War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0678 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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ers in all the neighboring woods, reporting facts to you. In consequence of this I received your orders to proceed with my whole command to town, Lieutenant-Colonel Kane, of the Pennsylvania Sharpshooters, following me with his detachment. Just before I reached the interior of the town I was joined by Colonel Wyndham, to whom I immediately reported the state of things, suggesting meantime that by appearances the enemy could not be far off, and it would be advisable to start in immediate and hot pursuit. Colonel Wyndham immediately put himself at the head of the battalion, which had been reduced somewhat from its original number by sending out skirmishers and a platoon to reconnoiter the town, which as yet had not joined the battalion, and started in a lively trot along the Staunton road, myself remaining in town in order to await the arrival of the regiment and dispose of the prisoners, 40 in number, taken by Lieutenant Sawyer.

In less than an hour the regiment made its appearance, and we started, by your orders, in hot pursuit of the enemy. Having trotted pretty briskly along the pike about 6 miles, encountering all the time captured prisoners, and finding the road strewn with arms, blankets, and knapsacks, we closed up with Colonel Wyndham, coming toward us with a detachment of about 25 of his men, having left the remainder of the battalion drawn up in line on the right hand of the road, under command of Major Cumming. The colonel inquired for you. I stated to him that I had seen you only a little while ago at the head of our column, and did not know where you could be found at this very moment. He went to the rear in search of you, ordering me to advance.

I immediately ordered all available carbineers to the front and was approaching a heavy oak wood. Before we got fairly through it the first report of a gun greeted our ears and a sharp buzz of a shell flew over our heads. This very moment the colonel made his appearance at the head of the column, encouraging the men by words and action, who did not show the slightest signs of fear. Immediately after a second report was heard, and the shell fell about 15 feet on the right of the head of our column, scattering its fragments in all directions and grazing the leg of one of the buglers riding close to me. The column was halted, and, in order to get out of the range, drawn up in line about 150 yards on the left side of the road in a heavy grove of timber, waiting meantime for our artillery. Shell and shot came thick and fast through the woods, tearing down limbs and slicing trees, doing no damage to either men or beasts. Finally a battery of six guns came up, and, taking position, commenced forthwith its operation. Emboldened by this, our boys rushed forward with a wild hurrah over fences and fields under a perfect deluge of shell, Major Beaumont taking a part of the First Battalion through a ravine, so as to fall on the enemy's left flank. Myself, with some of the Second and Third Battalions, crossed the field in an oblique direction, aiming directly for the enemy's battery, which had its position on an eminence on the edge of a heavy oak timber. We were not more than 600 yards off-the ground favoring us-when the enemy limbered up and moved off with his pieces, being supported by two divisions of cavalry. In less than a minute I lost sight of him in the dense woods. I proceeded with my men to the pike, which I perceived about 300 yards on my right. I will mention here that while moving toward the enemy's battery we were in imminent danger from our own battery, whose shell fell close to us on all sides.

Leading my men, as I stated above, to the pike, I heard a sharp platoon fire on my right, which lasted about two minutes, and shortly after this I saw Major Beaumont's men rally on a hill on the right of the