War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0135 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN LOUDOUN COUNTY, ETC.

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the crest of the hill overlooking the river, when the enemy's batteries opened lively upon us; but here we were protected in a great measure by the woods. Having arrived on the crest of the hill, I ordered a halt, believing the main body had then the proper position to make the required reconnaissance. I remained in the wood with the regiment, but in a short distance from the road, and seeing some officers on the road whom I took for staff officers, I called for orders, and was answered, "Move forward." I did so. Captain Weed, of the artillery, was near, and must have heard the order. A number of my officers heard it. I moved forward to the river under a heavy fire of artillery and some musketry, the greater part of the latter from hidden positions. I expected to meet a body of the rebel infantry, covered by the river bank. Our skirmishers fired on and, I believe, killed a number of those of the enemy. At the bank of the river I ordered the regiment to lie down, but, finding the left of the line had not come up, believed there was some mistake, and retired without orders to the wood. Here I met Lieutenant-Colonel Sargent, who asked me to send back a flag of truce for the wounded. I did so, and turned over the regiment to Captain Overton, and remained in the rear to see that the wounded were properly attended to.

The following is a list of officers with the regiment: Captain O'Connell, commanding First Battalion and the regiment: Companies A, Lieutenant Henton; B, Lieutenant Walker; C, Lieutenants Collins and Doebler; D, Lieutenant Bellows; F, Captain Smedberg and Lieutenant Sinclair; G, Lieutenants Brodhead and McKibbin; H, Captain Watson and Lieutenant Moroney, and Lieutenant Loosley, adjutant. Second Battalion, commanded by Captain Overton; Companies E and D, Captain O'Beirne; C, Lieutenant Perry; F and B, Lieutenant Porter; G, Captain Locke, and Assistant Surgeon Jaquett. Companies E, First, and H and A, Second Battalion, were left at camp on picket, and Captain Keyes as field officer of the day.

The casualties were as follows: First Battalion, wounded, 11 enlisted men. Second Battalion, 1 commissioned officer, 15 enlisted men wounded; since died, 5 enlisted men. It is feared, from the nature of the wounds, that a number of the wounded will die. A number of the command were struck with stones, thrown by the bursting of shells, &c. Captain Smedberg had his coat shot through.

The regimental officers and men behaved in a manner much to be admired.

It is about 3 1/2 miles to the ford; the road is very good. The river, at and in the vicinity of the ford, is about 6 rods wide, and now fordable. The enemy has about five pieces of artillery on the other side, nearly a quarter of a mile, well supported, I think, by infantry. There are some houses, apparently deserted, on both sides at the ford.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. O'CONNELL,

Captain Fourteenth Infantry, Commanding Regiment in Field.

Lieutenant-Colonel SARGENT,

First Massachusetts Cavalry, near Hdqrs. Fifth Army corps.

[Indorsement.]

Respectfully transmitted to headquarters, with the fullest indorsement as to gallant conduct of the Fourteenth U. S. Infantry in the charge referred to. No order to make such a charge was given by me. When I could no longer maintain my few cavalry under fire so severe-it being yet necessary to force information- I ordered the infantry skir-