War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0052 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLIX.

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Numbers 22. Report of Colonel William H. Browne, Forty-fifth Virginia Infantry, of engagement at Cloyd's Mountain.


New River Bridge, Va., May 21, 1864.

SIR: In obedience to instructions received on yesterday, I submit the following statement in regard to the action of this regiment in the engagement with the enemy which took place on the 9th instant on Cloyd's farm:

My regiment left Saltville at dark on the 8th, and reached the battle-field about 9 a. m. on the 9th instant. By my direction Lieutenant-Colonel Harman preceded the command in order to ascertain the ground to be occupied by the regiment in the line of battle by the time of its arrival on the field. The position of the regiment was designated by Brigadier General A. G. Jenkins, and my regiment was placed on the right of the Confederate line of battle, my left wing lying on a ridge running perpendicular to the turnpike leading from Dublin to Pearisburg, and my right wing on a ridge perpendicular to that on which my left rested. I changed the position of my right wing by placing two companies on a straight line with my left, and placing the three other companies to the right and rear of my main line, at intervals between each of from 100 to 200 yards. This was done to occupy as much of the ground as possible, believing that the enemy would endeavor to flank my position on the right. Skirmishers were thrown forward to the front from each company. Barricades of rails were made all along my main line, and by he detached companies in front of their positions.

The enemy advanced under cover of the woods along the whole line of my regiment, driving in the skirmishers and making their appearance first in front of my extreme right flank. Their main force was thrown against my right of center almost perpendicular to my line of battle. Lieutenant-Colonel Harman seeing that the right of center was not sufficiently supported, withdrew the left center company from the left wing to the right, and deeming the support still insufficient, requested Colonel Jones, through Major Davis, to send him some additional force from the Sixtieth Virginia Regiment (whose position was on my left), when two companies were promptly and kindly sent under charge of the gallant Major Taylor, of the Sixtieth. These two companies were conducted to their position by Lieutenant-Colonel Harman, who was ever among the foremost in the thickest of the fight, and placed behind the barricade occupied by the two companies on the right of center. Here Lieutenant-Colonel Harman fell mortally wounded, and Major Taylor was killed on the field.

At the time that the heaviest assault was being made on that part of my line the Forty-fifth Virginia Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Beckley commanding, was brought up to re-enforce my right, but the enemy having already flanked my main line on the right of center and occupied the crest of the ridge on which my main line rested, they could not support it without charging through the open woods to drive the enemy from his position. The battalion, with two of my companies next the two on my right of center, did charge the enemy fearlessly and gallantly and drove him from his position, but on reaching the crest of the hill they found the enemy's massed lines in a few paces of them under the bow of the hill, who poured