under my command as I thought would enable me to hold out as long as possible. I contracted my skirmish line, thus strengthening me center, and covered all the commanding points I could with my forces. I ordered the officer in command of the cavalry to take such position with his men as would protect my left flank on the east side of the river and prevent the enemy from getting possession of my rear. Immediately after this, and about 6 p. m., a heavy attack was made along my entire front, and at the same time my left flank was turned. I now discovered that the enemy had gained a position in the woods, on the east side of the river in my rear, and was preparing to take possession of the brigade, thus cutting off my retreat entirely. My command in front was withdrawn in confusion, owing to the extent of my lines and the knowledge that the enemy had gained possession of the woods in the rear and was attempting to cut off retreat. I attempted to rally my men, who were well deposed to obey orders under the circumstances, when the enemy brought his artillery to bear on the bridge and threw several shells, one of which struck it while my men were crossing it I rallied a portion of the men in the orchard overlooking the bridge, and fired several rounds at the enemy, who were pressing from the west side, and also those in the woods and wheat-field south of my position. This checked the pursuit, and enabled the main part of the command to gain the road on the hill. The enemy now opened fire on my flank from his skirmishers on the east side of the river, which added to the confusion. This fire was returned by a portion of the men stationed in the orchard, and the enemy's progress was checked. The men now learned from citizens that the main body of the army had moved out some two hours before, and this, with the increasing fire of the enemy on my flank, produced considerable confusion, during which the men broke and threw away their guns and accouterments and attempted to save themselves. This information received and that they were surrounded and would be made prisoners, caused them to break their guns to prevent them falling into the enemy's hands. I succeeded, however, in bringing off about 300 of my command, with which I joined the main body at New Market about 8 p. m.
I fell justly proud of the manner in which the men conducted themselves during this first engagement, holding, as they did, an extended skirmish line for twelve hours in the face of vastly superior numbers of experienced troops. They exhibited a coolness and determination which gives promise of great usefulness in the service of the country.
I am unable to give the losses sustained by my command, on account of my surgeon being captured. Many of the missing will doubtless rejoin the regiment, and a greater portion of the wounds received are but slight. Up to the time of retreat I had 6 killed and 14 severely wounded, besides a number slightly wounded.
As to the conduct of the officers-field, and line-on that day, where so many did well, it is invidious to particularize. I cannot, however, close my report without referring to a few whose duties required them to expose themselves to more danger than others. Major E. Rozelle, who had command of the left wing for several hours, deserves particular mention. The aid rendered by my adjutant, T. Q. Hildebrant, in conveying my orders and cheering and encouraging the men, deserves grateful mention. He did his duty well. I regret to say that Surg. W. A. Brown, who throughout