War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0521 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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the battery, while the Eighteenth Pennsylvania supported the skirmishers in front. The Second Brigade at this time was massed in reserve near the position just occupied by Peirce's battery. The enemy from his commanding position was able to witness all these dispositions, and began using his artillery with telling effect. Peirce's battery replied with spirit, but a glance sufficed to show the immense advantage the enemy had in position; besides his numerical superiority in guns, his ammunition, unlike ours, was not defective. Peirce's battery was exposed to a well-directed plunging fire. One shot from the enemy's guns killed or disabled all the cannoneers of one piece; yet, notwithstanding these disadvantages, our battery maintained its position and firing until the enemy, after having one gun disabled was compelled to withdraw his battery. Seeing the stubborn resistance met by Pennington's line in front I ordered the Eighteenth Pennsylvania, supported by the Eighth New York and Twenty-second New York to move forward on our extreme right, with a view to turning the enemy's left flank; at the same time Colonel Wells, commanding the Second Brigade, was ordered to forward on the road to within supporting distance of the advance line. These arrangements completed, the entire line was ordered forward, and when sufficiently near the enemy the charge was sounded. The enemy seeing his flank turned and his retreat cut off broke in the utmost chancing his flank turned and his retreat cut off broke in the utmost confusion and sought safety in headlong flight. The pursuit was kept up at a gallop by the entire command for a distance of nearly two miles, where a brigade of the enemy was formed to check our farther advance. Their battery opened a brisk fire upon the road, and for a moment caused the column to falter. Taking advantage of this hesitation in our ranks the enemy charged with about two brigades and succeeded in forcing our advance back about half a mile. Peirce's battery, coming into position at a gallop, opened upon the enemy a destructive fire. The enemy, defeated in his attempt to break my line, contented himself by occupying a strong position, supporting his battery, which still continued his fire. Colonel Wells, commanding Second Brigade, and Colonel Pennington, commanding First Brigade, hastily formed their commands for a general advance upon the enemy's position. Everything worked admirably, and the movements of the brigades were well timed. The whole line forward at the charge. Before this irresistible advance the enemy found it impossible to stand. Once more he was compelled to trust his safety to the fleetness of his steed rather than the metal of his saber. His retreat soon became a demoralized rout. Vainly did the most gallant of this affrigthed herd endeavor to rally a few supports around their standards and stay the advance of their eager and exulting pursuers, who, in one overwhelming current, were bearing down everything before them. Never since the opening of this war had there been witnessed such a complete and decisive overthrow of the enemy's cavalry. The pursuit was kept up vigorously for nearly twenty miles, and only relinquished then from the complete exhaustion of our horses and the dispersion of our panic-stricken enemies. Among the evidences of our victory were six pieces of artillery the entire ordnance and ambulance train of the enemy, including the headquarters wagons, desks, and papers of the rebel General Rosser and of his brigade commanders; also a large number of prisoners.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon both officers and men of this command. Not a single instance of misbehavior fell under the eye duty; if any fell behind in the advance and pursuit it was because of the unparalled rapidity with which our boastful enemy gave way.