War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0323 Chapter XLIX. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY, ETC.

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p. m., having discovered the position of a regiment of the enemy's cavalry, I determined to charge them. For this purpose I ordered one squadron from Colonel Tibbits' brigade to charge in front for the purpose of drawing out a charging party from the enemy, which being effected, another squadron from Colonel Tibbits was to charge in the rear of the rebel charging party, while a squadron from Colonel Higgins, on the left, was to charge in support of Colonel Tibbits' squadron. By this disposition of my forces I hoped to capture a party of the rebels. The party charging in front were successful in drawing out about two squadrons of the rebel cavalry. Colonel Tibbits' squadron charged from the right in the rebel rear, and Colonel Higgins' squadron from the left. But the whole plan was unfortunately frustrated by Lieutenant-Colonel Adams, of the First New York (Lincoln) Cavalry, who had rallied a portion of his skirmish line which had given away before the rebel charging party. Mistaking the squadron of Colonel Tibbits' brigade for the rebels, he charged upon them without orders, and coming upon them unexpectedly, diverted them from the pursuit of the rebels, thus allowing the rebel party to escape. I must here remark that the stupidity of this officer has been repeatedly manifested whilst under my command. He is, in my opinion, by no means worthy the position he occupies. My cavalry remained on the field until night, when the enemy having retired, all the forces were withdrawn, leaving Colonel Tibbits' brigade to picket the front.

On the morning of the 24th, at 7.30 o'clock, I received word from Colonel Tibbits that the enemy were advancing, apparently in force, and that his skirmishers were warmly engaged just beyond Kernstown. Having communicated this information to General Crook, I was ordered to proceed with my whole command immediately to the front. Accordingly, I proceeded to Kernstown and there ascertained that the enemy was advancing in force. I disposed my forces with Colonel Tibbits' brigade on the right and Colonel Higgins' on the left. My position was held until the infantry forces came up and took position, when I was ordered to occupy the left and right flanks of the infantry. After an hour of brisk fighting, I discovered that the rebels had turned our left flank. At that time Colonel Hayes' brigade of infantry was far in the advance, on the left of the infantry. In order to give him full time to extricate himself from his position, I caused a charge to be made upon the enemy's right by two squadrons of the Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry, which was done, and succeeded in throwing the enemy into temporary confusion. The enemy having again rallied, and displaying a heavy force, with an evident determination to turn our left, I charged them with the whole of my Second Brigade, which, however, numbered but 700 men. This charge checked the rebel column for about half an hour. Having recalled this brigade, I was ordered by General Crook to fall back. This I did, withdrawing my whole command slowly, and contesting the ground until reaching the town. Having reached Winchester, I received orders to send one brigade with the wagon train, and accordingly sent Colonel Higgins with the Second Brigade. Colonel Tibbits, with the First Brigade, was ordered to fall back on the right of the road. With two squadrons of the Twenty-first New York Cavalry, I remained on the left of the road. Having passed the town, the forces General Averell rushed in on the left of the road in great confusion, having been charged by the rebel cavalry. I immediately drew up the detachment