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[331] Heights, where they concealed themselves among the rocks and cliffs of the mountain. The weather being extremely cold, and the sides of the mountain being covered with snow and ice, the men who thus escaped being barefooted and almost destitute of clothing, suffered severely, and a number had their feet badly frozen; yet, strange to say, nearly all of them came into camp laughing and joking over the adventures of the night. Certainly, never before have I met with such a rough and hardy set of fellows.

In this affair we lost four men killed and about fifteen wounded. The rebels, owing to the brave resistance made by Cole's men, and the early arrival of the Thirty-fourth, succeeded in taking only three of our horses. Captain Smith, the leader of the rebels in this expedition, was killed in this manner: It appears that one of our cavalrymen having been awakened by the firing, went out of his tent to see “what was up.” He was met by three rebels, who demanded his revolver. He gave it up. They asked him if he had any more. He said he had in his tent. They ordered him to get them and give them up. He entered his tent, and, taking his carbine, escaped from the back side, and running along behind the string of horses, reached the other end of the camp just in time to see Captain Smith when he gave his men orders to “give no quarters.” Of course, the cavalryman “drew bead” on the reb, and let the approaching daylight into the body of the Captain, who would give no quarter and got none himself.

The manner in which the camp was surprised was thus: The rebels, by taking a circuitous route, succeeded in flanking our pickets, and getting in the rear of the camp. Then, taking a cowpath, they stole, in single-file, up to the camp. They were challenged by the guard. The commander of the rebels then dismounted, and, on approaching the guard, instead of giving the countersign, inquired where Major Cole's quarters were. Suspecting that all was not right, the guard replied that he did not know, and then attempted to discharge his carbine and give the alarm; but his piece unfortunately “missed fire.” He was then immediately secured, and the dash was made on the camp; but, thanks to the coolness and bravery of Cole's men, the “rebs” got the worst of the affair in the end.

On the day following the engagement, the rebels sent a flag of truce, asking for the bodies of Captain Smith and two lieutenants who were killed. I am told that Major Cole's reply was, that if Mosby wanted the bodies of his killed, he'd better try to surprise his camp once more.

The weather continues very cold, and the snow still covers the ground. Colonel Wells, formerly commander of the brigade stationed at this place, has been ordered to preside at a court-martial. Supply-trains run on the Winchester and Potomac Railroad as far as Haul Town. It is said that General Early, with a considerable force, is still at Winchester, and that he has gone into winter quarters there.

H. E. T.

List of killed and wounded.

Medical Director's office, Harper's Ferry, Va., January 10, 1864.
sir: I have the honor to report the following list of killed and wounded in the Independent battalion Maryland cavalry, Major Cole commanding, during an attack made on the camp on Loudon Heights, Va., by Mosby's and White's forces, at three o'clock A. M. on the tenth of January, 1864:

Killed.--Sergeant J. J. Kerns, company B; private George Buford, company D.

Wounded.--Company A: Captain G. W. F. Vernon, wound of head and left eye; Orderly Sergeant L. Zimmerman, flesh-wound of the left leg; private D. W. Carnes, gunshot, compound fracture of right leg; private H. F. Null, wound of abdomen; private I. Craighton, flesh-wound of left leg; private E. Goodwin, gunshot, compound fracture of left leg; private Samuel Stone, wound of abdomen.

Company B: Lieutenant Samuel Rivers, flesh-wound of left foot; Orderly Sergeant J. C. Stouffer, flesh-wound of left hip; Sergeant C. W. Ham, flesh-wound of left arm; private Samuel Rivers, gunshot, compound fracture of left thigh; private Gotlieb Foos, wound of shoulder and left lung; private B. F. Fillen, wound of right shoulder; private A. Sosy, wound of abdomen.

Company C: Private Weaver, flesh-wound of left thigh.

Company D: Private R. Cross, wound of right hip; Henry Howard, flesh-wound of right thigh.

The above I believe to be a correct list of the casualties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

William Hayes, Surgeon U. S. A., Medical Director. Brigadier-General J. C. Sullivan, Commanding First Division, Department of West-Virginia.

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January 10th, 1864 AD (2)
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