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[36]

I cannot speak too highly of the coolness and bravery of the men of the battery. Though it was the first time they had been under fire, not a man flinched, but they fought without excitement, and as coolly and regularly as if on drill, jesting and talking as if it were mere pastime.

About this time it became too dark to see, and we ceased firing. We found that we had not more than twenty rounds per gun left, and no more could be had. Our scouts also reported that the rebels were moving their heaviest guns around through the hollow to the high ground on the right, where they could command us, and shell us out easily.

The other batteries were in the same want of ammunition, and General Milroy determined to spike the guns and mount the cannoneers on the off-horses, and cut our way through. The other two brigades started first, and the third brigade brought up the rear. When we got five miles from Winchester the rebels opened on us with four pieces of artillery.

Our infantry and cavalry moved up and charged them desperately. As our cannoneers were unarmed, our captain ordered them to move up as close as they could safely, and then to take to the woods separately and make for the Ferry or any point on the river.

The First New-York cavalry, a fine organization, charged upon the guns. Finally the infantry and cavalry succeeded in capturing two guns, which were turned upon the others and drove them back. As they could not be carried off, they were disabled.

Our men rode up behind the cavalry through the open field, under the fire of the artillery, and then broke from the cover of the woods. We all thus became separated.



Another account.

bloody Run, Pa., June 22, 1863.
Permit me, sir, if you please, to lay before your readers a true account of the recent battles around Winchester, Va. I have carefully watched the accounts written by different correspondents thus far, and am utterly surprised at the vagueness of some, the falsity of others, and the imperfection of all. The battles of Winchester were of no small moment, deciding as they did the fate of the Great Valley, as well as the fate of Western Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Could Winchester and neighboring towns have still been held in spite of the desperate courage and efforts of the enemy, Martinsburgh and Cumberland, Pennsylvania and Maryland, the railroads, canals, and public buildings would have been likewise secure. How immense the stakes we were playing for at Winchester! Then it is important as a matter of public interest and historic record that the true history of the whole matter be published. The skirmishing in front of our works opened the ball on Friday evening, June twelfth. Saturday morning it was resumed, and kept up hotly all day, the enemy still showing themselves, in small force only, in a sort of semicircle in front. A part of our forces were then at Berryville, and were signalled to return to Winchester, Saturday morning. They succeeded in reaching us late Saturday evening. By this time fighting had commenced at Bunker Hill, eleven miles north-east of Winchester, on the Martinsburgh road. Here Major W. T. Morris was commanding detachments from the One Hundred and Sixteenth Ohio V. I., Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania, and First New-York cavalry. There, at about five o'clock Saturday evening, the scouts came in and reported the advance of a large force of rebels. Our force there was securely lodged in a large brick church, and were less than two hundred strong. But they immediately marched forth to meet the enemy, and met him shortly in such numbers as they never expected.

Instead of finding it to be only the advance-guard of the enemy, as they at first supposed, they came upon a force of over two thousand infantry and cavalry together. The fight immediately commenced, and our handful of heroes fought with a stubborn energy and determination unsurpassed in any action of like magnitude. Judge of the numbers of the respective parties, when it is actually the case that company A, of the One Hundred and Sixteenth O. V. I., lost forty-seven men in killed, wounded, and missing within half an hour's time. The loss of gallant company I, of the same regiment, was hardly less. The whole party fought well, as their losses prove. Three commissioned officers and over one hundred men were left on the field, when the shattered remnants were forced to retreat. They were soon safe within the brick church, and from port-holes they had made through the walls of the sacred edifice they poured death and dismay into the ranks of the enemy who had crowded up and striven in vain to gain admission. The doors were effectually barricaded. Every volley from within sent some wretches quivering to their dread account, while the rebel bullets pattered as harmlessly against the strong walls of the holy citadel as the drops of rain that come down silently at night upon the homestead roof. But death lurked around them. The night was setting in. Milroy had left them to shift for themselves. Morning would bring destruction. Escape seemed impossible. What was to be done? The coolness and courage of Major Morris saved them. When the firing had ceased, in the stillness and darkness of the midnight hour, the brave old Major led his men out as silently as a funeral train, and brought them safely to Winchester on Sunday morning. I have seen no parallel for this action and retreat in the history of the whole war, and yet, such is the partiality or ignorance of some, not a single word has before been written concerning these almost Spartan heroes.

By Sunday morning the forces had arrived from Berryville, Bunker Hill, and intermediate points. They had all to fight their way through to Winchester. The dark woods in the direction of Strasburgh and Front Royal were turning gray with the hordes of rebels who were pouring in upon us. Whatever officers may have


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