were immediately engaged, and by a gallant charge of the First brigade, First division, led by Brigadier-General Custer, were driven about eight miles in the direction of New Market, capturing some seventy prisoners. The command passed through Luray, on the pike leading to New Market, crossed the Shenandoah river and bivouacked at the foot of the pass, the enemy having taken the mountain road leading out of the valley. The next day (twenty-fifth) at daylight passed over the mountain and joined the army at New Market, issued forage and rations, and marched to Harrisonburg that day. In the mean time Brevet Major-General Averell had been relieved from the command of the Second division, West Virginia cavalry, and Colonel Powell, First Virginia cavalry, placed in command. On arriving at Harrisonburg, Virginia, I found this division on the Valley pike about eight miles from Harrisonburg, on the North river. The Second brigade, First division (Brevet Brigadier-General Devin), was in the direction of Keselton and Port Republic. The next day (twenty-sixth) the Second division, West Virginia cavalry (Colonel Powell), was ordered to move in the direction of Staunton. Brigadier-General Merritt with the First brigade, First division, was ordered to move in the direction of Port Republic and join Brevet Brigadier-General Devin's brigade. I moved with the Third division, Brigadier-General Wilson, and Reserve brigade, First division (Colonel Lowell), in the direction of Staunton. Brigadier-General Custer having been assigned to the command of the Second division, West Virginia cavalry, he moved with me in order to join his division; Colonel Powell moving in the Valley pike turned off to the left from that road, in the direction of Piedmont, following the enemy. I moved direct to Staunton, capturing in and about that place the following articles, viz.: Three hundred muskets; seventy-five sabres; fifty cartridge boxes; seventy sets horse equipments, complete; sixty rounds field ammunition; two hundred sets harness; three hundred saddle-trees; two hundred tents; sixty-five head beef cattle; twenty-five wagons; five tons salt; one hundred barrels flour; five hundred bales hay; one thousand bushels wheat; one hundred and twenty-five barrels hard bread; fifty boxes tobacco; fifty horses; medical stores, &c.; fifty-seven prisoners. On the twenty-seventh started a regiment with Brigadier-General Custer to join his command at Piedmont. At the same time a reconnoissance in force to Waynesboro and Rock Fish gap, but heard nothing from the reconnoissance until the whole party returned. I immediately started the whole force to Waynesboro, which place we reached, a distance of twelve miles, just after dark, and bivouacked for the night. On the next morning (the twenty-eighth) proceeded to destroy the railroad bridge across the south fork of the Shenandoah river, and burnt the depot and government buildings. Late in the afternoon the enemy attacked us in strong force with infantry, cavalry, and artillery. They were held in check until after dark, when on the return of the regiment sent with Brigadier-General Custer, notifying me of an attempt by the enemy to cut me off from the main army, which was then twenty-five or thirty miles distant, I fell back to Spring Hill, on Middle river, on the back road from Staunton to Harrisonburg. On the morning of the twenty-ninth marched to Bridgewater, on the North river. Left the Third division (Brigadier-General Wilson) in position there, and sent the Reserve brigade Colonel Lowell), of the First division, to join its division in the neighborhood of Cross Keys, In the mean time the First division (Brigadier-General Merritt) and the Second division, West Virginia cavalry (Colonel Powell), were operating in the vicinity of Brown's gap and Piedmont. On the thirtieth the Second division, West Virginia cavalry (Colonel Powell), was withdrawn from the front and sent back to Harrisonburg, Virginia. One brigade of the Third division was ordered on the Valley pike, crossing the North river. On the same day Brigadier-General Wilson was relieved from the command of the Third division, and ordered to report for duty to Major-General Sherman. Brigadier-General Custer was relieved from the command of the Second division, West Virginia cavalry, and placed in command of the Third division; Colonel Powell (First Virginia cavalry) being placed in command of the Second division, West Virginia cavalry. On the next day (October first) the Second division, West Virginia cavalry (Colonel Powell), was ordered down the Luray valley to take position at Luray, and watch the country in that vicinity, On October second the First and Third divisions of cavalry (Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer) were disposed on the line of the North river, about seven miles in front of the army. About two P. M. the enemy made a reconnoissance in force, with infantry, artillery, and cavalry, and attempted to cross the river, but were prevented from doing so by the cavalry alone. October third, fourth, and fifth.--The cavalry remained somewhat in the same position, sending reconnoissances to Swift run and Brown's gap, and all the time skirmishing with the enemy. October fifth.--Three hundred men of the Second division, West Virginia cavalry, under command of Major Farabee (First Virginia cavalry), were sent from Luray to destroy the railroad bridge over the Rapidan river, to proceed from thence to Culpepper, and thence by Sperryville to Luray. He completely destroyed the bridge. Much credit is due to the officer in command for the
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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