War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0984 N. AND SE. VA., N.C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

eral Keifer's brigade on our left. After marching for about three hours and finding no enemy, we took up the line of march toward Sailor's Creek, where General Sheridan held the enemy in check, and was waiting for the infantry to give him battle. After a very fatiguing march we reached the vicinity of Sailor's Creek.

By direction of General Seymour I formed my brigade in column of regiments in rear of General Keifer's brigade, with orders to conform to his movements. My brigade moved in support and in rear of Second Brigade until it reached the road which had heretofore been used by the enemy in moving trains and troops. The Second Brigade having charged across this road and pursuing the enemy still farther on, by direction of Major-General Wright I halted my brigade and wheeled it to the left its left resting on the road. I then moved down upon the enemy's left flank, doubling them up and driving them upward of one mile, when, reaching the hill immediately in front of Sailor's Creek, I found the enemy strongly posted in rear of some works which were carried by the heavy skirmish line in my immediate front.

My brigade was here ordered to be halted by Bvt. Major A. J. Smith, acting assistant adjutant-general, and to await the arrival of the First Division of this corps, which was formed on my left. After the First Division had got into position my brigade was formed in two lines of battle, my left connecting with the First Division of this corps. The enemy were confronting us apparently in strong force on the opposite side of the creek or slough, on the side and crest of the next range of hills. At about 4.30, the First Division advancing, I directed my brigade to forward the stream in my front was about seventy-five yards in width. My command moved forward bravely across the creek and morass, through mud and water to their hips, and under a severe fire from the enemy, by which many lives were lost. The line was reformed immediately after crossing the creek, and advanced to the crest of the hill, driving the enemy before them.

I then received orders from Brigadier-General Seymour to have the brigade wheeled to the left, with orders to move upon the enemy's left and flank, then exposed to us. The lines were advanced about 100 yards, when we delivered a rapid and concentrated fire upon the enemy, when a flag of truce was presented on our right near a house, distant about 300 yards. The command was immediately ordered to cease firing, but on moving forward to gain information fire from the enemy at some distance to our right was again opened upon me. I again directed the brigade to advance. At this moment Major Leonard, assistant adjutant-general, rode up to me with Major Pegram, inspector-general on the staff of General Ewell. Major Pegram was the bearer of the flag of truce, and said to me in person, "I surrender, Lieutenant-General Ewell and staff and his command."

Up to this moment the firing on our left was kept up by our troops, but on word being passed down the line it ceased immediately. With Major Pegram were about thirty officers and enlisted men. I directed that they should be forwarded instantly to division headquarters. I then moved my brigade into the open field about half a mile, making a right half wheel, to oppose the enemy, who were moving to my right and rear. Here I was joined by Brigadier-General Seymour commanding the division. My command was halted and the men allowed to cook supper. By direction of Brigadier-General Seymour I moved my brigade and occupied a position on the right and in rear of the Second Division of this corps and on the left of the Second Brigade of this division, and bivouacked for the night.