War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0049 Chapter XXXVII. ENGAGEMENT AT KELLY'S FORD, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

the west from the ford, one sees half a mile in advance a skirt of woods on higher ground, around the right of which may be seen an open field. It is about one-fourth of a mile through the woods. When the head of my column reached the western edge of this timber, the enemy were discovered rapidly advancing in line, with skirmishers in front. I immediately ordered the Fourth New York to the right, to form front into line and advance to the edge of the woods and use carbines; the Fourth Pennsylvania to the left, with the same orders, and a section of artillery to the front to open fire. Sent to McIntosh to form line of battle on the right of the woods; Reno to send there squadrons to act as a reserve to the right, and one section to the right with McIntosh.

The Fourth Pennsylvania and Fourth New York, I regret to say, did not come up to the mark at first, and it required some personal exertions on the part of myself and staff to bring them under the enemy's fire, which was now sweeping the woods. They soon regained their firmness, and opened with effect with their carbines. At this moment I observed two or three columns of the enemy moving at a trot toward my right. I immediately went to the threatened point, and found that it was a question which should obtain possession of a house and outbuildings situated there. McIntosh soon decided it by establishing some dismounted men of the Sixteenth thereabouts, and the section of artillery soon opened with splendid effect. The right was then advanced into open field beyond the house, and the enemy's left attacked by McIntosh and Gregg. Duffie in the meantime had formed the First Rhode Island, Fourth Pennsylvania to charge him.

Perceiving his want of Support, I called to Reno for there squadrons, and we went to the left at a gallop, while Duffie advanced in splendid order and charged the enemy. The gallantry of Duffie had, perhaps, made him forged to leave any portion of his command as a support, excepting the Fourth New York. Two squadrons of the Fifth United States rushed across the field, while McIntosh came in on the left flank of a fresh rebel in magnificent style. Had in been possible to reach the enemy's flank when Duffie charged with the Fifth United States or Third Pennsylvania, 300 to 500 prisoners might have been captured, but the distance was too great for the time, the ground was very heavy, and the charge was made three minutes too soon, and without any prearmed support.

a little reorganization was requisite before advancing farther. It was necessary to form my line again and get stragglers from the Fourth New York and other regiments out of the woods behind, to assemble the sections of the battery, bring up the reserve, and give orders with regard to the wounded and prisoners. These duties occupied me half an hour or more. In advancing from the field we had won, I found the ground impracticable on the left of th road, by reason of its mashby condition. My left was, therefore, rested on the road, and the advance given to a squadron of the Fifth, under Lieutenants Sweatman. After advancing in line of battle there-quarters of a mile, driving the enemy before us through the woods, with the artillery supported by column upon the road, we found ourselves through the woods and in the face of the enemy, draw up in line of battle on both sides of the road half a mile in front. It became necessary to extend my line to the left as soon as possible.

The enemy opened two field-pieces upon the road with precession, and