News from the Upper Potomac--Gen. Johnston's Division.
Camp Near Winchester, Va., July 14, 1861.
Your readers have already been fully informed of our little skirmish near Falling Waters, in Berkeley county
, with the enemy under the command of Gen. Patterson
, who had about 13,000 men, while we only had, all told, 2,500, and yet their accounts of it give us 10,000.
Our loss was only three killed and eight wounded, and we know almost certainly that they buried 130 on the field, and carried off a great many mortally wounded.--Like the battle at Bethel
, we will never know how many they lose, as they are so given to lying and misrepresentation, until the history of this war shall be written.
Finding ourselves in a disadvantageous locality, and nearly surrounded by superior numbers, we retreated several miles this side of Martinsburg
, and, having been reinforced by General Johnston
, offered the enemy a fair fight on an open field; but General Patterson
had no idea of meeting General Johnston
on anything near an even footing.
They must have two to one of us and the advantage of position, or they will never venture close enough to be seen.
They are now strongly fortified in the town of Martinsburg
, where, doubtless, they find many friends; and not wishing to destroy the place, with the women and children, which they refuse to allow to leave, General Johnston
has fallen back upon Winchester
, where he is quietly awaiting the coming of the enemy with his fifty thousand men, now reported as being the number of his forces.
But I am afraid they will never get any nearer to this place, as they are afraid of the masked batteries that constantly haunt their imaginations, and the stone fences along the road, behind which they believe our sharp-shooters are concealed.
An incident is related of the Rev. Captain Pendleton
, of the Artillery, in the recent skirmish, which shows clearly what ‘"stuff he is made of."’ Having loaded and aimed his piece, he calmly raised his hands and uttering the short prayer, ‘"May the Lord
have mercy upon their poor souls,"’ gave the command, fire!
and that ball struck the head of a column, and when the smoke cleared away its path was still visible.
The crops of wheat in this region are unusually good, but there is great difficulty in saving it, as the approach of the enemy has driven away many citizens from their homes.
The health of our troops is good.