make a strong reconnoissance in direction of Waynesboro, and to engage Wheeler whenever we met him, I directed brigade commanders to send surplus animals and all non-combatants to the wagon-train; that in the morning the command would move to engage, defeat, and rout the rebel cavalry encampment at Waynesboro. Accordingly, at daylight the following morning, we moved out of camp, the Second brigade (Colonel Atkins) leading the advance. The enemy's skirmish line was met, quickly driven in, and finally retired upon his main line, which consisted of dismounted cavalry, strongly posted behind long lines of barricades, with their flanks well secured. Colonel Atkins was directed to move forward and take the barricades; but the enemy was found to be more strongly posted than was anticipated, and the first attempt was a failure. The Ninety-second Illinois mounted infantry was dismounted; the Tenth Ohio and Ninth Michigan cavalry, in columns of fours, by battalions, were sent in on the right, and the Ninth Ohio cavalry was placed, in the same order, on the left; the Tenth Wisconsin battery (Captain Beebe) was brought up to within less than six hundred yards, and opened upon the barricades, and the enemy's artillery, in all, five (5) pieces, was forced to withdraw. At this moment, all being ready, the charge was sounded; the whole line moved forward in splendid order, and never halted for one moment until the barricades were gained and the enemy routed. A few hundred yards beyond, he made several counter charges, to save his dismounted men and check our rapid advance. At one time he had nearly succeeded, when the Eighth Ohio cavalry, (Colonel Heath,) who had been sent out on our right, charged the enemy in flank and rear, when he gave way at all points, and rapidly fell back to the town of Waynesboro. Here he was found occupying a second line of barricades, with artillery, as before, and his flanks so far extended, that it was useless to attempt to turn them. I therefore determined to break his centre. Colonel Murray, having the advance, was directed to make a disposition accordingly. The Eighth Indiana (Colonel Jones) was dismounted and pushed forward as skirmishers; the Ninth Pennsylvania, (Colonel Jordon,) in columns of fours, by battalions, had the left; the Third Kentucky, (Lieutenant-Colonel King,) the centre; the Fifth Kentucky (Colonel Baldwin) and Second Kentucky, (Captain Foreman,) the right. The advance was sounded, and in less than twenty minutes the enemy was driven from his position, the town gained, and Wheeler's entire force completely routed. The Fifth Ohio, Fifth Kentucky, and a portion of the Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry, followed in close pursuit to Briar Creek, a distance of eight miles from the point from where the first attack was made. After burning the bridges above and below, the railroad bridges as well as the latter, the command marched to Alexander and encamped for the night. In this engagement, Wheeler's cavalry corps, consisting of four (4) divisions and two independent brigades, it has since been ascertained, was not only defeated and driven a distance of eight miles, but completely routed. The men of my command fought most bravely throughout the day, and it is impossible to single out, from among the officers, individual cases of gallantry, when all did so well. My casualties on this day, as well as all others, will be found in a separate report accompanying this. Judging from the enemy's killed and wounded left on the field, his loss must have been severe; upward of two hundred (200) left in our hands were wounded by the sabre alone.
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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