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[314] this side of the ford, and at once charged them. Their position was a very strong one, sheltered by woods, and a long, high stone fence, running at right angles to my advance. My men, unable to cross the fence and ditch in their front wheeled about, delivering their fire almost in the faces of the enemy, and re-formed again, facing about, under a heavy fire from their artillery and small arms. The Third, in this charge, was in front, and First Lieutenant Hill Carter was very conspicuous in his behavior.

From that time it was a succession of gallant charges by the various regiments, and once by the whole brigade in line, whenever the enemy would show his mounted men, (they invariably falling back upon his artillery,) and sheltered, dismounted skirmishers. Their total advance was two miles from the ford. At that time my artillery arrived, and they were driven back, recrossing the river about half past 7, with us in close pursuit.

My whole command acted nobly. Sabres were frequently crossed, and fences charged up to; the leading men dismounting and pulling them down, under a heavy fire of canister, grape, and carbine balls. Had I my command in the order it arrived in this enervating section of country, and not weakened by the absence of four squadrons on picket, guarding a line stretching from Griffinsburg on the Sperryville turnpike to Richard's Ford, and by the large number of horses unfit for duty by exposure to the severe winter, with a very limited supply of forage, I feel confident the defeat of the enemy would have been changed into a disorderly rout, and the whole brigade resupplied with horses, saddles, and bridles.

Commanding officers of the detachments from the various regiments engaged mention, in their reports, as deserving special attention: In the Fifth, private Wm. J. Haynes, company F, badly wounded; private A. R. Harwood, company E; private Henry Wooding, company C, especially commended, seized the colors when the horse of the color-bearer was shot, and carried them bravely through the fight; Sergeants Morecock and Ratcliffe, and private George James, company H. In the Fourth, Captains Newton and Old, Lieutenant Hobson and Adjutant Fontaine, seriously wounded. Sergeant Kimborough, of company G, deserves particular notice: wounded early in the day, he refused to leave the field. In the last charge, he was the first to spring to the ground to open the fence; then dashing on at the head of the column, he was twice sabred over the head, his arm shattered by a bullet, captured and carried over the river, when he escaped and walked back, twelve miles, to his camp. Lieutenant-Colonel Payne, commanding, also mentions privates Joseph Gilman, J. R. Gilman, Poindexter, Redd, Sydnor, Terry, and N. Priddy. In the Third, Captain Collins, company H; Lieutenants Hill Carter and John Lamb, of company D; Lieutenant Stamper, of company F; Lieutenant R. F. Hubbard, company G; and first Lieutenant Hall, of company C, was twice wounded, before he desisted from the charge, and when retiring, received a third and still more severe wound, and was unable to leave the field. Adjutant H. B. McClellan is also particularly commended for his gallantry. Acting Sergeant-Major, E. W. Price, company K, private Keech, company I, and bugler-drilling Sergeant Betts, of company C; privates Young, company B, Fowler, company G, and Wilkins, company C, died as became brave men, in the front of the charge, at the head of the column.

In the Second, the commanding officer reports, where so many behaved themselves with so much gallantry he does not like to discriminate.

In the First, Captain Jordan, company C, and Lieutenant Cecil, company K, specially commended for reckless daring, without a parallel. As coming under my own observation, I particularly noticed Colonel T. L. Rosser, of the Fifth, and his habitual coolness and daring, charging at the head of his regiment. Colonel James Drake, of the First, always ready at the right time and place. Colonel T. H. Owen, of the Third, begging to be allowed to charge again and again. Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Payne, of the Fourth, unmindful of his former dreadful wound, using his sabre with effect in hand-to-hand conflict, and the imperturbable, self-possessed Major Breckinridge, of the Second, whose boldness led him so far that he was captured, his horse being shot. Colonel T. L. Manford, of the Second, I regret to say, was president of a court martial in Culpeper Court-House, and did not know of the action in time to join his command until the fight was nearly over. I also recommend for their behavior, Captain Tebbs, of the Second, and Captain Litchfield and Lieutenant Dorsey, of the First; also Major W. D. Morgan, of the First.

My personal staff, Major Mason, Captains Fergusson and Bowling, Dr. J. B. Fontaine, and Lieutenants Lee, Ryals, and Minnegerode, rendered great service by their accurate and a quick transmission of orders, and by their conduct under fire. Surgeon Fontaine's horse was killed under him, and my own horse was also shot; but, through the generosity of private John H. Owings, company K, First Virginia cavalry, at tached to my headquarters, was quickly replaced by his.

The conduct of couriers Owings, Lee, Nightingale, and Henry Shackelferd, deserves the highest praise. The enemy's loss was heavy. Besides leaving a number of his dead and wounded on the field, he carried off a large number on horses and in ambulances. We captured twenty-nine prisoners — a captain, two lieutenants, and twenty-six privates. My own loss was eleven killed, eighty-eight wounded, and thirty-four taken prisoners, making an aggregate of one hundred and thirty-three. In horses, seventy-one killed, eighty-seven wounded, twelve captured, making an aggregate loss of horses one hundred and seventy.

Among the killed, I deeply regret to report Major Puller, of the Fifth, and Lieutenant Harris, of the Fourth. Both gallant and highly efficient officers — a heavy loss to their regiments and country.

In conclusion, I desire especially to state that

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