No. 124. Report of Colonel Hiram F. Devol, Thirty-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanidng First Brigade, of operations October 19.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND INFANTRY DIVISION, ARMY OF WEST VIRGINIA, Cedar Creek, Va., October 23, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, Second Infantry Division, Army of West Virginia, in the action of October 19, 1864:
About 4 o'clock in the morning, or perhaps a little earlier, I was alarmed at what seemed to be very heavy picket-firing in the direction of the camp of the First Division. I immediately caused the revelled to be sounded, and about the same time received orders from Colonel R. B. Hayes, commanding division, to get the brigade under arms immediately. This I succeeded in doing in a short time. The picket was soon so as to face in that direction. This threw the brigade into line parallel with the Winchester pike and some severely-five yards from it. The movement being executed, two companies were deployed as skirmishers and became engaged with the enemy at once,were driven back, and a number of the men captured. While this was transpiring a heavy column of the enemy could be seen marching as if to gain the pike between us and Winchester, and the troops on our right had given way, exposing the brigade to a flank fire from that direction. Orders were then received to retire, which was done in some confusion. A portion of the command was rallied by myself in front and to the left of General Crook's headquarters, and the enemy checked long enough to enable to train to get off. Another, portion formed in a belt of woods to the left, and did excellent service. I did not fall back from this place until forced to by vastly superior numbers. Some distance back the men were again got together, and under orders from General Crook I charged the enemy and drove him in confusion until completely outflanked, when I returned on the main line of the army,reformed about three miles from the camp of the morning. I reached this front near 11 a. m. Prior to the general advance of our army toward Cedar Creek I joined the remainder of General Crook's command on the east side of the road, and moved forward with it, campaign in the same place as on the previous night.
With few exceptions, both officers and men behaved in a becoming manner.
Lieutenant Colonel James R. Hall, Thirteenth West Virginia Infantry, fell early in the day while gallantly doing his duty. In him the Thirteenth Regiment loses a brave and efficient officer. Lieutenant McBride and Mahan, of the Twenty-third [Ohio], and Zimmermann and Anderson, of the Fifth [West Virginia], were wounded during the action.
The loss in the brigade is 23 killed and 102 wounded, including the officers above mentioned.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. F. DEVOL,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Lieutenant C. B. HAYSLIP,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Infty. Div., army of W. Va.
*But see revised table, p. 135.