War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0808 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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officer or private in my command failed in doing his whole duty as a soldier.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE CROOK,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain G. M. BASCOM,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Clarke, Thirty-sixth Ohio Infantry.

LEWISBURG, May 23, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to your order of this morning, issued on the approach of the enemy under General Heth, I formed the regiment which I had the honor to command on the left of the line of your brigade, my position being to the left of the road leading to Greenbrier Bridge, and at the foot of a steep declivity, having an elevation of some 50 feet, and along the brow of which were several houses surrounded by inclosure, beyond which the larger portion of the enemy's infantry, commanded by General Heth in person, were formed.

Having taken this position I at once marched my battalion to the top of the steep declivity, and passing the houses over numerous fences found myself in front of the enemy, who was posted behind a fence, and immediately opened a brisk fire upon us, which was returned with promptness and alacrity.

For a short time the fight was very sharp. I continued to advance until the line of the battalion was within 40 yards of that of the enemy, when they fled in confusion. The firing ceased only when the enemy had got beyond our range. We pursued the enemy a considerable distance, but as they fled with great speed it was impossible to keep up with them. A large number of their dead and wounded lay behind the fence where they were first posted and scattered through the fields beyond.

Though the first battle in which the regiment was ever engaged, the men behaved nobly. From the time we arrived beyond the hoses we had to pass and received the first of the enemy the battalion pressed steadily and firmly forward int he face of a galling fire. Not a man flinched. The steadiness, firmness, and determination and vigor with which the line moved on, together with the rapidity and accuracy of our fie, seemed to inspire the enemy-though twice our number or more-with terror. But nine companies of my regiment, having an aggregate of 600 men, were in the engagement.

Of the officers, every one was in his place and did his whole duty, exhibiting a courage and determination worthy of all praise. It would be invidious to specify any as peculiarly worthy of commendation when all so well merit it. The casualties of the engagement in my regiment are-killed, 5; wounded, 41; missing, 4.* The missing were on picket duty on the Greenbier Bridge road and were probably prisoners.

All which is respectfully submitted.

I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

M. CLARKE,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Thirty-sixth Regiment Ohio Vol. Infantry.

Colonel GEORGE CROOK, Commanding Third Brigade.

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*Nominal list omitted.

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