War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0292 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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Fourth Ohio to the left, moving, right in front, to the railroad depot, where I ordered them to deploy to the right as skirmishers. Captain Grubb, Fourth Ohio, was detailed to go with the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer, and Captain Jones, Fourth Ohio, with the First Delaware, as these officers had previously made a reconnaissance of the ground. The movement was ordered as above, as there was a deep canal, about 15 feet wide, and from 4 to 6 feet in depth, on our front, which could only be crossed by bridges at the heads of different streets. As soon as our column debouched from the streets, the enemy opened a very heavy cross-fire of artillery on our troops, doing very great execution. At the same time their line of skirmishers opened with a well-directed fire of small-arms.

At this time Lieutenant-Colonel Godman, Captain Wallace, and 16 men of the Fourth Ohio and several of the First Delaware were wounded.

The deployment was made under the most terrific fire, and the connection made with the Eight Ohio, when the line advance, driving the enemy's skirmishers before them until we reached a ridge, which partially sheltered our men, about 400 yards to the front, the intervening ground being very muddy and obstructed in places by fences. Then they were ordered to lie down and hold the line. The ground beyond was a slope toward the front; at its foot a ravine, lined with rebel infantry, posted under cover. To their rear the hill rose abruptly; on its crest the enemy's batteries were in full play, commanding the ground in front, and also the whole rear to the town, except the small slope under which our men were sheltered. The right of the line moved forward at the same time and took up their position, partially sheltered by some houses, in addition to the natural configuration of the ground. I attach the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer, marked A.*

General Kimball's brigade formed in good order, under a heavy enfilading fire, and moved briskly forward to our support. This re-enforcement enabled the line to be maintained, but did not warrant an advance or a charge. I regret to say that General Kimball was severely wounded in the right leg while gallantly leading his brigade forward.

Upon the arrival of these troops, having to move at a double-quick for nearly a quarter of a mile under a fire of both artillery and infantry, and after having been formed in line under a heavy fire, they were so completely exhausted as to be unable to make a farther advance without resting, and useless without full support. This brigade remained on this line for some time unsupported, when a second, third, and fourth line advanced, but were unable to gain ground beyond our line.

On moving to our right, I learned that General Kimball had been wounded. I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer to take charge of the skirmishers, when I was joined by Lieutenant Swigart, Eighth Ohio, aide-de-camp to General Kimball, who informed me that I was to take command of the brigade, but not to advance until the order for a charge was given, and to look out for the right. The Seventh [West] Virginia had arrived and was supporting the Eighth Ohio. Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer was directed to watch the right with these two parts of regiments, and resist a charge at the point of the bayonet. As Kimball's brigade was the first to gain the line, its front was necessarily very much extended to cover it; and, as fresh troops arrived, they at once took position with those already on the line, lying down on the ground. As a consequence, it was almost impossible to keep up regimental organization. I then moved to the right, and having found Captain Mason, adjutant-


*See No. 99, p. 298.