War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0309 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Brigade, for the purpose of holding the position in which they were placed and from a junction with the Sixth Corps. They held the position stubbornly and quite as long as it was necessary for the purpose for which they were put in position, when they fell back in good order and rejoined their brigades. The advance of the enemy along our entrenchments was so rapid as to prevent Captain Taft, commanding Fifth New York Battery, from bringing off three pieces of artillery, which, I regret to report, fell temporarily into the hands of the enemy, but without the caissons, which were safely brought off, as was one of the guns. The two regiments left on the fortified hill held their position until all other troops has passed to the rear, and the enemy were passing to their rear and left, when they fell back to the brigade line, when the whole brigade fell back, fighting al the way to a line in continuation of the line of the Sixth Corps, where a stand of nearly one hour was made; then the whole line to my left began to fall back slowly, but in tolerable order. I fell back also, but constantly occupied a position in line in advance of all troops in sight on my left. We continued to fall back for a distance of 1,200 yards and about 2,000 yards to the rear of my camp, when the whole line halted and we continued in line for probably forty-five minutes, during which time Colonel Thomas, with the remnant of the Second Brigade, joined me, and I put him in rear of the First Brigade in a second line. At the time above referred to General Grover, accompanied by a staff officer, rode up to me and notified me that Major-General Wright ordered the whole line to fall back to a position to be indicated or selected afterward. We at once commenced a movement as directed, which was continued for a distance of 1,000 yards, when we halted and formed a line of battle in a good position apparently, and by order of Brevet Major-General Emory fortified it partially with raid and logs.

In moving from the last position I was directed to conform to General Grover's movements, inclining to the right in retreat. After occupying the last-mentioned line from thirty-five to sixty minutes General Emory directed me to be ready to continue the move to the rear in accordance with instructions from Major-General Wright, constantly inclining to the right, gaining ground toward the Winchester pike, and completing connection with the Sixth Corps. This move was continued for about 2,500 yards, when the whole line in my view again halted for about twenty minutes, when I received an order from General Emory to face about reoccupy as rapidly as possible the position last abandoned. After moving about 900 yards in the direction from whence we came, the command was halted a few minutes, when it again moved to the front and left nearly one mile, when we again were halted, and after forming line of battle in a heavy wood began to fortify as best we could. While on the march last referred to Major-General Sheridan made his appearance, and was most heartily cheered along the whole line, as far as I could observe. The officers and men seemed at once to recover from a kind of lethargy-for it was no panic-into which the reverses of the early part of the day had thrown them, and by the time the commanding general had perfected his arrangements for attacking the enemy the men were in as good mental condition to fight as at any period when victory encouraged and stimulated, though much fatigued by the incessant labors performed from the hour of attack until between 3 and 4 p. m. While laying in the position last referred to, at about 1 p. m. the enemy made a light attack on the First Division and a portion of the line to my left, but were easily repulsed. During the whole day I occupied the extreme