War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0317 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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Beck's battery, of McLean's brigade, was sent me, he in turn being relieved by Captain Buell, of the reserve artillery, in about two hours. The enemy ceased firing about 3 o'clock p.m.

My infantry, which at the commencement of the action I had placed under cover of the woods on either flank of the battery, had suffered but little - some 2 killed and 12 or 13 wounded by canister and shell.

About 3 p.m., wishing to ascertain the cause of the enemy's silence, I determined to cross the river, and accordingly sent for my cavalry, numbering about 150 effective men. I then crossed the ford, sending a company of sharpshooters across and deploying them, ordering their advance up the hill occupied in the morning by the enemy's batteries, myself with my cavalry in the mean while going around by the road. Arriving at the summit of the hill, I discovered the greater part of the enemy's wagon train, accompanied by their rear guard, moving up the river in the direction of Sulphur Springs. Their cavalry, upon discovering us, gave the alarm, hurrying off their teams and stragglers in the greatest confusion. I posted a platoon of cavalry as vedettes, at the same time throwing forward 20 of my sharpshooters, who commenced skirmishing with their rear guard. Being merely reconnoitering, and not having sufficient force to pursue their trains, I ordered my two remaining companies of cavalry into line, under protection of the hill.

The remainder of the company of sharpshooters I deployed as skirmishers, ordering them to feel their way into the woods on my left. They had scarcely entered the woods they met the enemy's skirmishers, and from their number and the length of their line Inferred that they had a large force to back them. Shortly after they opened a heavy fire to my left and rear beyond the woods I had thrown my skirmishers in, which I afterward learned was the attack of the enemy upon Bohlen's brigade, which had crossed the river below me. It now being sundown, and not being allowed to bring any force across, I returned, my brigade resting for the night without changing position.

At 7 a.m. 23rd received orders to move in the direction of Sulphur Springs,my brigade bringing up the rear of the corps. When a short distance en route I was directed to take a road on my left, a rougher but shorter route to the Springs, the main body of the corps having continued on the main road. Upon coming into the main road again I found myself in advance of the corps. When within a mile of the bridge across Great Run I found our cavalry in line of battle behind the woods. Upon inquiring the cause, I was informed that the enemy were in force at and across the run and had fired on them. Upon this information I passed them with my brigade, and finding the rebel guns in position across the creek, I placed my battery in a commanding position on this side and commenced shelling them, at the same time throwing my infantry into the woods, who soon found and opened a brisk fire into the rebel infantry in front of them on our side of the creek, my men being exposed from the commencement to a cross-fire of grape and canister from a masked battery across the creek. But notwithstanding all these odds we soon forced them across the creek and to retire for protection behind their guns. The enemy having torn up the bridge, and it now being dark, I encamped my brigade for the night a short distance back from the banks of the creek.

Next morning, 24th, a strong pioneer party having been put to work on the bridge to repair for our artillery to cross, I crossed my infantry upon the sleepers, now waiting for my cavalry or artillery. I deployed a strong skirmishing party and was soon on the track of the enemy, who had fallen back during the night to their main body, which had