War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0083 Chapter XXXIX. The Gettysburg Campaign.

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that the enemy by a flank movement were endeavoring to get in my rear, I ordered Lieutenant Alexander to fall back with his guns to the main column, I covering the rear of the forces with my cavalry . From Berryville nothing of importance occurred until we reached a point about 2 miles from the Opequon Creek, when the advance of the rebel cavalry, 2, 000 strong, made their appearance half a mile distant and on my left flank. I had previously sent the First Battalion on a different route from that taken by our forces. On arriving at a point near the Opequon Creek, a messenger from my rear guard came up, and informed me that the rebel cavalry were upon us. I wheeled my little command, only about 200 strong and immediately made ready for attack or defense. I had the fences thrown down along the right flank of my command, and formed the squadrons in a field on my right. I had barely time to make the proper disposition of my troops when, with a fiendish yell, a battalion of rebel cavalry, about 350 strong, under Major[James W.]Sweeney dashed down upon me under full charge with the greatest confidence in their power to" bobble up" my little command, as I have since learned by an intelligent prisoner taken by us in that engagement. When the rebels approached within easy carbine distance, I opened upon them, emptying many of their saddles, and for the moment, confused and checked their charge upon us. Taking advantage of the momentary confusion of the enemy, I placed myself in front of the first squadron, and ordered the charge, but, for some reason yet unexplained, Captain Lambert J. Simons, who commanded the squadron, did not obey the command in time to make the charge effective. Lieutenant Frank Passegger, Company L, also disobeyed my order, and I hereby report these two officers for disobedience of orders in front of the enemy. Owing to the momentary confusion occasioned by the criminal hesitation of the two officers named, I was compelled to fall back to the opposite side of the Opequon, where I reformed my command, concealed from the enemy by a short turn in the road. Taking courage from this movement, and thinking they had me on the skedaddle, the enemy charged over the stream with great impetuosity, screaming and howling like demons. As the head of their column appeared around the bend in the road, I again ordered the charge, which was promptly obeyed, upon which a hand-to-hand conflict of the most desperate character ensued, which resulted in my favor, the enemy having been driven across the stream with a loss of 20 killed and more than twice that number wounded . This last charge was handsomely supported by Captain Alexander, Baltimore battery, who, having heard of the flight on the opposite bank of the river, hastened back with one of the guns, placed it in position at the side of the pike, about 150 yards from the Opequon Creek, and opened a terrific fire of canister shot upon the rebel column, carrying death and confusion to their ranks. Our loss was corporal and 1 private killed, and not more than 9 or 10 wounded, mostly saber cuts upon the head and arms. At his moment of my victory over the enemy, Major Timothy Quinn, of my regiment, who had been sent with me First Battalion to protect the wagon train, made his appearance on the ground, accompanied by Lieutenant Erwin C. Watkins, Company K, claiming to have been sent back by Colonel McReynolds to assist me, if required. I told Major Quinn that the flight was all over, and that the enemy were defeated and driven back.