War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0494 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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former place. Placing little reliance in the numerous reports that the enemy re-enforced intended a further raid through West Virginia, I believed he would attempt to reach the Valley via the Wardensville turnpike. I therefore sent Major Work, of the Twenty-second Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding a battalion, with instructions to proceed rapidly by what is known the Grassy Creek, road in the direction of Wardensville and endeavor to reach Lost River Gap, on the Wardensville turnpike, in advance of the enemy to blockade and hold the gap until I could overtake and attack the enemy in the rear; or, if he could find that McCausland had not left Moorefield, to move rapidly forward and attack him as soon as he heard the sound of my guns; or, should he find the enemy had taken Strasburg road, to still endeavor to intercept him. I resumed the march at about 1 p.m. During the afternoon an order of McCausland's, dated at Moorefield on the 6th, was captured, from which I interred he could not be far from that place. About 6 p.m. my scouts reported the enemy's pickets four miles in advance and about ten miles from Moorefield, information also placing McCausland's and Johnson's brigades three and four miles, respectively, north of the town. I soon after halted my command for rest and feed, with orders to be ready to move at 1 o'clock the following morning, timing the movement so as to make the attack precisely at daylight. I also sent couriers to Major Work orders for him to move as rapidly as possible over the Wardensville turnpike and attack the enemy vigorously at the same time. I designed, if possible, to surprise the enemy, wherein I was only partially successful. At 1 a.m. the column was again in motion, and by an adroit movement the enemy's pickets and reserve and a patrol going out from his camp were successfully captured without a shot being fired, though some delay in the march was occasioned. From the captured patrol I learned that the enemy was apprised of my approach and had been waiting an attack since 3 o'clock. I no longer hoped for a surprise, but relied upon the vigor of the attack. Passing through and beyond Reynolds' Gap at a trot at 5 a.m., the rebel General Bradley Johnson's brigade was found posted in line of battle in both sides of the road, one mile north of the South Branch of the Potomac River. Without a moment's halt or delay my advanced brigade, under Major Gibson, Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, deployed, and with an eager shout dashed forward upon the enemy's lines with such impetuosity that, waiting only to fire a few shots, they broke, fled in the wildest confusion, leaving two pieces of artillery, a large number of horses, and throwing away whatever impeded their flight. Giving them no time to reform, Gibson pursued them hotly to the river, precipitating them over its steep banks across and into the ranks of McCausland, who, with another brigade, was posted upon the south bank. There, as I anticipated, the enemy endeavored to make a stand. Colonel Powell, of the Second Virginia Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, was immediately ordered forward, and, crossing the river in the face of a severe fire, soon routed the enemy a second time, rolling the tide of fugitives back toward Moorefield. A quarter of a mile from the river the roads fork-the right-hand one leading to Moorefield, upon which a part of the enemy's forces fled, pursued by Major Gibson; the left-hand one leading to the hills and intersecting the Wardensville turnpike four miles east of Moorefield. Taking advantage of a strong position on this latter road one mile from the river, McCausland, with a larger portion of his scattered command, offered a stubborn resistance, but after a sharp contest of a few minutes' duration he was for the third time routed by a portion of the