War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0083 Chapter XLIX. ENGAGEMENT AT NEW MARKET, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

I am happy to bear testimony to the good conduct of the few officers of the regiment present with it, and to the efficient aid rendered by them throughout the action.

The death of Captain Spalding is sincerely mourned by us all. He was a good officer, and died while in the brave performance of duty.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY PEALE,

Major, Commanding Eighteenth Connecticut Volunteers.

Brigadier General HORACE J. MORSE,

Adjutant-General of Connecticut.

Numbers 7. Report of Colonel George D. Wells, Thirty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry, Second Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE FORCES,

In front of Strasburg, May 21, 1864.

Saturday [May 14] we broke camp in rear of Woodstock and marched to New Market, a distance of twenty-one miles, in seven hours, and with but ten minutes' halt. Our force consisted of a small amount of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, under Colonel Moor. We had a small artillery fight at New Market, and after dark laid down in the woods occupied by the enemy.

After some skirmishing the enemy evacuated, and by morning had withdrawn entirely from our front. By 9 o'clock, however, they began an advance in force. Three companies of the Thirty-fourth, under Captain Potter, were sent far forward upon a commanding hill, and by skillful deployment led the enemy to believe our whole force was there. He massed heavy columns on the right, and with three lines of battle,and with much yelling, advanced upon the hill only to find it empty. This maneuvering gave us two or three hours' time, in which General Sigel, with a party of the remainder of the army, arrived on the field. After considerable maneuvering our line was formed about where it was the night before-the artillery on the right, on rising ground, resting on the river; the Thirty-fourth in line, its right on the battery, its left touching a dirt road; other regiments on our left, and one in column in our rear. In front was rolling ground, on the other slope of which were two regiments of infantry, with infantry and cavalry skirmishers. The rebels advanced in three lines of battle, each, I think, as heavy as ours, with masses on the right and left. The ground was perfectly open, not a tree or shrub to obstruct the view. Nothing could be finer than their advance. Their yelling grew steadily nearer; our skirmishers and infantry in front came back on the double-quick, some of them running through and over my lines.

The air was filled with bullets and bursting shells, and my men began to fall. I was ordered to deploy one company across my front as skirmishers, and Captain Leach, with Company G, went forward and his groups halted and deployed in the tumult about 200 yards in advance, each man taking his exact interval and dressing to the right