well acquainted with the surrounding country, and would cut off their retreat by taking a sorter road, provided he could be aided by two or three companies. All of the companies, excepting Captains Jordan's and Powers' and a part of Captain Shands', received orders to move in that direction, and I continued the pursuit with the last-named companies and two pieces of artillery. About 5 miles beyond Sheet's Mill, when I believed we were only a few hundred yards in rear of the enemy, the head of our column was fired into from a dense thicket on our right, and instantly an order was given in a loud voice to cease firing, as they were firing on their friends, and soon two of the companies which too the nearer route advanced from the bushes. No blame should attack to the officers of these companies, as the gap between the enemy and ourselves was small, and the mistake was a natural one.
By this unfortunate occurrence we had 2 of our regiment slightly wounded and 1 of the artillerymen badly but not mortally wounded. The delay occasioned by this accident enabled the enemy to increase the distance between us. The pursuit was continued to the base of the Knobly Mountain, within 2 miles of New Creek, from which point the rear of the enemy was seen crossing the summit of the mountain. I t was then toiling, and deeming an attack on New Crek at that time imprudent, I discontinued the pursuit and returned to this camp, where we arrived about 2 o'clock at night, after having been thirty-three out of the fifty hours in the saddle.
The aggregate strength of this regiment engaged in the service was 328. The strength of the enemy was not less then 1,300 and probably reached 1,500 men, including artillery and 75 cavalry, the whole command being armed in the best manner. So completely were they demoralized by our first charge, that they must have been cut to pieces had the country been favorable to the operations of cavalry, the road by which they retreated being through mountain passes and deep defiles.
The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was not less than 50, besides 5 prisoners, 9 horses, and some arms captured. Our loss was trifling, considering the intrepidity of our charges and the very unfavorable ground for attack; it amounted to only 2 wounded and some 10 or 12 horses killed and wounded.
The conduct of the officers and men deserves great praise, and I might cite instances of individual daring deserving especial notice, but as all were disposed to do their duty, I will make no distinctions.
Very respectfully, yours,
O. R. FUNSTEN,
Colonel ANGUS W. McDONALD.
Numbers 5. Report of Lieutenant J. H. Liongerger, C. S. Army.
CAMP FUNSTEN, NEAR ROMNEY, VA., October 4, 1861.
On the night of the 23rd of September last, about a quarter before 12 o'clock, shortly after the information of the approach of the enemy had reached the camp, I received orders from Major Funsten to remain with the howitzer under my charge at once to the Mechanicsburg Pass, which I did, and remained there until about 8.30 o'clock, when I was