No. 148. Report of Colonel Alfred Gibbs, Nineteenth New York (First New York Dragoons), commanding Reserve Brigade, of operations August 10-September 1.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY RESERVE BRIGADE,
Camp near Berryville, Va., September 1, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of this brigade from August 10 to the present date, both inclusive:
on both 10th ultimo the undersigned assumed command of the brigade, consisting of the First U. S. Cavalry, Captain Sweitzer commanding; the Second U. S. Cavalry, Captain D. S. Gordon commanding; Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Major Starr commanding; First New York Dragoons, Major Scott commanding; First Rhode Island Cavalry, Major Farrington commanding, and Battery D, Second U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant E. B. Williston commanding. The brigade, except the First Rhode Island Cavalry, on detached service, marched from camp near Halltown at 8 a.m., passed through Charlestown and took the road toward White Post. About 4 p.m. met the enemy's pickets, when the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry and First New York Dragoons were thrown out as skirmishers, dismounted, handsomely drove back the enemy through a thick wood and upon the road leading toward Newtown, and at about 3.30 p.m. [11th] the First New York Dragoons was thrown out in advance on the Newtown road, where, about 4 p.m., it met and drove in the enemy's pickets and skirmishers, posted in open woods on either side of the road and forced them back to a strong line of breast-works made of fence rails about a mile and a half from the town. The First U. S. Cavalry was then thrown in on the left of the First New York Dragoons and the Second U. S. Cavalry on the right. The Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, throwing a squadron into the woods on the extreme left to protect that flank and a squadron of the First New York Dragoons mounted, covering the right flank, the remaining squadron of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry being held in reserve as a support to the battery. The enemy showing a strong force of infantry and gradually pushing the command back, the battery was brought into position, and the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry thrown forward in the open field on their front. They deployed in excellent order and drove the enemy back through the woods lining this open field. The battery then opened with excellent effect, throwing solid shot and shell with great precision, and the Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, of Devin's brigade, being deployed to support the regiments on the left of the road, the enemy retired sullenly to his breast-works, and the action closed about dark. The brigade went into camp about a mile in rear unmolested. Our loss that day was quite heavy. At sunrise [12th] the enemy fired into the pickets, but made no further demonstrations, and the brigade entered Newtown without meeting the enemy, who had passed through the town a couple of hours before. The brigade moved on the left of the road, on a line parallel with the First and Second Brigades, on the Winchester and Strasburg pike, and camped for the night on Cedar Creek, near Middletown.
On the 14th, taking a dirt road, marched to Strasburg, where found the enemy in force in entrenchments about a mile beyond the town. Returned to camp same day and camped near Middletown, where the