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[505] Gen. Augur's brigade was ordered to advance. The General and staff preceded the troops, and arrived at Catlet's Station late at night. General McDowell arrived on a special train, at two o'clock on Wednesday morning.

The advance was halted on Wednesday, for the arrival of the supply-train, and the remainder of Gen. King's division. In the mean time the rebels placed a field-piece upon the south bank of the Rappahannock, and entertained our pickets with frequent shot and shell, without doing any damage.

On Thursday, with the faint light of dawn, the command started. Lieut.-Col. Kilpatrick, with the Ira Harris light cavalry, led the advance. Before starting, an order was issued directing the instant shooting of any one detected in the act of pillaging, burning, or wantonly destroying property. No occasion was found for the execution of the order. Late in the day the heat compelled the men to relieve themselves of everything not absolutely indispensable, and overcoats and blankets strewed the road.

Six miles from Catlett's Station, recent tracks of rebel cavalry were discovered. Twelve miles beyond, the enemy's picket was driven in. Gen. Augur pushed rapidly forward with the cavalry, and the Brooklyn Fourteenth regiment, and a section of artillery. A small rebel mounted force was discovered, which retired skirmishing. The chase continued for eight miles, the Brooklyn Fourteenth, without a single straggler, keeping up with the cavalry and artillery. Lieut. Decker, company D, of the Ira Harris light cavalry, was killed while gallantly leading one of the charges. He was shot through the heart. The rebel by whom he was killed, and fifteen others, were almost at the same instance taken prisoners. Col. Kilpatrick charged upon the camp of the enemy, driving them like frightened sheep, and captured a large amount of forage. The command bivouacked for the night in the enemy's camp, after a march of twenty-six miles.

Few men were found on the farms along the road. Several of the families expressed Union sentiments, but every man capable of performing military duty, had been. pressed into the rebel service, or made prisoner.

During the night, the Ira Harris light cavalry continued to harass the enemy, and in the morning, led by Colonel Kilpatrick, charged gallantly upon the barricade across the road, and drove the enemy's advance back, with considerable loss.

At daylight the command moved forward, forcing the enemy across the Rappahannock, and compelled them to retreat beyond the heights south of Fredericksburgh. In their flight they set fire to the bridges, upon which had been placed heaps of combustibles. The Chatham and railroad bridges were destroyed. The Ficklen bridge was saved by the strenuous exertions of the Berdan's sharp-shooters. The little town of Falmouth, on the north bank of the Rappahannock, immediately opposite Fredericksburgh, was found almost entirely deserted. Several Union families remained to welcome the advance of our troops. The people, generally, received our soldiers in a friendly manner, and expressed surprise when assured that they were to be protected, instead of murdered, as they had been assured by the rebels they would be.

Our occupation of the place was a surprise. The mills were still running, and women and children engaged in ordinary domestic avocations, when our cannon belched forth its thunder from the adjacent cliff.

Gen. Augur and staff were courteously entertained by Mr. J. B. Ficklen, a wealthy citizen of Falmouth, whose loyalty had rendered him obnoxious to the rebels. Private Haslam, of the Ira Harris light cavalry, Acting Orderly for Gen. Augur, was shot by our own pickets while carrying an order from the General to Col. Sullivan. Private Britten, of the Seventh Wisconsin, who had rendered efficient service as a scout for Gen. King, had his leg broken by an accidental shot, while in front. Immediate preparations were made for the repair of the bridge, that had been only slightly damaged. Fredericksburgh is virtually in our possession, as our cannon command all its approaches. There is no sign of fortifications. The enemy's forces, composed of one regiment of infantry, and one of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, burned their camps and fled.

Col. Rosebroke, the rebel commanding officer, was out examining the pickets at the time of our approach, and was chased by Col. Kilpatrick four miles, but finally escaped. We have captured nineteen prisoners, and killed a number of the enemy, but how many is not yet ascertained. A number of fine steamers, and a considerable amount of shipping is at Fredericksburgh. The cars are busily running to and from the city. The people crowd the streets and house-tops, watching our movements.

The following are the names of the killed and wounded of the Ira Harris light cavalry.


Killed.

First Lieut. Nelson G. Decker, company D.

Private John Murphy, company G.

Private George Weller, company H.

Private John Haslam, company L.

Private Robert G. Campbell, company----.


Wounded.

Serg. Jacob G. McLean, company H, in the mouth, slightly.

Corp. James Baker, company H, in the head, seriously.

Private Michael Dwyer, company G, in the left shoulder, seriously.

Private Lewis C. Crane, company H.

Private Patrick Ambrose, company B, in the left side and leg, slightly.

Private John N. Davis, company H.

Private Josiah Kiff, company H, in the leg, slightly.

Private Wm. Rankin, company H, slightly.

Private Cyrus Romain, company H, in the thigh, slightly.

Lieut. Leaf, of Col. Bayard's First Pennsylvania

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