War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0165 Chapter XLIX. EXPEDITION TO POPE'S CREEK, VA.

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yards of the rebels, who had lighted their camp-fires and prepared to bivouac. At this juncture the accidental explosion of a percussion cap gave the notice our approach, whereupon they immediately removed to safer quarters. We soon emerged in rear of their camp-fires, which we found deserted. After marching about a mile in pursuit, we returned to Union Wharf.

On the morning of the 17th of June, the anniversary of Bunker Hill, I thought it proper to make one more attempt to wipe out the disgrace which the cavalry had brought upon the expedition. Leaving about 300 men to load the transports, I marched with 200 men of the Thirty-sixth, and 36 of the cavalry, under Sergeant Cain, to the point where the road bends (marked B on the diagram), which point is about 1,000 yards from the rebel position (at D), where we again found them, this time in force, numbering, according to the best information, 150 men of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, and 450 infantry, who were mostly home guards; the whole under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry. I posted the cavalry at the bend (B), with fifty of the infantry concealed in the woods behind them, in such a point as to rake the roads in case our cavalry should again be repulsed. I gave sergeant Cain instruction to charge whenever my bugler should sound the order. I then moved the remainder of the colored infantry, 150 in number, through the edge of the woods to the point marked C, within 500 yards of the rebel position (D), and formed line of battle in the edge of the woods, with a ditch directly in front, posting twenty men in rear as a reserve. During this time the rebels worked like ants, completing a barricade across the road on road on which their cavalry stood, facing ours. The enemy reserved his fire, evidently expecting a combined charge from our infantry and cavalry, and intending to open upon us at short range. I ordered my men to fix their sights for 500 yards, and directed the company commanders to pass along the line and see that every sight was properly raised. I then cautioned them to aim steadily, and fire at the bottom of the fence. Riding out of the woods by the right flank of the battalion, where I could observe the effect of our fire, I ordered the firing to commence by rank; desiring to reserve a portion of my fire until I could determine the strength and purpose of the enemy, and ascertain whether he had any flanking force in the woods where we lay. Our first volley had a marked effect, evidently taking the enemy by surprise, as he expected a charge. At the first fire several of the enemy were seen to fall, and heard to scream. They immediately returned our fire, apparently every man for himself. We poured in our volleys in rapid succession, and soon threw the rebels into great confusion; at every discharge crowds of them took to the woods in their rear, and their officers could be distinctly heard shouting frantically for them to " come out of the woods," and cursing them for their cowardice. Perceiving that the end was near, I sent a mounted officer to show the cavalry where they could pass through the fence, and thus avoid the enemy's stockade in their charge. Sergeant Cain had the assurance to ask if the charge they were to have infantry support on the flank. At about the fifth volley the rebels disappeared. I immediately fired another volley and sounded the charge for the cavalry, at the same time moving the infantry forward into the open field and forming an assaulting and supporting line. The cavalry advanced at a slow trot, and afterward at a walk, the infantry being obliged to halt for them to come up. We then moved upon the rebel posi-