previous next
[134] which Col. K. was severely wounded, his train captured, and his command nearly destroyed. Fully 700 prisoners, a section of rifled 10-pounders, and a large amount of stores, were among the trophies of this Rebel triumph. Our men fought nobly; but they were 900 against 8,000.

Gen. Banks remained quiet and unsuspecting at Strasburg, with no enemy in his front, and no sign of danger, until the evening of the 23d, when he was astounded by tidings of Kenly's disaster, and assurances that the Rebels, 15,000 to 20,000 strong, were pressing forward to Winchester, directly in his rear. Shields's division having been sent, by order from Washington, to the Rappahannock, he had hardly 5,000 men at hand, with perhaps 2,000 or 3,000 more scattered through the Valley in his rear. Jackson's force must have exceeded 20,000 men.1 Banks had, on the first tidings of trouble at Front Royal, dispatched a small force to the aid of Kenly; but this was now recalled, and our trains sent forward on the road to Winchester, escorted by Gen. Hatch, with our cavalry, and 6 pieces of artillery. At 9 A. M.2 our column was in motion, and had hardly proceeded three miles when it was apprised that the train had been attacked, and that the Rebels held the road at Middletown — a report soon confirmed by a disorderly rush of fugitives and wagons to the rear. The column was thereupon reorganized, with the train in the rear; and, on reaching Middletown, Col. D. Donnelly, commanding the vanguard, encountered a small force of Rebels, who were easily repulsed and driven back on the road to Front Royal. Col. Brodhead, 1st Michigan cavalry, now took the advance, and soon reported the road clear to Winchester. Before all our army had passed, the Rebels advanced on the Front Royal road in such force as to occupy Middletown, compelling our rear-guard to fall back to Strasburg, making a circuit thence to the north, whereby the 1st Vermont, Col. Tompkins, was enabled to rejoin Banks at Winchester in season for the fight of next morning; while the 5th New York, Col. De Forrest, made its way through the mountains to the Potomac, bringing in a train of 32 wagons and many stragglers. There was some fighting with our rear-guard at Strasburg, and again at Newtown, eight miles from Winchester; but our men retreated with moderate loss, and our infantry and artillery were again concentrated at Winchester by midnight. Here they were allowed a rest of two or three hours, broken at brief intervals by the rattle of musketry,

1 Lt.-Gen. Jackson, in his official report, says:

My command at this time embraced Ashby's cavalry; the 1st brigade, under Gen. Winder; the 2d brigade, Col. Campbell commanding; 3d brigade, Col. Fulkerson commanding; the troops recently under command of Brig.-Gen. Edward Johnson; and the division of Gen. Ewell. comprising the brigades of Gens. Elzey, Taylor, Trimble. and the Maryland Line, consisting of the 1st Maryland regiment and Brockenbrough's battery, under Brig.-Gen. Geo. H. Stewart, and the 2d and 6th Virginia cavalry, under Col. Flournoy.

On our side, Brig.-Gen. Gordon, in his official report, says:

From the testimony of our signal officers, and from a fair estimate of the number in Rebel lines drawn up on the hights, from fugitives and deserters, the number of regiments in the Rebel army opposite Winchester was 28, being Ewell's division, Jackson's and Johnson's forces; the whole being commanded by Gen. Jackson. These regiments were full, and could not have numbered less than 22,000 men, with a corresponding proportion of artillery.

2 May 24.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 24th (1)
23rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: