War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0319 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

their duty, they were for a time unable to restrain the impetuosity of the ranks, and the whole brigade charged as a man and drove the enemy some 300 yards beyond where its flanks were supported or could at that time receive the proper support. Receiving a fire of artillery and small-arms upon front and flanks, of course it was obliged to retire. It did not do so, however, until the lines on the left had retire, including Colonel Sharpe's brigade, which held its position until its left was exposed to the enemy's advance by the falling back of the troops on his left. As the advance line retired the reserve line moved forward in front of the woods from which we had at first debouched, and with the assistance of two sections of Captain Bradbury's (First Maine) battery, held the enemy completely in check. Colonel Sharpe, commanding the Third Brigade, was severely wounded in the first advance, and the command of his brigade devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Neafie, of the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York, who still held his command on the immediate right of the Sixth Corps. General Birge's brigade reformed on our second line in the edge of the woods on our right, the Fourth Brigade holding the front on that flank, while Colonel Molineux's held the advanced position on the left. This ground was hotly contested for some hours, and the enemy pressed heavily upon our right flank and annoyed our lines considerably by a battery which nearly enfiladed them. When the ammunition of these brigades was expended they were relieved by the First Division and resupplied themselves from the rear.

I must make special mention here of the excellent service done by the Eleventh Indiana Volunteers, Colonel Macauley commanding, and the One hundred and thirty-first New York, Colonel Day commanding; the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Neafie commanding, and the First Maine Battery, Captain Bradbury commanding. None of the troops, however, who were here engaged failed to do their whole duty and to reflect credit upon the soldiership of the rank and file and upon the gallantry of their commanders.

At a little after 3 p. m. General Crook's command took position on our right and moved upon the enemy's flank, and an advance of the whole line was immediately ordered and executed with alacrity. The enemy, though disputing the ground stubbornly with artillery, continued to retire, inflicting at the same time but small loss upon our advancing lines. We bivouacked at dark for the night just beyond the town of Winchester. On the 20th the division marched to Strasburg, and on the next day nothing worth mention occurred, excepting a reconnaissance by the Ninth Connecticut, who found the enemy in some force on the other side of the Shenandoh and returned to camp about 9 p. m. The enemy was here in our front in strong position, with two lines of works. Early on the 22nd the army moved to the immediate front of the works, the Second Division, Nineteenth Corps, on the extreme left. Hastily-made works were thrown up along the whole line, under the immediate direction of General Birge on the right and Colonel Molineux on the left. Constant though not heavy skirmishing, with some artillery practice, continued all the morning on both sides. To strengthen and shorten our lines it became necessary to drive in the enemy's skirmishers and occupy their lines. This was handsomely done by the One hundred and twenty-eighth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Foster commanding, supported by the One hundred and seventy-sixth New York Volunteers, Major Lewis commanding, after a most efficient and beneficial shelling from a battery under the immediate supervision of Captain Taft,