War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0468 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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of Bull Pasture Mountain, which occurred on the 8th instant near McDowell. This report would have been sooner made but for the constant duty upon which I have been engaged up to last night. This has rendered it impossible until the present moment for me to devote any time to this report, and is my excuse for the delay.

Under your orders on the afternoon of the 8th instant I marched to attack the Confederate forces, then in position on the top of Bull Pasture Mountain, having under my command seven companies of my own regiment (the Seventy-fifth Ohio) and nine companies of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson. The remaining three companies and a part of the seven of the Seventy-fifth Ohio were, at the time the order was received, separated from the regiment by your previous orders during the day, and had been engaged in skirmishing with the advance of the enemy, so that I had not the benefit of their strength in the battle. The companies of my own regiment engaged, with the numbers present of each, were as follows: Company A, Captain Friend commanding, 86 men; Company F, Captain Morgan commanding, 51 men; Company I, Captain Fry commanding, 61 men; Company C, Captain Harris commanding, 71 men; Company H, Captain Pilcher commanding, 69 men; Company E, Captain Foster commanding, 46 men; and Company G, Lieutenant Morey commanding, 60 men. Total of Seventy-fifth Ohio engaged, 444 men.

I have not yet ascertained the numbers engaged in the Twenty-fifth Ohio, but have been informed by Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson that his nine companies were incomplete. He will report himself the exact number in the action.

The enemy were in position on the top of the mountain, entirely screened from our view, and the conformation of the ridge permitted them to deliver their fire with only the exposure of a small portion of their bodies, and in reloading they were entirely protected from our fire by the crest of the hill. The side of the mountain up which I was compelled to make the attack was entirely destitute of protection either from trees or rocks, and so steep that the men were at times compelled to march either to one side or the other in order to make the ascent. In making the advance Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, by my order, deployed two of his companies as skirmishers, in order to more clearly ascertain the position and strength of the enemy. As soon as these companies were deployed properly I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson to support them with the whole of his regiment formed in line of battle, which order was executed with great promptness, and in a few moments the whole of the Twenty-fifth Ohio was advancing steadily to the front up the mountain, overcoming the difficult ascent with great labor. As soon as the Twenty-fifth Ohio had advanced so as to make room in the open ground for the movement, I formed my own regiment (the Seventy-fifth Ohio) in line of battle and gave the order for the advance, so that the whole force under my command was within easy supporting distance. The enemy did not permit the skirmishers to advance far before a heavy fire was opened upon them from the whole crest of the hill. The mountain was circular in its formation, so that when the whole line was engaged the flanks were in a manner concealed from each other. The enemy received us with so heavy and destructive a fire that I was compelled to bring forward as rapidly as possible the whole of the forces under my command.

I cannot say too much in praise of the conduct of the troops. Under the most heavy and galling fire from a well-sheltered enemy, and without protection themselves, they steadily advanced up the precipitous