Cedar Creek After Action Report, Commander, 67th Pennsylvania (2d Brigade, 3d Division, 6th Corps) (OR, 43, 267-8)
HDQRS. SIXTY-SEVENTH REGT. PENNSYLVANIA VOLS.,
November 25, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following, in compliance with circular dated headquarters Second Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, November__, 1864, calling for a report of the part taken by my command in the battle of Cedar Creek, Va., on the 19th day of October, 1864:
The regiment on that day was encamped on a ridge near Cedar Creek, Va., and connected with the One hundred and thirty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the right and a regiment of the Nineteenth Army Corps on the left. About daylight a heavy discharge of musketry was heard in the direction of that part of the line held by the Eighth Army Corps—the left. The regiment was immediately placed under arms. Orders to that effect were received soon after, and were followed by orders to pack up, the firing in the meantime continuing, only much nearer than when first heard and farther to the rear on the left flank of our lines. A dense fog prevailed, which lasted from daylight until about 10 a. m., rendering it impossible to see farther than a couple of hundred yards. About 6 a. m. the regiment, in pursuance of orders, moved by the right flank, following the One hundred and thirty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers several hundred yards in the direction from which the firing proceeded, when it was ordered to right-about and return double quick to the ground originally occupied. This order had hardly been complied with when orders were again received to move in the same direction, as on the occasion first mentioned. After reaching a point several hundred yards in the rear of the house occupied by General Sheridan as his headquarters line of battle was formed, with the One hundred and thirty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the light. It may be mentioned here that but little over one-half the regiment was present, a picket detail of 100 men, with the proper number of officers, having been taken from it the day before, which had not yet been relieved At this time the enemy was advancing in our front and on the left flank. The line of battle just alluded to had scarcely been formed when the troops immediately in front fell back through our ranks in considerable confusion, closely followed by the enemy. The regiment, however, maintained its line, though not without losing some men, who were carried back with the crowd which kept pouring to the rear, and shortly afterward, about 9 a. m., made an advance of about 200 yards beyond a ditch, from which it drove the enemy, capturing fourteen prisoners. It remained at this point about twenty minutes, when, finding itself unsupported either on the right or left, and that the enemy was rapidly turning the left flank of the army, it was obliged to fall back From this time until the line was reformed on a road about a mile in the rear of where it was originally formed the regiment fell back slowly rallying and firing as often as an attempt by any part of the line was allude to do so. The ground over which it fought was undulating in its character and entirely free from timber. It was about 12 m. when the line was reformed as just mentioned. The regiment joined the _____ Ohio on the right and the Sixth Maryland Volunteers on the left. Following the Sixth Maryland, it moved by the left flank about half a mile in the direction of the Winchester turnpike, when it halted in a piece of woodland and threw up temporary breast-works. It remained at this point about half an hour, when the whole brigade moved about three-quarters of a mile to the rear and took up another position. But a few minutes elapsed until the brigade was again in motion, and, moving by the left flank, it proceeded to a run within 200 or 300 yards of the Winchester turnpike. Line was then formed and an advance made of about one mile. At this point, where the line halted, breast works of logs and rails were hastily constructed, after which the troops enjoyed a rest of about two hours. About 3 p. m. a general advance began. By this time a large portion of the picket detail mentioned above had succeeded, after much difficulty, in joining the regiment. In the advance which then ensued half a mile, perhaps, had been passed over when the line was met by a heavy fire of musketry from the enemy, who was posted behind a breast-work of rails on the edge of the woods through which we were advancing. The fire was returned with great spirit, and the line was still moving forward when some troops on the left of the brigade (belonging, I believe, to the Eighth Army Corps) gave way in confusion, which led to the belief that our line was flanked, and caused it to fall back to the breast-works from which we started. The line was immediately reformed and the advance renewed; the enemy was driven from the position which he held, and the line took up a position behind a stone fence a short distance beyond. Here a halt of about half an hour occurred, during which time a brisk fire was kept up, which, as was subsequently discovered, inflicted upon the enemy a severe loss. At the expiration of the time named the line again moved forward, charging and driving the enemy in confusion from every position he attempted to hold, until it reached the works which the Nineteenth Army Corps had been compelled to abandon in the morning. The regiment in this advance kept to the right of Middletown until it had passed that place about 300 yards, when it crossed over to left side of the turnpike. Before reaching the group occupied by our troops in the morning it recrossed the pike, and as the cavalry had already taken up the pursuit of the flying enemy and night was at hand, it planted its colors on the breast-works last above named in advance of all others, and awaited orders. The loss of the regiment in this day's battle was 3 killed, 26 wounded, and 1 missing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN F. YOUNG
First Lieut. and Adjt., Comdg. Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania Vols.
Capt. J. T. RORER,'
Actg.. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig.,.3d Div., 6th Army Corps..