War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0580 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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our own infantry before them, with the apparent intention of closing immediately on the town. Major Paldi assumed the responsibility of ordering a battery into position to resist their approach, and formed his own command as its support. He remained in this position, under a severe fire of musketry and artillery, until the retreat of both artillery and infantry from the hill. As the last of the infantry were leaving the hill General Williams ordered Major Town, then temporarily in command, to form line of battle on top of the hill, and, if possible, charge the advancing column and hold them in check. Major Town immediately formed his command in the position designated and prepared for action. Directly in his front and within 15 rods of him, advancing at a double-quick, came six full regiments of the enemy's infantry. His appearance before them caused a halt, and they made preparations to receive his charge. This movement delayed the enemy full ten minutes, giving our retreating infantry time to gain the cover of the town. Major Town judged it impracticable to charge on this column with his command of 200 men, and ordered a retrograde movement, which was executed in good order under a heavy fire of musketry. He then proceeded to the opposite side of the town, and was assigned a position on the left by General Hatch, Lieutenant-Colonel Copeland joining and assuming command. When within 5 miles of Martinsburg General Hatch ordered him to join Colonel Donnelly's brigade, on a back road. he proceeded through the woods to this road, and after sending 2 1/2 miles back in search of the brigade, and halting until the enemy's advance was ahead of him, being unable to ascertain anything of Colonel Donnelly's whereabouts, he slowly proceeded to Martinsburg, where he arrived about 4 p. m. The lieutenant-colonel being unable to proceed farther the command devolved upon Major Paldi, who was ordered to proceed on the road to Williamsport in rear of the infantry. The command reached the vicinity of Williamsport during the night, and remained standing in the road until 3 o'clock the next morning, when it was ordered on grand-guard duty on the Martinsburg road, where it remained until 10 o'clock a. m. the 27th instant, observing nothing of moment in the interim. At this time he was relieved and proceeded to Williamsport into camp.

The company commander not having been able to ascertain the loss in their respective companies precludes the possibility of making an accurate report of the loss in my command. It is known that Second Lieutenant William M. Brevoort, of Company G, was wounded on the field, fell from his horse, and was probably captured by the enemy. His conduct was everything that his commanding officer could desire, and his loss will be severely felt in the regiment. A more gallant young officer never trod a battle-field.

It was not until infantry and artillery had begun the retreat, and until ordered to do so, that the regiment-the only cavalry in the field in the action-left it, and then in good order, taking position immediately, and acting throughout the retreat under the eye of the general commanding the division. It was the last regiment that left the field, and reformed immediately in the streets.

Lieutenant-Colonel Copeland, feeble to the extreme from protracted illness, against the remonstrance of the surgeon, for several hours of the march insisted upon taking command of the column, and only left it when utterly unable to keep his saddle.

To the coolness, judgment, and gallant conduct of Major Town, very much of the time in command, every credit is due. His prompt action at critical periods contributed materially to the success of that trying