War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0320 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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chief of artillery of the corps, and one section of Captain Bradbury's battery. A strong working party immediately commenced strengthening the position thus seized, and though under a hot fire, especially of artillery, the line was nearly finished in its entire length when the order to advance was received along the whole line. Though the ground was very unfavorable for an advance, the troops pushed on with the greatest zeal and with all the rapidity possible, cheering, and with colors flying. The enemy, after firing a few rounds of artillery and doing some not very effective musketry firing, fled from behind their works, so closely followed up, however, as to be unable to take away their artillery or its ammunition. One company of the One hundred and seventy-sixth [New York], command by Captain Entwistel, was, I think, undoubtedly the first upon the works, and the captain took possession, with his company, of four pieces of artillery. He was so closely followed by the Twenty-eighth Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson commanding, that there could have been but a short interval of time between the arrival of both, but to Captain Entwistle, with his company, I think, is due the honor of first taking possession of the pieces. A large quantity of small-arms, too numerous to count or collect in the hurried pursuit of the enemy, were found scattered over the ground in rear of the works. We found our advance well into the works about dark, and I was ordered to push the advance of my division, without waiting to organize or collect those who had become separated in the hurry of the advance, upon the road taken by the enemy. A portion of Colonel Molineux's brigade, being the nearest at hand, was hurried to the front, and a line of skirmishers, consisting of the Eleventh Indiana Volunteers and One hundred and thirty-first New York Volunteers, were hastily thrown out on the left and right of the road, and the advance commenced. About 8.30 p. m. we came upon the rear guard of the enemy, consisting, as we were informed by a prisoner, of the Sixtieth Georgia Volunteers. The firing between our skirmishers and the enemy was rapid, but of short duration, the enemy retiring. The advance was continued without interruption for about an hour, when again our skirmishers were checked by the enemy's fire of musketry, supported by two pieces of artillery, well trained upon the road. Lines of battle were immediately hurried forward, but the enemy retreated and we saw no more of him during the night. I regret to say, that from some unaccountable misconception of our position in front by the troops in the rear, on both occasions when the skirmish line was fired upon by the enemy it was also fired upon by troops in the rear, notwithstanding every precaution was taken to prevent such an occurrence. Our losses were not heavy during the night advance, but owing to the intense darkness and the broken character of the country, the advance was very slow and extremely tedious. The immediate command of the skirmish line was conducted at first by Colonel Molineux, and, subsequently, by Colonel Macauley, to both of whom great credit is due for their zeal, activity, and success under very adverse circumstances. At about 4.30 a. m. on the 23rd our advance reached Woodstock, about twelve miles from Strasburg, where the army bivouacked until 12 m. During the advance from Strasburg about 200 prisoners fell into our hands, and six wagons were abandoned and burnt on the road by the enemy.

For list of casualties in both battles and in the advance to Woodstock see appendix.

For further details, I have the honor to inclose the reports of brigade commanders and the commander of the battery.