June 26, 1861
AFFAIR AT GORDONSVILLE—The Richmond Dispatch of the 22nd has the
following account. The cowardly panic of
the enemy may be understood from the fact that they were in such a hurry to run
away that they spiked their loaded cannon without waiting to discharge one
round at their assailants.
A. P. Hill, commanding the Brigade, whose headquarters are at Camp Davis,
Romney, ordered on the night of the 18th Col. J. C. Vaughn, of the
third Tennessee Regiment, to proceed to the line of the enemy at New Creek
Depot, eighteen miles west of Cumberland, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,
with two companies of the 18th Regiment of Virginia Volunteers,
commanded by Captains Crittenden and White, and two companies of the 3rd
Tennessee Regiment, commanded by Captains Dillard and Mathis, to disperse the
Federal forces there collected.
march of 33 miles was made between 8 P. M. and 12 M. the next day. The enemy was found posted in some strength,
with two pieces of artillery, but had no pickets out. At 5 o’clock A. M. on the morning of the 19th,
after reconnoitering, the order to charge was given by Col. Vaughn, and was
gallantly executed in good order, but with great enthusiasm. As our forces appeared in sight, at a distance
of 400 yards, the enemy broke and fled in all directions, firing a few random
shots as they ran, one of which entered the arm of Private Smith, of Capt.
Dillard’s company, which was in advance, wounding him slightly.
enemy did not wait to fire their artillery, which Col. Vaughn’s command
captured, finding them still loaded, but spiked.
Vaughn states, in his official report, that his men were all eagerness to
engage the enemy when the order to charge was given, and rushed forward with
the utmost enthusiasm, wading the river to their waists. The enemy’s loss was not known, but several
were seen to fall. No prisoners were
taken, owing to the start the enemy had, and Col. V. having left in the rear
all the horses belonging to his command.
portion occupied by the Federal troops was on the North bank of the Potomac, at
the 81st bridge, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Vaughn burned the bridge before returning to Romney, taking with him the two
guns and stand of colors.
[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]