War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0740 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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sharpshooters of the Fifth as skirmishers in front of his guns, and the First Virginia Cavalry supporting the battery. Ordering the Fifth and Fourth Cavalry and one piece of artillery to follow me, I moved to the left, which soon became the main point of attack. Here I found the enemy concentrating and endeavoring to flank the stone wall, which was being held by 15 men, under Lieutenant [William] Walton, Company C, Second Virginia Cavalry, with a spirit worthy the highest commendation. Again and again a squadron of the enemy charged up to the fence, but each time was repulsed. The enemy, dismounting his sharpshooters [five to our one], were now engaging the right and center of my extended line heavily, and compelled the sharpshooters of the Fifth to fall back after a desperate resistance, and, to add to their discomfort, they received several casualties from the bad ammunition of our own battery, thus making a gap in my line. The enemy attempted to cut off those men on the left of the pike. Seeing his intention, I ordered Lieutenant [A. D.] Payne, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, who was supporting the piece I had in position to shell the woods, to check them by charging with his company. This he did handsomely, but was repulsed and countercharged by the enemy's reserve. As they dashed after Payne, Colonel Rosser coming up, was ordered to charge them, which was vigorously done, capturing some 20 or 30, and driving the rest pell-mell as they scampered away to a by-road on our left flank. My sharpshooters on the left, now heavily pressed, were compelled to retire about 50 steps behind a house and orchard, which commanded the only opening through which they could pass. Another squadron of the enemy coming up to attack Colonel Rosser, who was rallying his men, Captain Newton, commanding Colonel Wickham's regiment [four companies], was ordered to charge, and drove them back in considerable disorder, capturing a considerable number. In each of these successive charges the enemy suffered terribly, as his flank was exposed to our sharpshooters, who would give them a fire as they advanced and one as they returned. Determined to submit to that no longer, he now made an effort to drive them away, and again brought up a considerable force. Just at this critical moment, the Second and Third Regiments arrived. The sharpshooters of the Second Virginia, under Breckinridge and Graves, now advanced, supported by Captain [G. D.] White, of the Third, with his squadron. I immediately ordered Lieutenant-Colonel [J. W.] Watts to drive them from their position, and, as he moved up, the enemy advanced to meet him. They crossed sabers in the narrow road. While this was going on with the front squadrons, Captain [Jesse] Irvine threw down the fence, dashed to the front, and opened a fire in their left flank. Captain [W. W.] Tebbs moved his squadron in the same way, and gave them a fire in their right, and the sharpshooters did good work in their rear. They were completely routed, and nearly the whole of his front squadron was killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. Amid the confusion, another support moved up, and Colonel Rosser repulsed them handsomely. In this fight, Lieutenant-Colonel Watts was severely wounded and taken from the field, the command of the regiment devolving upon Major Breckinridge, who moved it off to the right, carrying Colonel Did Cesnola, of the Fourth New York Cavalry, and his colors with him.