War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0496 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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miles from Piedmont, and bivouacked between 11 and 12 p. m. about 1 1\2 miles from the cavalry. On the morning of the 23d, the command joined the cavalry between 4 and 5 a. m. after an interview with General Merritt, he informed me that he had directions to move to another position. I immediately took measures to relieve his command and outposts, placing the batteries in position to command the Gap, and awaited further orders, in the meantime sending scouts to the front, to ascertain the position of the enemy. About 10 a. m. general French, with the balance of the corps, arrived. In the meantime the scouts had reported the enemy's pickets on the hills at the entrance of the Gap. General French now ordered my command forward. We advanced to within a short distance of the base of the several hills on which the enemy was established. I immediately sent forward skirmishers with heavy supports, covering in extent the surface of a mile, many regiments of the command being detached on picket and in support of batteries within the Gap. Dispositions having been made, the whole force now advanced together, steadily but surely driving the enemy from his positions until all the hills were in our possession. The enemy retreated, and took position in the valley beyond, on the road leading from the Gap to front Royal. I ordered a portion of the First and Third Brigades forward, to support the skirmishers and drive the enemy out. This order was countermanded, and the Second Brigade, Second Division, was ordered to report to me for that purpose, and the First and Third Brigades were dispatched to the extreme left of my position, to cover columns, moving southward by the flank. General Spinola, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division, reported to me through one of his staff officers. The general being my senior, i did not presume to give him orders, but made such suggestions to the general as I deemed necessary under the circumstances, but which he entirely approved and adopted, forming his troops in a ravine in front of the enemy's position, and charging them in magnificent style, driving them from the field in confusion, the major-general commanding the corps witnessing the whole operation. In this charge General Spinola was twice wounded. I now received orders, in consequence of the lateness of the hour, to cease operations and make dispositions for the night. On the morning of the 24th, the Second Division having been ordered forward to Front Royal on a reconnaissance, this division was ordered to its support. the Second Division advancing to the town with but slight opposition, the active service of this division was not required. The division then returned to Piedmont, and, after two days' march, arrived at Warrenton, and is now stationed in advance of the corps. In conclusion, I have to state that the whole division sustained its already well-earned reputation; no retrograding from commencement to end. I herewith transmit list of casualties in this division. * I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. HOBART WARD,

Captain W. F. A. TORBERT, Actg, Asst, Adjt. General, Third Army Corps.

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*Embodied in revised statement, p. 192.

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