War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0316 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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banks of Crooked Creek. Nothing of importance occurred during the interval excepting the capture, on the 16th, of a lieutenant and 3 privates of the Second Virginia while on picket by a party of rebel cavalry. At 4 p.m. of the 18th received orders to prepare to fall back as far as Sulphur Springs, the enemy being reported as advancing in great force from Richmond. I soon had my brigade in readiness, and remained under arms until 4 a.m., when orders were received to move with my brigade in the rear, General Pope's command having required all night to withdraw.

On the 19th we marched all day, passing through Culpeper, and encamping at midnight about 4 miles north of that place, on the Sulphur Springs road.

On the 20th at daylight resumed march toward Sulphur Springs, reaching there at 5 p.m. without any signs of the enemy in our rear.

Started on the morning of the 21st, with brigade in advance of corps, in the direction of Rappahannock Station, to re-enforce Banks and McDowell, who had thus far prevented the enemy from crossing the river at that point, and found a heavy artillery engagement going on. We arrived about noon, and were ordered to rest near General Pope's headquarters until a position in the field could be assigned me. About 2 p.m. I was ordered to advance toward the river and take position on the right of King's division. After advancing about a half mile my brigade was divided, yourself, general, taking two regiments along the road, myself moving with the other two through the fields, a small squad of rebel cavalry, who had been watching our movements from the edge of the woods in front of us, fleeing at our approach.

Upon arriving at the edge of the woods I halted my column and allowed the sharpshooters skirmishers some five minutes in advance. I then started my two regiments, crossed the woods, about a quarter of a mile in width, and halted, finding ourselves on the right of the line of skirmishers then engaged, established by General Patrick, of King's division. Remaining here some two hours, the enemy making no demonstration, I fell back to the fields in the rear of the woods to rest for the night. In the mean while you, general, had placed my infantry and battery in position near the road on my right. Thus disposed of, we rested until the following morning.

On the morning of the 22nd I was early ordered to take the advance in the direction of Freeman's Ford, about 1 1/2 miles in front and to the right of us, where the enemy had massed the night previous, and were then holding the ford. When within a quarter of a mile of the ford, in order to reconnoiter and select position, I hurried forward, accompanied by my cavalry, being screened in my approach by a long belt of pines bordering on the river. Arriving at the edge of the pines I halted my cavalry, and, accompanied by my staff, crossed the road and ascended an eminence commanding the ford. Scarcely three minutes had elapsed when the enemy opened upon me from two batteries with grape and shell. I immediately hurried my cavalry across the road to a safe position, and ordered my battery, under Captain Johnson, forward on the double-quick. Too much praise cannot be awarded the captain for the promptness and skill exhibited in bringing his battery into position. In less than five minutes after receipt of the order he had his pieces in action amid a perfect shower of shot, shell, and canister from three of the rebel batteries, and in ten minutes after had silenced their heaviest battery. He continued engaging the enemy for about two hours, compelling them to constantly change the position of their guns, when, his ammunition having given out, I asked for another battery. Captain De