War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0190 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

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on the Warwick road, below Smith's, and the occasion of the running off of the howitzer gun.

On the evening of July 4, I rode down from Young's house (where you had stationed me to superintend the erection of breastworks) to Young's Mills, and proposed to Colonel Dreux that we should make a trip with one howitzer and one hundred of his men and twenty horsemen to the point where the skirmish took place. We (the whole force detailed) arrived there about daybreak, or a little before, and were placed on the left of the road, in ambush, my howitzer on the left of the line. Soon after we arrived our guide (a Mr. Fitchett), who had ridden some distance down the road, returned and reported the approach of the enemy. He could not correctly state how strong they were, but told me that the thought they numbered from two hundred to three hundred and fifty men. Colonel Dreux had given instructions that the enemy should be allowed to advance till his rear passed my howitzer, and that the would give the command when the firing on our side should commence. After waiting more than long enough for the enemy to have gotten up to us, and not understanding why they did not come, Colonel Dreux sent out five men as scouts, to ascertain, if possible, where the enemy was. During the absence of these scouts, Lieutenant Moseley (my first lieutenant) and myself walked into the road, and had not been there five minutes before we saw one of the enemy in advance, coming down the road at a charge bayonet. He had gotten up very close to us when we saw him. We at once jumped into the bushes, and ran to our gun, which was some thirty or forty steps from us. Just as we entered the bushes the man fired, and my impression is that he killed Colonel Dreux, as immediately afterwards I into the road. The enemy having stopped advancing, and having commenced an oblique fire into the bushes where we were, I could hear nothing from Colonel Dreux, and my howitzer being where it could not be brought into action unless the enemy came in our front, and being anxious to protect my men as much as possible, I gave the order to have the piece limbered up and taken into the road, so that, if we were or receive the fire of the enemy, we might at least be where we could see them, and fire on them, if necessary. My command was obeyed, but just as the howitzer entered the road the horses took fright and started off at full speed up the road. the driver of the horses to the howitzer (who was a volunteer and not accustomed to the team) informs me that the attempted to halt just as he got into the road, and that the dashing by of the troop which accompanied us caused his horses to become unmanageable, and to run off. Soon as I found that the howitzer had run off, I ran through the bushes, to the right of where we were stationed, and jumped into the road to try and stop it. It had gotten ahead of me, and, notwith standing my running some distance after it, I could not stop it. I then sent my first lieutenant (Moseley) and my sergeant (Gretter) in pursuit of the piece. They soon returned with it. The fight (which lasted only five to then minutes) was then all over. I then, for the first time, heard that Colonel Dreux was killed. I kept the howitzer in the road, for the purpose (if we could get no other conveyance) of putting on it any dead or wounded we might have. A cart was afterwards brought up, and three or four of my men assisted in putting into it the dead body of Private Hackett, of the Louisiana battalion. I afterwards put Colonel Dreux's body in the same cart, and we moved off. I would state that the enemy, I am satisfied, did ton know of the running off of the howitzer, as there was