rout. The battery in the earth-works still remained and enough of the enemy with it to give us a heavy fire as we advanced to the wall recently held by the enemy. Halting here for a while i was again ordered forward, and moved the brigade down into the hollow and within 300 yards of the battery, the One hundred and sixteenth Ohio having an excellent position on the left, from which their were enabled to fire directly upon the piece and horses. We hung here again for some time, the Nineteenth Corps forming in line in rear of the stone wall and the Sixth Corps at some distance on the left, but before very long Custer's cavalry made a dashing charge upon the right, sweeping around almost into the earth-works. The whole line went forward again and the battle was, to all intents and purposes, at an end. In the earth-works was a brass 12-pounder, a caisson full of ammunition, two horses, and about a dozen dead ones. Between the earth-works and the stone wall was another caisson filled with ammunition, all the horses having been shot. I left a detail of the fifth New York to take charge of the property and turn it over as soon as opportunity should offer. From this point we were moved by the left flank into Winchester, which was occupied serious opposition.
The officers and men of the different regiments behaved magnificently. I never saw less straggling to the rear; the men left behind in the rapidity of the first charge came up as soon as possible, and if unable to find their commands immediately went into the fight wherever they happened to make the line. The artillery fire was the most trying I ever experienced. the enemy's guns were served with great precision and with wonderful nerve and pluck in the face of our fire and at short rifle range. It was not until the fight was nearly over that our artillery came up; but the never flinched, they never through of going back, and when they should stand the fire no longer charged forward.
Major Pratt, commanding Thirty-fourth Massachusetts, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wildnes, commanding One hundred and sixteenth Ohio, handled their regiments with great courage and skill, and in all the confusion of the charges kept their commands together, and in good order. I desire to call especial attention to the gallant conduct of Major Pratt and his regiment in the last charge.
Captain Chamberlain, commanding One hundred and twenty-third Ohio, lost three out of his five officers, and his men became in consequence of the want of officers much discouraged, but with the portion of the regiment he kept with him he did splendid fighting, and was one of the first in the enemy's works.
To my own staff, Captain Karr and Lieutenants Disosway and Cobb, I am under great obligations for their invaluable assistance.
In the first charge some young officer of General Sheridan's staff rode well in advance of the line, bareheaded and cheering on the men; I regret I am unable to give the name of this officers, whose gallant example helped much in inspiriting the men.
I have the honor to inclose a list of casualties* and to forward the reports of regimental commanders.
I have the honor to be, lieutenant, your obedient servant,
GEO. D. WELLS,
Colonel Thirty-fourth Massachusetts Vol. Infty., Comdg. Brigade.
Lieutenant F. L. BALLARD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
* Embodied in table, p. 115.