War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0043 Chapter LXIII. ENGAGEMENT AT GREENBRIER RIVER, W. VA.

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It affords me great pleasure to say that the conduct of my men was admirable. Though in position where the enemy a greatly superior force could be clearly seen, and opposed by great superiority of numbers of cannon, every man performed his whole duty coolly and cheerfully. My attention was particularly called to Lieutenant Slocomb, for whose gallant service I am truly grateful. He was engaged all the time assisting the cannoneers in pointing and ranging the pieces by pointing out the enemy and observing the effect of each shot. On of the gunners being sick, I assigned Private John D. Britton to the important post of gunner of the howitzer, and the accuracy of his fire, his coolness and energy, entitles him to the greatest praise. THE inefficiency of the case and shell projectiles furnished me a few days since for the service of the rifled guns was again exemplified in this engagement; not one of them (owning to the want of sufficient windage for the time fuse) exploded. The Bormann fuse, with which the spherical case and shell for the howitzer were served, showed in their manufacture great deficiency. There was no uniformity whatsoever int heir burning. Some cut at five seconds did not burn in many cases; two others cut at two burned as long as four or five seconds.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. L. ROSSER,

C. S. Army, Captain Second Battery, Washington Artillery.

Major J. B. WALTON,

Commanding Washington Artillery.

NOTE.- In this engagement sixty- six rifle and forty- one spherical case were fired. At the earliest possible moment I will replenish my store.

T. L. R.

[5.]

OCTOBER 3, 1861.- Engagement at Greenbrier River, W. Va.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander G. Taliaferro, Twenty- third Virginia Infantry.

SIR: The Twenty- third Regiment, under my command, occupied the trenches in front of the position. The officers and men bore themselves admirably. They were perfectly steady, cool, and deliberate, and impatient for the conflict, and this amid showers of shot and shell, which fell upon and around them for upward of four hours. The casualties were two men severely and probably mortally wounded, whose names are given below. a. Companies A and I, of this regiment, gallantly volunteered under a heavy fire to cross the river an attack the enemy in the open field, and after reporting to Colonel Johnson, who was to command the attacking party, but who afterward concluded, in the face of the immense force of the enemy now visible, to change his plans, were ordered to re- enforce the command detailed to hold the river- bank, and on the left flank, which position they maintained during the action.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

ALEX. G. TALIAFERRO,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding.

Colonel WILLIAM B. TALIAFERRO,

Acting General of Brigade, Headquarters Greenbrier River.

[5.]

a Wounded: Private Rinhardt, Company H; Private Fleming, company K.