were obliged to retire. I now ordered one section of Heaton's battery into position and opened upon the enemy's front. At the same time I ordered the Sixth New York and Seventeenth Pennsylvania to dismount and charge the left of his position, which at this time partially uncovered. The galling fire on his flank soon dislodged the enemy from his cover, and he precipitately retired to a position one mile in rear, whence he opened upon my advance with a battery of 3-inch guns. I immediately ordered up the other section of Heaton's battery, unlimbering within short range, soon made the enemy vacate his new position and retire toward Newtown. The force engaged proved to be Vaughn's (Tennessee) brigade of mounted infantry. I was now ordered by General Merritt to halt and reform. At 4 p.m. I was ordered to march in rear of the Reserve Brigade on the road toward Newtown. After advancing some miles the Reserve Brigade became warmly engaged, and being ordered to support I sent in successively the Sixth New York, Seventeenth Pennsylvania, and the Ninth New York Cavalry. The enemy were driven a mile before dark, when the brigade was retired and encamped.
August 12, the brigade marched to Newtown, where I was ordered to march in the direction of Fawcett's Gap and scour the country in that vicinity. I marched to Cedar Run Church, whence the Fourth New York Cavalry were sent [to] Fawcett's Gap, and the Sixth New York Cavalry were ordered to pursue a train of the enemy's wagons, then about two miles ahead on the Strasburg road. The Fourth New York reached the gap without trouble, and ascertained that no trains or organized bodies of the enemy had passed in that direction. A few stragglers were captured. The Sixth New York came up with and engaged the enemy's rear guard for two miles, but were unable to overtake the wagons before reaching the cover of the enemy's infantry at Strasburg. At 3 p.m. I received a dispatch from General Merritt, ordering to join the division at Middletown, which point I reached at dark and encamped. August 13, the brigade crossed Cedar Creek to near Strasburg, but was ordered to recross, and went into camp west of the turnpike. At 7 p.m. the brigade was ordered to march in the direction of Cedarville, on Front Royal and Winchester pike. Encamped that night five miles from Middletown, and picketed to Cedarville. August 14, marched to Cedarville and encamped; drove the enemy's pickets across both forks of Shenandoah, and picketed within sight of Front Royal.
Fight at Front Royal.-August 16, General Merritt came up with First and Reserve Brigades. The latter went into position at Stony Point, Custer's brigade remaining in support at Cedarville. About 2 p.m. a heavy force of cavalry and artillery crossed the river above the forks, and, driving in the squadron of Ninth New York Cavalry on picket, obtained possession of the high crests on each side of the turnpike at the point where it crosses Crooked Run. At the same time Wickman's brigade of rebel cavalry dashed up the turnpike and charged Hanley's squadron of Ninth New York Cavalry (which had been dismounted). Captain Hanley, in the most gallant manner, held the enemy in check until I was enabled to get the Fourth New York Cavalry, Colonel Cesnola, with which I at once charged the enemy's column in flank, routing and driving him back across the run, capturing a number of prisoners and a battle-flag. I now ordered the other three squadron of Ninth New York Cavalry to take position on the hills to the right and threaten the enemy's left. The Sixth New York and Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry were placed in support. The enemy, having thrown across a