War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0386 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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No. 114. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John P. Limton, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations September 3.


Summit Point, Va., September 14, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Third Brigade in the late engagement near Berryville, on the 3rd instant:

At the beginning of the contest the Eleventh and Fifteenth Regiments West Virginia Infantry were hurriedly ordered from preparations for bivouac, and after some changes were, under orders from the division commander, placed - the Eleventh partially deployed as skirmishers in the woods at the north (or right) side of the pike from Berryville to Winchester, and the Fifteenth in line in a clump of woods on the south (or left) side of the same, with skirmishers thrown out on the front and left flank. Subsequently the position of the Fifteenth was changed, under the personal direction of the colonel commanding division, by advancing it about 200 yards to a crest of a hill in front and placing it, as I understand, on the extreme left of our line. While these dispositions were being made I learned that the general commanding had directed the balance of the brigade to proceed to the right of the line, and the two regiments on the left being separated as indicated, I deemed it proper to proceed to the right. I have therefore no personal knowledge of the part taken by the Eleventh and Fifteenth Regiments West Virginia Volunteers in the fight. From the reports of their commanders, to which I respectfully refer, it appears that the Fifteenth was "assault in front and on the left flank, and after a brief but sharp contest fell back and formed in rear of our battery on the right of the Winchester road," and remained there until 9 p. m. The Eleventh had been deployed about an hour, "when the enemy charged upon" their "line and they were, after some pretty severe skirmishing," ordered to fall back upon their reserves. Not finding their reserves, the One hundred and twenty-third Ohio, at the point supposed, they continued to fall back until "rallied behind a stone fence parallel to their original position, which position they held till daylight." When I arrived at the right of the line I found the Twenty-third Illinois deployed as skirmishers and the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers and Tenth West Virginia advancing by the flank to the line. These regiments were immediately formed in line, the reserve of the Twenty-third Illinois on the left, connecting with a brigade of Second Division, the Tenth Virginia in the center, and the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the right, being the extreme right of our line of battle. The ground in front being covered with thick undergrowth, I strengthened the line of skirmishers with one company of the Tenth Virginia and one from the Fifty-fourth right and protecting that flank. The fighting along this part of the line was principally between the skirmishers, no demonstration being made by the enemy in force, and through we were pretty severely shelled, the shell almost invariably passed too high, doing no damage. About daylight the Tenth and Twenty-third, by direction of colonel commanding division, were quietly retired to the new line, the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers being left as our advance picket. Some time after