War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0725 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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the enemy was found to have retired a short distance beyond the town and taken position on a commanding height to the right of the turnpike. Their force consisted apparently of a section of artillery, supported by a regiment or more of infantry. I at once sent back to order up all the batteries of Major-General Ewell's division, which was in front, while I proceeded in person to reconnoiter the ground to the left of the enemy's position, with a view to planting our own guns. The division of Major-General Ewell had only joined us a day or so previous, and I wa, therefore, unfamiliar with the composition of his batteries, which I afterward found to contain but three rifled guns in all. Guns of this kind were necessary, on account of the nature of the approaches to the enemy's position, and also because their guns were found to be rifled.

It so happened that the first of our batteries which reported to me consisted of smooth-bore 6-pounder and 12-pounder howitzers, and had therefore to be ordered aside. The next battery which came up, that of Captain Courtney, contained but one rifled gun, which was put in position, under charge of Lieutenant Latimer, and exchanged shots with the enemy, though it was, of course, unequal to the task of silencing their guns.

After a short time Captain Brockenbrough's battery came up, and two of his guns having been planted and opened on the enemy, a brisk cannonade of some ten or fifteen minutes was kept up, with no injury to ourselves and no apparent damage to the enemy. At the end of this time the opposing battery drew off and the enemy began his retreat. Captain Lusk's battery having by this time come up, I took from it two rifled guns and started in pursuit.

About a mile or more from the village the enemy had planted a gun and left a few skirmishers on a ridge commanding the bridge over the river, which they had set on fire. A few shells dispersed them, and the fire being extinguished, the bridge was crossed and the pursuit continued. Owing to the jaded condition of our horses and the rapidity of the enemy's movements our artillery did not overtake them again during the chase, and took no further part in the affair.

Both of the guns of the enemy, with their two caissons, were captured by our cavalry, together with seven battery horses and three sets of artillery harness. The harness was turned over to Captain Cutshaw. One gun and caisson were given to Captain Poague in lieu of a 4-pounder rifled gun belonging to his battery, and the remaining gun and caisson to Captain Brockenbrough, to replace one of his Blakeley 12-pounder guns, which had an assembling-bolt in the cheek broken by the strain on its carriage during the firing. Both the captured pieces were 10-pounder Parrott rifled guns. In this affair our guns were badly served and did no execution.

On the following day (Saturday, May 24) two rifled guns from Captain Poague's battery were detailed to accompany Chew's battery, and the cavalry, under the late Colonel Ashby, from Cedarville toward Middletown. The remaining batteries marched with their brigades. Arriving near the Valley turnpike, on the southern edge of Middletown, the wagon train of the enemy was seen moving down the valley, its right flank covered by a small force, which was quickly dispersed by a few shots, and retired toward Middletown. A few shells quickly fired into the train cut off a large portion of it in the rear, and I was preparing to move our guns down the pike after the rest, when a large body of the enemy's cavalry came dashing down the turnpike from Middletown. As our infantry supports were yet some distance in the