War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0226 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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gained them and a portion of my command had opened fire upon him. Colonel Ball was ordered to take position with his brigade. The rear line of the Second Brigade, faced by the rear rank, was ordered to charge the hills, and orders were given to the other troops of the division to follow in close support. The troops advanced in excellent order, notwithstanding a heavy fire from the enemy, but just after the advance had crossed the stream the troops of the Nineteenth Corps broke in disorder and fell back along the stream and in such numbers as to impede the farther progress of the movement and temporarily throw the advance line into some confusion. Fearing the danger of getting my command into disorder, and at the same time ascertaining that the enemy had turned the left of the army and were already advancing and threatening the rear, the troops were withdrawn from the charge and a rapid fire opened upon the enemy; which stopped his farther progress in my front. So great were the number of broken troops of the other corps that for a time the lines had to be opened at intervals in order to allow them to pass to the rear. In consequence of the necessary movements of the morning the divisions of the Sixth Corps were separated and were obliged to fight independent of each other. The Third Division, having faced about, became the extreme right of the army. A number of guns belonging to the Sixth Corps were posted upon the hills on my left. These guns, under the command of Captains McKnight and Adams, and under the direction of Colonel Tompkins, chief of artillery of the Sixth Corps, were admirable handled and rapidly fired, although under a heavy and close musketry fire of the enemy. After over 100 artillery horses had been shot the enemy succeeded in capturing a portion of the guns, having approached under cover of the smoke and fog from the left, which was unprotected. A charge was ordered and the guns were retaken, three of which were drawn off by hand; others were left in consequence of being disabled, but were subsequently recaptured. The regiments principally engaged in this charge were the Tenth Vermont (of the First Brigade), commanded by Colonel William W. Henry, and Sixth Maryland (of the Second Brigade), commanded by Captain C. K. Prentiss. Great gallantry was displayed in this charge by officers and men. The rebels were fought hand to hand and driven from the guns. A position was taken upon the crest of a ridge facing the enemy, who by this time had thrown a force across Marsh Run, near its mouth, and were advancing along Cedar Creek upon my right. The right of the Third Division was extended to near Cedar Creek, and the left rested a short distance from Marsh Run. A heavy fire was kept up for a considerable period of time, and the enemy were twice driven back, with heavy loss. Orders were received from Major-General Wright in person to charge forward and drive the enemy, and the movement was commenced, and in consequence of the disorder into which the enemy had previously been thrown the movement bid fair to be a success; but, owing to the enemy's appearance in heavy force upon the left flank of the division, the charge was soon suspended and the troops withdrawn slowly to a new position. The battle raged with great fury, the line slowly retiring in the main in good order from one position to another. My line was at no time driven from any position, but was withdrawn from one position to another under orders, and each time after the enemy had been repulsed in all attacks from the front. About 10 a.m. the troops reached a road that ran parallel to my line and at right angles to the turnpike and a short distance to the rear and right of Middletown. The troops had been withdrawn not to exceed one mile and a half from the position occupied in the morning. At this hour the enemy suspended further