[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Camp Near B. & O. R. R., June 18, 1863.
campaign has again opened; if somewhat later than last year, thus far, at least, with equal success.
's victory over the tyrant Milroy
, in his strong position, his complete rout, the capture of nearly the whole of his army, at once stamps the former as the right man in the right place, and augurs well for the future achievements of that great leader, while the modest Major Hawks
, our Corps Commissary, as well as the portly gentleman who presides over the Quartermaster Department of the same, will have to look to their laurels when brought against such a formidable competitor in their respective lines as Gen. Milroy
The result, and no doubt the particular doings of most of the different commands, are already before the public, and I therefore will merely in a few lines refer to the part Hays
's La. brigade took in that memorable victory.
Attached to the division commanded by Major-General Jubal A. Early
's brigade, with the rest of the division, moved on Winchester
by the Staunton Pike
During Saturday and the greater portion of Sunday the lines of our army were gradually contracted around the enemy's stronghold.
The natural advantage of the enemy's position, the strength of his works, as well as the superiority of his artillery, made it apparent to the humblest soldier that a direct attack in front would be extremely hazardous, and, if successful, would be fraught with great sacrifice of life.
As expected, about noon on Sunday, Gen. Early
, accompanied by Jones
's battalion of artillery, moved Hocke's, Smith
's, and Hays
's brigades, by a road quite concealed from view of the enemy, to the extreme left, flanking all the fortifications of the enemy in that direction; Gen. Gordon
, with his Georgia
brigade, in the meantime defending the whole line formerly occupied by the whole division.
Arrived at the proper locality, the different batteries at once were brought into position, while the infantry, under cover of woods, moved closer and to a more convenient point for a direct attack on the works.
The post of honor, to storm the redoubt, had been assigned to Hays
's brigade, supported by the other two.
They anxiously awaited the signal for advance.
I should here state, that for fear the shelling of our own artillery might reach our infantry, if advancing, Gen. Hays
was ordered not to move until the cannonade on our side had ceased.
, however, finding the impediments and obstacles directly in front of him too great, availed himself of the time our artillery was sending its terrible missiles in and over the enemy's works, and moved more to the left, directly under the slope of the works, thus passing the only space where he was visible to and vulnerable by the enemy, and when they were hiding their heads behind the ditches, trusting of course to the judgment of the artillery to cease firing as soon as he came in range.
He brought his brigade within musket range without losing one man. The artillery ceased, and the fort again showed signs of life; terrible shelling and a volley of musketry greeted the brigade as soon as discovered; a shout and a hurrah was the answer; at the command "charge," all eagerly sprang forward, the ditches were gained, and after a close hand to-hand fight the redoubt was taken.
left in great haste for their principal fort, while our men increased their speed by turning the guns of the fort upon the flying masses.
This redoubt, from its elevation, commanded the principal position of the enemy, and no doubt made the hasty evacuation and inglorious flight of Milroy
a "military necessity." The fort was defended by eight guns, all of which were captured, together with a great number of horses and the usual equipage of similar positions.
, as well as Gen. Early
, complimented Gen. Hays
and his brigade very highly on their gallantry, and the redoubt taken was named "Redoubt-Hays
," the chains of fortifications "La Hills" while the principal fort was named after him who but a year ago was the chief actor of equally brilliant exploits, "Fort Jackson
." High Private