War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0700 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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sent me the First Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Thoburn. I then, with these two regiments and three regiments from the Third Brigade, drove the enemy before me. At this time the enemy's infantry advanced upon our left and took possession of the batteries planted there. I then told General Tyler that we must organize for a retreat, and at this request I gave orders for the same. The artillery was ordered to be brought to the rear, with the exception of two pieces, which, with the Fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, were to cover the retreat. The infantry upon the right was withdrawn, the batteries upon the left retaken, and the retreat was effected as well as could be expected. I myself brought up the rear, General Tyler having gone forward to select a position to make a new stand.

As soon as we commenced the retreat the enemy turned and opened upon us portions of Clark's, Huntington's, and Robinson's batteries, that they had taken from us on the left, which threw the rear of our column in great disorder, causing them to take to the woods, and making it for the earlier part of the retreat apparently a rout. Their cavalry also charged upon our rear, increasing the confusion. I did all I could to organize the rear, but the front was led with such speed that it was impossible to do so under 2 or 2 1/2 miles, when I succeeded in halting the three rear regiments of my brigade and organizing them.

Total loss, 234; loss of day before, 40; aggregate loss, 274. Battery L lost this day one piece and limber, two caissons, and 24 horses. The loss of the enemy was greater than ours, for grape and canister were poured into them with terrible effect, and the ground was strewn with their dead. A Louisiana regiment before our right was almost annihilated. The action lasted about four hours without cessation.

In conclusion I would say that all my command, both officers and men, acted most gallantly, and that, although it may seem invidious to particularize where all did so nobly, I cannot forbear mentioning Captain Keily, of General Shields' staff, who was severely wounded; Captain Goodrich, temporarily assigned to duty with me, and Lieutenants Reid and Lostutter, of my own staff; Colonel Thoburn, First Virginia Volunteers; Colonel Gavin, Seventh Indiana Volunteers; Colonel Lewis, One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers; Major Barrett, commanding Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Lieutenant Baker, of Captain Clark's battery, who was in my wing during the action.

The enemy contested every inch of ground, but we drove his superior force for nearly half a mile, and continued to drive him until his re-enforcements alone largely exceeded our whole command.

Colonel Gavin, Major Patterson, Seventh Indiana Volunteers, and myself had our horses killed under us in the heat of the action.

Sir, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Commanding Fourth Brigade.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.