which had taken a position on Rude's Hill, but was repulsed. The dismounted men and prisoners forded the stream in groups of fifty or sixty, holding each other by the arm. It was impossible for a single footman to ford, the water being breast high, with a rapid current. When the fording was nearly completed General Rosser, with about 300 men, made a vigorous assault upon the troops guarding our rear, and was again repulsed, with a loss to him of 10 killed, several wounded, and 25 prisoners. The enemy made no other attack, though I was informed by the citizens that Mosby's men were to join General Rosser, and they would attack us in our camp that night. We marched, however, across Cedar Creek, and encamped in the earth-works at that place, reaching our lines at Winchester at noon on the 8th. I think General Rosser gave up the pursuit at Woodstock. During the night at Mount Jackson the gun we had brought was spiked and the carriage destroyed, as I was fearful that it could not be drawn over the ford, and it might fall into the hands of the enemy. I had no ammunition for it, the cartridges having been taken, by order of General Merritt, to destroy the bridge at Waynesborough.
Lieutenant-Colonel Nichols, Ninth New York Cavalry, who was detailed by General Sheridan to take command of the troops belonging to the First Division, rendered very efficient services. Lieutenant-Colonel Boice, Fifth New York Cavalry, whom I put in charge of those from the Third Division, deserves high commendation. He covered the rear during the entire march. His repulse of the enemy in the two assaults at Rude's Hill was brilliant. The prisoners could not withhold their commendation, but shouted with our own men.
Major Brown, Twenty-second New york, also merits praise for the manner in which he forced the ford, and cleared the enemy from our front.
The troops were all severely tried with labor and hunger, and behaved perfectly.
Our loss was 1 officer (Captain Wyatt, First New Hampshire) and 5 men wounded, and 2 captured. The number of prisoners was increased by 4 officers and 30 men.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. L. THOMPSON,
Colonel First New Hampshire Cavalry, Commanding Detachment.
Major WILLIAM RUSSELL, Jr.,
Asst. Adjt. General, Cavalry Corps, Middle Military Division.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY, MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,
March 10, 1865.
The attention of the major-general commanding is particularly invited to this reports. The harassing difficulties overcome, and the skill, genius, and judgment displayed by Colonel Thompson in bringing safely to Winchester more prisoners than he started with, is deserving of the highest commendation and worthy of more than an ordinary notice.
A. T. A. TORBERT,
Brevet Major-General, &c.
34 R R-VOL XLVI, PT I