Tuesday, November 6, 2012

1862 November 7 2 miles in front of Orleans 6.20 a.m.

[from the dispatch book of General Alfred Pleasonton]

Hd.Qrs. Cav. Brigade
2 miles in front of Orleans
Nov. 7 6.20 a.m.
To Colonel A. V.Colburn
     Ass't Adj't Genl
 I arrived here at 8
P M with my command
from Chester Gap via Barbees
   I left two squadrons at
Barbees to watch the road to
the Gap as it is the only wagon
road the rebels can come this
way until you strike the Gap
& Warrenton road which runs
into this some four miles
back where I have a
picket--The country around
Chester Gap is very much
broken & wagons can only
travel it with great diffi=
culty-when you get into
the Gap & Flint Hill road

[page 2]
you cannot get out of it until
you reach Little Washington
Stuart was at Flint Hill this
side & his intention was to
detain me until the infantry
should come up from the
Gap behind & overpower me-
  Finding this to be situation
of affairs I made for this
place which is central &
commands the roads, to
Warrenton--12 miles, - to
Sperryville--15 miles--to
Amissville five miles--to
Newby's cross roads, ten miles--
to Woodville on the Thornton
Gap & Culpepper road 15 miles-
     I shall push n from
this place at 8, this morning--
to Amissville & to the roads
running from Thornton's Gap
& if unsuccessful to Cul=
pepper--The rebels burnt
a bridge at Waterloo 4 miles

[page 3]
from here yesterday afternoon
  I hear the stream is fordable
at that point--
              My artillery officers
complain of the ammunition
last sent to them--& report
the shells to be in such a
state they will not explode--
being filled with damaged
powder--these shells were a
part of Pope's & McDowell's
ammunition & should be over=
hauled--My command
requires the best ammunition
to drive the enemy in the
shortest time--& I regret
to report it has been getting
worse & worse for some
time past--while the
rebels are improving with
their experience, & their am=
munition in front is better
than ours at this time-
      This is inexcusable-

[page 4]
& calls for the General's action
insisting upon to insist upon
my being furnished with
proper ammunition--
   I want good shenkle
percussion shell & nothing
else except the allowance
of canister, required for each
gun-They send me
Hotchkiss & other contrivances
that [perplex?] delay &
annoy my command--
       this is a vital
subject--please attend
to it & let your orders
be stringent--& I will
clear the rebels out of the
way sooner than I can
do now & every moment
is important--I shall
do all I can today to give
you important information

             Very respectfully
               A. Pleasonton
                  Brig. Genl.

MSS 495 

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