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[55] to accept the early rumors concerning the enemy's strength, I reported to the Department that it was about fifteen thousand. It is now conclusively shown that not less than twenty-five thousand men were in position, and could have been brought into action. On the right and left their great superiority of numbers was plainly felt and seen, and the signal officers, from elevated positions, were enabled to count the regimental standards, indicating a strength equal to that I have stated.

My own command consisted of two brigades of less than four thousand men, all told, with nine hundred cavalry, ten Parrott guns, and one battery of six-pounders, smooth-bore cannon. To this should be added the Tenth Maine regiment of infantry, and five companies of Maryland cavalry, stationed at Winchester, which were engaged in the action. The loss of the enemy was treble that of ours in killed and wounded. In prisoners ours greatly exceeds theirs.

Officers, whose words I cannot doubt, have stated, as the result of their own observations, that our men were fired upon from private dwellings in passing through Winchester; but I am credibly informed, and gladly believe, that the atrocities said to have been perpetrated upon our wounded soldiers by the rebels, are greatly exaggerated or entirely untrue.

Our march was turned in the direction of Martinsburgh, hoping there to meet with reenforcements — the troops moving in three parallel columns, each protected by an efficient rear-guard. Pursuit by the enemy was prompt and vigorous, but our movements were rapid and without loss.

A few miles from Winchester, the sound of the steam-whistle, heard in the direction of Martinsburgh, strengthened the hope of reinforcements, and stirred the blood of the men like a trumpet. Soon after, two squadrons of cavalry came dashing down the road, with wild hurrahs. They were thought to be the advance of the anticipated support, and received with deafening cheers. Every man felt like turning back upon the enemy. It proved to be the First Maryland cavalry, Lieut.-Col. Wetschky, sent out in the morning as a train-guard. Hearing the guns, they had returned to participate in the fight. Advantage was taken of this stirring incident to reorganize our column, and the march was continued with renewed spirit and ardor. At Martinsburgh, the column halted two and a half hours, the rear-guard remaining until seven in the evening in rear of the town — and arrived at the river at sun-down, forty-eight hours after the first news of the attack on Front Royal. It was a march of fifty-three miles, thirty-five of which were performed in one day. The scene of the river, when the rear-guard arrived, was of the most animating and exciting description. A thousand camp-fires were burning on the hillside, a thousand carriages of every description were crowded upon the banks, and the broad river between the exhausted troops and their coveted rest.

The ford was too deep for the teams to cross in regular succession. Only the strongest horses, after a few experiments, were allowed to essay the passage of the river before morning.

The single ferry was occupied by the ammunition trains, the ford by the wagons.

The cavalry was secure in its form of crossing. The troops only had no transportation. Fortunately, the train we had so sedulously guarded served us in turn. Several boats belonging to the pontoon-train, which we had brought from Strasburgh, were launched and devoted exclusively to their service. It is seldom that a river-crossing of such magnitude is achieved with greater success. There never were more grateful hearts in the same number of men, than when, at mid-day on the twenty-sixth, we stood on the opposite shore.

My command had not suffered an attack and rout, but accomplished a premeditated march of near sixty miles, in the face of the enemy, defeating his plans and giving him battle wherever he was found.

Our loss is stated in detail, with the names of the killed, wounded and missing, in the full report of Brig.-Gen. A. S. Williams, commanding division, to which reference is made.

The whole number of killed is thirty-eight; wounded, one hundred and fifty-five; missing, seven hundred and eleven. Total loss, nine hundred and five.

It is undoubtedly true that many of the missing will yet return, and the entire loss may be assumed as not exceeding seven hundred. It is also probable that the number of killed and wounded may be larger than that above stated, but the aggregate loss will not be changed thereby.

All our guns were saved.

Our wagon-train consisted of nearly five hundred wagons. Of this number fifty-five were lost. They were not, with but few exceptions, abandoned to the enemy; but were burned upon the road. Nearly all of our supplies were thus saved. The stores at Front Royal, of which I had no knowledge until my visit to that post on the twenty-first instant, and those at Winchester, of which a considerable portion was destroyed by our troops, are not embraced in this statement.

The number of sick men in the hospital at Strasburgh, belonging to Gen. Williams's division, was one hundred and eighty-nine, one hundred and twenty-five of whom were left in hospital at Winchester, under charge of Surgeon Lincoln R. Stone, Second Massachusetts; sixty-four were left in hospital at Strasburgh, including attendants, under charge of Surgeon Gillispie, Seventh Indiana, and Assistant-Surgeon Porter, United States army.

Eight of the surgeons of this division voluntarily surrendered themselves to the enemy in the hospitals and on the field for the care of the sick and wounded placed under their charge. They include, in addition to those above named, Brigade-Surgeon Peale, at Winchester; Surgeon

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