The conduct of my command, both of officers and men, was in the main very satisfactory, but that a large portion of it, including nearly if not quite all my officers, was above all praise.
My losses in this affair were very slight, as will appear from the accompanying list of casualties,* but many of the wounds are of a severe character, having been made by shells.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. M. HARRIS,
Colonel Tenth West Virginia, commanding Third Brigade.
Lieutenant F. L. BALLARD,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.
No. 116. Report of Captain John Suter, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations October 19.
HDQRS. FIFTY-FOURTH PENNSYLVANIA VOL. INFANTRY,
Cedar Creek, va., October 25, 1864.
COLONEL: In compliance with your order asking a report of the part taken by the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in the action of the 19th of October, I have the honor to submit the following:
On the morning of the 19th, before daylight, when I was first apprised of picket-firing in our front, I ordered the regiment to turn out under arms, which was done by the companies forming in their quarters and afterward marching up to the breast-work in our front. Before the line could be properly formed the enemy, apparently in a mass, were observed advancing along the whole front and already at the abatis. My regiment opened and maintained a fire until the enemy getting in our rear from the extreme left of the of works, were compelled to fall back to avoid capture, and in so doing some 24 were taken prisoners, 2 killed, and 5 wounded. As there was no order given to fall back, a portion of the regiment was rallied at the skirt of the woods in the camp, and disputed the advance of the enemy for a time, during which Lieutenant Joseph Peck, acting adjutant, was killed while urging the men to their duty. Arriving on the turnpike the regiment was partly rallied with the colors and formed with a portion of the Nineteenth Corps, after which it moved back to a point in rear of the Sixth Corps, where a detachment of a few hundred of different regiments of the Army of West Virginia were rallied, after which it moved forward with said detachments and engaged the enemy in a skirt of woods, driving him out and holding it for nearly one hour, in which one man was severely wounded. Afterward again moved back with the detachment to a new position in rear of the Sixth Corps. After this, the respective brigades and divisions being again reformed, my regiment conformed to the movements of its own brigade during the remainder of the day, which was of a reserve and support to artillery, until evening when it advanced with the whole line to Cedar Creek, going into bivouac on nearly the same ground occupied before.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Comdg. Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Colonel MILTON WELLS,
Comdg. Third Brigadier, First Div., Army of West Virginia.
* Embodied in table, p. 123.