War of the Rebellion: Serial 048 Page 0862 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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and advanced upon the enemy at 3 p. m. Moved from the road through a large skirt of woods in the direction of the enemy. Emerged from the woods into an extensive cleared field, on the opposite side of which the enemy was discovered. Our lines moved rapidly, and coming within range of the enemy opened dire upon him. The men attacked with much coolness and deliberation, and, under a terrific fire of musketry, advanced to within short range of the enemy. The fire was continuous until the regiment was ordered to retire a short distance, which was accomplished in good order. At one time the fire of the enemy was so heavy as to cause some confusion, but the exertions on the part of the officers soon restored order.

With but few exceptions the men and officers behaved with becoming gallantry. The regiment was principally commanded by Lieutenant Colonel L. H. N. Salyer, whose conduct during the engagement was that of a man of true courage.

During the engagement, Captain Francis W. Kelly was detached from his company to act as major. He displayed great coolness and exhibited every mark of a brave man.

At nightfall the regiment retired to a new position, bringing off the dead and wounded.

The loss of the regiment during the engagement was 1 man killed, 4 wounded, and 3 missing.

Very respectfully,

A. S. VANDEVENTER,

Colonel, Commanding Fiftieth [Virginia Infantry].

Captain ROBERT D. EARLY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 122. Report of Brigadier General George H. Steuart, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

HEADQUARTERS STEUART'S BRIGADE,

December 12, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my brigade in the engagement of Friday, November 27, at Payne's Farm:

Leaving the intrenchments at Walnut Run early that morning, the brigade marched immediately in rear of the division until after crossing Mine Run at Bartlett's Mill. Here I was ordered to move in rear of the artillery and ambulances. This I did, adopting the usual precautions to guard against a sudden attack.

About midday, while passing through a dense wood between 1 and 2 miles from the mill, several of the ambulances suddenly turned and came back in confusion, reporting the train was being fired into by the enemy. Ordering them back into the train, I immediately deployed skirmishers to cover the left flank of the brigade, and forward and to the left of the road, to protect the ambulances. This line of skirmishers was ordered to advance and drive back the enemy, supposed to be dismounted cavalry. They had scarcely proceeded 20 paces, however, when they encountered a strong line of infantry