William Harris, commanding Captain Downs' company, fell, mortally wounded, while gallantly leading his company. The men, with few exceptions, now pressed forward, and the rout of the enemy became complete; and as he was formed with a stout worm fence, staked and ridered, in his rear on his left, and another old worm fence grown up with underbrush on his right, leaving but a single place for his men to retreat, in their attempt our men were enabled to deliver their fire with such deadly aim that 14 of his killed and wounded were left immediately on the ground. The skirmish now became a running one, our men following and firing, the enemy retreating, and not returning our fire. On the right (now left), where I now was, I saw 3 of the enemy fall while running through an oat-field, and from the most reliable information I could get, and from a report made me by Lieutenant [William E.] Lake, who afterward examined the field, some 24, at least, of the enemy were left on different portions of the field, making in all from 30 to 35 of the enemy left on the field, not including those wounded slightly. Our loss* was trifling compared with theirs, and consisted of the following: Killed, 3; wounded, 5. It would afford me great pleasure to bear testimony to the several acts of gallantry performed by the several companies I commanded. I must here bear testimony to the good conduct of Lieutenant Wamsley, of Captain Marshall's company, who advanced with the first charge, calling out, "Come on; don't let the d---d Yankees whip us on our own soil; " to Lieutenant J. G. Gittings, my acting adjutant, who rendered me valuable assistance by bringing up the right with loud cheering; and to that of Randolph Wamsley, of Captain Marshall's company, who rushed into the fight, though acting only as a guide, but who, I am sorry to record, fell, mortally wounded. After calling back the troops and rallying them on the ground where the skirmish took place, I had the wounded cared for, and communicating with my cavalry command, I ordered the infantry, back to a rise immediately in my rear, where I could not be flanked, and took place. Here I received your dispatch ordering me to fall back to Ward's, which I immediately proceeded to do, going to the rear to attend to the wounded and have the dead interred. The wounded I had taken to Mr. W. Daniel's, and made arrangements to have them cared for, the citizens agreeing to have the dead decently buried. In falling back to Huttonsville, I made arrangements to have all my broken-down troops brought up, ordering my cavalry to dismount in order to bring them up. As you are fully aware of the condition in which I turned over the command to you, allow me to subscribe myself, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. BOSTON STEWART,
Colonel W. L. JACKSON,
Commanding Huntersville Line.
P. S. - The enemy's force in the skirmish on the morning of the 3rd instant, as stated by his wounded, amounted to over 200 men. Ours did not amount to more than 140 men in infantry. Our cavalry was not in the action.
*Nominal list omitted.