previous next

[340] presenting for the whole of that eventful day an impassable barrier between the enemy's right wing and the goal of their hopes.

Lieut.-Col. Daum, chief of artillery, sending his messages of death with unerring certainty, and all the brave officers and soldiers, who knew their duty and performed it, earned for themselves the gratitude of a great nation.

The incidents of the day, if written out, would fill volumes, but a few may serve to show the temper of the men in whose hands the fate of Union is held. The color-bearer of the Fifth Ohio volunteers was three several times shot down, when Capt. George P. Whitcomb, of the color-company, seizing the colors, pressed forward. He, too, soon fell, when they were upheld by a wounded corporal unable to rise from his knees.

Lieut.-Col. Voris, commanding the Sixty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, although himself wounded in the thigh, caught the colors from the hands of the dying sergeant, and calling on his men to follow him, pressed forward where the fight was fiercest. This same man covered a wounded rebel soldier from the chill night air with his overcoat, as soon as the flying enemy left him time to look around him.

It should not be forgotten that a large proportion of the officers and men engaged in this fight were “raw” troops, having never before heard the screaming of shells, the whistling of bullets, or met an enemy in deadly conflict, and that they were opposed to that “stone wall” of Jackson's, which has never before turned their backs upon the Union army in battle.

The officers of Gen. Shields' staff are entitled to the gratitude of their countrymen for the fidelity with which they discharged the trying duties that devolved upon them. They had to penetrate the thickest of the fight to carry to their General intelligence of the state of the field, and they performed their duties throughout the day with fearless alacrity.

The following is a list of officers of Gen. Shields' staff who were present and participated in the battle:

Major H. G. Armstrong, O. V., Assistant Adjutant-General.

Major R. C. Shriver, Capt. E. D. Mason, 0. V., Lieut. J. S. Jones, O. V., Aids-de-Camp.

Capt. Ambrose Thompson, Quartermaster.

Henry Bryant, Acting Medical Director.

Our troops are now beyond Woodstock, where they are stopped for the present by the burning of a bridge by the rebels. This will be repaired in a few days, when we will follow up the good results attained by the battle of



New-York world account.

Winchester, March 24, 1862.
We are most unexpectedly called upon to report another battle which has added one more to the list of those brilliant successes which have lately attended our advancing columns — a victory more brilliant in the fact that not even the most distant suspicion of an approaching foe and an impending battle was for a moment entertained. Jackson had been driven away in an inglorious retreat, and abandoned his strongholds which he had held for six months in security, his baggage had been transported previous to the removal of his forces, as if the retreat had been carefully provided for, and he had been pursued by the Federal troops several miles beyond Strasburg, where the chase was abandoned, the forces withdrawn to Winchester, and Jackson left to pursue his course down the valley of Virginia.

This task having been fully accomplished, as we supposed, the whole column was being removed to Fairfax Court-House, upon the turnpike which leads directly from this place to Alexandria, and the greater part of the Fifth corps d'armee was on its way, some having proceeded upon the march across the Shenandoah over the pontoon which had been constructed, as far as the village of Snickersville, a distance of nineteen miles from Winchester, and four miles beyond the river. Of those which had not crossed, a large number were encamped on this side, and nearly the whole force had withdrawn or were preparing to do so.

In such a condition, and with such preparations, did Jackson make this bold and unexpected onset, which resulted disastrously to his command, and conferred additional testimony to the intrepidity and coolness of our soldiers.

The military bridge across the Shenandoah broke down on Sunday, as the first of a brigade was attempting to cross, and half a day was employed in repairing the damage. Had this accident occurred twelve hours later, after nearly all had passed the river, the remnant might have been sadly exposed to attack from Jackson, having no means of escape and no means for being reenforced. It is rumored among secessionists that this attack of Jackson was to prevent the reenforcement of Gen. McClellan by Gen. Banks's column. If so, he has probably succeeded, for it certainly cannot be spared at once from this vicinity. It seems more probable that, supposing more of our division to have gone to Fairfax, he made this dash expecting to capture some prisoners and force the few remaining to wage an unsuccessful battle with him.

On Saturday our forces had started upon the Alexandria turnpike, and nearly half of them had reached the Shenandoah, when very heavy and continued firing was heard in the direction of Strasburg. Little attention was paid to it, however, and nothing was known either of the skirmishing on Saturday, or of the battle on the following Sunday, until too late to return and engage in it, and when they had arrived, the battle had been fought and won by Gen. Shields' division, who alone participated in the fight.

The first notice of the enemy's approach was received at nine o'clock A. M. of Saturday. Major Copeland, of Gen. Banks's staff, with about twenty-five of the Michigan cavalry, kept skirmishing with the guerrillas of Col. Ashby, from the time of their first appearance until five o'clock in the evening, when, ascertaining the approach of Gen.


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.
March 24th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: