previous next

[111] pickets only appearing, which we were able to discover ourselves.

We returned to camp, and a few moments after your order of June eighth, quarter-past seven P. M., from Columbia Bridge, reached me, and while writing a reply I was informed that the enemy were advancing upon us, or rather into the woods opposite their position, evidently with a view of outflanking us upon the left. Captains Clark and Robinson opened their batteries upon them with effect, and Capt. Huntington's guns were soon doing the same good work. Two companies of skirmishers and two regiments of infantry were ordered into the woods to counteract this movement of the enemy. The fire of our skirmishers was soon heard, and I ordered two more regiments to their support.

A sharp fire was kept up in the woods, for a few moments only, when the enemy retired and was soon seen coming out of the woods, crossing to join a column moving upon our right. In the mean time a section of two guns had opened upon our battery on the left, and another section was taking a position on our right. The Seventh Indiana infantry, Col. Gavin, was sent to the extreme right and was met by two rebel regiments, under cover of the river-bank. A section of Capt. Clark's battery took a position well to the right. The fire of the enemy, from their masked position, compelled Col. Gavin to retire a short distance, which he did in admirable order.

The Twenty-ninth Ohio was sent to support him, moving forward in splendid style on double-quick. The Seventh Ohio was next sent forward to support Capt. Clark's guns; the Fifth Ohio next, to support a section of Capt. Huntington's battery. These two last-named regiments moved forward and engaged the enemy in a style that commanded the admiration of every beholder. Regiment after regiment of the enemy moved upon our right, and the engagement became very warm. The First Virginia, Colonel Thoburne, who had been ordered into the woods on the left, was now ordered down to the right, entering the open field with a loud shout. My entire force was now in position. On our right was the Seventh Indiana, Col. Gavin, Twenty-ninth Ohio, Col. Buckley, Seventh Ohio, Lieut.-Col. Creighton, Fifth Ohio, Col. Dunning, First Virginia, Col. Thoburne, with sections of Captains Clark's and Huntington's batteries.

On our left, the key of the position, was a company of the Fifth and one of the Sixty-sixth Ohio infantry, deployed through the woods as skirmishers. The Eighty-fourth and One Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania regiments were also well up in the woods. The Sixty-sixth Ohio, Col. Candy, was directly in the rear of the battery, composed of three guns of Capt. Clark's battery, three guns of Capt. Huntington's, and one of Capt. Robinson's battery, under Lieut.-Col. Hayward, and upon him and his gallant band depended everything at this critical moment, and the duty was well and gallantly executed. Had they given way, the command must have been lost. The left wing of Col. Candy's regiment was extended into the woods, and close in the rear of the battery, which position they held until a retreat was ordered.

Additional reinforcements of the enemy were coining up on our right, having abandoned their position on the left, and I ordered the Eighty-fourth and One Hundred and Tenth down to the right, but before they reached the position assigned them the enemy was in full retreat before our brave men, and I at once ordered them across into the wood again. Under cover of the engagement on our right the enemy had thrown another force into the woods, and pressed them down upon our batteries on the left. So rapid was this movement that they passed the line on which the Eighty-fourth and One Hundred and Tenth were ordered unobserved — making a dash upon the battery so sudden and unexpected as to compel the cannoneers to abandon their pieces.

Col. Candy met the enemy with his regiment with great coolness, his men fighting with commendable bravery. The Seventh and Fifth Ohio were soon supporting him, driving the enemy from their position and retaking the battery. The artillery officers made a strong effort, and used great exertions to remove their guns, but, the horses having been killed or disabled, found it impossible. The enemy had given way along the whole line, but I saw heavy reenforcements crossing from the town, that would have been impossible for us successfully to resist. After consulting General Carroll, I ordered the troops to fall back under his direction, with a. view of retreating until we should meet the reenforcements of Generals Kimball and Ferry.

Gen. Carroll took command of the covering of the retreat, which was made in perfect order; and save the stampede of those who ran before the fight was fairly opened, the retreat was quite as orderly as the advance.

The force engaged under my command could not have exceeded three thousand men. Of the enemy's force (my information comes from the prisoners taken by us) none of them estimated it at less than eight thousand men actually in the engagement.

The loss of our artillery we feel almost as keenly as we should to have lost our colors, yet it was impossible to save them without animals to drag them through the deep mud; the men could. not do it. While we deeply feel this loss, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we have one of theirs, captured by the Fifth Ohio, and driven off in full view of their whole force, sixty-seven prisoners following it to this post.

It will not be expected that I can mention the many gallant actions of the different officers upon that hard-fought field. Yet I cannot do justice to my own feelings without remarking that, in my opinion, braver, more determined and willing men never entered a battle-field. Gen. Carroll distinguished himself by his coolness and dashing bravery. Upon him I relied, and was not disappointed. For heroic gallantry I will place Col. Gavin, Col. Buckley, Lieut.-Col. Creighton, Col. Dunning, Col. Thoburne, Col. Candy, and

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Huntington (West Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. S. Clark (5)
Anthony Gavin (4)
Candy (4)
Thoburne (3)
John G. Huntington (3)
Carroll (3)
William Robinson (2)
S. H. Dunning (2)
Creighton (2)
Buckley (2)
Nathan Kimball (1)
William Hayward (1)
James Ferry (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 8th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: