bush frequently affording favorable opportunity for successful ambuscade, which to be provide against by skirmishing and reconnoitering parties.
At Sheetz's Mill, 9 miles from Romney, the enemy again made a short stand. I directed Lieutenant Lionberger to open them with shell from his 6-pounder. A single shot fired, when, discovering a more favorable position, I directed his to it. Whilst the position of the 6-pounder was being charged our shot was returned by shell from the gun of the enemy, passing to our right. Before our gun could be got into its new position the infantry of the enemy were again in rapid retreat, their cavalry lingering in their rear. under a heavy fire from the carbines of the cavalry the gun was again got into position. Knowing the direction of the road up which the enemy were retreating, and which was concealed by a low wood ridge, I gave Lieutenant Lionberger the range, and he again opened upon them with shell. Some of the shell falling the fleeing mass committed fearful havoc amongst them. In the mean time there had been a rapid interchange of shots between their cavalry and ours,. but, being at long range, without much effect.
Upon the suggestion of Captain Sheetz Major Funsten to send forwarded the companies of Captain Sheetz, Myers, Winfield, and Miller by a shorter route, with a view to intercept the retreat of the enemy by ambuscade. Owing, however,t o the rapid flight of the enemy, and to a mistake having been made as to the point of intersection of the two roads, the main body of the enemy, with their artillery and baggage train, had passed before the detachment got into position to attack them. At this point we captured 4 stragglers and, night coming on, I sent an order to Major Funsten, directing the pursuit to cease, having pursued them to within 2 miles of New Creek Station, a distance of 15 miles.
Returning to Romney, at Sheetz's Mill we met the militia, to whom I had given orders just before leaving Mechanicsburg Pass to follow the cavalry as fast as possible, which a view to supporting them if necessary. From Sheetz's Mill the whole command returned to Romney, where it arrived about 2 o'clock in the morning.
Great credit is due to Major Funsten and the officers and men under his command for the impetuous and daring charge which was made upon the enemy just beyond the bridge. A panic seems there to have stricken them, from which they were never afterwards permitted to recover during the whole pursuit.
Our loss during the two days was remarkably small-5 wounded (2 by our own men), to which is ot be added the killing of 5 horses and the wounding of 2 or 3 others. Of the loss of the enemy I cannot speak with certainly. Five were captured. From information derived
from personal I should estimate the killed and wounded at from 50 to 80. Among this number may were drowned on the morning of the 24th, when driven back from the Handing Rock Pass. Five of the bodies of those drowned have been recovered.
The pursuit would have been much more effective and destructive had any of the companies of the command at this post been armed in addition to their guns with sabers and pistols. The two companies so armed belonging to this regiment are absent on detached service in Jeferson. None of the companies here have either sabers or pistols. I can but regret the necessity which deprives the officers and men of my command of the weapons adopted to a cavalry charge, and which they have shown themselves so well qualified to make daring and effective