When the force had crossed the river and had gone about one quarter of a mile a column of about 100 men emerged from the woods and charged it. At the same time a force of about 100 men charged the road from Moorefield. The advance at once fell back on the reserve, hotly pursued by the enemy. I then opened on them and drove them from the ford, but they turned at once and made for the lower ford. At the same time another column of 100 men emerged from the woods lower done, and also made for the lower ford. I saw that they were making for the pass, and gave orders at once to fall back, at the same time protecting my rear and right flank as well as I could under the circumstances. When opposite the lower for I again unlimbered my artillery, but as soon as I got the range of the ford they commenced crossing, both above and below. I then moved off the advance and left the rear to skirmish, but while skirmishing with one portion of them another portion flanked them and got in the mouth of the gap. It then became a hand-to-had fight with the rear. I intended to make a stand at the gap, but was so hotly pursed that I could not rally any portion of the men until it was too late. The gun lost one wheel and broke one axle at this end of the gap, and we were compelled to abandon it. We were also encumbered with one wagon and one ambulance, which were lost.
I cannot at the present ascertain the entire loss, but 20 men will cover it, 6 or 8 of whom were wounded and killed.
The picket which was placed up the river report a column of 500 men, which never moved out of Moorefield.
I desire to compliment the offices and men for their stubborn resistance against vastly superior numbers.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. FLEMING,
[Colonel GEORGE R. LATHAM.]
No. 6. Reports of Major Peter J. Potts, Sixth West Virginia Cavalry, of operations November 26-December 1.
NEW CREEK, W. VA., November 30, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that according to instructions form post headquarters, through Lieutenant Colonel R. E. Fleming, I proceeded from Burlington, W. Va., at 9 p. m. on the 26th instant, with 155 men; marched to Romney; camped for the night. Moved in the morning at 4 o'clock 27th instant; took the Grassy Lick road, leading across the mountains to Northwestern turnpike, which leads to the town of Moorefield, county seat of Hardy County, W. Va.; then moved along the Northwestern pike until within a few miles of Moorefield; camped for the night. Moved at 4 a. m. 28th instant; reached Moorefield at sunrise; captured some rebel pickets. A portion of my command charged the town (Moorefield), but was met by a superior force of the enemy's cavalry, and has driven from the town. Learning that the enemy had received large re-enforcements, I withdrew my command; crossed the river; traveled a mountain path leading to or near the town of Williamsport. From thence I proceeded to the left; crossed the mountain at Harrison's Gap; proceeded along a mountain path which leads to Elk Garden road, which road leads to Piedmont, but finding a large