one gun, with carriage, horses, etc., complete, and occupied a knoll on the south side of the village, where the regiment was subjected to a very severe artillery fire from the enemy's guns, stationed at our front and left. We were here directed by General Custer, commanding brigade, to attack the force occupying the woods to the left of the town, and holding the road leading in the direction of Orange Court-House. Companies E and I of the first battalion were sent to the right, dismounted, and engaged the skirmishers of the enemy's left. The second battalion, (companies B, C, H, and G,) under Captain Adams, being sent forward, charged the enemy, driving them from the road, and through the woods back under the protection of their artillery, capturing twenty-six prisoners. The fight at this place continued for a considerable length of time, three separate charges having been made by our men. The force in front of the second battalion largely outnumbering their opponents, and being strongly supported, rallied and gained a temporary advantage, during which time they succeeded in removing, their artillery stationed in our front. A movement on our flanks was at one time attempted, but it failed in its purpose, the enemy being compelled to retire. The repulse of the enemy along the whole line being at this time--four o'clock P. M.--complete, they retreated in the direction of the Rapidan River. The pursuit was continued until dark, but their forces did not make a stand before crossing. The commanding officer being temporarily disabled during the engagement by the bursting of a shell, the command was turned over for a short time to Captain Adams. The engagement lasted nearly four hours, during which time the regiment was continually under fire. We captured about forty prisoners during the day, the enemy leaving several killed and wounded on the field. All the officers and men did their whole duty, and are entitled to great praise for their bravery and good conduct. Accompanying this is a list of the casualties. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
William Wells, Major Commanding First Vermont Calvary.
list of casualties occurring in First regiment of Vermont cavalry, September Thirteenth, 1863.Major William Wells, wounded slightly in the shoulder. Adjutant C. D. Gates, missing. Private John Henry, company B, killed. Sergeant L. V. H. Haskell, company G, wounded in the left arm. Private Monroe Lyford, company C, wounded in the shoulder. Private F. A. Russell, company I, wounded in the side. Sergeant B. G. Chapman, company B, missing. Private B. J. Merrill, company B, missing. Sergeant H. P. Aldrich, company C, missing. Bugler A. F. Hacket, company M, missing.
William Wells, Major Commanding First Vermont Cavalry.
A National account
Culpeper Court-House, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 1863.On the morning of the thirteenth the cavalry division of General Kilpatrick crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, and marched in the direction of Culpeper by Brandy Station. No rebels in force were encountered until reaching Brandy Station, where the advance, consisting of the Harris Light, or Second New-York, met them in some force. A brisk skirmish ensued, the rebels, however, immediately falling back toward Culpeper. At this place the division of Kilpatrick formed a junction with the divisions of Buford and Gregg, the whole under command of General Pleasanton. The whole corps advanced up the railroad toward Culpeper. General Kilpatrick had the left, resting on the left of the railroad; General Buford the centre, and General Gregg the right — the skirmishing and cannonading becoming quite sharp as we advanced. As the cavalry moved across the plain in perfect order, some of the regiments in line, some in column, and a long line of skirmishers in front, with the batteries a little to the rear, the respective division and brigade commanders moving up with their staffs, it presented one of the most brilliant spectacles of the war. The rebels did not make much resistance until, we reached a point about one mile this side of Culpeper, where they opened three batteries upon Kilpatrick's division, but not checking the advance in the least. On approaching near the town, the rebels seemed disposed to dispute our further advance. A long line of dismounted infantry could be seen along a fence just across a deep creek, with two batteries in support. General Kilpatrick ordered General Custer to dislodge them, which he soon accomplished. The Sixth Michigan dismounted, and engaged the rebel skirmishers, and soon routed them in good style. The Harris Light charged the battery on the edge of the town, capturing two guns. This brought the division of Kilpatrick to the edge of the town. Buford and Gregg were driving the enemy on the right, and General Kilpatrick, with characteristic boldness, was about to charge the whole rebel force upon our left, and capture the train of cars that was moving off toward Orange, but was prevented by the unexpected discovery of a deep creek, which was only passable at one place in his front. This enabled the train to escape, affording time to the rebel cavalry to take up a strong position, a little to the rear of the town, in the woods on the Cedar Mountain road. In the mean time, General Custer, at the head of the First battalion of the First Vermont, commanded by Major Wells, dashed into town, driving the rebels out and capturing one piece of artillery to the right of the town. The rebels had two other pieces in the woods to the rear of the town,