ing a real attack from that direction, would have rendered our retreat impossible in thirty minutes later. Under these circumstances I thought it proper to fall back at once when I could do so in order and without loss. Colonel Harris was very strongly of the same opinion. I waited until I was informed that the enemy were well into position behind the stone fence on my right, and then fell back across the hill, taking the pike near where it crosses the railroad. I remained in position on the pike until after dark, while the cavalry with Duval's division were reoccupying the town, and then brought up the rear in the march to Williamsport. I remained at that place the next morning, holding the ford until the entire army had crossed, and then brought up the rear to Pleasant Valley.
The command lost but few men by casualties, and not many from straggling or desertion during the retreat. Under all the disheartening circumstances, and with the knowledge felt by every private that we were acting and maneuvering in the face of an enemy out-numbering us more than three to one, the command kept its organization, discipline, and steadiness remarkably well.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. D. WELLS,
Colonel Thirty-fourth Massachusetts, Commanding Brigadier
Lieutenant F. L. BALLARD,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 58. Report of Captain Herman L. Emmons, jr., Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, of operations May 25--July 29.
HDQRS. FIRST BATT., FIFTH NEW YORK HEAVY ARTY.,
Camp at Halltown, Va., July 29, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith an official statement of the transactions of the First Battalion (Companies A, B, C, and D), of the Fifth New York Volunteer Artillery, during the recent campaign of the Army of the Shenandoah in Western Virginia.
Pursuant to orders the battalion left Harper's Ferry, W. Va., on the 25th of May last and arrived at the main army at Cedar Creek, Va., on the 28th of that month, and were immediately brigaded with the First Brigade, First Infantry Division.
The army soon after proceeded up the Valley of the Shenandoah and met the enemy on the morning of June 5, pushing them forward until a stand was made at Piedmont, where an engagement ensued in which the enemy were routed, losing their commanding general and many prisoners. In this action those of the battalion engaged, with very few exceptions, behaved with marked bravery.
On the ensuing day the army marched to Staunton, Va., thence, via Lexington and Buchanan, to Liberty, encamping a few miles beyond on the night of June 16.
Continuing the march toward Lynchburg on the 17th, the advance met the enemy, about 4 p. m., intrenched, but pushed them from their first line of intrenchments, skirmishing continuing until dark, when the advance reached a position opposite the enemy's second line of intrenchments, about three miles northwest of Lynchburg.
During the 18th brisk skirmishing took place along the whole line, and, the enemy having been strongly re-enforced, the general commanding the Union army ordered a retreat, which was accomplished