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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1864 Report

Appendix F

CAMP NEAR Chain Bridge, VA.,
September 12, 1861.

Col. I. I. Stevens.

SIR: Having been ordered by you to see that Lewinsville was clear of the enemy, so that we could occupy it without danger of falling on their pickets, I took with me the cavalry, under Lieut. McLean, and two companies of the 3d Vermont as skirmishers, and throwing them around the woods, advanced with the cavalry. Finding all clear at the cross-roads, I sent 10 of the cavalry on the road to Falls Church to scout it for the distance of half a mile, and 4 on the road to Vienna, with the same directions. I then advanced the skirmishers to a ridge about a quarter of a mile from Lewinsville to the left, and where we commanded the valley looking towards Vienna as well as a portion of the turnpike road from Falls Church and crossing the road to Vienna in our front and right. The men did their duty entirely to my satisfaction, being entirely concealed, and where all that passed before them could be seen. At the time it was reported that some 50 of their cavalry were seen advancing over the hill, and Lieut. McLean, with some 12 of his cavalry, were ordered up to support us until others could be sent forward, should they be needed. In the mean time one of our cavalry pickets had ridden into the field and towards them within sufficient distance to discharge his carbine, but with what effect we could not tell. They turned at this and galloped off to the left and towards Falls Church, and, as I afterwards learned from a woman at a house beyond our lines, to give information to the enemy at that place of our being in force at Lewinsville. The men approaching to us before we saw them made me uneasy for the woods to our left, and which were but slightly guarded, and I posted, with your permission, one company from the Nineteenth Indiana through them, covering us, so that no approach could be made in that direction for more than a mile without being discovered. At 2 o'clock, according to orders, the skirmishers were called in, and I waited fifteen minutes for some stragglers who had wandered off, and, not finding them, marched the men to their commands. At this moment the enemy opened his fire on us with one gun, soon increased to four, and a body of infantry advanced up the road from Falls Church and fired at our men from the road and woods. At this point a man of the Nineteenth Indiana was killed, being shot through the head. Fearing an advance of their cavalry, which we had seen in considerable numbers, I placed one of the guns from Lieut. Hasbrouck's section in the rear, supported by one company of the Nineteenth Indiana and the regular cavalry, and in this order advanced on the road, and though much exposed to their fire for the distance of a half a mile, fortunately none were lost but 2 of the 3d Vermont, who were killed by the explosion of a shell. General Smith coming up at this point, I resigned the orders to his Aids.

I must, in conclusion, speak of the splendid behavior of the 3d Vermont, who stood the fire with the greatest coolness, as well as the Nineteenth Indiana, obeying all orders with a promptness that was extraordinary.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Act'g Aid, 2d Lieut., Griffin's Battery.

Return to theIndex to Appendix F, Reports of Engagements