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The Union Assault
The Confederate position along the heavily-wooded ridge overlooking Middle Creek was a strong one. To avoid exposing his troops to the combined fire of all the Confederate regiments, Garfield chose to assault the north end of their line, rather than march his troops further up the valley and launch a conventional assault on the entire Confederate line.

Garfield's force consisted of approximately 1,800 Ohioans and Kentuckians. As the rebels raked his position, Garfield ordered Captain F. A. Williams to lead three companies of the 42nd Ohio across the freezing waters of Middle Creek and advance up the rocky spur opposite Graveyard Point, towards the position held by Colonel J. S. Williams's 5th Kentucky. At the same time, he sent two companies of Kentuckians along the ridge extending from Graveyard Point towards the left end of Marshall's line, anchored by dismounted cavalry companies commanded by Clay and Thomas. Captain Williams' assault was driven back by a sudden, heavy volley from the 5th Kentucky. The Confederates then counterattacked, but the Ohioans repulsed them with a single volley that left seven rebels dead.

Garfield then detached two more companies of the 42nd Ohio and one company of the 14th Kentucky, placed them under Major Don A. Pardee, and ordered them to cross the creek and support Captain Williams. Fighting "Indian fashion," this combined force moved further up the valley and began advancing up the spur known as "Piney Point" towards Moore's 29th Virginia, which held the ridge on the 5th Kentucky's left flank.

Marshall's Map, showing Piney Point, the ridge assaulted by the troops of the 42nd Ohio and the 14th Kentucky. For a larger version, click here.
Colonel Lionel A. Sheldon, Commander of the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Courtesy of
Roger D. Hunt and Jack R. Brown,
Brevet Brigadier
Generals in Blue (Olde
Soldier Books, Inc., 1990)
Major Don A. Pardee of the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Courtesy of
Roger D. Hunt and Jack R.
Brevet Brigadier
Generals in Blue (Olde
Soldier Books, Inc., 1990)
Regimental Colors of the 42nd Ohio, courtesy of the Ohio State Historical Society.
Samuel May House
Archive Main Page
Middle Creek Battlefield Foundation
Middle Creek Main Page
Why They Fought Here
The Opposing Commanders
The Confederate Waiting Game
The Artillery That Failed

The Union Command Post
The Confederate Command Post
Monroe's Bayonet Charge
A Desperate Fight, But Few Casualties
The Mount Sterling-Pound Gap Road
The John M. Burns House
The Samuel May Farm
The Middle Creek Foundation
Colonel George W. Monroe
Colonel Ezekiel F. Clay
Colonel Lionel A Sheldon
Colonel Don A. Pardee
Colonel Hiram Hawkins
Colonel John S. Williams
Colonel Alfred C. Moore
Colonel George W. Gallup
Dr. Stephen M. Ferguson
Civil War
The Skirmish
at Abbott Shoal