War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0457 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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directing its retreat toward the commanding heights west of the town. My command, by agreement with General Averell, took charge of all forces of the enemy on the pike and those in the immediate vicinity of the ground to its left. Other portions of the First Division made a detour still further to my left, so that which had lately been one unbroken line was now formed into several columns of pursuit, each with a special and select object in view. Within three-quarters of a mile from the point where the enemy had made his last stand he rallied a portion of his forces. His line was formed beyond a small ditch, which he no doubt supposed would break if not wholly oppose an attacking column. Under most circumstances such might have been the case, but with men inspired with a foretaste of victory greater obstacles must be interposed. Without designating any particular regiment the charge was sounded, and portions of all the regiments composing my brigade joined in the attack. The volleys delivered by the enemy were not sufficient to check the attacking column, and again was the enemy driven before us, this time seeking safety in rear of his line of infantry. Here he reformed for his last attack to check our advance. The batteries of the enemy were now enabled to reach us, an advantage they were not slow to improve. At this time a battery of the enemy, with apparently but little support, was being withdrawn. My command, owing to the repeated charges, had become badly broken, rendering it impossible to avail myself of the services of a single organized regiment. With detachments of each regiment a charge was ordered upon the battery, which but for the extreme smallness of our numbers would have proved successful. Lieutenant Lonsbury, Fifth Michigan Cavalry, with great daring, advanced with a handful of men to within a few paces of the battery, and was only prevented from capturing it by an infantry support, hitherto concealed and outnumbering him. Sergeant Barber, clerk at headquarters, distinguished himself in this charge as my color bearer. He carried the colors in advance of the charging column and was conspicuous throughout the engagement until severely wounded in the latter part of the day. It being necessary to reform my regiments before a farther advance, advantage was taken of a slight ridge of ground within 1,000 yards of the enemy's line of battle. Behind this ridge and protected from the enemy's fire I formed as many of my men as could be hastily collected. The guns which had been annoying us on our right were now charged and taken by the First and Fifth Regular Cavalry. This gave us possession of a portion of the main line of the enemy's fortifications. At the same time our infantry on the left and center had, after our success on the right, been enabled to drive the enemy and were now forcing him toward the town. Still determined to contest our farther advance, the enemy now contracted his lines. This gave me an opportunity to move my brigade to a small crest within 500 yards of the enemy's position. This movement was entirely unobserved by him, his attention being drawn toward the heavy lines of our infantry now advancing in open view far to our left. At this moment I received an order from the division commander to charge the enemy with my entire brigade. Having personally examined the situation and knowing that a heavy force of the enemy was lying down behind their works, facts of which I knew the division commander was ignorant, I respectfully requested that I might be allowed to select my own time for making the charge. My reasons for this course were that I was convinced the advance of our infantry on the center and left would compel the force in my front to shift its position to the rear and the most favorable moment to strike it would be after this movement