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Doc. 10.-battle at McDowell, Va.1

Report of Brig.-General Milroy.

headquarters Milroy's brigade, camp near Franklin, Va., May 14.
General: I have the honor to report to you the result of the engagement of the eighth inst., near McDowell on the Bull Pasture Mountains. As an apology for the delay in transmitting this report, I would state that the officers and men of my command have, since the occurrence of the engagement, been constantly occupied in active field duty, leaving no time for the preparation of the details by the company and regimental commanders from which alone a correct report could be made.

Upon the seventh day of May, I was first advised by my scouts and spies that a junction had been made between the armies of Gens. Jackson and Johnson, and that they were advancing to attack me at McDowell. Having, the day previous, sent out a large portion of the Third Virginia, Seventy-fifth Ohio, and Thirty-second Ohio regiments to Shaw's Ridge and upon the Shenandoah Mountain for the purpose of protecting my foraging and reconnoitring parties, I immediately ordered my whole force to concentrate at McDowell, and, expecting reinforcements, prepared for defence there. In the afternoon of the seventh inst., a large force of the rebels was discovered descending the west side of the Shenandoah Mountain, along the Staunton and Parkersburgh turnpike. I ordered a section of the Ninth Ohio battery, (Capt. Hyman,) on Shaw's Ridge, to shell them and endeavor to retard their progress. This they did with such effect as to cause the enemy to retire beyond the Shenandoah Mountain; but, observing another heavy force crossing the mountain on our right, some two miles distant, I deemed it prudent to fall back and concentrate at McDowell.

Upon the next morning, (eighth inst.,) the enemy was seen upon Bull Pasture Mountain, about one and three quarter miles distant from McDowell, on my right and front. I commenced shelling them, and sent out parties of skirmishers to endeavor to ascertain their numbers. About ten o'clock A. M. your brigade arrived. Desultory firing of a section of Hyman's battery, and occasional skirmishing, engaged the attention of the enemy during the morning. Major Long, of the Seventy-third O. V. I., with a party of skirmishers, rendered a good service by his efforts in ascertaining the position of the enemy.

In the afternoon, at about three o'clock, being informed by Capt. G. R. Latham, of the.Second Va. V. I., who, with his company, was engaged in skirmishing, that the rebels were endeavoring to plant a battery upon the mountain, which would command our whole encampment, with your permission I made a reconnoissance, for the purpose of obtaining accurate information of their strength and position.

For this purpose the following troops were placed at my disposal:

The Twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; the Seventy-fifth do.; Thirty-second do.; Third Virginia do.; and Eighty-second Ohio.

The regiments were by no means full, various companies of each being detached for special duty. The number of privates, non-commissioned officers, and officers, actually engaged, are reported to me as follows:

Twenty-fifth O. V. I., 469; Seventy-fifth O. V. I., 444; Thirty-second O. V. I., 416; Third Va. V. I., 439. Total field-officers, company officers, and privates of this brigade engaged, 1768. The exact number of the Eighty-second O. V. I. engaged, is not known to me, but has been doubtless reported to you.

Under my order, the Twenty-fifth Ohio and Seventy-fifth Ohio regiments, (the former under the command of Lieut.-Col. W. P. Richardson, and the latter under the command of Col. N. C. McLean and Major Robert Reilly,) advanced in the most gallant manner, up the face of the mountain, and attacked the enemy in their fronts. Numbering less than one thousand men, unprotected by any natural or artificial shelter, they advanced up a precipitous mountain-side, upon an adversary protected by intrenchments and the natural formation of the mountains, and, unsupported, drove them (at least twice their numerical strength) over the crest of the mountain, and for one and a half-hours maintained, unaided, whilst exposed to a deadly fire, the position from which they had so bravely driven the foe. Too much praise cannot be awarded to the officers and men of the regiments. The Twenty-fifth led the advance, and were rapidly followed and supported by the Seventy-fifth, both acting with the coolness of veterans and the determination of patriot soldiers, willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of the Republic.

At about four o'clock in the afternoon, perceiving that the enemy's force was being constantly increased, I ordered the Eighty-second regiment O. V. I., of your brigade, the Thirty-second Ohio, and Third Virginia to turn the right flank of the enemy, and, if possible, attack them in the rear. They obeyed the order with the greatest alacrity; but the enemy, observing the design, and having a much superior force, in a handsome manner changed his front to the rear. The regiments named, however, attacked them briskly, and kept up a destructive fire, causing the enemy to waver several times; but fresh reinforcements being brought up by them, and a portion of the reenforcements coming down the turnpike, the Third Virginia became exposed to their fire in its front and rear. Unable, however, to withstand the fire of the Third Virginia, the latter reenforcements joined the main body of the rebels, and the contest became general and bloody.

Whilst the Third Virginia, Thirty-second Ohio, and Eighty-second Ohio were advancing on the enemy, a six-pounder of Johnson's Twelfth Ohio

1 this battle is also known as the battle of Bull Pasture Mountain.

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Irwin McDowell (5)
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