back, while the main body was disposed for a vigorous attack upon the Federal
rear and left flank.
The force Stuart
encountered at Dranesville
was E. O.C. Ord
's Pennsylvania brigade of five regiments (including the ‘Bucktails’), two squadrons of cavalry and Easton
took position, screening his infantry in a wood, and when the enemy came up the action was opened by an artillery combat.
ordered forward his right wing, and the Alabama
regiment ‘rushed with a shout in a storm of bullets.’
fell wounded, and Lieut.-Col. J. B. Martin
The other regiments also pushed forward, and a stubborn fight resulted.
‘When the action had lasted about two hours,’ Stuart
reported, ‘I found that the enemy, being already in force larger than my own, was recovering from his disorder, and receiving heavy reinforcements [Reynolds' and Meade
Consequently he withdrew in order.
‘The enemy was evidently too much crippled to follow in pursuit, and after a short halt at the railroad I proceeded to Fryingpan church, where the wounded were cared for.’
Early next morning, with two fresh regiments, Stuart
returned to the field, and found that the enemy had evacuated Dranesville
and left some of their wounded there.
The official returns of casualties were, on the Federal
side, 7 killed and 61 wounded; on the Confederate
, 43 killed, 143 wounded and 8 missing.
The return of the department of Northern Virginia, Gen. J. E. Johnston
commanding, for December, showed for the Potomac district, General Beauregard
, aggregate infantry, cavalry and artillery, present and absent, 68,047; aggregate present, 55,165; effective total, 44,563.
The forces in the Valley district, General Jackson
, were reported at 12,922 present; in the Aquia district, General Holmes
, 8,244, raising the aggregate present of Johnston
's command to 76,331.