War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0466 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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the mountain which would command our whole encampment, with your permission I made a reconnaissance for the purpose of obtaining accurate information of their strength and position. For this purpose the following troops were placed at my disposal: The Twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Seventy-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Thirty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Eighty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Third West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. These regiments were by no means full, various companies of each being detailed for special duty. The number of privates, non-commissioned officers, and officers actually engaged are reported to me as follows:

25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry..............................469

75th Ohio Volunteer Infantry..............................444

32nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry...............................416

3rd West Virginia Volunteer Infantry......................439

Total.....................................................1,768

Which is the entire number of field officers, company officers, and privates of this brigade engaged. The exact number of the Eighty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry engaged is not known to me, but has doubtless been reported to you.

Under my order the Twenty-fifth Ohio and Seventy-fifth Ohio Regiments (the former under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W. P. Richardson and the latter under the command of Colonel N. C. McLean and Major Robert Reily) advanced in the most gallant manner up the face of the hill and attacked the enemy in their front. Numbering less than 1,000 men, unprotected by any natural or artificial shelter, they advanced up a precipitous mountain side upon an adversary protected by entrenchments and the natural formation of the mountain, and unsupported drove them (being at least twice their numerical strength) over the crest of the mountain, and for one and a half hours maintained unaided, while exposed to a deadly fire, the position from which they had so bravely driven the foe.

Too much praise cannot be awarded to the officers or men of these regiments. The Twenty-fifth Ohio led the advance, and were rapidly followed and supported by the Seventy-fifth, both acting with the coolness of veterans and the determination of patriot soldiers, willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of the Republic.

At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, perceiving that the enemy's force was being constantly increased, I ordered the Eighty-second Regiment, of your brigade, the Thirty-second Ohio, and Third West Virginia to turn the right flank of the enemy, and, if possible, attack them in the rear. They obeyed the order with the greatest alacrity, but the enemy, observing the design and having a much superior force, in a handsome manner changed his front to the rear. The regiments, however, attacked them briskly and kept up a destructive fire, causing the enemy to waver several times; but fresh re-enforcements being brought up by them, and a portion of their re-enforcements coming down the turnpike, the Third West Virginia became exposed to their fire in its front and rear. Unable, however, to withstand the fire of the Third West Virginia, the latter re-enforcements joined the main body of the rebels and the contest became general and bloody. While the Third West Virginia and Thirty-second and Eighty-second Ohio were advancing on the enemy a 6-pounder, of Johnson's battery, under command of Lieutenant Powers, was with the greatest difficulty placed in position on the mountain on the left of the turnpike, and gave efficient support to the attack. During the engagement I also ordered two 12-pounders, of