shooters. After obtaining possession of the ridge occupied by the first line of skirmishers, the enemy attempt to make a farther advance in line of battle, and with a force sufficient to have overwhelmed the first line (which had now rallied at the foot of the ridge), but failed signally, the gallant fellows of that line breaking his solid lines repeatedly. His officers acted generally with great gallantry, but the men behaved in a most cowardly manner. A few shots from Carter's artillery and the skirmishers' fire halted them, broke them, and put a stop to the engagement. Only a few shots were fired by my second line of skirmishers. Of course, my main line was not engaged. The fight, if it be worthy that name, took place in full view of the division, and while the conduct of our men, and of Wright's particularly, was the subject of admiration, that of the enemy was decidedly puerile. Wright's brigade lost, I believe, about 80 men killed and wounded, including among the latter Colonel [E. J.] Walker, commanding the brigade. My total loss was 15 killed, wounded, and missing, including 1 officer of Ramseur's sharpshooters, killed. The enemy's loss was, in my opinion, greater than ours. By a prisoner's statements and from what I saw, the enemy had at least two corps backing his attacking force. General Meade's dispatch from Front Royal next day showed that a very large portion, if not all, of his army was present. During the night, the pontoons, baggage &c., having been safely disposed of, my division fell back on the Luray road, about 2 miles from Front Royal, and bivouacked, Johnson's division remaining at Front Royal as rear guard. This day's work, including a march of 27 miles on one of the hottest of summer days, the excitement of a threatened battle, and the night march of 4 or 5 miles, damaged the division seriously. Its marches had been admirable up to the time of reaching Front Royal, but for some days after that the men were broken down, and therefore straggled. Fortunately, the marches during this period were quite short. Continuing the march leisurely, resting near Luray a day or two, the division arrived at Madison Court-House, By way of Thornton's Gap and Sperryville, on July 29. In concluding what I have to say about this campaign, I beg leave to call attention to the heroes of it; the men who day by day sacrificed self on the altar of freedom; those barefooted North Carolinians, Georgians, and Alabamians, who, with bloody and swollen feet, kept to their ranks day after day for weeks. When the division reached Darkesville, nearly one-half of the men and many officers were barefooted, and fully one-fourth had been so since we crossed the Blue Ridge. These poor fellows had kept up with the column and in ranks during the most rapid march of this war, considering its length, over that worst of roads for footmen, the turnpike, and during the hottest days of summer. These are the heroes of the campaign.
I have the honor to be, colonel, yours, very respectfully,
R. E. RODES,
Lieutenant Colonel A. S. PENDLETON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Army Corps.
36 R R-VOL XXVII, PT II