|Flag of 1st Rhode Island Cavalry (CivilWar.org)|
PHILOMONT, November 1, 1862 - 11.30 a. m.
GENERAL: My command has arrived at this point, and I am now sending out scouts in different directions. About 100 of Stuart's rebel cavalry left this place hastily on our advance, and took the road to Middleburg. I am told there is a force of rebel cavalry and infantry at Upperville. Have not heard yet from General Bayard. My force is so small (not over 1,500 men) that I find myself obliged to work my men very hard to do the duty required of them.
For want of horses, the dismounted men left behind have not come up, and many of my old horses are becoming unfit for service, by disease called rotten-hoof.
Yesterday Stuart captured a number of First Rhode Island Cavalry (Stoneman's) beyond this place; some say a squadron, but I doubt that number. Could not that regiment be sent to me? They are only covering the ground I now go over, and are in my way.
P. S. - My scouts have gone to Union and Bloomfield. This position at Philomont is a very good one.
Official Records, Series I., Vol. 19, Part 2, Page 113.
The First Rhode Island had a good war record, serving at the time of this letter in Stoneman's Corp of Observation. The gap between Union and Confederate cavalry was narrowing, but remained. The duty required of cavalry in enemy territory was fraught with risk, not the least of which was becoming isolated and captured.