War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0520 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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To my assistant adjutant-general Captain Louis Siebert and to my aides, Capts. E. B. Beaumont, J. N. Andrews, Eighth U. S. Infantry; Lieutenant Henry E. Noves, Second U. S. Cavalry; Captain Lee, Third Indian Cavalry, provost-marshal; Captain E. W. Whitaker, First Connecticut Cavalry, always prompt and gallant in the discharge of their duties, I am greatly indebted for the valuable assistance they have rendered me.

From the 4th of May till the 1st of October the division marched 1,350 miles and participated in over twenty fights and skirmishes. For details of these operations I respectfully refer to the reports of Generals McIntosh, and Chapman, herewith transmitted.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

Lieutenant Colonel J. W. FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff, Middle Military Division.

No. 157. Reports of Brevet Major General George A. Custer, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division, of operations October 9 and 19.


October 13, 1864

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this division in the engagement of the 9th instant:

At a late hour on the night of the 8th instant I received a brief note from the chief of cavalry, directing me at an early hour the following morning to move my command up the Back road toward Columbia Furnace, and to attack and whip the enemy. In obedience to that order this division moved at 6 o'clock on the morning of the 9th, Pennington's brigade taking the advance, followed by Peirce's battery of horse artillery the Second Brigade, Colonel Wells commanding, moving in rear. The advance guard of Pennington's brigade, consisting of one battalion of the Fifth New York, encountered the enemy's pickets near Mount Olive, and drove them back upon their reserves at a trot. After considerable skirmishing the enemy's advance line was forced back to the position chose for his main force. This position was well adapted for defense, being a high and abrupt ridge of hills running along the south bank of Tom's Run. Near the base of this ridge the enemy had posted a strong force of dismounted cavalry behind stone fences and barricades of rails, logs, &c., while running along near the summit was a second and stronger line of barricades, also defended by dismounted cavalry. On the crest of the ridge the enemy had six guns in position, strongly supported by columns of cavalry. Peirce's battery was at once placed in position on an eminence just north of Tom's Run, and opened a brisk fire upon the enemy. Owing to the extreme defectiveness of the ammunition used but little execution was done, except to create considerable confusion among the led horses of the enemy and to compel a change in their position. Colonel Pennington then threw forward a strong line of mounted skirmishers, composed of the Fifth New York, Second Ohio, and Third New Jersey, with orders to press the enemy. At the same time Peirce's battery was moved forward to a position near the enemy's line, the Second New York supporting