Monday, April 1, 2013

April 2, 1863 (Thursday): Mosby Surprised at Miskel's Farm

Miskel's Farmhouse (

Fairfax Court House, Va., April 2, 1863.
    GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report, which is, however, made up from verbal information received from Colonel Price, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnstone, and Major Taggart. I will forward the written reports as soon as it is received and shall take all possible means to ascertain the true state of the case.
    It appears that on the evening of the 31st ultimo, Major Taggart, at Union Church, 2 miles above Peach Grove, received information that Mosby, with about 65 men, was near Dranesville. He immediately dispatched Captain Flint, with 150 men of the First Vermont, to rout or capture Mosby and his force.
Captain Flint followed the Leesburg and Alexandria road to the road which branches off to the right just this side of Broad Run. Turning to the right, they followed up the Broad Run toward the Potomac, to a
place marked "J. Mesed." Here, at a house, they came on to Mosby, who was completely surprised and wholly unprepared for an attack from our forces. Had a proper disposition been made of our troops, Mosby could not by any possible means have escaped. It seems that around this house was a high board fence and a stone wall, between which and the road was also another fence and ordinary farm gate. Captain Flint took his men through the gate, and at a distance from the house, fired a volley at Mosby and his men, who were assembled about the house, doing but slight damage to them. He then ordered a saber charge, which was also ineffectual on account of the fence which intervened. Mosby waited until the men were checked by the fence, and then opened his fire upon them, killing and wounding several. The men here became panic-stricken, and fled precipitately toward this gate, through which to make their escape. The opening was small,and they got wedged together, and a fearful state of confusion followed, while Mosby's men followed them up and poured into the crowd a severe fire. Here, while endeavoring to rally his men, Captain Flint was killed and Lieutenant Grout of the same company, mortally wounded (will probably die to-day.).* Mosby's men followed in pursuant and sobered several of our men on the road. Mosby, during his pursuit is supposed to have received a saber wound across the face, which unhorsed him. The rebels took some prisoners and a number of horses and fell back in great haste. In comparison to the number engaged, our loss was very heavy.
    As soon as Major Taggart received the report he sent Major Hall in pursuit of Mosby, and to bring in our killed and wounded. Upon receiving the first intelligence, I immediately sent out Colonel Prive, with a detachment of the Sixth and Seventh Michigan and First Virginia Cavalry, who searched in every direction, but no trace could be found of Mosby or his men, as information reached me too late.
     I regret to be obliged to inform the commanding general that the forces sent out by Major Taggart missed so good an opportunity of capturing this rebel guerrilla. It is only to be ascribed to the bad management on the part of the officers and the cowardice of the men. I have ordered Colonel Price to make a thorough investigation of this matter, and shall recommend those officers who are guilty to be stricken from the rolls.
     The list of killed and wounded will be forwarded as soon as received.
     I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,


Official Records, Series I., Vol. 25, Part 1, Pages 77-78.

This was the skirmish at Miskel's Farm.  The Union account is the best and most accurate.  Mosby's picks up at the point where he rallied his men and they drove off the Vermont cavalry, failing to mention his being surprised and coming within a near thing of being captured. 

No comments:

Post a Comment