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Berryville.

On the 13th, we moved on towards Berryville, but before reaching Millwood, the advance of the infantry was discovered by some of the enemy's cavalry, who had come up from Berry's ferry (apparently en route to Berryville), a result which would have been avoided had General Jenkins occupied Millwood during the night before, as he was ordered to do. Finding our movements discovered, the division was marched, with the utmost celerity, through Millwood, upon Berryville, where Jenkin's brigade, after driving in the enemy's cavalry, was found, held at bay by the Federal artillery. Arriving on the field, and communicating with General Jenkins, it was apparent that the enemy were preparing to evacuate the place, but still held it, as well as I could judge, with infantry, cavalry and artillery. I immediately determined to surround them if possible, and ordered General Jenkins to march to the left of the town, to cut off the retreat of the enemy towards Winchester. The infantry, [139] save one brigade, without being halted, were ordered to move to the right and left of the place to unite in its rear. These movements were begun and executed under cover, but before their execution was much advanced, it became apparent to me that the enemy was retreating, and I ordered the Alabama brigade, Colonel O'Neal commanding, to advance rapidly upon the town; which was done. I,was mortified to learn that the enemy, abandoning his tents, a few stores, &c., had left his cavalry and artillery to keep our cavalry in check, and had some time before retreated with his infantry towards Charlestown, without being discovered. I found that the approaches to the town were well defended by rifle pits and earthworks for guns, and that with an adequate force it was capable of being strongly defended. It had, however, been held by a force too small to admit of a successful defence against my command. The enemy's force there consisted of two small regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of rifle guns, in all about 1,800 men, under the command of Colonel McReynolds. Neither my troops nor General Jenkins' cavalry suffered any loss, the enemy firing only a few rounds of artillery after my arrival. A portion of General Jenkins' men had been skirmishing during the afternoon of the previous day, and on the morning of the 13th, and had lost a few men, among them Lieutenant Charles Norvell who was wounded and captured in a gallant charge upon the enemy near Nineveh.

After securing such stores as were at all valuable, the division was again put in motion towards Martinsburg. General Jenkins had already proceeded in pursuit of the enemy, by a road west of Berryville. One portion of his command, under my orders, pursued him by the Charlestown road. Just before reaching the road to Summit Point, I was informed by an officer of cavalry that the enemy pursued that route, and later that he had gone towards Winchester. I followed him to Summit Point, where we bivouacked, after having marched about twenty miles, not including the wide detours made at Berryville by the brigades of Daniel, Doles, Ramseur and Iverson, in the effort to surround the enemy.

Major Sweeny's battalion, of Jenkins' brigade, which had been put in pursuit of the enemy under my direct orders, overtook his rear guard near the Opequon creek, and made a most gallant charge upon it, capturing a piece of artillery, which they were unable to hold, the enemy being too strong for them. Major Sweeny, who acted very gallantly in this affair, was very badly wounded in the [140] charge. In the absence of any official report from General Jenkins, I cannot explain why he did not intercept a portion, at least, of the enemy's force. It seems, however, clear that before the close of the day, the General made a fierce attack upon a detachment of cavalry and infantry at Bunker Hill, losing several men in a gallant attack upon a party of the latter, who had thrown themselves into two stone houses, well provided for defence, with loop-holes and barricades fixed for that purpose. He captured here about seventy-five or one hundred prisoners, and drove the balance towards Martinsburg. These facts I learned on the next day.

On the morning of the 14th it was apparent that during the night the enemy had continued his march to Winchester, whither I ordered the only force of cavalry I could then communicate with — Sweeny's battalion — to follow and annoy him. Not having heard anything from Winchester, though I had dispatched several couriers to the Lieutenant-General commanding, I hesitated for a few moments between proceeding towards Martinsburg, in accordance with my general instructions, and turning towards Winchester. The reflection that should my division be needed there, I would that day receive orders to turn back, determined me to push on to Martinsburg as rapidly as possible, which I did, reaching that place late in the afternoon, after a very fatiguing march of nineteen miles.


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