War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0375 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

cleared; the One hundred and twenty-third Ohio was held in reserve. The enemy's skirmishers were driven easily from the woods by our own skirmish line. After our skirmishers were well in and were formed Colonel Thoburn directed the skirmishers to charge through the woods. This we did; but as soon as our line entered it we received a very heavy fire from a line of woods to our right across the pike. Entrenchments had been thrown up long the edge of these woods, and a strong skirmish line firing from these within easy range, and directly upon our flank, made the small piece we were ordered to hold almost uneatable. Our line quickly charged front to the right, and a portion of it charged across the pike, driving the enemy back from the edge of the woods occupied by them. I withdrew then as soon as possible and formed in the edge of my own woods parallel with and facing the pike. i sent two companies through to the part of the woods toward Charlestown, and then directed the Thirty-fourth to move down to the stacks and burn them. This was very quickly done. The Thirty-fourth moved to the rear of the stacks and details went forward and fired them all at once. Meanwhile the line in the woods was exchanging fire across the pike with the enemy and losing men fast. We probably inflicted little, if any, loss upon the enemy, as they were protected. After I saw the Thirty-fourth moving back I began to withdraw the line from the woods; just as I was doing this I received Colonel Thorburn's order to fall back. The men having scattered along the front of the woods to gain cover during the firing, I halted them just at the edge, and the command came back in good order. The regiments behaved very well. The Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, for the first time under fire, and losing quite heavily, moved forward with alacrity and well. The One hundred and sixteenth [Ohio] and Thirty-fourth [Massachusetts] were steady and gallant, as usual. In the above affair the disposition of the troops was made, and the instructions to regimental commanders given, direct by the colonel commanding the division. My part was only to follow the line and keep it to its work. No stretchers were brought upon the field, and none were seen by me until the line was brought back. The men having no shelter-tents or blankets with them, it was with great difficulty that the severely wounded were brought from the field. Some five or six dead were left, some beyond the pike and very near the enemy's wood, but none who appeared to be living.

The casualties were 9 killed, 56 wounded, and 1 missing.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. D. WELLS,

Colonel Thirty-fourth Massachusetts Infty., Comdg. First Brigade.

Lieutenant F. L. BALLARD,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST INFANTRY DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA,

Camp near Winchester, September 20, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by the First brigade, First Infantry Division, in the action of the 19th instant.

The brigade was moved forward in line through the woods to the point at the right of the Sixth Corps. With three regiments I relieved a brigade of the Nineteenth Corps, then forming the extreme right of our line, and placed the Thirty-fourth Massachusetts in rear, fronting to the right and holding the right flank. In our immediate front was an open field about 500 yards in breadth and extending for about a