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Doc. 143.-the advance to Falmouth, Va.

A National account.

About nightfall, on Tuesday, April fifteenth, [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.


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----.


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 [506] cavalry, was the only commissioned officer wounded. In this regiment, there were three killed, and eight wounded.

The infantry sustained no loss. A number of men are missing; but as they are coming in from time to time, it is probable all will return. We have no opportunity to estimate the loss of the enemy.

Rebel account of the occupation.

Fredericksburgh, April 21, 1862.
To the Editor of the Richmond Examiner:
The report of the advance of the Federal forces reached Fredericksburgh Thursday afternoon. As late as midnight Thursday night, Gen. Field, who was in command of the confederate troops, assured citizens that he did not believe, from the reports brought in by his pickets, that the Yankee force was sufficient to threaten an attack which involved the occupation of the town. The citizens and the “civil authorities” rested, therefore, hopefully on the belief that Gen. Field's troops would defend and save the town from Yankee occupation. This hope was sadly crushed; for at seven o'clock on Friday morning it was discovered by the citizens that the bridges across the river were in flames, and that the confederate troops were retreating from Falmouth, and making their way through Fredericksburgh into the country back of it. I have no desire to criticise our General or his troops; but it is due to the citizens and “civil authorities” to say that they were sorely distressed when they found that the Yankees were not resisted and beaten back. Nor was this sorrow lessened when they found that the Yankee force consisted of a single brigade; for it was not until three o'clock on Saturday afternoon that an accession of force was added to one brigade, before which our troops retired. I trust it may appear that our officers did not know that the Yankee force was so small, or that they were erroneously informed as to its strength.

By nine o'clock on Friday morning, the Yankees had planted their cannon so as to command the town; and a regiment of their cavalry appeared near the river, which was fordable at several points not much over knee-deep. Gen. Field's entire force had evacuated the town, and Fredericksburgh lay at the feet of the Yankees.

The Common Council was convened by the Mayor, and assembled in the presence of a few citizens who were invited to aid their deliberations. This body determined first, to send no message to the Yankee General until a communication was received from him; secondly, that so soon as the Yankee officer sent a communication, that a response should be made, which response I now copy and send you for publication; whether this response is worthy of the fair fame and patriotic spirit of the “Old burgh,” I leave to Southern criticism to determine.

A committee, consisting of the Mayor, two Councilmen, and three citizens, all to the manor born, good men and true, were delighted to deliver this response. About four o'clock Friday afternoon a white flag was waved from the Yankee lines across the river, and the signal was answered. A Federal officer came across the river and handed to the committee (who had repaired to the river to await his arrival) a written request from Brig.-Gen. Augur that he might have an interview with the civil authorities of Fredericksburgh. An arrangement was finally made, by which the committee were invited to see Gen. Augur at the headquarters, near Falmouth, on Saturday morning. The committee went Saturday morning, and had an interview with this General and delivered the response. Gen. Augur, after stating that he was but a brigade commander, and that Gen. McDowell would arrive in a day or two, with whom all definite arrangements must be made, still assured the committee that whenever the Federal forces occupied the town all measures needful to secure protection to persons and property, as demanded by the usages of civilized warfare, should be observed.

I deem it proper to add, for the information of your readers, that Gen. Augur gave no satisfaction to the committee as to whether the Yankee army would pay for army supplies taken from citizens, and also admitted that slaves coming into the Yankee lines would be sheltered and held against reclamation.

Justice to the people and authorities of Fredericksburgh requires that this much should be published, in order to correct the idle and baseless gossip circulating as to the mode of our occupation by the Yankees. No truer or more loyal population can be found in the confederate States than that of Fredericksburgh, now subjected to the inexpressible humiliation and distress of Yankee dominion.

I am, sir, eZZZ.,

A citizen of Fredericksburgh.

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