march in double-quick time through certain gaps and gates upon the eastern side of, and close to, the road, which was then filled with our wagons. My purpose was, having slight advantage in distance as well as in the declivities of the hill, to make the same point before them, and to cut them off from any attack on my charge. In this effort I succeeded, but not in sufficient time to prevent them spreading themselves in most favorable ground and shelter before my regiment could ensconce itself behind the fence with I desired as a cover. After a volley from Company F, Company A having been detached in support of a battery in advance, a rapid and irregular fire now ensued throughout both bodies of combatants. This lasted until, apparently, being satisfied that the Ninety-third Regiment could not be moved from its position, and, consequently, that they could not succeed in the purpose of their ambuscade and assault, they fled precipitately and universally as far up the valley as we could see.
Our loss in this action was but 1 killed and 3 wounded. Considering the closeness of the range, the deliberateness and duration of the enemy's fire, and the almost rash exposure of several of my companies, these casualties are strangely small in number. What injury was inflicted upon the enemy I cannot undertake to say, and will not guess. Neither will I, in my inexperience in such matters, profess to estimate his numbers. They certainly seemed to be largely in excess of our own, and the whole command of the expedition was, in my opinion, surrounded on all sides by large numbers of our foes. It greatly delights me to speak in high and earnest praise of the gallantry and firmness of this new regiment in this its first fight. Every officer and man seemed resolved to do his best, and where all have so well succeeded int hat noble effort it might be invidious to distinguish by name particular persons. Notwithstanding my disposition to regard that restraint upon special praises, I feel myself compelled to specify two instances of marked courage and pertinacious bravery. The one was that of William Gosshorn, fourth corporal in Company F, and the other that of William C. Stewart, private Company C, acting color-bearer. The former, after being painfully wounded in the thigh by one of the first rounds of the engagement, deliberately went into line and loaded and fired at the enemy seven or eight times. The latter, in this his first battle, stood out in front of his company, and of the regiment, with his tall figure and ever-glorious banner elevated to their highest reach, nor could he be persuaded to bend his person, nor to lower his colors.
In conclusion, perhaps overrating the merits of my regiment and the importance of its conduct, I feel free to say, in justice to its men and officers, that I think any less merit than that shown in this fight would have probably lost us our entire train, and it seems to me, now, that this attack, at this time and place, was preconcerted, together with various feints elsewhere, to accomplish that special object. Vanity or undue partiality to my own men may mislead me in this opinion; if so, I can only offer the apology that the error is as natural as it is frank.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Colonel Ninety-third Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Captain WILLIAM MANGAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.