War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0318 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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crossed the river by the bridge at Sulphur Springs, my skirmishers advancing as far as the Springs. As soon as my infantry appeared on the heights commanding the bridge across Hedgeman's River the enemy, who were in position, opened fire from the opposite shore. I sent back for my battery and returned their fire. The other batteries of the corps soon coming up a general artillery engagement ensued, which resulted in our driving their gunners away, leaving their pieces very temptingly displayed. Wishing to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity in securing their guns, I had just crossed the bridge, with one of my regiments (the Fifth Virginia) following close behind, and when nearly in reach of the price found myself in a hornet's nest. As if by magic the woods and hills became alive with the enemy; the deserted batteries were suddenly manned, and a semicircle of guns nearly a mile around us commenced pouring a steady stream of shell and canister upon the bridge. I called to my regiment, which was then crossing, to retire, which it did in very good order and rapid style. Our batteries immediately responded to their fire, thus drawing their attention away from us. In a moment the air was perfectly alive with shot and shell, and I took advantage of their elevation to join my command.

At this juncture I received orders to take the advance of the corps in the direction of Waterloo Bridge, 6 miles above Warrenton Springs. I got my brigade in motion and arrived at the bridge about 5 p.m. I placed Dieckmann's battery in position on a commanding eminence on the left of the road and near the bridge, immediately opening fire upon a rebel battery across the river, at the same time throwing my skirmishers down near the bridge and along the bank, where they were soon engaging the rebel skirmishers. Thus matters stood when darkness partially put an end to the firing, but the enemy opened on us furiously several times during the night with small-arms, which was promptly replied to.

On the morning of the 25th the batteries on both sides opened again, and continued through the day without serious loss to us. About 3 p.m. I received orders to burn the bridge at once at all hazards, and to this end brought forward my four regiments on infantry to engage the enemy's infantry, concealed in the woods near the bridge on the opposite bank. By keeping up a steady artillery and infantry fire I succeeded in covering a party firing the bridge, which, being of heavy oak, burned but slowly, and it was not till dark that the bridge was entirely consumed. We then received orders to march to Warrenton, my brigade to bring up the rear of the corps. We left about 9 p.m. and arrived at Warrenton next morning at daylight. Here we remained in camp until the morning of the 27th, when we received orders to take the advance in the direction of Gainesville.

My cavalry, upon arriving at Broad Run, within 4 miles of Gainesville, found the bridge on fire, and the rebel cavalry with one piece of artillery drawn up the opposite side. Major Krepps, commanding my cavalry detachment, immediately ordered a charge, and after two successive charges succeeded in putting them to flight. By this time my infantry had arrived, and I set the Pioneer Corps to work repairing the bridge, which was executed with such promptness that in fifteen minutes after we were enabled to cross our artillery. Meanwhile I had pushed ahead with my cavalry and infantry in the direction of Gainesville. When within 2 miles of Gainesville I sent a platoon of cavalry with a regiment of infantry and a section of my battery to hold the road leading to Hay Market Station. With the rest of the brigade I continued on the main road, and upon approaching Gainesville found