mation that Wheeler's command was a few miles ahead, and had burned a Government train near Anderson's Gap. The regiment was ordered forward to feel, and, if prudent, to attack the enemy.
The advance guard, under Captain Smith, pushed forward rapidly, and came up with the enemy's rear guard a short distance from the burning train.
The enemy retreated steadily, skirmishing constantly with our advance, which pressed him closely for about 2 miles, capturing a lieutenant and 10 men, and liberating a Federal surgeon and 4 others, whom the enemy had captured and were attempting to carry off in a Government ambulance. Passing the burning train the explosion of ammunition was terrific, and farther on sutlers' goods were strewn about in tempting profusion, but the officers were strict in their orders, and no straggling occurred in the regiment. About a mile from the train Martin's rebel brigade was encountered, and the advance halted until the regiment came up, when four companies were dismounted and thrown forward rapidly as skirmishers, a mounted company being sent to either flank, and the remainder of the regiment kept sheltered within supporting distance. Taking advantage of the ground and moving rapidly from cover to cover, our skirmishers drove the enemy 2 miles, with a loss of 12 killed and a considerable number wounded. Being dismounted, our men were able to fire with much greater rapidity and precision than the enemy, who were exposed by remaining on horseback, and fired high above our heads. A squad of 5 rebel sharpshooters lingered in the road behind the retreating column, shot 3 of our horses under the riders, and annoyed the lead of our mounted column exceedingly. Four men of Company D were ordered to charge them. Privates Troxell and Richter overtook them a few rods from their column, killed 2 with their sabers and wounded and captured 2 others, whom they brought back to our advance, escaping unharmed a heavy volley from the astonished rebels.
Near this point the enemy, in attempting to form, was thrown into confusion by the fire of our skirmishers, and at the proper moment our reserve charged and scattered his wavering ranks in the wildest rout. Thirty-seven of the enemy were killed and wounded, and 42 made prisoners. Among the killed were a colonel, 2 captains, and a lieutenant, and among the prisoners a lieutenant, 2 captains, and 2 majors of Wheeler's staff. The general himself was closely pursued and narrowly escaped. Nearly all the wounds were inflicted with the saber. Major Torrey, Captain Smith, and Captain Howland particularly distinguished themselves. Captain La Grange alone captured a squad of 4 rebels fully armed. Private T. L. Hewitt, of Company A, pursued a rebel captain and lieutenant half a mile, continually exchanging shots with them, mortally wounded the lieutenant, and brought both prisoners to camp. Sergeant-Major Cleveland, Sergeants Townsend and Dunham, of C, and Private Jones, of A, deserve special mention for their gallantry. All the officers and men did their duty.
Owing to the skillful movements of our dismounted men, and the charge being made at the proper moment, our loss was only 1 (Sergeant Forsyth) severely and 2 others slightly wounded, and 1 (a messenger to Colonel McCook) taken prisoner. Four of our horses were shot under their riders. The command followed the enemy about 2 miles farther, when, it being dark, they halted and lay on their arms until morning.