War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0544 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

opposition, almost, if not entirely, to the lookout, on the top of the mountain; and although they arrived at the heights too late, yet during the after part of the conflict the gallant young colonel, with his entire command, aided with grant forethought, courage, and coolness, saving to us many valuable lives, and harassing the enemy at every point where he attacked them.

At about 12 o'clock Colonel Sammon, with seven companies of his regiment (One hundred and fifteenth New York), arrived on the heights. Five companies, under the command of the colonel. were placed in position to support Captain McGrath's battery, and the remaining two companies were sent to the mountain top, under command of the lieutenant-colonel. This regiment behaved will, all its officers and men maintaining to the last the various positions assigned them. Severe skirmishing continued at all points on the mountain until 3.30 o'clock, great force from the front and right, whilst at the same moment an entire brigade of the enemy were about to turn our left flank. In obedience to the positive orders of Colonel Miles, I ordered the guns to be spiked and dismounted and the forces withdrawn to the opposite side of the river, all of which was done in good order. I have been unable to ascertain accurately the number of killed and wounded in the engagements, but, from the best information that can be obtained, our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was about 160 men; whilst that of the enemy (from information obtained from themselves and from our own observations) must have been between 600 and 700 in killed and wounded. Captain McGrath, throughout the entire engagement, proved himself every inch a soldier, and it is unnecessary for me to say that as an artillerist he has few equals and no superiors. Under his well-directed fire, shot and shell spread dismay and detach on every side of the enemy.

Of Colonel Sherrill I have only to say that he is a true soldier and a gallant man; also his adjutant, whom I do not know; and many other officers of his regiment behaved well, whose names i have never known.

The Thirty-second Ohio, under command of major Hewitt; the Thirty-ninth New York, under command of major Hildbrandt; a detachment of the Potomac Home Brigade, under command of Major John A Steiner; a detachment of the First Maryland Cavalry, under command of Captain Russell, officers and men, all aided with great courage and coolness, and too much credit cannot be awarded them. Major Corliss, of the Rhode Island cavalry, was withdrawn from the heights early in the engagement by order of Colonel Miles.

Instances of individual courage were numerous, but space forbids that I should enumerate them in this report.

On the 7th instant, whilst the enemy were crossing in great force at Point of Rocks, Captain Russell, with 50 cavalry, attacked them, killing 3 and taking 17 prisoners; among the number was a captain and a lieutenant.

On the evening before the general engagement, Captain Banning, with four companies, all under command of my aide-de-camp, R. H. Bentley, attacked and captured the enemy's pickets within full view of the enemy's camp, and brought them to my headquarters as prisoners of war.

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade

Brigadier General JULIUS WHITE.