War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0280 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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on slowly. Milroy in the mean while had deployed to the right of the road, and soon became engaged with the enemy. Our division was advanced until we reached the edge of the woods and halted. In front of us was an open space (which also extended to the right of the road and to our right) beyond which was another wood. We remained here nearly an hour, the firing in the mean while becoming heavy on the right. The enemy had a battery very advantageously placed on a high ridge behind the woods in front of Milroy, on the right of the road. It was admirably served and entirely concealed. Our position becoming known, their fire was directed toward us. The general determined, therefore, to advance, and so pushed on across the open space in front and took position in the woods beyond. We here discovered that we were on the battle ground of the night before, and found the hospital of Gibbon's brigade, who had engaged the enemy. The battery of the enemy still continued. We had no artillery. De Beck's and Schirmer's ammunition having given out, and Buell's battery, which had reported, after a not contest with the enemy (who had every advantage in position and range), was compelled to retire.

It was now determined to flank the battery and capture it, and for this purpose General Schenck ordered one of his aides to reconnoiter the position. Before he returned, however, we were requested by General Milroy to assist him, as he was very heavily pressed. General Stahel was immediately ordered to proceed with his brigade to Milroy's support. It was about this time (1 or 2 o'clock) that a line of skirmishers were observed approaching us from the rear. They proved to be of General Reynolds's division.* We communicated with General Reynolds at once, who took his position on our left, and at General Schenck's suggestion he sent a battery to our right in the woods for the purpose of flanking the enemy's. They secured a position, and were engaged with him about an hour, but with what result we were not informed. General Reynolds now sent us word that he had discovered the enemy bearing down upon his left in heavy columns, and that he intended to fall back to the first woods behind the cleared space, and had already put his troops in motion. We therefore accommodated ourselves to his movement.

It was about this time that your order came to press toward the right. We returned answer that the enemy were in force in front of us, and that we could not do so without leaving the left much exposed. General Schenck again asked for some artillery. General Stahel's brigade, that and been sent to General Milroy's assistance, having accomplished its object under a severe fire, had returned, and soon after General Stevens reported with two regiments of infantry and a battery of four 20-pounder Parrott guns. With these re-enforcements we determined to advance again and reoccupy the woods in front of the cleared space, and communicated this intention to General Reynolds. He, however, had fallen back on our left some distance to the rear. He was therefore requested to make his connection with our left. The Parrotts in the mean while were placed in position, and under the admirable management of Lieutenant Benjamin did splendidly. Two mountain howitzers also reported, and were placed on our right in the edge of the woods near the road, and commenced shelling the woods in front of the open space, which were now occupied by the enemy, our


* See Reynolds to McDowell, October 9, and Chesebrought to McDowell, October 20, in Appendix C to McDowell's report.