War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0621 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

Search Civil War Official Records

On arriving at Newtown I found the Twenty-seventh Indiana Regiment formed in line on this side of the town with two sections of Cothran's battery, which were firing upon the enemy's cavalry in the edge of the wood on our left. I received an order to advance, take the town and hold it until further orders. Companies A and C, under Captains Abbott and Cogswell, were deployed as skirmishers, and advanced followed by the remainder of the regiment and the section of Best's battery, under a well-directed fire of the enemy's artillery, posted in the main street and in full view of their cavalry. The enemy was speedily driven from the town to a position on the heights beyond, from which he continued the fire of artillery, principally directed against the section of Cothran's battery, which had advanced and taken position on our right, but his fire was with little or no effect. The sections of Best's and Cothran's batteries replied by a well-directed fire.

At sunset an order came to withdraw and resume the march to Winchester, the desired object having been attained. This was done, the two companies above mentioned forming the rear guard, and Company B, Captain Williams, thrown out as flankers; the artillery, with three companies of this regiment, leading, followed by the remainder of the regiment in column. We soon overtook the Twenty-seventh Indiana Regiment, which was engaged in the destruction of abandoned property of the train. This caused some delay, but the march was soon resumed. The Twenty-eighth New York was in advance of the Twenty-seventh Indiana. At the place in which the knapsacks were left the regiment was halted, and the rear guard and flankers remaining in their places the rest of the regiment were ordered to take their knapsacks. Six companies of the New York cavalry here joined us.

It was now quite dark, and the enemy, who had not before shown himself on our return,made a cavalry charge, which was promptly repelled by a volley from the rear guard, which was delivered at short range with perfect coolness and great effect. The enemy then fired a single shell, which was replied to by another volley from the rear guard, and the enemy ceased for the time his attack. The companies composing the rear guard and flankers were now directed in turn to take their knapsacks; Company I, Captain Underwood, forming the new rear guard, and Company D, Captain Savage, the flankers.

The enemy now sent forward a line of skirmishers, who opened fire on Captain Underwood's company, which, although very severe, was sustained, and replied to with a steadiness most creditable to the officers and men of the company. The firing continuing, I sent forward in support on the right and left platoons of the companies of Captains Cogswell and Williams, and our fire soon produced a marked effect upon the enemy. Everything being now ready, the march was resumed. The enemy followed but a short distance. The march was continued until we reached Kernstown, when a halt was ordered, to rest the men and make arrangements to send forward some of the wounded. From then non-arrival of ambulances some delay occurred, during which the enemy advanced and again opened his fire of skirmishers,which was promptly replied to by the rear guard.

The darkness of the night concealing the enemy deployed, while the column forming a dark mass upon the road was a fair mark, I ordered the march to be resumed, which was done in perfect order. The enemy did not pursue.

At 2 o'clock a.m. the 25th the regiment reached Winchester after a march of 25 miles, having sustained firmly and successfully the re-