War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0013 Chapter XXXI. RECONNAISSANCE TO SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. VA., ETC.

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I beg most respectfully to call your attention, and, through you, that of the general commanding, to the injustice shish, unintentionally, no doubt, has been done to the brigade I have the honor to command.

The report says:

General Hampton's brigade had retired through martinsburg, on the Tuscarora road, when General Stuart arrived and made dispositions to attack.*

This phraseology implies that the enemy had advanced on Martinsburg through my lines and had driven in my brigade. The following statement will show that such was not the case:

As you are aware, my line extended on the Potomac from Black Creek the mouth of the Opequon, where General Lee joined me. Upon consultation with Colonel Lee (who was in command of the brigade) the day before the advance of the enemy, had said that if his pickets were driven in he would make a stand at Williamston's Cross-Roads, and if forced to retire, would fall back to the stone bridge, which he would hold to the last extremity.

On the morning of October 1, a courier from Colonel Lee informed me that the enemy were advancing on him and, soon after,another courier notified me that Colonel Lee had fallen back to the cross-roads. Expecting an attack upon my own picket line, I ordered my brigade to be ready to move, and I sent a few men from the provost guard toward the stone bridge, to procure information of the movements of the enemy. In a short time they returned, and, to my great surprise, informed me that the enemy had crossed the bridge, and that there were no pickets between that point and Martinsburg. I instantly sent a squadron down toward the bridge and ordered up a gun. Proceeding with this force, I soon saw that the enemy had crossed the bridge, and in a few moments they between me and the town, not more than 600 yards from the latter. This forced me to recall my squadron, and to send the gun into town, the only position which was available. Placing my guns in position here, I ordered my wagons to go by the Romney road (as I had agreed with Colonel Lee do to) to Darkesville. The First North Carolina, with two guns, was sent as an escort for the wagons, and to hold the Winchester road where the cross-road intersected it, in case should have to fall back. After my wagons had all got, off, and messages had been sent to bring in my pickets (all of whom had to retire by Hedgeswille, as the enemy had got completely in their rear), I withdrew my two remaining guns from the town, as I was very unwilling to draw the fire of the enemy upon the village, and placed them in position on a hill commanding both the Winchester and Tuscarora and Romney roads, and between the two. All of the brigade, except the First North Carolina Regiment and the squadrons on picket, were drawn up as a support to these guns on the Tuscarora road, in advance of the camp of the North Carolina and South Carolian regiment. From this position, I wrote to Colonel Lee, telling him that we could retake the town, and the letter was given to one of his pickets, who failed to send it to the colonel.

As soon as I found the enemy retiring, I Ordered up my command before receiving any order from yourself. My brigade went with Lee's to Flagg's Mill, and were then sent to re-establish their picket line, while a section of my artillery proceeded to within 2 miles of Shepherdstown the last position from which Lee's artillery fired that night.

This is a full statement of this as far as my brigade was concerned, and I beg to refer you to Colonel Lee, who will, I am sure, corroborate, the facts as far as they relate to his brigade. I do not attach any blame to him that the positions he had designated to hold were not


*See p. 12