rible vicissitudes incident to the recent march, and for the unwavering courage with which they attacked and held a superior force of the enemy near Wytheville on the 10th instant, thereby enabling another column to accomplish its purpose without the opposition of overwhelming numbers.
Your country will remember your heroism gratitude, and the noble sacrifices and sufferings of our fallen comrades will be cherished forever in our memories.
The Fourteenth Pennsylvania and First West Virginia Cavalry first received the shock of the battle, while the Second and Third West Virginia Cavalry and Thirty-fourth Ohio Mounted Infantry established a line which the enemy had reason to respect and remember.
Great credit is due to the brigade commanders, Brigadier-General Duffie and Colonel Schoonmaker, for the energy and skill they displayed, while the conduct of all was admirable and deserving of the praise of the brigadier-general commanding. He desires, without making and invidious distinction, to express his high appreciation for the steady and skillful evolutions of the Second Virginia Cavalry under Colonel Powell upon the field. It was a dress parade which continued without disorder under a heavy fire during four hours. The purpose of the enemy were foiled by the engagement; the railroad was reached and destroyed; New River crossed, and the baffled column of the enemy arrived in time to witness the destruction, which all the energies of their superior force, even with artillery, had failed to prevent.
The division also wishes to thank those officers and men of the division who have treated the inhabitants of the country with that courtesy, dignity, and magnanimity which is inseparable form true courage and greatness; such conduct cannot fail to awaken in the hearts of the deluded people a respect and love for the Government we are determined to restore and maintain. While we bring death and destruction to rebels in arms, let our bearing toward the people and peaceful citizens be becoming soldiers of the United States. Those few unworthy persons who have disgraced themselves and us by acts of lawless pillage should receive the scorn and contempt of every honorable soldier in this command, and every effort should be made to bring them to the punishment they deserve.
By order of Brigadier-General Averell:
HDQRS. THIRD CAVALRY BRIGADE, Numbers 18.
Camp at Bunger's Mills, W. Va., May 20, 1864.
It is with sentiments of profound satisfaction that I give to the officers and men of this brigade my hearty thanks for their gallant and faithful behavior on the battle-field near Wytheville. Their conduct has been admired not only by me, the general commanding the expedition, and by the troops called to co-operate with us in our hardships.
Officers and soldiers of the Third Brigade. You have not deceived my expectations. My hopes and desires as to your conduct have been fully realized; and for this I thank you all.