War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0702 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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has never failed me, I hoped to raise the siege of Williamsport, if, as I believed, that was the real object of the enemy's designs. Hagerstown is 6 miles from Williamsport, the country between being almost entirely cleared, but intersected by innumerable fences and ditches. The two places are connected by a lane and perfectly straight macadamized road. The enemy's dismounted skirmishers fought from street to street, and some time elapsed before the town was entirely clear, the enemy taking the road first toward Sharpsburg, but afterward turned to the Williamsport road. Just as the town was cleared, I heard the sound of artillery at Williamsport. The cavalry, excepting the two brigades with General Fitz, Lee, were now pretty well concentrated at Hagerstown, and one column, under Colonel Chambliss, was pushed directly down the road after the enemy, while Robertson's two regiments and Jenkins' brigade kept to the left of the road, moving in a parallel direction with Chambliss. A portion of the Stuart Horse Artillery also accompanied the movement. The first charge was gallantly executed by the leading brigade [Chambliss'], now numbering only a few hundred men, the Ninth and Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry participating with marked gallantry. The column on the flank was now hurried up to attack the enemy in flank, but the obstacles, such as post and rail fences, delayed its progress so long that the enemy had time to rally along a crest of rocks and fences, from which he opened with artillery, raking the road. Jenkins' brigade was ordered to dismount and deploy over the difficult ground. This was done with marked effect and boldness, Lieutenant-Colonel Witcher, as usual, distinguishing himself by his courage and conduct. The enemy, thus dislodged, was closely pressed by the mounted cavalry, but made one effort at a countercharge, which was gallantly met and repulsed by Colonel James B. Gordon, commanding a fragment of the Fifth North Carolina Cavalry, that officer exhibiting under my eye individual prowess deserving special commendation. The repulse was soon after converted into a rout by Colonel Lomax's regiment [Eleventh Virginia Cavalry], Jones' brigade, which now took the road, under the gallant leadership of its colonel, with drawn sabers, and charged down the turnpike under a fearful fire of artillery. Lieutenant-Colonel Funsten behaved with conspicuous gallantry in this charge, and Captain [S.] Winthrop, a volunteer aide of Lieutenant-General Longstreet, also bore himself most gallantly. The enemy was now very near Williamsport, and this determined and vigorous attack in rear soon compelled him to raise the siege of that place, and leave in hasty discomfiture by the Downsville road. His withdrawal was favored by night, which set in just as we reached the ridge overlooking Williamsport. An important auxiliary to this attack was rendered by Brigadier General Fitz. Lee, who reached the vicinity of Williamsport by the Greencastle road very opportunely, and participated in the attack with his accustomed spirit. Great credit is due the command for the fearless and determined manner in which they rushed upon the enemy and compelled him to loose his hold upon the main portion of the transportation of the army. Without this attack, it is certain that our trains would have fallen into the hands of the enemy, for, while some resistance was made by General Imboden, still, the size and nature of his command, the peculiar conformation of the ground, overlooked by hills and approached by six plain roads, go to show conclusively that not even