Having effected a crossing, the brigade pushed on to Winchester, reaching which point we soon became engaged with cavalry and infantry. Three charges were made by the regiment-in the first we assisted in routing the rebel cavalry; in the second we were repulsed by rebel infantry, and in the third charge made by that portion of the brigade which had rallied, led by General Custer un person, this regiment alone captured prisoners than it had men engaged. Seven officers had their horses shot under them on the field.
From 19th to 23rd, in pursuit of Early's army. 24th, overtook Wickham's brigade of rebel cavalry in the Luray Valley and charged on the left of the brigade line, assisting in routing the enemy. 26th, crossed the Shenandoah at Port Republic. The regiment charged on a rebel wagon train near Brown's Gap, but finding itself confronted by Early's whole army, very judiciously failed to capture the train .
From the 26th of September to the 26th of October the regiment was commanded by Major Charles W. Deane. During that time the regiment made several reconnaissance, acted as escort for General Sheridan three times, and fought three battles. On the evening of the 8th of October I was ordered by General Merritt to drive the force which had been harassing our rear in the retrograde movement from Harrisonsburg back tom Woodstock, a distance of six miles. Giving the Sixth Michigan the advance, I succeeded in doing this. The enemy were driven at a jump the entire distance. They made several attempts to charge the regiment, but were repulsed each time. On the 9th I was ordered to open the ball by attacking the flank of a very strong cavalry [force] which confronted General Custer. This attack was made with great impetuosity by the Sixth and Seventh Michigan, but as this report has only to do with one regiment, I will omit all mention of the very gallant part taken in this fight by the Seventh Michigan, and the splendid gallantry of the Fifth Michigan in the fight of the 8th. The Sixth Michigan charged and scattered a mounted and dismounted line of the enemy; made the first impression that was made upon the enemy's line in the action of the 9th of October, charging and routing everything that opposed them, until they found themselves two miles in advance of the other two brigades of the First Division, who were being at the same time driven back by another portion of the same force engaging us, and until ordered by the division commander to halt. On the 19th of October the regiment behaved with such coolness in the face of the defeat which threatened our arms as to win complimentary notice from all its commanders. It made two charges upon line of infantry, in both of which it succeeded in breaking the enemy's lines. In the second charge many prisoners and a battle-flag were the trophies; the enemy was utterly routed.
During the year the regiment has been in twenty-three pitched battles, besides innumerable skirmishers; has captured more prisoners than it has ever had men for duty; has participated in the dangers and shared all the honors of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. KIDD,
Brigadier General JOHN ROBERTSON,
Adjutant-General of Michigan.
30 R R-VOL XLIII, PT I