Cedar Creek After Action Report, Commander, 11th West Virginia Volunteers, 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 8th Corps (OR, 43, 394-6)



Cedar Creek, Va., October 25,1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the action of the 19th instant:

Near 5 a. m. the firing on the left alarmed my camp, and the men were quickly in line under arms at the works immediately to the left of the battery, on the extreme right of the line of the Army of West Virginia. When I arrived at the works I found some of my men firing to the front, and fearing injury to some of our own command in front, and seeing no enemy there at that time, I ordered them to cease firing. I had not passed from the left to right of my regiment, however, before the Fifteenth West Virginia, immediately on my left, fell back from the works, and my flank received a pretty severe, but, owing to fog and darkness, not accurate fire. My regiment then gave way by companies from the left, obliquing to the right and rear down the hill. We assisted, however, in running some (I think five) of the pieces of the battery above named to the rear, whence they were taken off. I did not succeed in forming my regiment until we had crossed the ravine toward the turnpike, when I formed a perfect line and remained in that position a short time. Being left separated from my brigade, and hearing firing almost directly in my rear, I moved " by right of companies to rear " through the woods, where, finding I was in great danger of being cut off (the rebels having the hill commanding the turnpike from the creek northward), I formed columns and filed my command in rear of the left of the works of the Nineteenth Corps. 1 am satisfied that had I been a few minutes later my command would have been cut off. I had taken this position but a short time when our left was attacked, and a staff officer (I think of the Nineteenth Corps) ordered me to move to the rear, changing front forward on left company. I had faced my command to the left, when all in front of us broke, and my command was carried with the press in confusion toward the stone house now used as General Sheridan's headquarters. A few of my command returned to the breasts works, but as they were otherwise deserted they were compelled to leave them. My command being from this time so scattered I cannot say that it took part as a command in the subsequent action of the forenoon. I exerted myself to reorganize, and whenever l found officers of my command, directed them to retain all men of the regiment with whom they could meet and rally on General Crook's flag. I succeeded in rallying most of the regiment, when the brigade was formed in rear of the Sixth Corps, on the right of the pike, and moved Pith the brigade to the position on the high ground on the left of the pike, and advanced to our present position with our army in the evening.

I have in another report spoken particularly in reference to the conduct of the officers of my command.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, &c.,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Eleventh West Virginia Volunteers.

[Lieut. W. H. H. KING,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]



Cedar Greek Va., October 24,1864.

Lieut. W. H.H. KING,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brigade, First Infantry Division:

LIEUTENANT: Being in receipt of a circular from your headquarters, directing that regimental commanders furnish a report of the conduct of their subordinate officers on the occasion of the 19th instant, I have the honor to comply with the requirement as follows:

Major Simpson, though quite unwell, was with the command, and performed his duties throughout. Captain Cummings, Company A; Captain Clammer and Lieutenant Ferrel, Company F; Lieutenant Core, Company D; Captain Stoddard and Lieutenant Collett, Company F; Lieutenant Elkins, Company G; Lieutenant Holt, Company H; Lieutenant Lytle, Company I, and Lieutenants Poling and Riley, Company K, were all with their commands until the regiment was disorganized by being forced back with and becoming mixed with the left of the Nineteenth Corps, and all were with the command when I succeeded in assembling it again. Captain Myers, Company B. was not thus with it. lee says he was sick, and I found him quite sick the succeeding day (in the evening). In case of Lieutenant Park, of the same company, I have, in obedience to an order received, forwarded a special report to division headquarters. Lient. Levi Campbell, jr., Company D, acting adjutant, was with the command until late in the afternoon, when I permitted him, with Captain Parriott, Company H, to remain behind. They were evidently unable to proceed with the command, the former being dismounted. Capt. D. R. King, Company I, had a surgeon's pass and went to Winchester. He had just returned from a sick leave, and was not yet reported for duty, nor is he so reported yet. Lieut. Philip F. Poe, Company E, went to Winchester. I called upon him for an explanation and he states, that upon the command becoming confused he retired to the line of stragglers being halted, or near it, when an officer with colonel's uniform ordered him to take charge of some men of different commands, and with them guard a train to the rear. He went beyond Newtown, and fell in with Colonel Curtis, Twelfth West Virginia, who ordered him to the command of some sick men, whom he took to Winchester. Leaving them there, I think with the provost-marshal, he returned with Colonel Curtis to this place. Captain Stoddard, Company F, was wounded. Captain Young, Company G, was with his command in the works. He afterward went to the rear, and reports that he was run over and crippled. The surgeon reports having given him a pass near Middletown. Second Lieut. William G. McDaniel, Company G, was not with his command after it was formed in the Nineteenth Corps works, and, although I asked Captain Young for it two days ago, I have as yet no explanation. Some of the absent officers named above have acted well in previous engagements. I noticed particularly the good conduct of Lieutenant McDaniel, of Company G, at Fisher's Hill. Not knowing what evidence to call upon in reference to the above facts, I can only take officers' statements. After we were driven from the works of the Nineteenth Corps and until the command was again formed about noon, I must confess I did not know where my whole command was. To that point we were in good order, the command marching through the woods nearest the ford "by right of companies to the rear." However, in riding along the lines, front and rear, I found those officers whose names I first mentioned on several parts of the field, each with a detachment of the command. I instructed them that when they met others to keep them together, and that when two such detachments met they, too, should remain together. The officers very efficiently obeyed, and when our corps advanced in the evening I had thus succeeded in again having the most of my regiment together.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant- Colonel, Commanding Regiment.