War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0770 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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the river near a small mill. We followed it, and laid in a hollow nearly in its rear until about 2.30 o'clock in the evening.

During this time we saw parties of the enemy retreating in confusion, under the fire of our batteries, down the right bank of the Shenandoah. They were pursued by our cavalry until they reached the point where the road enterers the woods. At that point the enemy made a stand, and their artillery drove our cavalry back.

About 2.30 o'clock in the evening the battalion was ordered to rejoin the brigade. In order to do so it was necessary for us to march back on the Harrisonburg road to a point near the Three-mile sign-post from Port Republic. At that point we were met by Captain Nalson, of General Ewell's staff, and conducted to a position occupied by Colonel Letcher's regiment [Fifty-eighth] Virginia Volunteers, a short distance to the left of the road, about a mile farther toward Harrisonburg. We took our place in line of battle on the left of that regiment in prolongation of that line. It was then about 4 o'clock in the evening. We remained here about an hour, and during this time a number of shells and Minie balls passed near us. In the mean time Colonel Patton, who commanded our brigade, came up with the Forty-second Regiment Virginia Volunteers, and drew up in line of battle to our left.

About 5.15 in the evening the brigade moved forward in line of battle through the woods. A line of skirmishers preceded us and drove out a few skirmishers of the enemy with some loss on each side. After proceeding a short distance we changed direction to the right, and, proceeding down a considerable declivity and across a small stream, approached-the road. Shortly before we reached the road the Seventh Regiment Louisiana Volunteers joined us and formed on our left. As we reached the road a sharp fire from the enemy drove in our skirmishers, and we halted. We remained in this position from about 7.30 o'clock in the evening until a little before daybreak the next morning.. From the side of the road, a few yards in front of us, I observed a battery of the enemy about 500 yards to our left at an angle of about 450 with our line. A short distance in front of the battery a line of the enemy's infantry, composed of abut two regiments, according to my estimate, were drawn up behind a rail fence. A small wheat field in front of them was occupied by a number of their skirmishers and another body of their troops occupied a large piece of woods in front of us. At dark the latter body moved across the wheat field and joined the troops drawn up behind the fence. They all immediately built fires, and we could see a number of camp-fires behind them. We could distinctly hear the voices of the skirmishers in the wheat field.

In the course of the night a scouting party, consisting of a sergeant and 4 men of the Fifth Connecticut Cavalry, rode up to a picket which we had put out on the road and were captured. They said they were entirely ignorant of the fact that we were in their vicinity.

In the early part of the night I sent back a detail from each company to cook provisions at our previous encampment, whither some of our wagons had been ordered to return for that purpose.

A little before daybreak on the morning of the 9th instant we marched back through the woods to a point near the Three-mile sign-post which I have mentioned. Here the Forty-second Regiment and the battalion were ordered to join General Trimble's brigade. While we were at this point Major Seddon rejoined the battalion and assumed the command of it, but as that officer is now absent I shall continue to give an account of the operations of the battalion during that day.