows:

At the time of the first rebel raid-January 4, 1864-I was stationed at Springfield, W. Va, with the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, and Battery E, First Virginia Volunteer Artillery. At 6 p. m. on that day I received orders from Brigadier General B. F. Kelley, commanding Department of West Virginia, to move to Cumberland, Md., by way of Patterson's Creek, but which was afterward changed, directing me to move by way of Green Spring at once. This last dispatch was received at 8 p. m. My orders were to reach Cumberland at daylight. I immediately began the movement. My supply train had that evening arrived reduced my means of transportation, and I had no time to send out to press teams, if indeed, I could have found any in the neighborhood. Yet I took off all my stores except a few sacks of grain and some other stores of but little value, which were concealed in the night and afterward recovered by a scouting party sent out for that purpose. I arrived at Cumberland about daylight, January 5, having lost neither men, animals, or stores.

At the time of the second raid-February 2, 1864-I was stationed at Cumberland, Md. On that day Company F, Captain John W. Hibler, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, with 57 men of my brigade, was stationed at Patterson's Creek bridge, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and a detachment of the company at the North Branch bridge as pickets. I had warned Captain Hibler to be on the alert and to keep scouts well out, but it seems that General Rosser (rebel), with from 400 to 500 cavalry, succeeded in penetrating to Patterson's Creek bridge on the 2nd of February. His advance guard were dressed in Federal uniforms, and succeeded in getting up to Captain Hibler's by representing themselves as part of the Ringgold Cavalry (Union), and thus successively captured all the pickets on the Patterson's Creek road, and then rapidly dashed into camp while the men were at dinner. A slight skirmish ensued, in which we had 1 man killed, 1 mortally and 3 slightly wounded. The rebels captured 1 captain and 36 men, with all the camp and garrison equipage of the company, 40 Enfield rifles, and 4,000 rounds, of rifle cartridges. They then set fire to the Patterson's Creek bridge, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and thence went to the North Branch bridge, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and fired it, the guard at the latter bridge making their escape.

I may here say that as there was known to be a large Union force some 18 miles south and west of Patterson's Creek, and part of the Ringgold Cavalry there, taken in connection with the fact that the rebels wore our uniform and claimed to be Union cavalry, may, in a measure, account for the pickets being deceived.

Neither the Patterson's Creek bridge nor the North Branch bridge were protected by block-houses, and the only protection for them was the company of infantry which the rebels captured.

As soon as the news of the rebel force being at Patterson's Creek