Our army correspondence.
The heavy cannonading heard in the direction of Shepherdstown Thursday
originated from a severe cavalry fight, of which you have been advised by telegraph.
I will now furnish you the particulars as they have been ascertained.
After the return of Gen. Lee
's army to Virginia
, the enemy, evidently too much crippled for immediate pursuit, and desirous of ascertaining our movements and feeling our position, dispatched a large body of cavalry down the river to accomplish this object, if possible.
They crossed at Harper's Ferry
, where pontoon bridges were thrown across for the purpose, and proceeded up the river as far as Shepherdstown
, where they arrived on Wednesday; then coming down the Leetown
road to the distance of about five miles, halted.
Meantime, Fitzhugh Lee
, who was in the vicinity and hearing of their whereabouts, proceeded up the Shepherdstown
road for the purpose of checking the enemy's advance.
He arrived in sight of the Yankees
Thursday morning, which brought on desultory skirmishing and cannonading, which continued throughout the day until about 4 o'clock P. M. Then dismounting his men and advancing, the fight became general along both lines, the enemy having also dismounted.
A charge was ordered and our men rushed upon the enemy, who were driven back two or three miles, where they sought the protection of a stone wall extending to the right and left of the road, their right and left flanks stretching some distance either extremity of the wall.
Here the fight raged for some time, our men frequently charging up to the enemy's front and delivering their fire with telling effect, but exposed to an incessant fire of shot, shell, and small arms from the enemy, who had availed themselves of the protection of the stonewall and every rock, tree and stump that afforded the least shelter.
While our men were in dangerous proximity without the slightest shelter to cover their movements; bodies of the enemy's cavalry would frequently charge up to the stone wall, file to the right and left, rapidly deliver their fire and gallop into a wood that skirted the wall on either side.
Later in the afternoon, when the fight had progressed some time, the 14th, 16th, 17th and 36th Battalion, of Jenkins
's brigade, came up from near Martinsburg
and reinforced General Lee
, taking a position on the left of the road towards Shepherdstown
During the remainder of the day they rendered gallant and efficient service with their long — range guns, and participated with their comrades previously on the field, in the subsequent charges on the enemy's position.
The enemy were repulsed and driven back on the right and left, but so effectual was their protection behind the wall, they were enabled to hold that position until night.
Our line of battle extended about the distance of a mile and a half to the right and left of the road, the enemy's about the same distance, with reserves in supporting distance.
We had three pieces of artillery, and the enemy it is believed about the same number, planted in an admirable position on the right of the stonewall and in front of the woods, commanding the whole field in front.
During the entire engagement our officers and men displayed the utmost gallantry.
being absent by reason of a wound in the head received at Gettysburg
, his men were led by Col. Ferguson
, the whole under command of Fitzhugh Lee
. Our loss, not yet definitely known, is unofficially reported at from 75 to 100 from all causes.
We lost no prisoners.--The loss of the enemy is estimated at from 150 to 200.
Night having drawn her sable curtain over the scene, the enemy fell back from this position behind the stonewall, leaving their dead and wounded in our hands, and our men in possession of the field.
They retreated down the river road towards Harper's Ferry
, and it is reported have since gone to the other side of the river.
The casualties, as usual latterly, were considerable among the officers, who greatly exposed themselves leading and encouraging the men, and forming conspicuous marks for the enemy's sharpshooters.
, 1st Va., and Adj't Barbour
, 17th Va., are reported killed; the latter while cheering the men to a charge.
, of Lee
's brigade, reported mortally wounded, and Major Jos. H. Newman
, of the 16th, wounded in the head.
Prisoners taken report that the enemy were commanded by Gen. Gregg
I should mention that the enemy, on their entrance into Shepherdstown
, found fifty or sixty of our sick and wounded, who were told they would be paroled and those physically able carried off; but the issue of the fight was so unexpected to them they were compelled to leave the intended prisoners behind.
"All is quiet" in and along the lines, and this is all I am at liberty to report at this writing.
The movements of the army since the great battle of Gettysburg
, which are as well known to the enemy as ourselves, may be briefly summed up as follows: Withdrawing from our position at Gettysburg
almost simultaneously with the enemy, our army formed line of battle, our right, resting near Hagerstown
, our left on the river, near Williamsport
Here we lay two tedious days and nights, offering fight, which the enemy declined, when it was determined to recross the river, which was most successfully accomplished.
Of our movements since, or present position, I cannot speak, though it would appease a prurient curiosity which seeks gratification even at the expense of the public interests and safety.
I will always promptly advise you of facts accomplished and events that may be given to the public without detriment.
No considerable body of the enemy are yet reported to be on the South
side of the river.
A small body of cavalry advanced from the direction of Williamsport
to-day and captured three of our wagons and as many men who had been foraging in the vicinity of the mountain, about seven miles from Martinsburg
.--The remainder of the party escaped.
, of North Carolina
, died of his wound at half-past 6 yesterday morning, at the residence of Mr. Boyd
, Banker Hill, from the effect of his wound received in repelling a cavalry charge into his brigade just before recrossing the Potomac
, Wednesday last.
His confinement was soothed by every attention his condition required, and his faithful body servant attended him to the last.
His noble features, calm and placid in death, and his body arrayed in full uniform, with his limbs composed, he appeared, instead of death, more like one who "wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." It being impossible to procure a metallic coffin to convey his remains home, they were interred temporarily at Banker Hill.