better opportunities for preparation we might perhaps have done more service, yet they spoke in commendatory terms of what we did do, particularly General Hunter.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANKLIN E. TOWN,
Captain, Signal Corps, U. S. Army.
Chief Signal Officer, Department of West Virginia.
CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER OF THE ARMY.
Numbers 4. Report of Colonel William G. Ely, Eighteenth Connecticut Infantry, First Brigade, First Division, of engagement at Piedmont.
HDQRS. EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLS.,
Staunton, Va., June 7, 1864.
SIR: On the morning of the 5th instant the Eighteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was formed on the right of General Hunter's line of battle, and immediately began to feel of the enemy with a strong line of skirmishers. Advancing over the open field, we drove the rebels into the woods on the crest of the hill in front. Here, the Eighteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers on the extreme right, and the Fifth New York Heavy Artillery on our left, we dressed our line of battle under cover of the rising ground, to charge. Advancing with a yell, we drove the enemy from the woods to their breast-works of rail pens in the rear. In the charge we lost our adjutant, E. B. Culver, and about a dozen men. Here the soldiers fought desperately and at some disadvantage, being entirely in the open field. Seeing an excellent opportunity to use cannon I dispatched an orderly with a request for two howitzers, which came promptly and did excellent service, in knocking the rail pens in splinters amid great slaughter. All of this time my soldiers were fighting obstinately and effectively, and many were falling under the hot fire. At noon my horse was killed under me. In the afternoon when I received orders from you that Colonel Thoburn's forces were flanking the enemy we, together with the other regiments of your line, made the final charge on the fortifications, capturing a large number of prisoners, and putting the others to rout.
Our losses, as you will see by inclosed list,* are 120 men and 2 officers. Our colors were riddled by three cannon shot and thirteen bullets, and all of the color guard but one killed or wounded.
All of the officers and men behaved most gallantly, obeying orders with alacrity even in the hottest of the fight.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. G. ELY,
Colonel, Commanding Eighteenth Connecticut Volunteers.
ACTG. ASST. ADJT. General, FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION.
*Nominal list (omitted) shows 2 officers and 17 men killed; 3 officers and 100 men wounded.