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‘ [248] all the troops that were at Stephenson's Depot to be in readiness to move, directions being given to Gordon, who had arrived from Bunker Hill, to move at once, but by some mistake on the part of my staff officer, the latter order was not delivered to either Generals Breckinridge or Gordon.’

Ramseur was compelled to bear the whole brunt of the attack of Sheridan's army until we came to his support, about 10 A. M. While Rodes was moving in column up the Martinsburg road, near Winchester, we were unexpectedly called to attention, faced to the left, and moved forward to engage the enemy, who had advanced to within one hundred yards of the road. Grimes' brigade was on the right, mine in the centre, and Cook's on the left, for Battle's was still behind. After a brief and vigorous assault the Federals commenced falling back.

Grimes drove them through the woods, and formed on the left of Ramseur, while I was driving the Federals before me in an open field, supported by Cook on my left. The latter brigade was brought to a temporary halt. Rodes was now in my rear, and dispatched his only remaining staff officer to push forward this brigade. At this moment Lieutenant J. S. Battle, of my staff came up, informed me that Colonel Bennett of the Fourteenth regiment had just had his horse shot under him, and he had given him his. It was now that General Rodes was shot in the head by a ball, and caught by Lieutenant Battle as he fell from his horse. The fall of Rodes was not observed by the troops, who pushed on, and struck a weak line between the Sixth and Nineteenth corps. At this point the Federals were severely punished, and fell back, leaving their killed and wounded. A large number of officers and men were secreted in a ditch, whom we captured. We pursued the enemy, with a hot fire, beyond the crest of the hill on which Grimes had established his line. Here Evans' brigade, upon meeting a heavy fire, fell back, which exposed my brigade to a concentrated, direct, and left oblique fire. Seeing that I could not maintain this advanced position, my aide, Major Gales, was sent to General Early with a request to have a battery placed on a hill in my rear. This was promptly done, when my men fell back and were formed behind the battery, which opening with telling effect upon their heavy lines, they laid down, and the victory appeared to be ours. In this brief engagement Colonel Bennett had two horses shot from under him, and was captured. Colonel Cobb of the Second lost a foot, and Colonel Thurston of the Third was severely wounded. While my loss in officers and men had been severe, my troops were in fine

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Martinsburg (West Virginia, United States) (1)

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