Doc. 170.-skirmish near Smithfield, Va.
A National account.
Martinsburgh, Va., Sept. 15, 1863.Last night at nine o'clock, a detachment of fifty men from the First New-York, and another of the same number from the Twelfth Pennsylvania cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant D. A. Irwin, were ordered out on scout, the whole under command of Captain Jones, First New-York. They proceeded to Charlestown and bivouacked for the night. At seven o'clock next morning marched to Summit's Point, and hearing of a force of the enemy in the vicinity of Smithfield advanced on that place. When within three miles of the town they overtook one of the enemy's scouting parties, and at once gave chase. They pursued them to the town, where the retreating “rebs” were reenforced by a detachment of the Twelfth Virginia rebel cavalry, who made a desperate charge upon a portion of our forces, when a sharp skirmish ensued, in which Captain Jones, commanding, was wounded in the hand and taken prisoner; also, a number of prisoners were captured by us. After the first charge the “rebs” rallied and attempted to come in upon four sides, but were handsomely met and repulsed at all points by detachments under Captain Bailey, Lieutenants Poindexter and Vermilyea, First Michigan, and Lieutenant D. A. Irwin, of the Twelfth Pennsylvania. The fight, which lasted about two hours, was a complete succession of charges, and of captures and recaptures by both parties, one of the most important of which was the recapture of the gallant Captain Jones, together with the four men who were his captors, by Sergeant Thompson, First New-York, Corporal Casley, and private Amos Parks, Twelfth Pennsylvania, allowing the Captain an interview of not more than ten minutes with the chivalry, scarcely time enough to receive from them the congratulations due an officer of his rank upon so auspicious an occasion. After repulsing the enemy a number of times they were driven out of the town, and beat a hasty retreat toward Winchester, hotly pursued by our forces to within a few miles of that place. Lieutenant D. A. Irwin, Twelfth Pennsylvania cavalry, is spoken of in the most flattering terms by Captain Jones for his gallantry and coolness, and the skill displayed in handling his men during the engagement. Both Captains Jones, Bailey, and Lieutenant Irwin are universally acknowledged to be a noble trio. No more gallant and efficient officers ever wielded a sabre in their country's defence than they. Our casualties were two men wounded. Logonrock, company B, Twelfth Pennsylvania, dangerously, and one man of the First New-York, in leg, slightly. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded unknown. We captured ten prisoners, including two officers.