HDQRS. 1ST INFANTRY DIV., ARMY OF WEST VIRGINIA,
September 30, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I submit the following report of the performed by the First Infantry Division at the battle near Winchester on the 19th instant:
While lying at the Openquon about 12 m. of that day I received orders to leave my smallest brigade to guard the trains and move the balance of my command rapidly to the front on the Winchester pike, where the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps had been for some time warmly engaged with the enemy. I left Second Brigade and started at once with the First and Third. The pike was filled with wagons, artillery, ambulances, and stragglers running back from the scene of action, very seriously impeding my progress. After proceeding about two miles I reported in person to General Crook, and under his supervision formed my command in two lines on the right of the pike and in rear of a heavy wood, in the front of the which the Nineteenth Corps was posted and was at the time fighting the enemy. The First Brigade, commanded by Colonel George D. Wells, of the Thirty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, composed the first line, and the Third Brigade, commanded by Colonel T. M. Harris, the second line. I then moved through the woods to the front, where I was directed to form on the right of the Nineteenth Corps, but on arriving at the front I found the right of this corps resting on a very deep and almost impassable morass, called, I believe, red Bun Run, and having learned that Colonel Duval's division was to move up on the other side of it, I deemed it inexpedient to try to form my line as first directed, and halted immediately in rear of the right of the Nineteenth. I presently Emory, who informed me that his lines were very much extended and very weak, and requested me to relieve the two brigades posted upon his right and enable him to strengthen his center. This I did at once, posting Colonel Well's brigade in the front line, with one regiment deployed as skirmishers in the woods along the margin of Red Bud Run. Colonel Harris' brigade formed the second line and had two regiments faced to the right and at right angles to the right of the line. these latter regiments in position occupied by a brigade of the Nineteenth Corps. When these dispositions were made General Sheridan arrived upon the ground and directed me, as soon ass Colonel Duval's division arrived upon the opposite side of the morass, to move forward and charge the enemy and drive him from the woods in which he was posted, about 600 yards to my front. General Emory informed me that his corps had charged the enemy in this wood about an hour previous to my arrival and had been repulsed and driven back. A rousing cheer from the opposite side of Red Bud Run announced Colonel Duval's approach, and the order was at once given to move forward, which was done with artillery. After moving about 300 yards through the open field the enemy's artillery and musketry opened very briskly upon my lines, but its effect was to increase the impetuosity of the command, and with deafening yells and cheers the men rushed forward and reached the wood to find the enemy breaking and running in confusion. A rapid pursuit was made, firing as briskly as possible and cheering most lustily. Deep ravines and entangling brushwood prevented the preservation of lines, and as the command emerged into the open country beyond all technical order was gone, the two brigades were merged into a victorious throng, each individual of which was bent on pursuing and punishing the enemy, and all eagerly running and loading and firing and cheering. The enemy's left was entirely broken and we had passed beyond the left of his line that still remained intact, and were