War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0202 [CHAP,XIV. OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA.

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directed to remain in camp, which is about 200 yards back of and on the inland slope of Cemetery Hill, awaiting orders.

It is proper, in order to give you an understanding of the ground upon which the main attack was expected, that you should have before you a brief outline of the positions occupied by my command. The town of Romney is situated upon a plateau elevated some 150 feet above the level of the South Branch, which washes the base of a high bluff. The western terminus of the plateau, 1 mile wester of Romney, in the South Branch Mountain, in which are the Mechanicsburg and Hanging Rock Passes; the former 3 miles southwest, the latter 4 miles as above detailed, I proceeded to the Mechanicsburg Pass. Before arriving there i heard several volleys of musketry, which proceeded from the western entrance. Arriving there, I found the detachment under Major Funsten; a portion of it strongly posted behind a breastwork formed of rock, and a dam across a mill creek, which flows through the, whilst another portion of it was deployed as skirmishers upon both sides of the pass. Whilst here sharp firing occurred between the advance of the enemy and our skirmishers.

At about 6 o'clock in the morning, the firing having ceased at the Mechanicsburg Pass, I returned to town. In the mean time we had been quiet at the Hanging Rock Pass. At about 6.30 several volleys of musketry were distinctly heard coming from this pass. I head been confident up to this time that the attack which had been made at the Mechanicsburg Pass was only a feint to mask the main attack, which was to be made at the other. At his time the forge was so dense as to obscure completely every object beyond a distance of 50 yards and so continued upon hearing the firing from the Hanging Rock Pass I sent an order to Colonel Monroe to leave 50 of his men as a reserve, and with the remainder to move without delay to the support of Colonel E. H. McDonald. Captain Mayers had deployed his company along the east bank of the river, stationing pickets at the ford at the west and of the pass. As the enemy advanced across the ford the pickets halted them at a distance of 40 yards, so dense was the fog, supposing them to be friends. After parleying for some movements they were fired upon by the enemy. This part of Captain Myer's' company returned the fire, and retired to their reserve station at the east of the pass. The enemy then advanced between the river and the rocks, which at points overhang the road. When their cavalry had advanced under these rocks, and the position occupied by Colonel E. H. McDonald, whose command, owing to the company of Captain Inskeep being upon detached service, consisted of only, a destructive fire was opened by this force upon them. Without waiting to reload their guns, the men were ordered to throw rocks upon which had been previously collected oft the purpose. This unexpected and novel attack produced the greatest confusion; the cavalry, stampeded, were driven back upon the infantry, many of whom jumped into the river; some managed to escape to the other side by swimming, but many were drowned. Owing, however,t o the dense fog which still enshrouded and obscured everything, the effect of this attack, repulsing the enemy and driving his back out of the pass and across the river, was not discovered, and the vedettes of Colonel E. H. McDonald, posted in his rear, giving him the incorrect information that the enemy were crossing upon his right int he attempt to outflank him, he returned with his command towards Romney.

About 7 o'clock i received information from Captain Myers that the