War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 1006 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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GADE, COMMANDED BY BRIGADIER-GENERAL CUSTER, IN THE DIRECTION OF EMMITSBURG, MD., PASSING WHICH PLACE WE ENTERED A MOUNTAIN PASS, DURING THE PASSAGE OF WHICH THE BRIGADE OF GENERAL CUSTER HAD QUITE A SPIRITED SKIRMISH WITH THE ENEMY, THIS BRIGADE NOT BEING ENGAGED UNTIL IT REACHED THE SUMMIT, AFTER PASSING WHICH WE CHARGED UPON A LONG WAGON TRAIN OF THE ENEMY, CAPTURING NEARLY THE ENTIRE TRAIN, TOGETHER WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF PRISONERS. THE BRIGADE LOST IN THIS ACTION 1 COMMISSIONED OFFICER KILLED, AND ENLISTED MEN, 1 KILLED, 1 WOUNDED, AND 6 MISSING. ON JULY 5, I MARCHED MY COMMAND TO SMITHSBURG, WHEN WE WERE ATTACKED BY THE ENEMY DURING THE AFTERNOON OF THE SAME DAY, MY COMMAND NOT BEING ENGAGED, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ELDER'S BATTERY, WHICH FIRED A FEW ROUNDS WITH GOOD EFFECT. THE ENEMY SOON RETIRED, AND, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ORDERS RECEIVED, I MARCHED MY COMMAND TO NEAR BOONSBOROUGH, WHERE I HALTED, AND ENCAMPED FOR THE NIGHT. ON THE MORNING OF JULY 6, I WAS ORDERED BY GENERAL KILPATRICK TO TAKE THE ADVANCE WITH MY BRIGADE, AND MOVE ON HAGERSTOWN. WHEN NEAR THAT PLACE, I ORDERED TWO SQUADRONS OF THE EIGHTEENTH PENNSYLVANIA AND ONE OF THE FIRST WEST VIRGINIA TO CHARGE INTO AND THROUGH THE TOWN, WHICH THEY DID IN A MOST GALLANT MANNER, DRIVING THE ENEMY, IN SUPERIOR FORCE, THROUGH AND OUT OF THE TOWN WITH HEAVY LOSS TO THEM (THE ENEMY), CAPTURING AT THE SAME TIME THE COLONEL OF THE TENTH VIRGINIA (REBEL) CAVALRY. THE ENEMY, RECEIVING HEAVY RE-ENFORCEMENTS, RALLIED AND DROVE OUR MEN BACK THROUGH THE TOWN, AND WERE IN TURN FORCED TO FALL BACK. ABOUT THIS TIME A BATTERY OF THE ENEMY, POSTED ON AN EMINENCE ABOUT HALF A MILE IN REAR OF THE TOWN, OPENED FIRE UPON US, DOING, HOWEVER, NO DAMAGE. LIEUTENANT ELDER'S BATTERY IMMEDIATELY WENT INTO POSITION, AND FIRED SEVERAL ROUNDS AT THIS BATTERY, ONE OF WHICH BLEW UP A CAISSON OR LIMBERCHEST OF THE ENEMY. FOR TWO OR THREE HOURS WE CONTESTED THE POSSESSION OF THE PLACE MOST DESPERATELY, BUT WERE AT LAST COMPELLED, BY THE VASTLY SUPERIOR FORCE OF THE ENEMY, TO FALL BACK, WHICH WE DID IN GOOD ORDER FOR A DISTANCE OF ABOUT 2 MILES, FIGHTING OVER EVERY FOOT OF THE GROUND, RETIRING TWO REGIMENTS AND TWO GUNS, AND HOLDING THE ENEMY IN CHECK WITH TWO REGIMENTS AND TWO GUNS UNTIL THOSE RETIRING AGAIN TOOK POSITION. AFTER FIGHTING IN THIS MANNER FOR AN HOUR OR MORE, THE ENEMY PRESSED MY COMMAND SO CLOSELY AS TO THROW IT INTO CONSIDERABLE CONFUSION, AND ONE OF THE GUNS MUST HAVE BEEN LOST BUT FOR THE FIERCE DETERMINATION WITH WHICH LIEUTENANT ELDER AND HIS MEN FOUGHT THIS PIECE, ASSISTED BY A FEW GALLANT OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE SEVERAL REGIMENTS WHO RALLIED IN SUPPORT OF THE PIECE. FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES DID THE ENEMY CHARGE THIS PIECE, WHICH WAS PLACED UPON THE PIKE, AND AS OFTEN WERE THEY REPULSED WITH HEAVY SLAUGHTER, LIEUTENANT ELDER POURING HIS CANISTER INTO THEIR RANKS WITH MOST DEADLY EFFECT. SO CLOSE WAS THE CONFLICT, THAT Numbers 1 OF THE PIECE, TURNING HIS SPONGESTAFF, KNOCKED ON OF THE ENEMY FROM HIS HORSE. TOO MUCH CREDIT CANNOT BE GIVEN TO LIEUTENANT ELDER FOR THE SPLENDID MANNER IN WHICH HE FOUGHT THIS PIECE; AND THE MEN OF HIS BATTERY ARE ALSO DESERVING OF SPECIAL MENTION FOR THEIR BRAVERY AND GOOD CONDUCT UNDER FIRE, AND THEIR SUPERIOR DISCIPLINE BOTH IN CAMP AND UPON THE MARCH. THE ENEMY, MEETING SO WARM A RECEPTION AT EVERY FRESH ATTACK UPON US, FINALLY DREW OFF THE MOST OF HIS FORCE, AND I RETIRED WITH MY COMMAND IN TOLERABLE ORDER IN THE DIRECTION OF BOONSBOROUGH, MARCHING ABOUT 5 MILES, AND HALTING FOR THE NIGHT.