enemy's lines advanced, and, being thus finally compelled to withdraw without orders, was so hotly pressed from and flank as to throw it in some disorder. Its losses were thus rendered severe in killed, wounded, and missing. The Thirty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry, having position on the right of the brigade, lost heavily.
The reconnaissance, though successful in regard to its object, was nevertheless expensive, as the accompanying list of casualties will show. Amongst the losses I announce with deep sorrow that of Colonel George D. Wells, commanding Firts Brigade, who was mortally wounded and died the same evening. A more gallant, accomplished, and unflinching soldier would be hard to find.
I am, captain, yours, very respectfully,
T. M. HARRIS,
Captain WILLIAM McKINLEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of West Virginia.
List of casualties.
Troops. Officers. Men. Officers. Men.
First Brigade.. 1 15 2 68
Third Brigade.. ... 6 ... 40
Total 1 21 2 108
Troops. Officers. Men. Aggregate.
First Brigade.. 3 70 159
Third Brigade.. ... 4 50
Total 3 74 209
HEADQUARTERS FIRST INFANTRY DIVISION, ARMY OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Cedar Creek, Va., October 26, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the apart by this division in the late action of the 19th instant:
At about 4.30 a. m. the enemy advanced in heavy force against the works of the First Division, pushing in rapidly whatever of the picket-line he failed to capture. The division, having been aroused by the firing along the picket-line and the subsequent skirmishing of the pickets with the advancing foe, as also by the division officer if the day, who reported the advance of a heavy force, was quickly formed behind the works, and put in position for defense as far as practicable. Very soon the enemy's lines advanced close up to the works, and were greeted by a volley from our whole line. The action here was sharp and brief, the greatly superior force of the enemy enabling him not only to turn our left, but also to effect an entrance between the First and Third Brigades, then holding the works. Being thus subjected to enfilading fires, as also to a direct fire from the front, these two brigades were driven from the works, and so heavy and impetuous was the enemy's advance that their retreat was soon, for the most part, converted into a confused rout, a large proportion of the men flying across the fields to the rear in great disorder. It is proper that I should here remark that during this proportion of the action my command consisted of that portion of the Third Brigade then present, viz, the Tenth, Eleventh, and Fifteenth West Virginia and Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers. The Twenty-third Illinois, having been for some time previous temporarily detached from the brigade, was not in the action. Having my headquarters some distance in the rear of the works, I did not arrive