Cedar Creek Report, Reserve Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Army of the Shenandoah (OR, 43, 491-2)

Report of operations of the Cavalry Reserve Brigade from October 5,18~;4, to October 31,1864, inclusive:

October 5, moved in morning to Cross Keys; picket in front, connecting with Second Brigade on right and left covering road leading to Harrisonburg. October 6, at 7 a. m. withdrew pickets and moved with division to Harrisonburg, thence down the Valley on Ridge road to Timberville. First and Second United States and one squadron Second Massachusetts Cavalry on duty all day burning hay and grain and collecting cattle. Camped at Timberville, picketing toward Harrisonburg, connecting with Third Division on right and Second Brigade, First Division, on left. October 7, moved along Ridge road, intersecting pike near Edenburg; found the enemy following up the infantry; moved out in connection with Second Brigade to develop their strength; enemy fell back as we advanced, and not finding them in any force fell back north [of] Edenburg, picketing in front. October 8, moved through Woodstock and across Tom's Creek, connecting with Third Division on right and Second Brigade, First Division, on left. October 9, broke camp at sunrise; moved out on the pike; sent ont an advance guard at Tom's Creek. moved down the pike one-quarter of a mile, and met the enemy in force; formed skirmish line, connecting with Second Brigade on right, when the enemy opened with artillery and sirnultaneously charged our skirmish line, driving it back a short distance, when effectually [routing] them (the enemy), they were forced to retire. We again advanced, commencing to drive them before us till near Wood stock, at which time, the order being given to charge, was effected in the following order: First United States, supported by Fifth United States, on the pike, Second Massachusetts on either flank (Second United States being left behind in support of a section of artillery). pursued the fleeing enemy beyond Edenburg, capturing 1 battle-flag, 4 pieces of artillery, 4 caissons, 2 forges, 2 ambulances, 7 wagons, and 50 prisoners; lost but 7 wounded in the brigade. At dark moved back to Woodstock and bivouacked for the night, picketing our own camp October 10, returned to within three miles of Strasburg and camped picketing on left of Second Brigade. October L1, broke camp at 11 a. m.; moved through Strasburg across Cedar Creek and camped on left of infantry at Buck's Ford, on North Fork Shenandoah, picketing on south bank of river, connecting with infantry on right and Second Division on left. October 12, remained in camp, picketing as before. Second Massachusetts Cavalry moved at midnight for Hectortown with dispatches for General Augur. October 13, broke camp at 2 p. m.; moved to right and camped in rear of army headquarters, two miles west of Middletown; pickets not withdrawn. October 14, command saddled all day, but did not break camp; Second Massachusetts returned; pickets withdrawn from left of infantry. October 15, moved with balance of division to Front Royal via Middletown and Cedarville. camped near Front Royal. October 16, returned to camp two miles west of Middletown. October 17, remained in camp, picketing on right of First Brigade. October 18, remained in camp, picketing as before. October 19, broke camp at daylight and moved to the right of infantry on a reconnaissance for the purpose of ascertaining tile position of the enemy; found their cavalry in force; skirmished with them about an hour, when orders were received to fall back, as tile whole army had been attacked; proceeded to the left of infantry and formed skirmish line, connecting with infantry on right and First Brigade on left; Second Massachusetts made two charges on the enemy's infantry, checking their advance; held our position till 3 p. m., when the whole line advanced, and this brigade, together with Second Brigade, charged a battery of enemy's artillery; were repulsed, with considerable loss, Colonel Lowell being mortally wounded while leading his command in the charge. Lieutenant-Colonel Crowninshield, Second Massachusetts Cavalry, assumed command of brigade. The enemy's line commenced to fall back, when we again charged, pursuing them down the pike and across Cedar Creek. Here we were halted and ordered to fall Leek, recrossed the creek and camped on left of infantry. October 20, moved with the division to Woodstock; brigade advanced tar as Edenburg; finding no enemy, returned and camped near Fisher's Hill. October 21, marched to Middletown and camped on left of infantry. October 22, remained as above. October 23, remained as above, sent two squadrons on picket in front of General Getty's division, Sixth Corps, near Fisher's Hill. October 24 to 26, still ill camp as above. October 27, sent two regiments (First United States and Second Massachusetts) on reconnaissance to Woodstock; returned, finding no enemy. October 28 to 31, remained in camp, picketing as above.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieut. Col. Second Massachusetts Cavalry, Comdg. Brigade.

Capt. A. E. DANA,

Assistant Adjutant-General, First Cavalry Division.