Corps, on the left, and a portion of the Second Division, on the right, drove the enemy from his last position on the ridge, and the day's work was over.
I omitted to mention in its proper connection that just as we were leaving the first work captured on the left Powell's cavalry swept by to our right in splendid style.
I cannot speak too highly of the extreme gallantry of the officers and men of the brigade. Colonel Wildnes, Major Pratt, Major Urban, and Captain Chamberlain, commanding regiments, all did their entire duty. I would especially call attention to the gallant charge of colonel Wildnes' regiment in the face of the artillery fire. In five minutes after coming out of the woods the Thirty-fourth Massachusetts had its men together and was marching forward in line as regularly as on parade.
I am under great obligations to the members of my staff for their assistance in the action. I regret to add that after the affair was all over Major Pratt was very severely wounded in both legs by the accidental discharge of a musket in the regiment behind his. The loss of his services at this time is irreparable. I do not know a more gallant or efficient officer.
The charge from first to last must have covered a distance of more than five miles. The entire distance was passed under constant and continuous fire, sometimes very severe, the men steadily advancing much of the time on the double-quick. They would not stop to take possession of artillery as they passed, nor would they go to the rear with prisoners. All these were passed by the for those to gather who came after. As long as a rebel was in sight they chased him, and whenever they heard heavy firing and saw that our advance was checked they gathered like bees. The field was no vast and the confusion so great that officers could do little but encourage the men and set them examples of energetic courage. So far as this brigade is concerned, I feel the success is due, more than in any battle I know, to the splendid individual heroism of the men in the ranks.
I inclose a list of casualties,* also the reports of commanding officers of regiments.
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.
No. 109. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas F. Wildes, One hundred and sixteenth Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations October 19.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST INFANTRY DIVISION, ARMY OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Cedar Creek, Va., October 24, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: In compliance with your order, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the action of the 19th instant:
About 4 o'clock on the morning of the 19th of October, 1864, I heard brisk picket-firing on the right and left of the position occupied by my command. I immediately ordered the brigade under arms behind its
* Embodied in table, p. 123.