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[56] Mitchell, First Maryland, at Front Royal; Surgeon Adolphus, Best's battery, United States army; Surgeon Johnson, Sixteenth Indiana, and Surgeon Francis Leland, Second Massachusetts, on the field.

It is seldom that men are called upon to make a greater sacrifice of comfort, health and liberty for the benefit of those entrusted to their charge. Services and sacrifices like these ought to entitle them to some more important recognition of their devotion to public duty than the mere historical record of the fact. The report of the Medical Director, Surgeon W. S. King, exhibits the disposition of nearly one thousand sick and disabled men left at Strasburgh, of Shields' division, upon its removal to the Rappahannock Valley.

My warmest thanks are due to the officers and men of my command, for their unflinching courage and unyielding spirit exhibited on the march and its attendant combats, especially to Brig.-Gen. A. S. Williams, commanding the division; Gen. George S. Greene and Gen. L. W. Crawford, who had reported for duty, but were yet unassigned to separate commands. They accompanied the column throughout the march, and rendered me most valuable assistance.

My thanks are also due to the gentlemen of my staff--Major D. D. Perkins, Chief of Staff; Capt. James W. Abert, of the Topographical Engineers; Capt. William Sheff<*>er, Capt. Frederick Munthur, and Capt. Frederick De Hautenville, for their arduous labors.

It gives me pleasure, also, to commend the conduct of Col. Donnelly and Col. Gordon, commanding the two brigades. I would also respectfully ask the attention of the Department to the reports of the several officers commanding detachments separate from the main column, and to the officers named in the report of Gen. Williams, as worthy of commendation for meritorious conduct.

Brig.-General A. S. Williams, commanding the First division of the army of the Shenandoah, received and promptly saw executed all the orders emanating from me, and by his military experience and knowledge of the proper disposition and movements of troops upon the battle-field, as well as by his admirable coolness and energy, rendered invaluable service during the retreat.

All the arrangements for the sick and wounded were made by Dr. Thomas Antisell, Medical Director of the First division, then acting as Department Director, discharging his duties with marked ability.

The Signal Corps, Lieut. W. W. Rowley commanding, rendered most valuable service on the field and in the march. There should be some provision for the prompt promotion of officers and men so brave and useful as those composing this corps. The safety of the train and supplies is in a great degree due to the discretion, experience and unfailing energy of Capt. S. B. Holabird and Capt. E. G. Beckwith, United States army.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. Banks, Major-General Commanding.

Report of Brig.-General Gordon.

headquarters Third brigade, camp near Williamsport, Md.
Capt. Wm. D. Wilkins, Asst. Adjt.-Gen., Gen. Williams's Division, Fifth Army Corps:
Captain: Agreeably to instructions received from headquarters of the division, I have the honor to report the movements of my brigade in an engagement with the enemy on the twenty-fifth instant, in front of and less than a third of a mile from the town of Winchester, Va. At dawn in the morning, I received information through the officer commanding the pickets, that the enemy in large numbers were driving them in, and approaching the town.

I immediately formed my brigade in line of battle, the right resting upon the commanding ridge, the left extending into the valley. The ridge surrounds the town which it holds as in a basin. It is less than one third of a mile distant, and presents many key-points for positions. I placed my artillery battery, M, of First New-York, composed of six six-pound Parrott guns, under Lieut. Peabody, upon the ridge, and thus awaited further developments. About five A. M., skirmishers from the Second Massachusetts on the right and crest of the hill became sharply engaged. At about the same time I directed the battery to open upon the columns of the enemy, evidently moving into position just to the right and front of my centre. This was done with admirable effect, the columns disappearing over the crest. For more than an hour a fire of shell and canister from several rebel batteries was directed upon my position.

My brigade, being somewhat protected by a ravine, suffered but little loss. The fire of our skirmishers, and the spirited replies of the battery, with heavy musketry and artillery firing on our left in Donnelly's brigade, were the only marked features of the contest until after six A. M. At about half--past 6, perhaps nearer seven A. M., large bodies of infantry could be seen making their way in line of battle towards my right. They moved under cover of the dense woods, thus concealing somewhat their numbers. I directed the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania regiment, Col. Murphy, and the Twenty-seventh Indiana regiment, Col. Colgrove, to change position from the left to the right of my line, holding the Second Massachusetts regiment, Lieut.-Col. Andrews, first on the right in the centre, the Third Wisconsin regiment, Col. Ruger, forming the left. This movement I had hardly completed, despite a new battery which opened upon my line, when three large battalions of infantry, moving in order of battle, came out from their cover and approached my brigade. They were received with a destructive fire of musketry, poured in from all parts of my brigade that could reach them.

Confident in their numbers, and relying upon large sustaining bodies, suspicions of which behind the covering timber in our front were surely confirmed, the enemy's lines moved on, but little shaken by our fire. At the same time, in our front, a long line of infantry showed themselves

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