From Northern papers of the 21st we take the following news:
Yankee description of the battle of Winchester--the Severity of the Confederate fire — heavy loss of the Federals.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
of the 21st is full of accounts of the Winchester
performed their usual nonsense over the news.
Salutes of one hundred guns at Washington
, New York
and other cities; and at New York, upon the receipt of the intelligence, the "national" flag was flung out from the public buildings.
A letter, describing the engagement.
having learned on Sunday that the main portion of Early
's forces were encamped in the vicinity of Bunker Hill
's depot, resolved to mass his forces on the Winchester and Berryville pike
, and, by a rapid movement, hurt them on Early
No doubt but that the enemy were completely surprised and out manœuvred by General Sheridan
Whilst his different columns were being marched to the appointed place of rendezvous, a portion of the cavalry, under Torbert
, kept up a strong picket along the Opequon
, and, by demonstrating in force at Burns's ford, kept a large portion of the enemy at that part of the field, which was twelve-miles distant from the point where it was intended our infantry should operate and strike the blow which should result in the signal defeat of Early
Delay in the arrival of the Nineteenth corps enabled Early
to more Gordon
's division at double quick from Bunker Hill
, distant about ten miles, and bring it up in time to form in line of battle with Breckinridge
's and Roder
's commands, who had already arrived, and were formed in a belt of woods skirting the Berryville and Winchester pike
As soon as the Nineteenth corps arrived, it was formed in four lines of battle, about three hundred yards apart, on the right of the Sixth corps; and everything being in readiness, the advance was sounded at about 12 o'clock, and the different lines moved forward.
The two corps advanced in splendid style, and just as composedly as though marching at a review or a parade — drums beating and colors flying — presenting such an imposing spectacle as has seldom been witnessed in the present war. In fact, some of the oldest and most experienced staff officers present declared they had never before witnessed so truly grand a spectacle.
The first line had not advanced more than two hundred yards before it became warmly engaged with the enemy, who were posted in line about six hundred yards distant. At the same time, our artillery opened a furious cannonade, throwing shell and solid shot into the opposite woods, where the enemy could be distinctly seen moving up reinforcements.
Our different lines of battle continued to advance steadily until they had approached within nearly two hundred yards of the enemy's line, when the rebels opened a furious cannonade with grape and canister from two batteries, which they had previously kept secreted, and which plowed through our advancing lines, moving down a large number of our men.
The first line was obliged to give way under so murderous a fire, and in retreating beyond the second line, threw it into momentary confusion, and it was also obliged to fall back behind the third line, which had, in the meantime, been obliged to lay down in order to avoid, as much as possible, the effects of the withering fire which the enemy's batteries were directing against our advancing lines.
Our artillery was now brought up and posted in commanding positions to silence these batteries of the enemy, which had caused so much annoyance, and our line was reformed and again moved forward, regaining the advanced position which they had when they were obliged to fall back.
But this success was not gained without most obstinate resistance on the part of the enemy.
Having regained the advanced position which we had previously occupied, the different lines of battle were ordered to lay down and wait the arrival of Crook
's corps, which was held in reserve on the eastern side of the Opequon
They were ordered up to take position on the extreme right of the line, in order to counteract a movement on the part of the enemy, who were massing troops on their left flank with a view of turning our right.
Precisely at three o'clock, Crook
formed on the right of the Nineteenth corps, the First division on the extreme right of our line, and the Second division in the rear, supporting a division of the Nineteenth corps. General Crook
having formed his men, rode along the lines, and was received with the most vociferous cheering, the men promising to "go in and wipe out Winchester
." General Torbert
, with Merritt
's divisions of cavalry, having crossed the Opequon
about nine o'clock at Burns's and Knox's fords, had been hard at work all day, fighting considerable bodies of the enemy's infantry and cavalry; and having been successful in steadily driving them before them, now arrived on our extreme right, and were prepared to take part in the final struggle, which accrued us the victory.
rode out to where General Torbert
was stationed, and, after consultation with him as to the part the cavalry were to take, ordered a final charge, which was made with an impetuosity which nothing could resist.
Our line, extending nearly three miles, advanced amid cheers and yells, which could be distinctly heard far above the noise made by the thunder of artillery and continuous rear of musketry, which, for impetuosity, has seldom been exceeded in any battle of this war. The slaughter now was truly awful, and at every discharge men were distinctly seen to drop all around, and the two contending lines at some points could not have been over two hundred yards apart.
Just at this critical period, above the rear of artillery and musketry, and the cheers and fierce yells of the contending armies, could be distinctly heard the shrill notes of cavalry bugles sounding a charge, which was the death-knell of Early
There could be seen the gallant Custar
, each with his headquarter's flag in hand, and conspicuous among the advancing squadrons, gallantly leading his charge, which, in connection with the desperate courage displayed by our infantry, secured us the victory.
The stubborn columns of Early
's command were forced to give way and break before the fierce on slaught which our cavalry made upon them, who, with sabre in hand, rode them down, cutting them right and left, capturing seven hundred and twenty-one privates and non-commissioned officers, with nine battle-flags and two guns.
The broken and demoralized divisions comprising Early
's command now fled in confusion, throwing away everything which could in any way impede their night, and strewing the ground with their arms.
Some made for the heights beyond Winchester
, but they were speedily lislodged by Averill
and forced to beat a hasty and ignominious retreat up the Valley
, where such of Early
's command as are left him are now scattered.
Our victory was a glorious one, and one well calculated to thrill the heart of every loyal man with impulses of sincere joy; but it has been well remarked that "every joy has its attending amount of sorrow," and ours was for the gallant dead and wounded, who poured out their life's blood freely that this great and iniquitous rebellion should be put down.
Amongst the killed I regret to announce the gallant Russell
, of the First division, Sixth corps, a commander as faultless as it was possible for a man to be. Brave unto rashness, he fell at the post of honor, at the head of his division, while leading a charge.
, commanding the First brigade, Third cavalry division, was wounded by a pistol ball in the leg, which necessitated amputation.
He is now doing very well.
, commanding a division of the Sixth corps, was also wounded, but not dangerously.
It is estimated there are at least three thousand in Winchester
, and allowing for those who were carried away in ambulances, and who were able to hobble along, it will be a small estimate to place their wounded at four thousand, and their killed at five hundred, which, with the prisoners already captured, numbering three thousand, will make their loss seven thousand five hundred in number — equal to one of their corps.
It is impossible at the time of writing this dispatch to form any correct estimate of our killed and wounded, but from information at hand, think it will exceed 500 killed and 2,500 wounded.
Surely I am correct in stating that this has been one of the most sanguinary and decisive battles of the war, and reflects great credit on Sheridan
, who was constantly at the front, exposing himself to the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters and personally directing the movements of our army.
Rejoicing over the victory.
--The following general order
has been issued:
"Headquarters Department Susquehanna,
"Chambersburg, September 20, 1864.
"General Orders, No. 52:
"A national salute will be fired at each military post in this department at 12 M. on the day following the receipt of this order, in honor of the brilliant achievement of our troops, under command of General Sheridan
, over the combined forces of Early
, in the Shenandoah Valley, on the 19th instant.
New York, September 20.
--Flag are all over the city, and there is general rejoicing over Sheridan
's great victory.
, September 20.--A national salute was fired to-day in honor of Sheridan
The Confederates operating on lake
A telegram from Buffalo, New York
, dated the 20th, shows that the Confederates
are operating in a new field:
News has been received that a party of rebels from Canada
have captured the little Persons and Island Queen, near Island, on yesterday afternoon, and have gone down or across the lake, probably for guns and The capturing party thirty man, with and --knives, other arms were noticed.
The caption look at Middle island wood though to last two days.