War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0150 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

Search Civil War Official Records

corps front by the chief of artillery, Colonel C. H. Tompkins. The Nineteenth Corps, Brevet Major-General Emory commanding, followed, and was posted on the right of the pike, connecting with the Sixth Corps. The order of battle of this corps will no doubt be described by General Emory in his report; that of the Sixth Corps was designed to be in two lines of the Second and Third Divisions, the First being held in reserve; but the necessities of the case required that the Second Division should be in great part in one line in order to cover the ground, as is more fully explained in the report of General Getty, commanding that division.

As fast as the infantry arrived the cavalry of General Wilson's division was relieved, skirmishers were sent forward, and the cavalry battery replaced by the First New York Independent, as already stated. When the infantry lines of the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps were formed the order for advance was given. This was at 11.40 a.m., and the two corps moved handsomely to the front, driving for a time everything before them. After a considerable advance of the infantry and artillery a most determined charge of the enemy was made on the left of the Nineteenth Corps, crowding it back, and then turning on the flank of the Third Division, Sixth Corps, threatened a disaster to the day. It was too early in the battle to choose to put in the reserve of the Sixth Corps, but seeing that the fate of the day depended on the employment of this force I at once sent it in, and directed Colonel Tompkins, chief of artillery, to hold two of his batteries in position and turn them on the advancing column, they being the only ones having a fire on this part of the enemy's lines. The First Division moved admirably on the enemy, and the batteries with canister opened upon them with murderous effect, the two driving them back in much disorder. This was the turning point in the conflict. Getty, on the left, with part of Ricketts' division not involved in the break, maintained their front, and fell back only to secure their lines and preserve their connection with the right. For some time after the opposing ranks were comparatively quiet, neither side making any serious demonstration, the interval being employed in arranging the lines and preparing for another advance.

In the meanwhile the command of Major-General Crook had been brought up, formed on the extreme right, and about 4 p.m. advanced upon the enemy's left. Seeing the success of this movement, I at once ordered forward the Nineteenth and Sixth Corps, and a few moments later received orders to the same effect from Major-General Sheridan. From this moment till night closed the pursuit everything went favorably, the enemy being driven at all points toward and beyond Winchester, though many parts of our line met with obstinate and sanguinary resistance at various points. Our men, however, were in the best of spirits, and nothing could resist their determined advance. After our forces reached Winchester the enemy made a show of standing on the Strasburg road, and the Sixth and Nineteenth changed front with the design of again attacking, but the opposing line fell back, and darkness and the exhausted condition of the men, who had been on foot since 2 a.m. and had gone through a long and hard contested battle, precluded farther pursuit for the time. Rest was absolutely indispensable to all, and the troops were ordered into camp for the night.

In presenting this brief and very general description of the events of the day, I have not attempted to give a detailed account of the