War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0455 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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of the command to give way in considerable confusion. No responsibility for this repulse could be attached to Lieutenant-Colonel Brewer, who had left nothing undone calculated to insure success. Giving him orders to reform his command under cover of the ridge or hills before mentioned, and directing Colonel Kidd to engage the attention of the enemy as closely as possible, while such disposition of a detachment of sharpshooters was made as to quiet that portion of the enemy lodged in the rifle-pits covering the ford, the First Michigan Cavalry, Colonel Stagg commanding, which had been held in reserve, was ordered to accomplish what two regiments had unsuccessfully attempted. No time was lost, but aided by the experience of the command which preceded it, the First Michigan Cavalry secured a good position near the ford, from which Colonel Stagg, detaching two squadrons as an advance guard, under Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell, one of the most dashing and intrepid officers of the service, ordered the charge, and under cover of the heavy fire poured in by the Sixth Michigan, gained a footing upon the opposite bank, capturing the rifle-pits and a considerable number of prisoners. The enemy retired about one mile from the ford in the direction of Winchester, and took position behind a heavy line of earth-works, protected ion addition by a formidable cheval-de-frise. My entire command was moved to the south bank of the stream and placed in position along the ridge just vacated by the enemy. About this time a battery of horse artillery, under command of Lieutenant Taylor, reported to me and was immediately ordered into position within range of the enemy's works. Prisoners captured at the ford represented themselves as belonging to Breckinridge's corps, and stated that this corps, with Breckinridge in command, was posted behind the works confronting us. Deeming this information reliable, as the results of the day proved it to be, I contented myself with annoying the enemy with artillery and skirmishers until the other brigades of the division, having effected a crossing at a ford lower down, established connection with my left. Acting in conjunction with a portion of Colonel Lowell's brigade, an advance of the First and Seventh Michigan and Twenty-fifth New York was ordered to test the strength and numbers of the enemy. This movement called forth from the enemy a heavy fire from his batteries. It failed, however, to inflict serious damage. Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell, who headed the charging column, as was his custom, succeeded in piercing the enemy's line of infantry and reaching to within a few feet of their artillery. Overwhelming numbers alone forced him to relinquish the intent of their capture, and he retired after inflicting a severe loss upon the enemy. This advance while clearly developing the strength and position of the enemy, was not without loss on our part. Among those whose gallantry on this occasion was conspicuous was Lieutenant Jackson, of the First Michigan Cavalry, who, while among the foremost in the charge, received a wound which carried away his arm and afterward proved mortal. He was a young officer of great promise, and one whose loss was severely felt. At this time the engagement along the center and left of our line was being contested with the utmost energy upon both sides, as could be determined both by the leave firing of artillery and of small-arms. While it was known to be impossible to carry the position in my front with the force at my disposal, it was deemed important to detain as large a portion of the enemy in our front as possible and thus prevent a re-enforcement of other parts of their line. With this object in view, as great a display of our forces was kept up as circumstances would allow. At the same time skirmishing was continued with little or no loss on either side. From the configuration of the ground, the