War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0340 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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did not reach him. His skirmishers, under the immediate direction of Colonel Warren, were busy keeping down the fire of the enemy's infantry, and with the artillery effectually prevented the enemy's cannoneers from manning their guns.

Darkness concealed the movements of the enemy and enabled them to remove a portion of their artillery before our attacking party scaled the heights. The result of the day's action was the capture of 5 pieces, 2 caissons, 2 caisson bodies, 2 forges, and some 400 stand of arms; also 1 battle-flag. Our loss was small in numbers. Some excellent officers and men were killed and wounded. The party was recalled during the night, and the whole command bivouacked within reach of the fords.

Cavalry having been directed to cross the river at daybreak and the commander to co-operate with me in an advance, I directed Generals Morell and Sykes to cross about 7 a. m. on the 20th their divisions, preceding their main columns by advanced guards thrown well forward on the roads to Shepherdstown and Charlestown. About 8 a. m. I was informed by General Sykes that the skirmishers of his advanced guard (cavalry not having then crossed) had met the enemy advancing in large force on the Charlestown road. I directed the recall at once of this force, and proceeded immediately to the ford, over which I found rapidly returning such of the cavalry as had crossed. Seeing the small force of infantry on the opposite bank (two brigades of Sykes' and a part of one of Morell's), and the impossibility of getting over and forming sufficient force in time to meet the attack, I ordered all to withdraw and take shelter within the canal, which afforded admirable protection and means of using effectually our own fire. At the same time the hills immediately on the banks of the river were well lined with skirmishers, and the artillery, well posted, commenced playing on the advancing foe. Under cover of our guns the whole command recrossed with little injury except to the One hundred and eighteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, a small portion of which became confused early in the action. Their arms (spurious Enfield rifles*) were so defective that little injury could be inflicted by them upon the enemy. Many of this regiment, new in service, volunteered the previous evening, and formed part of the attacking party which gallantly crossed the river to secure the enemy's artillery. They have earned a good name which the losses of the day did not diminish.

The attacking column was from a part of Jackson's corps, the main portion of which lay concealed in the adjacent woods. The loss of the enemy that day is not known. Under the fire of the artillery and a portion of the infantry which was poured into his advancing columns, it must have been heavy.

Some of the guns from which the enemy had been drive the day previous by the combined fire of the corps artillery and infantry, and whose supports were routed the evening previous, were secured and brought to this side. I am pleased to be able to state that Company D (Griffin's), Fifth Artillery, regained one of its guns lost at the first battle of Bull Run, and will retain it with the permission of the major-general commanding. A return of ordnance captured accompanies this report; also a list of casualties.+

I respectfully refer to the reports of Brigadier-General Sykes and Colonel Hays and their respective brigade and battery commanders for the details of the operations of their commands, and to commend to the


* These defective arms had been reported to the General-in-Chief, but all efforts to replace them had failed. - NOTE ON ORIGINAL REPORT.

+Embodied in revised statements, pp. 194, 204.