Report of Lieut. Col. Simon T. Walton, Twenty-third Virginia Infantry.
August 13, 1862.
The Twenty-third Virginia Regiment left its camp at this place with the rest of the army on the evening of August 7. It marched about 8 miles that night and bivouacked near Orange Court-House.
The march was resumed early next morning, but not continued for more than a few miles, when it again halted for the purpose of cooking two days’ rations, rest, &c.
During the night a portion of the enemy’s cavalry fired upon our pickets and attempted to cut off our train of wagons. Our regiment was ordered to support the picket, which it did, lying on its arms nearly all night. Some time after midnight our main guard was driven in and the regiment double-quicked half a mile to meet the enemy. There was a sharp skirmish for a few minutes and the enemy was routed. We took 1 prisoner and captured 2 horses.
During this skirmish Lieutenant Trice, of Company G, was badly wounded in the neck. Lieutenant Winston, of Company A, was also wounded.
The army, or at least our portion of it, had a long and distressing march on the 9th to the field, where on that evening was fought the battle of Cedar Creek — distressing on account of the excessive heat and scarcity of good water. The brigade reached the battle-field about 4 o’clock. This regiment, which had been on the left during the day, was detached and sent to the right, where it was ordered to lie down in the woods, just in rear of Pegram’s battery, for the purpose of supporting it. Here it remained nearly an hour exposed to the shells of the enemy, which were tearing the forest to atoms. The enemy’s artillery then ceased to fire and the regiment ordered to advance, which it did through the open field in line of battle, with the Thirty-seventh Virginia on its left. When in 400 yards of the enemy’s line fire was opened on them and continued for some time, when we were ordered to fall back a short distance (the Thirty-seventh Virginia having already done so) in order to be out of reach of a cross-fire upon our left flank, which was very close and very destructive. It fell back in some confusion. It was during this retreat, and while attempting to stop it, that the lamented Lieutenant-Colonel Curtis received his mortal wound. The regiment again formed, advanced, and continued to advance, successfully repulsing a charge of the enemy’s cavalry, taking prisoners of rank, until they were ordered by General Jackson to stop the pursuit.
The regiment behaved well, and there were individual instances of great gallantry, but it might be invidious to mention them.
Inclosed please find list of killed and wounded of the regiment in the battle of Cedar Creek.*
S. T. WALTON,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Col. A. G. Taliaferro,
Commanding Third Brigade.
P.S. — Color-Bearer John P. Waddy, Company G; Sergt. William A. Walton, and Corpl. John M. Booker, of Company I, behaved with great gallantry and deserve well of their country. Several others did their duty as good soldiers.
*Embodied in Nos. 27, 42.