Cedar Creek After Action Report, Commander, 15th West Virginia Volunteers, 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 8th Corps (OR, 43, 397-8)
HDQRS, THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST INFANTRY DIVISION,
ARMY OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Cedar Creek, Va., October 25,1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the Fifteenth Regiment West Virginia Infantry during the engagement of the 19th instant:
Between the hours of 5 and 6 o'clock in the morning of the action my command was in line of battle in the breast-works in front of my camp, at which time the enemy were observed approaching in force within a few rods of our works. I gave the order to fire, which was kept up until we were completely outflanked by the enemy on our left. I here lost several enlisted men killed, wounded, and captured. On falling back I reformed a portion of my command in rear of the original dine of works of the Nineteenth Army Corps; said corps giving way, my command was scattered somewhat, but afterward were collected in squads, and about 12 o'clock the larger part of the command were reformed in line with other portions of the Third Brigade, the brigade being its line with Sixth and Nineteenth Army Corps, from which position we moved to the left with the Army of West Virginia as a reserve and support to a battery. About 5 p. m. we were ordered to advance, which was done in good order, but not without a loss in wounded.
The conduct of my only field officer, and a portion of the line officers, I cannot commend very highly; but the conduct of some of them is commendable, especially that of Captain Gandy, of Company E, Captain McCaskey, of Company C, Captain Porter and Lieutenant Lazear, of Company K, and Lieutenant Powers, of Company B. The conduct of the enlisted men who were present was highly commendable.
The losses in my command were as follows: 5 enlisted men killed, 1 commissioned officer and 11 enlisted men wounded, and 1 commissioned officer and 11 enlisted men captured.
I forgot to mention among the officers who performed their duty faithfully on that day was Lieut. F. G. W. Ford, Company F.
The above report I submit.
I am, yours, respectfully
Col. 15th West Virginia Infty., Comdg. Third Briq., First Infty. Div.
Lieut. F. L. BALLARD,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Infty. Div.,Dept. of W.Va..
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST INFANTRY DIVISION,
ARMY OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Cedar Creek, October 24, 1864.
COLONEL: In accordance with your own special request, I forward the following report of the conduct of the officers of the Fifteenth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry during the engagement on the 19th instant:
Between the hours of 5 and 6 o'clock of that morning I formed the command in line of battle and placed them in the breast-works in front of camp ready for action; all of my line and field officers were at their posts. As soon as formed I reconnoitered some on the outside of the works and found the enemy approaching. I gave notice to my command to be ready, and then proceeded to have the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Regiment in readiness, but just as I approached the left of my own command I observed the enemy in force in a few rods of the works. I gave them orders to fires and proceeded to assist Captain Outer in getting his command in line of battle, but was too late to gain the works for effective service before the enemy reached them. At this critical period the troops along the whole line from left to right gave way, leaving the commanding officers as a general thing without a command. I attempted to rally my command, but to no effect. The line officers to the best of my knowledge and belief all discharged their duties at this critical period. Maj. John W. Holliday was among the first to break and run away, and I do not know of his attempting to rally any of the command until he had proceeded several miles to the rear, when he returned back with the colors and part of the command about 11 or 12 o'clock the same day. I would add as an excuse for Major Holliday that when he returned he claimed to be crippled by a fall or stroke from some unknown hands near the breast-works, [so as] to be unable to discharge the duties incumbent on him. I sent for an ambulance and he was sent to the rear, but returned next morning, since which time he has been with the command but unable for active duty. Lieut. William G. W. Price, of Company F. went as far to the rear as Kernstown, when he concluded to return, and joined the command the night of the 19th after the command had encamped for the night. Lieutenant Price heretofore has always acted bravely. Capt. John B. Lukens went as far as Winchester, but had a surgeon's certificate of disability, and has since been sent to general hospital. I would add that Surgeon Walsh, observing the colors of my command some miles to the rear, accompanied with several of my officers and enlisted men, stopped them and turned them back to face the enemy. Some blame may be attached to my not keeping up with the colors and rallying them sooner. I would add that I being the senior officer present with the brigade at the time of attack, I deemed it my duty not only to rally the men of the Fifteenth West Virginia Regiment but of the whole command wherever I found them, relying upon Major Holliday and the officers to take care of the regiment. Captains McCaskey and Gandy, also Lieutenant Lazear, were the only officers present with me during the whole day, with about twenty-five enlisted men.
I respectfully submit the above.
Colonel Fifteenth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry.
[Col. T. M. HARRIS.]
The following-named officers were found with the colors when they were rallied: Capt. James Humes, Company A; Lieut. Harry Hinkley, Company A, slightly wounded; Capt. Fenelon Howes, Company F; Lieutenant Cutright, Company D; Lieutenant Warthen, Company E; Lieutenant Nash, Company I.
Colonel Fifteenth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry