War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0738 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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object they effected, after a stubborn resistance on the part of the enemy. They encountered both infantry and dismounted cavalry skirmishers. A good opportunity now presenting itself, three of Captain Breathed's guns were run up by hand, and opened simultaneously on a brigade of cavalry supporting a battery, which caused them to stampede. Seeing this, I pressed on the sharpshooters, and hurried the brigade down the road to Welford's house, at the same time sending Captain Ferguson, the efficient assistant adjutant-general of this brigade, with the Whitworth gun and two squadrons of the Second Virginia Cavalry, to cut off the enemy's retreat by Welford's Ford. Our sharpshooters, though contending against double their numbers, drove the enemy steadily back, and, on arriving on the hill below Welford's house, I saw between that place and Green's house a division of cavalry, a brigade of infantry, and two or three detachments of dismounted cavalry. Here again Captain Breathed used his artillery with effect. The enemy's right flank being protected by infantry, artillery, and twice our number of sharpshooters, made it impracticable at any time to engage them in a hand-to-hand fight; but they were driven until they crossed the river, the infantry and dismounted men moving down the railroad and crossing at the bridge. It affords me pleasure to commend the conduct of Captain Breckinridge and Lieutenants [Edward] Brugh and [William] Walton, of the Second Virginia Cavalry, who report the ambulances and litters of the enemy very busily engaged. They speak in the highest terms of the spirited conduct of Privates James K. Preston, Company F, and Kent Langhorne, Company B, who were killed in front of their companies; also of the distinguished gallantry of Sergeant [Samuel] Griffin, Company C. Captain Litchfield, of the First Virginia Cavalry, with his sharpshooters, supported by Lieutenants [G. W.] Dorsey, [R.] Cecil, and [R. B.] Edmondson, deserve my thanks for their holdness and dash in driving the enemy's sharpshooters from the woods. Captain White, of the Third Virginia Cavalry, with his "waving plume, " was everywhere in the thickest of the fight. Second Lieutenant John P. Puryear, Company A, while gallantly leading a party of sharpshooters whom he found without an officer, was shot through both thighs. Fourth Sergt. F. W. Guy, Company E, is highly commended for his soldierly bearing in the fight, and Orderly Sergt. R. H. Simmons was killed while gallantly leading his men. Captain Breathed handled his guns with his usual skill and dash. Captain J. D. Ferguson, assistant adjutant-general, rendered me prompt assistance during the fight. First Lieutenant Henry [C] Lee, aide-de-camp, had his horse wounded while rendering valuable assistance. Major [R. F.] Mason, Captain [S.] Bolling, and Lieutenants [G. M.] Ryals and [Charles] Minnegerode were also present, ready to respond to any call. While only the sharpshooters of the brigade were engaged, the cheerfulness and promptness with which each regiment moved wherever ordered would have insured a rough handling of the enemy could they have met them. The Fourth Virginia Cavalry having been detached from the brigade during the action, I respectfully call attention to the accompanying official report of Colonel Williams C. Wickham.