War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0494 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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of 650 men of the Forty-fifth Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel W. E. Peters; 80 men of the Eighth Virginia Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Fitzhugh, and one 6-pounder rifled gun and one 12-pounder howitzers, with 40 men, under Captain G. G. Otey.

The march was continued steadily and silently until daybreak, when the enemy's cavalry picket of 8 men, which were stationed about 2 miles from the Court-House, were driven in by our advance guard. As I approached the town the enemy was seen drawn up in line of battle behind a fence, on a high hill, about 300 yards in advance of the town, with his right extending up to the mountain and his left resting on the road leading to the town.

When I had arrived within three-quarters of a mile of the enemy's position I ordered Colonel Peters to march his regiment to the right of the road and deploy two companies as skirmishers. This order was promptly obeyed, and I marched on the enemy in the following order: The Forty-fifth in front, with two companies deployed as skirmishers; the cavalry, under Colonel Fitzhugh, on the right, concealed from the enemy by hills, and the artillery in the rear. This order of advance was continued until we reached within 400 or 500 yards of the enemy's position, when I ordered the artillery to fire, which was replied to by the enemy's howitzer and long-range guns, without injury, however, to our troops. While the artillery kept up a constant fire the infantry and cavalry steadily advanced and obeyed my instructions not to fire until within good rifle-range of the enemy. When within about 150 yards of the enemy the order was given to charge the fence and hill behind which he was posted. This order was beautifully executed, and the regiment was gallantly led by Lieutenant-Colonel Peters.

About the same time the right flank of the enemy was charged and driven back by Colonel McCausland's brigade. My command continued the pursuit through the town and was exposed to a heavy fire during the charge. The cavalry made several charges during the fight.

Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzhugh, Captain Lewis, and Lieutenant Hampton, of the cavalry, behaved with much gallantry during the day.

Lieutenant-Colonel Peters, of the Forty-fifth Regiment, deserves much credit for his coolness and gallantry during the engagement.

Too much praise cannot be given to my staff officers, Lieutenants Kennon and Spotts, for their promptness in carrying orders when exposed to the heaviest fire of the enemy.

Captain Otey and his command were particularly noticed by me, and conducted themselves in a cool and gallant manner, and obeyed with the promptness of old soldiers the orders given them.*

My report is not as complete as I could wish, owing to the duties which require all my attention.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Commanding First Brigade.

Brigadier General HENRY HETH,

Commanding Army of New River, Giles Court-House, Va.

P. S.-Inclosed herewith are the reports + of Lieutenant-Colonel Peters and Captain Otey.


* Nominal list of casualties 1 killed, 1 mortally wounded, and 3 wounded slightly.

+ Not found.