War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0365 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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October 30, 1864.

COLONEL: I have the honor herewith to inclose Colonel T. M. Harris' report of the reconnaissance made on the 13th instant by two brigades of the First Infantry Division of the Army of West Virginia, commanded by the Colonel Thoburn, in the vicinity of Strasburg.* The report of Colonel Harris embraces all the points that Major-General Sheridan did not personally witness. i regret to report the loss of Colonel George D. in the First Brigade, who fell mortally wounded, while in the discharge of his duty. In him the service lost a most gallant soldier and an estimate gentleman. Our loss was as follows: 22 killed, 110 wounded, and 77 missing; total, 209.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Colonel J. W. FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff.


Cedar Creek, Va., November 7, 1864.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 19th ultimo the Army of West Virginia, under my command, owing to the heavy details made from it, did not number over 4,000 bayonets present. The First Division, Colonel Joseph Thoburn commanding, and Batteries B, Fifth United States, and D, Firts Pennsylvania Artillery, were encamped farther down Cedar Creek, and about one mile from the left of the nineteenth Corps, on a high ridge overlooking Cedar Creek and the country in the vicinity of Strasburg, with the right resting close to and forming down the creek. The general bearing of this ridge was an irregular crescent, running to the rear of and about half a mile distant from the left of the Nineteenth Corps. Battery L, First Ohio Artillery, was occupying the works above the bridge across the creek, while the Second Division, Colonel R. B. Hayes commanding, was held in reserve and encamped about a quarter of a mile in rear of the left of the Nineteenth Corps. My pickets wee at the usual distance from camp, and connecting with the those of the other commands. The works in front of the First Division were being extended on this ridge opposite the Second Division, to be used by other troops in case of an emergency,a s I had not a sufficient number of men to man them. Subsequent investigation goes to show that the greater part of the enemy some time during the night previous crossed the Shenandoah River below the mouth of Cedar Creek and massed just outside of my pickets. At about 4.30 a. m. another force of the enemy crossed the creek in front of the First Division, and soon after the enemy came rushing in solid lines of battle, without skirmishers, on my pickets, coming to the works with those of the pickets they had not captured, in overwhelming numbers, entered that portion of the works not occupied by our troops, and soon were on the flanks and in the rear of the First Division and the two batteries, compelling them their to retreat or be captured. The ground to be passed over was one succession of hills and ravines, so that it was impossible for troops to make a rapid retreat in anything like good order. In the meantime the Second Division was formed on a ridge parallel to and facing from the pike, with its right nearly opposite to the left of the


* See p. 371.