wards Ferry prevented the advance of a large column of the enemy, which was intended to re-enforce General Baker's command near Conrad's Ferry, then engaged in battle with our forces.
On Tuesday morning I was ordered by yo to reconnoiter the enemy at Edwards Ferry, and attack him if in my judgment his numbers and position would warrant me in doing so. Reaching the ground I occupied the day before, I ordered Captain Randell to skirmish on my left and Captain Eckford, on my right. They reported that the enemy in very large numbers were stationed, as on the preceding day, near the banks of the river. From their movements, which could be easily seen from my position, I supposed they were planting a battery at the point of woods jutting out into the field to the right of the Daily house. I determined to make the attack at that point, and accordingly ordered Captain Eckford to advance with his and Captain McElroy's companies, to commence the engagement, and to charge and take the battery, if one should be found there.
Taking the road leading to Kephart's Mill, I halted the regiment in the woods to the right of the Daily plantation and in a few minutes Captain Eckford commenced the attack upon several companies of pickets which were stationed along the field, charging upon and driving them in great disorder and confusion before his fire. I ordered the regiment at once to advance, and the engagement in a moment became general. Under a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries on both sides of the river and an incessant fire from his lines on this side the regiment continued to advance some 400 yards, firing as it advanced, driving the enemy before it back to the river, and killing, so far as I have been able to learn, 35 or 40 of their number. The enemy having been driven back behind his field works, and greatly outnumbering my command, having also artillery on both sides of the river, I did not deem it proper further to continue the assault, and hence withdrew the regiment to its position near Fort Evans, which I reached some time after dark. I herewith inclose Captain Eckford's report.
Every order I gave during both days obeyed with promptness and alacrity and the engagement on Tuesday was marked by the greatest possible zeal, courage, and enthusiasm on the part of both officers and men.*
* * * * *
Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers.
General N. G. EVANS, Headquarters, Leesburg.
Numbers 24. Report of Captain William J. Eckford, Thirteenth Mississippi Infantry, of action near Edwards Ferry.
CAMP NEAR FORT EVANS, October 26, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the evening of the 22nd inst., obedient to orders, I proceeded with my company and Captain [K.] McElroy's company (G) to open the engagement with the enemy posted about Edwards Ferry, by attacking a battery supposed to be planted in a point of woods on a ridge which made out from Goose Creek to Daily's field, and in front of the left of the enemy's line. Advancing
*For statement of casualties omitted see report, Numbers 22.,p. 353.