War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0225 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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No. 49. Report of Colonel J. Warren Keifer, One hundred and tenth Ohio Infantry. commanding Third Division, of operations October 19.


Camp before Petersburg, Va., December 15, 1864.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report, in compliance with orders, the movements and operations of the Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, at the battle of Cedar Creek, Va., on the 19th of October, 1864:

The Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, occupied a position in two lines on the left of the other two divisions of the corps, connecting on its left with the right of the Nineteenth Corps. The Nineteenth Corps was in the center of the army, the Eighth Corps, or Army of West Virginia, being upon the extreme left, the whole army facing Cedar Creek. The troops of the division were to the right of the turnpike about half a mile and not to exceed one mile and a half from Middletown. Marsh Run, which in places was difficult to cross, flowed through a ravine a very short distance in rear of the division and divided the main body of the troops of the Nineteenth from the Sixth Corps. The troops of the division consisted of two brigades, commanded previous to the 19th of October, 1864, First Brigade, by Colonel William Emerson, One hundred and fifty-first New York Volunteers; Second Brigade, by myself, and the division by Brigadier General James B. Ricketts. The First Brigade was located upon the right and Second Brigade upon the left of the division. The aggregate strength present for duty in line was 151 officers and 3,818 enlisted men. On the morning of October 19, at early daybreak, some firing was heard upon the right of the army and soon after rapid firing was heard in the direction of the extreme left of the army. Being in command of the Second Brigade at that time, it was immediately placed under arms, tents struck, and wagons packed, and preparations made for meeting any emergency. Immediately after the troops were formed in front of their camp, Captain A. J. Smith, acting assistant adjutant-general, Third Division, with others of the division staff, reported to me with orders from General Ricketts to assume command of the division, General Ricketts having assumed command of the corps, General Wright being in command of the army. I at once turned over the command of the Second Brigade to Colonel William H. Ball, One hundred and twenty-second Ohio, and assumed command of the division. The firing continued to grow more rapid upon the left of the army, and it soon became apparent that the enemy designed to bring on a general engagement. I received an order from General Ricketts to move the division to the turnpike, and commenced the movement, but soon after received an order to reoccupy the late position and look out for the right, as the First and Second Divisions of the corps had been ordered from the right across the run to the turnpike and to the support of the left of the army. The firing continued to grow more rapid upon the left and extended to the rear, parallel with the turnpike and toward Middletown. The troops upon the left fallen back from their position in disorder, and, with small bodies of cavalry, army wagons, pack animals, &c., had crossed Marsh Run and were rushing through the lines of troops; it was only by the greatest exertions of officers that the lines could be preserved. While moving the troops back to their late position orders were received to take the hills opposite the rear of the camps of the division. When this order was received the enemy had