War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0222 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

Search Civil War Official Records

last mentioned the whole line advanced. As soon as we commenced to advance we were exposed to a heavy artillery fire from the enemy. Major Vredenburgh, commanding Fourteenth New Jersey Volunteers, who was charged with the direction of the line, and while bravely urging his troops onward was struck by a shell and instantly killed, his last words being, "Guide on me, boys; I will do the best I can." The division moved quickly forward for about one mile, passing Mr. Dinkle's house on the right of the pike and capturing almost all of the enemy in our immediate front. The Nineteenth Corps did not move and keep connection with my right, and the turnpike upon which the division was dressing bore to the left, causing a wide interval between the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps. As the lines advanced the interval became greater. The enemy discovering this fact, hurled a large body of men toward the interval and threatened to take my right in flank. Colonel Keifer at once caused the One hundred and thirty-eighth and Sixth-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers and One hundred and tenth Ohio Regiment to break their connection with the right of the remainder of his brigade and move toward the advancing columns of the enemy. Those three regiments most gallantly met the overwhelming masses of the enemy and held them in check. As soon as the Nineteenth Corps engaged the enemy the force in my front commenced slowly retiring. The three regiments named were pushed forward until they came upon two batteries (eight guns), silencing them and compelling the enemy to abandon them. The three regiments had arrived within less than 200 yards of the two batteries when the Nineteenth Corps, after a most gallant resistance, gave way. These guns would have been taken by our troops had our flanks been properly protected. The enemy at once came upon my right flank in large force; successful resistance was no longer possible; the order was given for our men to fall back on the second line, but the enemy advancing at the time in force threw us temporarily into confusion. The line was soon reformed and the enemy again driven from the house above mentioned and our line formed about 100 yards in advance, the men protecting themselves with rails, &c. Heavy firing on both sides was kept up. While holding this line the enemy charged twice, but was repulsed, with heavy loss, both times. About 4 p. m. a general advance took place, the enemy gave way before the impetuosity of our troops and were soon completely routed. This division pressed forward with the advanced line to and through the streets of Winchester to the heights beyond. Night came on and the pursuit of the enemy was stopped. The troops of my division encamped with the corps on the Strasburg and Front Royal roads south of Winchester.

This division took in this engagement 149 prisoners.

This division lost in the battle of Opequon some valiant and superior officers. Among others, the division mourns the loss of the gallant Major Dillingham, of the Tenth Vermont Volunteers. Major Vredenburgh, commanding Fourteenth New Jersey Volunteers, was killed instantly early in the action. He was a brave and skillful officer. Colonel J. W. Horn, Sixth Maryland Volunteers, than whom none excelled for distinguished bravery, was severely if not mortally wounded. Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Ebright, commanding One hundred and twenty-sixth Ohio, was killed instantly early in the action. He was uniformly brave and skillful.

The enemy was pursued on the 20th to Fisher's Hill about one mile and a half south of Strasburg, Va., on the Staunton pike, where he was found strongly fortified in an apparently impregnable position. About