No. 28. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Gideon Clark, One hundred and nineteenth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations September 19.
HEADQUARTERS 119TH PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS,
September 26, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to instructions contained in circular from headquarters Third Brigade, First Division, Sixth Army Corps, September 25, 1864, I have the honor to forward the following report of the part taken by this command in the engagement of September 19:
On the morning of September 19 this command broke camp near Berryville, Va., moving left in front with the rest of the brigade in a westerly direction to the opequon; crossed and threw out one commissioned officer and twenty men as flankers on right; thence advanced rapidly up the Berryville pike to within about four miles of Winchester; turned to left of the pike, and filed into a ravine under fire of the enemy's artillery, where we occupied the second line of battle. Remained in this position for two hours, then moved by the left flank in with battalion distance, where we received a heavy shelling. After remaining in this position about an hour we again moved by the left flank (meantime brisk skirmishing going on in our front) with much difficulty through a dense woods of timber and scrub oak. After getting through this piece of woods and again coming out into open country we formed in line in a ravine, fifth regiment from the right; then received orders to advance in line, we being the second line of battle; the enemy being driven by the first line, we did not become engaged until we had advanced probably half a mile or more, taking a diagonal course to the left across a ravine and strip of woods of thick underbrush, when we changed front to rear on first company. Moved by the right flank, and filing to the right again crossed the ravine with slight confusion in the ranks, caused by density of underbrush, but the regiment soon again formed in its original line. The firing with the front line by this time became very spirited, the enemy driving it in confusion through our line, and following them up soon made their appearance in a corn-field in our front, their musketry and artillery both doing great execution to our line. We were then ordered to advance, which we did, and driving them from their position in the field were ordered to halt behind a fence, at which time the firing became brisk and the enemy fell back into a woods of high timber, the firing being kept up between us for some time. In this position we lay about two hours. While here General Sheridan rode along amidst the cheers of the whole line, inspiriting the men. A skirmish line was then thrown out and we were ordered to advance. Moved forward in line of battle, driving the enemy before us, halting at the outer edge of the woods a few moments, thence forward to the crest of a hill. At this point we received a severe enfilading fire from the enemy's guns on our left flank and in our immediate front. We were ordered to about face, moved some fifty paces to the rear, about faced and were ordered to lie down. Again did General Sheridan ride along the lines and the enthusiasm of the men became unbounded. Once more we pressed forward, driving the enemy in great disorder; advanced some 200 yards under fire of the enemy's artillery planted on redoubt upon a high piece of ground near the town of Winchester. This artillery was soon compelled to cease firing and we moved forward, halting on the