HDQRS. SEVENTY-FIFTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
Near Cedar Creek, Va., October 27, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that about 9 p. m. October 18,1864, I received orders from Brig. Gen. H. W. Birge, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, that a reconnaissance would be made and to have my command in readiness to march at 5 a. m. October 19. I accordingly notified my officers to that effect, and gave orders for my command to be in readiness to march in compliance with orders received. The regiment was aroused and breakfast prepared at 4 a. m. The regimental line was formed at 4.30 a. m. and everything in readiness to move as soon as orders to that effect were received. At about 4.45 a. m. some twenty-five or thirty shots were heard from the vicinity of the advance, Eighth Corps, on our left and front. Nothing further was heard until about 5 a. m., when suddenly heavy and continuous firing was heard, and a general attack seemed to have been made upon that portion of the Eighth Corps lying in the fortifications in advance of our left. My regiment was immediately under arms and the different officers at their posts ready to do their duty. They remained in line of battle until the pickets in our front were sharply engaged, when I received orders from General Birge to send the sharpshooters of my regiment to the front and at the same time to send about twenty-five men forward and have them stationed in tile rifle-pits in front of the works. I accordingly detailed Capt. Frank Silsby to advance with. his company and station it in accordance with orders I had received from General Birge. Shortly after the enemy charged through the woods upon the left of the Second Division, which became hotly engaged, and the shot and shell began to fall thick and fast in my camp, killing two men and wounding several, when I ordered the men forward to the works in front of the line. The regiment remained behind the works until all the troops on our left had fallen back, and as the enemy were charging over the works on our left and had already passed far in our rear, I deemed it expedient to fall back and accordingly gave orders to that effect, falling back along the line of intrenchments to our right, as our retreat by the rear was already cut off, leaving 2 men killed, a number wounded, and 31 prisoners in the hands of the enemy. I fell back with my command and formed a junction with the balance of the brigade and remained with it during the entire day, taking part in the grand final charge upon the enemy's line in the afternoon, and returned to my old camp with my command about dark.
My entire loss during this day was 3 men killed, 1 officer seriously wounded, 18 men wounded, 2 men missing, and 31 prisoners.
I am, sir, very respectfully, &c.,
BENJ. F. THURBER,
[Lieut. LA GRANGE SEVERANCE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant- General.]