War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0188 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLIX.

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Cumberland, Md., September 17, 1864.

I have the honor to submit the following report of operations in my command at Cumberland, Md., and New Creek, W. Va., and vicinity from the 27th of July to the 8th of August, 1864:

On the 28th of July I received intelligence that a force of rebels, variously estimated at from 2,500 to 4,500 strong, consisting of the brigades of Generals McCausland and Bradley T. Johnson, the formed in chief command, was moving for Hancock toward Cumberland via Baltimore pike. In obedience to a telegram from Major-General Halleck I at once sent out details to blockade the roads leading from Hancock to this city, and placed my command in the best possible condition for defense. My command at this place then consisted of three regiments of Ohio National Guards, four companies Eleventh West Virginia Infantry, one company Sixth West Virginia Infantry, two sections Battery L, First Illinois Light Artillery, one section Battery B, Maryland Light Artillery, and several hundred stragglers, mostly unarmed, who had stampeded for the front after the battle Winchester, July 24. The One hundred and fifty-third Ohio National Guards, Colonel I. Stough, was at once sent to Old Town, Md., to blockade the road and to dispute the passage of the river in case the enemy should attempt to move into Virginia by that route before attacking Cumberland, or in case of a failure before the city, should endeavor to effect a retreat in that direction.

On the 1st of August my scouts reported the enemy advancing on the Baltimore pike. I sent Lieutenant T. W. Kelley, with a squad of volunteer cavalry, to watch the movements and retard the progress of the enemy until I could place my command in position. At 12 m. Lieutenant Kelley reported the enemy about twelve miles distant moving toward the city. I immediately posed the One hundred and fifty-sixth Ohio National Guards, Colonel C. Marker; detachment Eleventh West Virginia Infantry, Major J. L. Simpson; one section Battery L, First Illinois Light Artillery, Lieutenant J. McAfee, in position about two miles east of this place on the heights west of Falck's Mills, overlooking the valley of Evett's Creek, under cover of timber, completely hid from view of the enemy, and held the fortifications in the vicinity with the balance of my command and awaited the approach of the enemy. His advance appeared about 3 p. m. composed of a squadron of cavalry, near Falck's Miles, a portions of them crossing the bridge at that place and coming within range of our muskets. At this juncture my guns on the heights opened fire upon them, which was the first intimation they had of the presence of my command. After their recovery from this surprise they took shelter behind the bridge, Falck's Mills, house, barn, &c., and from this cover their sharpshooters opened a galling fire upon my artillery, which was replied to and rendered ineffectual by our skirmishers. They then rapidly deployed a line of skirmishers, placed four pieces of artillery in position, and brought up the maine part of their command. A sharp engagement ensued, lasting for several hours, until darkness ended the combat, both lines maintaining nearly the original position of the day, my command resting on their arms.

A reconnaissance on the following morning developed the fact that the enemy had beat a precipitate retreat from my front during the