War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0284 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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and intrepidity, driving the enemy before them until he was strongly re-enforced, when General Benham, after having ordered a detachment of the Thirty-seventh Regiment forward to support Captain Beach, ordered our skirmishers to retire, and sent my regiment forward to scour the woods and bring off the wounded. In the skirmish John Remley, of Company A, Thirteenth Regiment, was killed, and John Heister, of the same company, was very severely wounded. Several of the enemy were seen to fall, and one of the was found dead upon the field the following day, not carried off, after having been dragged a long distance.

The high of the 12th we bivouacked on Cotton Hill, and on the morning of the 13th moved forward Fayette. After proceeding about 2 miles we discovered an entrenchment on a high hill about a mile ahead, and so situated that although but a few men could be seen, we found it impossible to ascertain for a certainly whether it was held by the enemy in force until we had consumed about six hours in scaling the surrounding heights. It was at last discovered that the work had been entirely abandoned by the enemy, and we again pushed forward and bivouacked about 1 mile beyond the Dickerson farm. Here we rested but four hours, and then marched forward again through Fayette, continuing our march until the moon set, about 3 o'clock a. m., when we halted at a point 5 miles beyond 6 a. m. (14th), and then moved forward again, keeping our skirmishers well out on both flanks. We had proceeded but about 4 miles when my skirmishing company, under command of Captain Gardner, came suddenly upon a scouting party of the enemy's cavalry, numbering 40 men. A sharp skirmish ensued, during which Colonel St. George Croghan was mortally wounded. Several of his men, as he stated, were also wounded, though they escaped, leaving their horses to the number of five. The colonel was left a farm house by his men and treated with the utmost kindness by our assistant surgeon, Dr. Chase, up to near the time of his death, which took place at 2 o'clock p. m..

After this skirmish we moved forward and came upon the enemy in force near McCoy's Mill, where the firing became so sharp, that our forces were immediately disposed for battle. Companies A, D, F, and I, of my regiment, were immediately thrown well to the front as skirmishers and put under cover. The remainder of my regiment was thrown behind the crest of a hill to the left of the road. When these dispositions had been made, different regiments of the enemy were seen to be retreating over the distant hills, and a body of cavalry, apparently 400 strong, was seen winding around the base of a hill about 1 mile distant. I immediately put one of my rifled cannons, under the command of Captain Schneider, in a position from which we had an enfilanding fire upon the road, and opened upon the enemy's cavalry, throwing them into the utmost confusion and putting them to flight. At the first discharge from the rifled gun the enemy's skirmisher broke from their cover and ran, taking the fire of the four companies constituting our advance as they went. Here again, several were seen to fall, and in their precipitate retreat they threw away their guns and equipments, which we found strewn in every direction on the field. The enemy seemed thoroughly demoralized and thoughtful only of a safe retreat.

Our officers and men behaved with the greatest coolness and courage, their obedience to orders and the accuracy of their aim electing my highest admiration.* As the enemy ran we pursued, following him as.

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* In separate letters Colonel Smith specially notifies the gallantry of Capts. Albert F. Beach and Isaac R. Gardner and Private Robert K. Seiz.

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