War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0403 Chapter XXIV. BATTLE OF KERNSTOWN, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

and the front was becoming thin by the retirement of those whose cartridges were out and by the loss of killed and wounded. Those who fell back were ordered to rally behind a re-enforcing regiment, which by this time had gotten up and was formed in line about 50 yards in our rear. It was advanced and took the place of our regiment.

At or about this time a regiment of the enemy appeared on our right flank and advanced within about 50 to 70 yards. With the assistance of various officers, among whom Captain F. D. Irving, Company D, and Sergeant-Major Page were conspicuous, we rallied all of the regiment whom we could find with ammunition and posted them along a fence, by which we flanked in part the flanking enemy. From this point, in co-operations with the skirmishers from the main body, a galling fire was kept up on the enemy. They in their turn were broken and retired. They did not again appear, but were immediately substituted by a fresh regiment, which, in co-operation with those on our front, made a galling cross-fire on our troops. The day was pretty well spent, when an aide of the general commanding ordered me to retire with the regiment.

The regiment went into this battle with 22 commissioned officers, 43 non-commissioned officers, and 205 privates. Out of this number their loss was 60 in killed, wounded, and missing, of whom 9 are missing, and may or may not be wounded.

Paper A, * herewith presented, contains a detailed statement of these losses.

The regiment made a most gallant stand at the close of two days' forced marching. Though foot-sore and weary, their hearts were firm, and they did great execution on the enemy.

The want of commissioned officers was seriously felt. Many lieutenants and eight captains were absent. Almost all the latter and some of the former had been sent home, in obedience to general orders, on recruiting service.

It would be invidious, perhaps, to make mention of individual instances of gallantry which came under my observation. There were many such, both among the commissioned, non-commissioned officers, and privates, and doubtless many occurred which I did not see. I therefore report merely that the officers and men generally behaved well and did their duty.

I cannot close this report, however, without mentioning Lieutenant Robert C. Noonan, of Frederick City, Md., lately appointed, as I understand, a lieutenant of artillery in the Confederate Army. While awaiting his appointment he attached himself as a volunteer lieutenant to Company B, of this regiment, and fell while gallantly doing his duty.

Great credit is due to Dr. R. T. Coleman, surgeon of the regiment, for the energy and foresight by which he was enabled to bring from the field almost all of our wounded. We are also indebted both to field officers, cavalrymen, and artillerymen for bringing some of them away on their horses.

Respectfully submitted.


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.


Commanding Third Brigade.


* Tabulated on p.384.