Today in History:

3 Series I Volume XLIII-I Serial 90 - Shenandoah Valley Campaign Part I


by Colonel Stevenson, One hundred and fifty-fourth Ohio National Guard. Immediately upon being notified of the attack, I sent the detachment of Eleventh West Virginia to re-enforce Colonel Stevenson, which arrived early in the engagement. After a severe fight, lasting for several hours, the enemy was driven off leaving part of their dead and wounded in our hands. Our loss was 1 commissioned officer and 7 enlisted men killed and 29 enlisted men wounded and missing. The enemy's loss heavy, 25 dead being left on the field; his wounded were carried off. I also sent the One hundred and sixty-fifth Ohio National Guard to New Creek, but it did not arrive in time to participate in the fight.

On the 4th instant Brigadier-General Averell, with his division of cavalry, then at Bath, Morgan County, W. Va., was directed by Major-General Hunter, commanding department, to pursue the enemy and to report to me for orders. General Averell moved via Bloomery Gap, arriving at Springfield on the evening of the 5th, where his command was supplied with subsistence and forage. I advised him at this point that the enemy were retreating via Burlington and the Junction toward Moorefield, in Hardy County, and ordered him to take two days' rations and pursue the enemy and attack hi wherever found. Early on the morning of the 6th General Averell, with his command, in obedience to the above order, pursued and overtook the enemy at Oldfields, three miles east of Moorefield, on the morning of the 7th, effecting a complete surprise, routing and supersing the whole command, capturing 27 commissioned officers and 393 enlisted men, 4 guns, with limbers and caissons, large quantities of small-arms, and 400 horses and equipments. Our loss, 7 killed and 21 wounded; enemy's loss in killed unknown. After the engagement the enemy retreated in small squads by different roads into the Shenandoah Valley and General Averell returned to New Creek with his prisoners and captured property, form which point he received orders to report to General Sheridan, in the Shenandoah Valley, near Harper's Ferry.

Thus concluded the enemy's operations in this direction, meeting defeat and disaster at every point, with great loss of men and material, and culminating in total rout and dispersion at Moorefield. From prisoners and deserters I learned that McCausland's orders were to proceed west along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, destroying the road as he went to the Ohio River, thence to proceed into the Kanawha Valley. The timely check he received caused him to abandon his proposed plan of operations.

I desire to express my thanks to the troops under my command for their gallant conduct in the above-named engagements. Apart from General Averell's division my command was composed mostly of 100-days' men, and they, and they, on all occasions, with one exception, vied with the old troops in acts of endurance and soldierly bearing.

To my staff I desire also to return my thanks for their uniform good conduct and attention to duties. Where al behaved so nobly, it might perhaps seem invidious to particularize, but I cannot forbear to made special mention of Captain H. Pease, Twenty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, acting assistant inspector-general, whose promptness in action, coolness in danger, rapid and correct judgment were of immense service to me throughout the whole affair.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Major-General.

Captain P. G. BIER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of West Virginia.