War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0517 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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starting and thereby delayed my march. The enemy, having discovered the withdrawal of the infantry, advanced just after dawn, and a sharp skirmish ensued. The road was soon cleared by the march of Merritt's division, marching toward Shepherdstown. The withdrawal was finally effected with but little difficulty. The division camped that night near the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and covered all approaches between the right of the infantry and the Potomac.

In pursuance of instructions from General Sheridan, on the morning of the 25th of August my division marched through the country to Walper's Cross-Roads, where it met Merritt's division. The corps, under the command of General Torbert, proceeded by the pike toward Leetown for the purpose of ascertaining the position and movements of the rebel army. The advance had hardly crossed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Kearnesville before it encountered the enemy's pickets. The command, moving by flanks of brigades, with the artillery on the pike, formed line of battle with great rapidity, and advanced at once to the attack-McIntosh's brigade, with Ransom's battery, formed on the left of and across the pike, dismounted in a heavy piece of woods; Chapman's brigade, with Pennington's battery, moved well off to the left, partly mounted and partly dismounted, while Merritt's division kept to the right of the pike. The enemy was encountered in the woods, and after a very sharp fight of twenty minutes was driven back nearly a mile in great confusion. My division took sixty prisoners all from Breckinridge's corps. From them we learned that Early's whole force had begun the march that morning for Shepherdstown with the intention of again crossing the Potomac into Maryland. Having accomplished the object of the reconnaissance I was directed to return with my division to its old camp. Although by this time the enemy had recovered from their surprise and succeeded in forming their line for an attack upon us, no difficulty was experienced by my command in regaining its camp. General Sheridan hearing that the rebels, notwithstanding the discovery of their movements, would endeavor to make a new invasion of Maryland, directed me to cross the Potomac at Harper's Ferry and proceed, by the way of Pleasant Valley and Boonsborough, to the vicinity of Sharpsburg, for the purpose of watching the fords on the Potomac as far up as Williamsport. At 11 p.m. the same night I began the march, and after crossing the river sent parties to communicate with General Custer, near Antietam Furnace, and the pickets of Averell's division, still farther up the river. The enemy having failed to attempt a crossing and fallen back beyond the Opequon, my division recrossed the river at Shepherdstown on the 28th of August, and marched via Charlestown, to Berryville from which place it was engaged till the 18th of September in making daily reconnaissance in the direction of Millwood, White Post, and the Opequon. On the 13th of September General McIntosh was directed to make a strong reconnaissance toward Winchester for the purpose of determining the enemy's position. Rushing rapidly across the Opequon on the Winchester pike he struck the enemy's cavalry pickets near the stream and captured 37 men and 2 officers. Without halting he marched rapidly forward. Within two miles of Winchester he struck a strong force of infantry posted so as to cover the town, broke through their line, captured one entire regiment, the Eighth South Carolina Infantry, with their colors, 14 commissioned officers, including the colonel, and 92 enlisted men.

September 18, orders were issued for a general movement against the enemy, and in pursuance thereof, at 2 a.m. the next morning, the divis-