War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0491 Chapter XXI. ENGAGEMENT AT VALVERDE, N. MEX.

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in passing through Plympton's battalion communicated their panic, and carried with them a part of his men. The main of his command, however, rushed into the battery and engaged in a gallant and desperate attempt to repel the enemy. The advance of the storming party was driven back, and under cover of this repulse the first fugitives from the battery crossed the river with but little loss. Lord's squadron coming up from the right (where he had been ordered for the purpose of uniting his company with Claflin's), was ordered to charge, but on approaching the battery became exposed to the fire of our own men as well as that of the enemy, turned to the left, and for reasons that are not entirely satisfactory fell back without making the charge. The storming party proper was deployed as skirmishers, enveloping the left, front, and a part of-the right of the battery by a circular segment nearly half a mile in length. Armed with double-barreled fowling-pieces and revolvers, and converging as they approached, a rapid and destructive fire was poured into the battery. From the moment that it made its appearance the storming party was met by a terrible fire of grape and double canister from the battery and of musketry from its infantry support. This contest was continued in and about the battery long after its guns had been silenced, the gunners with their revolvers and the infantry with their muskets in desperate and often hand-to-hand conflicts, until, overwhelmed by superior numbers, this gallant band was driven from the field, but not until it had lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners nearly one-half of its effective force.

At this moment Wingate's battalion, coming up at the double-quick, poured upon the Confederates a rapid and destructive fire, under which this sudden and to them unexpected attack that for some moments I entertained the confident hope that the battery, and with it the fortunes of the day, would yet be saved; but the rapidly-gathering re-enforcements of the enemy and the distance to which our troops on the right (though promptly recalled by Colonel Roberts, commanding on that flank) had pursued the flying enemy, convinced me that to prolong the contest would only add to the number of our casualties without changing the result. Orders were accordingly sent to Captain Selden to fall back slowly and cover the retreat, and to the other commanders to recross the river. The movement of Selden's column (four companies of the Fifth Infantry), in the immediate presence and under the fire of the enemy, was admirably executed, the command moving with deliberation, halting occasionally to allow the wounded to keep up with it, and many of the men picking up and carrying with them the arms of their dead or wounded comrades. The other columns, under the personal superintendence of Colonel Roberts, crossed over without disorder, confusion, or loss. The ammunition wagons, a disabled gun, and all the material except the captured battery and a part of the arms of the killed and wounded, were safely passed over.

On the west bank of the river the troops that had escaped from the battle were found to be much scattered, but the regular troops were easily collected and sent forward in the direction of the fort. Pino's regiment, of which only one company (Sena's) and part of another could be induced to cross the river, was in the wildest confusion, and no efforts of their own officers or of my staff could restore any kind of order. More than 100 men from this regiment deserted from the field. Under cover first of Selden's column and afterwards of the regular cavalry the stragglers were collected, arrangements made for the removal of the dead the care of the wounded, the beef herds driven