War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0827 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

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having exhausted all their ammunition, began to fall back as soon as their support came up, Colonel Parham having already partially supplied them with ammunition. When the other two regiments of General Cobb's brigade came up, he again requested me to put them in position, but they behaved badly and did not get in position before the wildest confusion commenced, the wounded coming to the rear in numbers and more well men coming with them. General Cobb attempted to rally the men, but without the least effect, and it would have been as useless to attempt to rally a flock of frightened sheep. Had General Cobb's brigade given the support to the first troops engaged which they deserved, the gap would have been held. The cavalry horses were on the road leading to Boonsborough, and, having previously retired the artillery on the Harper's Ferry road (every round of ammunition having been fired for some time before), I formed my command, and moved down the mountain, the infantry still running in great disorder on the Harper's Ferry road, followed a short distance by the enemy, who were then between them and the cavalry, who had to go for their horses. The enemy was at the forks of these roads before many of the cavalry, who were the last to give up their position.

The Second Virginia Cavalry lost 1 man killed (Peter Bird, Company D), and 2 men wounded.

Had General Cobb come up in time, the result might have been otherwise. There were two stone walls at the base of the mountain parallel to each other, and one commanding the other, which could have been held against great odds had the troops been in position.

It affords me great pleasure to commend Colonel Parham as a gallant and efficient officer; he did everything in his power to hold his position, and his little command fought splendidly.

Captain Chew used his guns with great coolness and effect, and his battery only retired when he had exhausted every rounds of ammunition. The guns of the Portsmouth Battery were of too short range to be effective.

The cavalry (Second and Twelfth) behaved splendidly under the fire they were placed, and did good service with their rifles.

Colonel Parham's loss must have been heavy, as they were a long time engaged, and the firing was as heavy as I ever heard.

I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Major J. T. W. HAIRSTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

MARCH 4, 1863.

MY DEAR GENERAL: I was ordered off on a scout on Monday, and did not get back until Thursday, and the papers I sent for did not arrive until to-night. I can give a synopsis of our operations only, as I was first under General Ewell, then General G. H. Steuart, then General Ashby, then for a short time had the brigade myself, then under General Robertson, and frequently on detached service. I have omitted all from the time we started to Richmond until we returned and started from Waterloo Bridge.

The fight we had at Crampton's Gap was the heaviest I ever engaged in, and the cavalry fought here with pistols against rifles. I have sent my report to General Stuart, but cannot furnish it now until I hear from