point, which I was directed to secure and hold, was occupied by the enemy in force, I caused immediate preparations to be made for an attack. The enemy was strongly posted on both sides of the road, which made a steep ascent through a narrow defile, wooded on both sides, and offering great advantages of cover and position. Their advance was posted near the base of the mountain, in the rear of a stone wall, stretching to the right of the road at a point where the ascent was gradual, and for the most part over open fields. Eight guns had been stationed on the road, and at points on the sides and summit of the mountain to the left of the pass.
It was evident that the position could be carried only by infantry attack. Accordingly, I directed Major-General Slocum to advance his division through the village of Burkittsville, and commence the attack upon the right. Wolcott's First Maryland Battery was stationed on the left and to the rear of the village, and maintained a steady fire on the positions of the enemy until they were assailed and carried by our troops. Smith's division was placed in reserve on the east side of the village, and held in readiness to co-operate with General Slocum, or support his attack, as occasion might require. Captain Ayres' battery, of this division, was posted on a commanding ground to the left of the reserves, and kept up an uninterrupted fire on the principal battery of the enemy until the latter was drive from its position.
The advance of General Slocum was made with admirable steadiness through a well-directed fire from the batteries on the mountain, the brigade of Colonel Bartlett taking the lead, followed at proper inter vales by the brigades of General Newton and Colonel Torbet. Upon fully determining the enemy's position, the skirmishers were withdrawn, and Colonel Bartlett became engaged along his entire line. He maintained his ground steadily under a severe fire for some time at a manifest disadvantage, until re-enforced by two regiments of General Newton's brigade upon his right, and the brigade of Colonel Torbert and the two remaining regiments of Newton's on his left. The line of battle thus formed, an immediate charge was ordered, and most gallantly executed. The men swept forward, with a cheer, over the stone wall, dislodging the enemy, and pursuing him up the mountain side to the crest of the hill and down the opposite slope. This single charge, sustained as it was over a great distance, and on a rough ascent of unusual steepness, was decisive. The enemy was driven in the utmost confusion from a position of strength, and allowed no opportunity for even an attempt to rally until the pass was cleared and in the possession of our troops.
When the division under General Slocum first became actively engaged, I directed General Brook's brigade, of Smith's division, to advance upon the left of the road, and dislodge the enemy from the woods upon Slocum's flank. The movements was promptly and steadily made, under a severe artillery fire. General Brooks occupied the woods after a slight resistance, and then advanced, simultaneously with General Slocum, rapidly and in good order, to the crest of the mountain. The victory was completed, and its achievement followed so rapidly upon the first attack that the enemy's reserves, although pushed forward at the double-quick, arrived but in time to participate in the flight, and add confusion to the rout. Four hundred prisoners from seventeen different organizations, 700 stand of arms, 1 piece of artillery, and 3 stand of colors were captured, while numberless articles of equipment, knapsacks, haversacks, blankets, &c., were abandoned by the enemy in their flight.