War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0297 Chapter XLIX. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY, ETC.

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stone wall, and overlooking the approach in that direction. After an hour or two the enemy appeared and planted some guns on my left flank, so as to completely enfilade my position and render that entire hill utterly untenable. I was obliged to shift the infantry to the other side of the wall. The artillery with me opened upon the enemy's battery, as did other artillery stationed with Colonel Duval, and the rebel battery was obliged to shift its position frequently. While this was progressing a staff officer of General Duffie (as I understood) came up and withdrew the artillery, stating that the line of retreat was by the Williamsport road, and advising me to go along soon. I subsequently, however, received a message from Colonel Duval to the effect that he had been placed in command of operations there, and that it was General Crook's desire that we should "give them a try," and not fall back before cavalry or unless an overpowering force of infantry should appear. I accordingly waited and watched. Running around from the left of my position where the enemy's battery was posted, to and across the Tuscarora road in my immediate front, and so indefinitely to my right, was a heavy piece of woods, reaching down to within about three-quarters of a mile of my line. Between me and this wood were rolling cleared fields, intersected by stone fences. All along this wood the enemy began to demonstrate, but nowhere appearing in force. Just to the left of the woods, however, near the Winchester pike, I could plainly see a large number massed. These were in full view for an hour or two, when I perceived a movement among them, and ultimately a line advancing. That portion of this line was considerably larger than that of my own brigade, and its left flank was moving in the woods and hidden. It advanced in line directly upon my left flank. At the same time the artillery which was with Colonel Duval limbered up and left the field, leaving the enemy's artillery without any check. As this line advanced I could see a strong and regular skirmish line appear at the edge of the woods on my front, advancing upon the Tuscarora road. Whether there was any infantry line behind this I could not ascertain. It was impossible to change front to face this advance upon the left flank, as the entire ground was covered at very short range by the enemy's artillery. I waited until the skirmish line of the advance was near, and then moved by the right flank by file-right into the road, intending to form in echelon with Colonel Harris' brigade, which was in position in rear of my line and at right angles with it. After halting and forming my line I saw that Colonel Harris was coming back, and he soon joined me in the road. All this left the enemy free to occupy the line which I had just vacated, and gave him a perfect shelter from which he could enfilade our new line. His skirmishers came up along our new front, firing briskly, but I soon received intelligence that he was making the movement I dreaded, and that a column was creeping up along the stone wall toward the road, and would soon be upon our flank again. At the same time I could see skirmishers on our extreme right in such position as to enable the enemy if in force to cut us off in a very short time from the Williamsport pike. Whether he was in force in that direction or not I could not of course ascertain. From the force which I saw of the enemy, and the condition of my own men, I was certain that we could not repulse his attack, and that if we awaited for it we should be driven back in confusion. In addition to this were the demonstrations on our right, which I believed to be only feints, but which, if preced-