War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0050 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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advanced upon both flanks with great steadiness. They were at once repulsed on the right. The squadrons to form the left were shifted from the right of the road under a terrific fire of short, shell and small arms, and the enemy is superior numbers bore down on my left flank, arriving within 400 yards of the battery, assisted by my aide, Lieutenant Ramsey, soon got two or three pieces playing upon them with damaging effect, and a general cavalry fight ensued on the left. We never lost a foot of ground, but kept steadily advancing until we arrived at a stubble-field, which the enemy set on fire to the windward, to burn us oft. My enemy opened there pieces, two 10-pounded Parrots and one 6-pounded could be discovered about these guns, and front the manner in which they were served it was evident that they were coerced by earthworks. It was also obvious that our artillery could not hurt them.

Our ammunition was of miserable quality and nearly exhausted. There were 18 shells in one section that would not the pieces, the fuses were unreliable, 5-second fuses would explode in two seconds, and many would not explode at all. Theirs, on the contrary, was exceedingly annoying. Firing at a singe company or squadron in line, they would knock a man out of ranks very frequently. As soon as the enemy's heavy guns were opened, his cavalry advanced again on my right, strongly re-enforced. They were repulsed with loss by Watker, of the Fifth, and McIntosh. McIntosh and Gregg pushed on to their left flank until they came to the rifle-pits, which could not early be turned. Their skirmishers again threatened my left, an did was reported to me that infantry had been seen at a distance to my right, moving toward my rear, and the cars could be heard running on the road in rear of the enemy, probably bringing re-enforcements.

It was 5.30 p. m., and it was necessary to advance my cavalry upon their entrenched position, to make a direct and desperate attack, or to withdraw across the river. Either operation wound be attended with immanent hazard. My horses were very much exhausted. We had been successful thus far. I deemed it proper to withdraw. The reserve was advanced in front and deployed to mask the battery, with was withdrawn, and the regiments retired in succession until the ford was reached and crossed without the loss of a man in the operation.

The country in which these operations were conducted is level and open, and had the ground been firm would have been eminently fitted for a cavalry fight.

The principal result achieved by this expedition has been that our

cavalry has been brought to fell their superiority in battle; they have learned the value of discipline and the use of their arms. At the first view, I must confess that two regiments wavered, but they did not lose their sense, and a few energetic remarks brought them to a since of their duty. After that the feeling became stronger throughout the day that it was our fight, and the maneuvers were performed with a precision which the enemy did not fail to observe.

The enemy's first attack was vigorous and fierce, and it took about an hour to convince him on the first field that it was necessary for him to abandon it. Between his first guard advance and his final abort there were several small charges and counter-charges which filled up the time.

I ought to mention that in front of the first wood there is a deep, broad ditch, along which runs a heavy stone wall, which several as a