I remained at this point until nearly all of our men were past me. I rode ahead of a portion of the command again and begged them to stop, but I could not rally them. My right leg was rendered useless by my horse falling over another, and, as he rose, a man riding fell against me, the whole weight of his animal being precipitated against my leg. A couple of rebels were standing firing at me, and my pistol was unloaded. I turned and passed a number of the men. I again attempted to rally them. I told them that there were only a few following us, and they could be easily taken. My horse had been wounded, and my leg was altogether useless. I waited until the last of our men, mixed up with a large number of escaped, led, and riderless horses, passed me. I was ordered to surrender, two of the enemy in advance endeavoring to beat me off my horse with their pistols. I succeeded in again passing a number of the men and tried to rally them, but it was impossible; they were panic-stricken; one of my own men, as I presented my empty revolver at the head of another; trying to stop him, ran between us and knocked that out of my hand. Again, the rear of the command, now reduced to about twenty-four men and about sixty horses and mules, passed me, and I was unarmed and alone in the rear. I passed several of the men and endeavored to persuade them of the weakness of the enemy, their unloaded pistols, & c., but it was fruitless; commands and persuasions were disregarded.
I suffered terribly from physical pain, and could do little to stop them by physical force. I reached the river; my horse fell several times in it, but at last I got across. Captain Martindale forced most of the men across to halt and form here, and covered the crossing of the few who had reached the river. Captain Martindale myself, two scouts, and twelve men were over. We awaited to see if more would come, but none came; eight had crossed and arrived at camp before us. I was placed in a sleigh and arrived at camp at 4.30 p. m. this day.
I ascribe the disaster to, first, Captain Snow, commanding Twenty-first New York, failing to go to Piedmont, as ordered through Lieutenant Draper, or to Upperville, as I ordered him personally, and to remain at either of the places until half an hour after daybreak. One of Captain Snow's command, who had been drunk, and was left by the command, confirmed the information I received from negroes and citizens that Captain Snow left Upperville at 5 a. m., instead of half an hour after daybreak; second, to Captain Duff's rear guard being pushed into the rear of the column before I knew he was attacked; third, to the paucity of officers detailed with the command, and the large number of men engaged who were new recruits; fourth, to the men having neither sabers nor revolvers, and consequently being unable to engage in a melee successfully with an enemy armed with at least two revolvers to the man; also, I did not know of the attack until I observed the rear guard coming in at full flight, mixed up with and pursued by the enemy. I do not think the enemy's force exceeded between sixty and seventy-five men.
Lieutenant Jones and the ten men with him have returned to the camp safely. The loss is - 1 officer, Lieutenant Nesmith, wounded; Captain Duff and Lieutenant Baker, corps staff, and 78 men, missing. I returned to camp by way of Berryville.
I forward, inclosed, the report of Captain Snow, which is incorrect as far as it differs from this. I have not yet received the report of Lieutenant Draper. I feel satisfied that I did all I knew how to make the movement a success, and it having failed and proved a disaster I earnestly request to be allowed to appear before a court of inquiry to