Official report of Gen. Shields.
Mount Jackson, I ascertained that the enemy under Jackson was strongly posted near that place, and in direct communication with a force at Luray and another at Washington. It became important, therefore, to draw him from his position and supporting force if possible. To endeavor to effect this, I fell back to Winchester on the twentieth, giving the movement all the appearance of a retreat. The last brigade of the First division of Banks' corps d'armee, Gen. Williams commanding, took its departure for Centreville by way of Berryville, on the morning of the twenty-second, leaving only Shields' division and the Michigan cavalry in Winchester. Ashby's cavalry, observing this movement from a distance, came to the conclusion that Winchester was being evacuated, and signalized Jackson to that effect. We saw their signal-fires and divined their import. On the twenty-second, about five o'clock P. M., they attacked and drove in our pickets. By order of Gen. Banks, I put my command under arms and pushed forward one brigade and two batteries of artillery to drive back the enemy, but, to keep him deceived as to our strength, only let him see two regiments of infantry, a small body of cavalry, and part of the artillery. While directing one of our batteries to its position I was struck by the fragment of a shell, which fractured my arm above the elbow, bruised my shoulder and injured my side. The enemy being driven from his position, we withdrew to Winchester. The injuries I had received completely prostrated me, but were not such as to prevent me from making the required dispositions for the ensuing day. Under cover of the night I pushed forward Kimball's brigade nearly three miles on the Strasburg road. Daum's artillery was posted in a strong position to support his brigade, if attacked. Sullivan's brigade was posted in the rear of Kimball's, and within supporting distance of it, covering all the approaches to the town by Cedar Creek, Front Royal, Berryville, and Romney roads. This brigade and Broadhead's cavalry were held in reserve, so as to support our force in front at any point where it might be attacked. These dispositions being made, I rested for the night, knowing that all the approaches by which the enemy might penetrate to this place were effectually guarded. I deem it necessary in this place to give a brief description of these approaches, as well as of the field, which next day became the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Winchester is approached from the south by three principal roads — the Cedar Creek road on the west, the Valley Turnpike road leading to Strasburg in the centre, and the Front Royal road on the east. There is a little village called Kernstown, on the Valley road, about three and a half miles from Winchester. On the west side of this road, about half a mile north of Kernstown, is a ridge of ground which commands the approach by the turnpike and a part of the surrounding country. This ridge was the key-point of our position. Here Col. Kimball, the senior officer in command on the field, took his station. Along this ridge Lieut.-Col. Daum, chief of artillery, posted three of his batteries, keeping one of his batteries in reserve some distance in the rear. Part of our infantry was first placed in position in the rear and within supporting distance of these batteries, well sheltered in the windings and sinuosities of the ridge. The main body of the enemy on the ridge was posted in order of battle about half a mile beyond Kernstown, his line extending from the Cedar Creek road to a little ravine, near the Front Royal road, a distance of about two miles. This ground had been so skilfully selected that, while it afforded facilities for manoeuvring, it was completely masked by high and wooded ground in front. These woods he filled with skirmishers, supported by a battery on each flank, and so adroitly had this movement been conducted, and so skilfully had he concealed himself, that at eight o'clock A. M., on the twenty-third, nothing was visible but the same force under Ashby, which had been repulsed the previous evening. Not being able to reconnoitre the front in person, I despatched an experienced officer, Col. John T. Mason, of the Fourth Ohio volunteers, about nine o'clock A. M., to the front, to perform that duty and to report to me, as promptly as possible, every circumstance that might indicate the presence of the enemy. About an hour after Col. Mason returned, and reported to me that he had carefully reconnoitred the country in front and on both flanks, and found no indications of any hostile force except that of Ashby's. I communicated this information to Major-Gen. Banks, who was then with me, and after consulting together, we both concluded that Jackson could not be tempted to hazard himself so far away from his main support. Having both come to this conclusion, Gen. Banks took his departure for Washington, being already under orders to that effect. The officers of his staff, however, remained behind, intending to leave for Centreville in the afternoon. Although I began to conclude that Jackson was nowhere in the vicinity, knowing the crafty enemy we have to deal with, I took care not to omit a single precaution. Between eleven and twelve o'clock A. M., a message from Col. Kimball informed  me that another battery on the enemy's right had opened on our position, and that there were some indications of a considerable force of infantry in the woods in that quarter. On receiving this information I pushed forward Sullivan's brigade, which was placed, by order of Col. Kimball, in a position to oppose the advance of the enemy's right wing. The action opened with a fire of artillery on both sides, but at too great a distance to be very effective. The initiative was taken by the enemy. He pushed forward a few more guns to his right, supported by a considerable force of infantry and cavalry, with the apparent intention of enfilading our position and turning our left flank. An active body of skirmishers, consisting of the Eighth Ohio, Col. Carroll, and three companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, was immediately thrown forward on both sides of the valley road to resist the enemy's advance. These skirmishers were admirably supported by four pieces of artillery under Capt. Jenks and Sullivan's gallant brigade. This united force repulsed the enemy at all points, and gave him such a check that no further demonstration was made upon that flank during the remainder of the day. The attempt against our left flank having thus failed, the enemy withdrew the greater part of his force to the right, and formed it into a reserve to support his left flank in a forward movement. He then added his original reserve and two batteries to his main body, and then, advancing with this combined column, under shelter of the bridge on his left, on which other batteries had been previously posted, seemed evidently determined to turn our right flank or overthrow it. Our batteries on the opposite ridge, though admirably managed by their experienced chief, Lieut.-Col. Daum, were soon found insufficient to check, or even retard, the advance of such a formidable body. At this stage of the combat a messenger arrived from Col. Kimball, informing me of the state of the field, and requesting direction as to the employment of the infantry. I saw there was not a moment to lose, and gave positive orders that all the disposable infantry should be immediately thrown forward on our right to carry the enemy's batteries, and to assail and turn his left flank, and hurl it back on the centre. Col. Kimball carried out these orders with promptitude and ability. He entrusted this movement to Tyler's splendid brigade, which, under its fearless leader, Colonel Tyler, marched forward with alacrity and enthusiastic joy to the performance of the most perilous duty of the day. The enemy's skirmishers were driven before it and fell back upon the main body, strongly posted behind a high and solid stone wall, situated on an elevated ground. Here the struggle became desperate, and for a short time doubtful; but Tyler's brigade being soon joined on the left by the Fifth Ohio, Thirteenth Indiana, and Sixty-second Ohio, of Sullivan's brigade, and the Fourteenth Indiana, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, seven companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, and three companies of the Eighth Ohio, of Kimball's brigade, this united force dashed upon the enemy with a cheer and yell that rose high up above the roar of battle, and though the rebels fought desperately, as their piles of dead attest, they were forced back through the woods by a fire as destructive as ever fell upon a retreating foe. Jackson, with his supposed invincible stone-wall brigade and the accompanying brigades, much to their mortification and discomfiture, were compelled to fall back in disorder upon their reserve. Here they took up a new position for a final stand, and made an attempt for a few minutes to retrieve the fortunes of the day; but again rained down upon them the same close and destructive fire. Again cheer upon cheer rang in their ears. A few minutes only did they stand up against it, when they turned dismayed and fled in disorder, leaving us in possession of the field, the killed and wounded, three hundred prisoners, two guns, four caissons and a thousand stand of small arms. Night alone saved him from total destruction. The enemy retreated above five miles, and, judging from his camp-fires, took up a new position for the night. Our troops, wearied and exhausted with the fatigues of the day, threw themselves down to rest on the field. Though the battle had been won, still I could not have believed that Jackson would have hazarded a decisive engagement at such a distance from the main body without expecting reenforcements. So, to be prepared for such a contingency, I set to work during the night to bring together all the troops within my reach. I sent an express after Williams's division, requesting the rear brigade, about twenty miles distant, to march all night and join me in the morning. I swept the posts and route in my rear of almost all their guards, hurrying them forward by forced marches to be with me at daylight. I gave positive orders also to the forces in the field to open fire on the enemy as soon as the light of day would enable them to point their guns, and to pursue him without respite and compel him to abandon his guns and baggage or cut him to pieces. These orders were implicitly obeyed as far as possible. It now appears that I had rightly divined the intentions of our crafty antagonist. On the morning of the twenty-third a reenforcement from Luray of five thousand reached Front Royal, on their way to join Jackson. This reenforcement was being followed by another body of ten thousand from Sperryville; but recent rains having rendered the Shenandoah River impassable, they found themselves compelled to fall back without being able to effect the proposed junction. At daylight on the morning of the twenty-fourth, our artillery again opened on the enemy. He entered upon his retreat in very good order, considering what he had suffered. Gen. Banks, hearing of our engagement on his way to Washington, halted at Harper's Ferry, and with remarkable promptitude and sagacity ordered back Williams's whole division, so that my express found the rear brigade already en route to join us. The General himself returned here forthwith, and after making me a hasty visit, assumed command of the forces in pursuit of the enemy. The pursuit was kept up with vigor, energy and activity, until they reached Woodstock, where the enemy's retreat became flight, and the  pursuit was abandoned because of the utter exhaustion of our troops. The killed and wounded in this engagement cannot even yet be accurately ascertained. Indeed, my command has been so overworked, that it has had but little time to ascertain anything. The killed, as reported, are one hundred and three, and among them we have to deplore the loss of the brave Col. Murray, of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, who fell at the head of his regiment while gallantly leading it in the face of the enemy. The wounded are four hundred and forty-one, many of them slightly, and the missing are twenty-four. The enemy's loss is more difficult to ascertain than our own. Two hundred and seventy were found dead on the battle-field. Forty were buried by the inhabitants of the adjacent village, and by a calculation made by the number of graves found on both sides of the valley-road between here and Strasburg, their loss in killed must have been about five hundred, and in wounded one thousand. The proportion between the killed and wounded of the enemy shows the closeness and terrible destructiveness of our fire — nearly half the wounds being fatal. The enemy admit a loss of between one thousand and one thousand five hundred killed and wounded. Our force in infantry, cavalry and artillery, did not exceed seven thousand. That of the enemy must have exceeded eleven thousand. Jackson, who commanded on the field, had, in addition to his own stone-wall brigade, Smith's, Garnett's and Longstreet's brigades. Generals Smith and Garnett were here in person. The following regiments were known to have been present, and from each of them were made prisoners on the field: the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-first, Twenty-third, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third, Thirty-seventh and Forty-second Virginia; First regiment Provisional Army, and an Irish battalion. None from the reserve were made prisoners. Their force in infantry must have been nine thousand. The cavalry of the united brigades amounted to one thousand five hundred. Their artillery consisted of thirty-six pieces. We had six thousand infantry, and a cavalry force of seven hundred and fifty, and twenty-four pieces of artillery. I cannot conclude this report without expressing thanks and gratitude to officers and soldiers of my command, for their valuable conduct on this trying day. It was worthy of the great country whose national existence they have pledged their lives to preserve. Special thanks are due to Col. Kimball, commanding First brigade, and senior officer in the field. His conduct was brave, judicious, and efficient. He executed my orders, in every instance with vigor and fidelity, and exhibited wisdom and sagacity in the various movements that were necessarily entrusted to his direction. Col. Tyler, commanding Third brigade, has won my admiration by his fearless intrepidity. His brigade is worthy of such an intrepid leader. This brigade, and the regiments accompanying it, achieved the decisive success of the day. They drove the forces of the enemy before them on the left flank, and by hurling this flank back upon the reserve, consummated this glorious action. High praise is due to Col. Sullivan, commanding Second brigade, for the manner in which he contributed to the first repulse of the enemy in the morning. To him and Col. Carroll of the Eighth Ohio volunteers, who commanded the skirmishers, is the credit due of forcing back the right wing of the enemy, and of intimidating and holding him in check on our left during the rest of the day. The chief of artillery, Lieut.-Col. Daum, deserves high commendation for the skilful manner in which he managed his batteries during the engagement. This skilful management prevented the enemy doubtless from using effectually his formidable artillery. The cavalry performed its duty with spirit in this engagement, and, with its gallant officers, exhibited activity which paralyzed the movements of the enemy. The commanders of regiments are also entitled to especial mention, but sufficient justice cannot be done them in this report. I must, therefore, refer you on this head to the report of the brigade commanders. The officers of my staff have my thanks for the fidelity with which they discharged the trying duties that devolved upon them. They had to penetrate the thickest of the fight to bring me intelligence of the state of the field, and performed their perilous duty throughout the day with cheerful alacrity. It affords me pleasure, as it is my duty, to recommend all the officers whose names I have specially mentioned to the consideration of the Government. I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Jas. Shieds, Brigadier-General Commanding.
Report Op Acting Brig.-Gen. Kimball, Commanding Shields' division.
headquarters Shields' division, camp near Strasburgh, Va., March 26, 1862.sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle which was fought near Winchester, Va., on Sunday, the twenty-third inst., between the forces composing this division, which I had the honor to command, and the rebel forces under Gen. Jackson. Early in the morning of the twenty-third, the enemy commenced the attack, advancing from Kernstown, and occupying a position with their batteries on the heights to the right of the road, and the wood in the plain to the left of the road, with cavalry, infantry, and one battery. I at once advanced the Eighth Ohio, Col. Carroll, with four companies, taking the left, and Lieut.-Col. Sawyer, with three companies, taking the right of the turnpike-road. Col. Carroll advanced steadily, coming up with two companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, who had been out as pickets, and uniting them with his command, drove one of the enemy's batteries, which had opened a heavy fire upon him, and after a sharp skirmish, routing five companies of the infantry which were posted behind a stone wall, and supported by cavalry, holding this position during the whole day, thus frustrating the attempt of the enemy to turn our left.  The right of the Eighth Ohio remained in front until about four o'clock P. M., when they were recalled to support one of our batteries on the heights. The Sixty-seventh Ohio was thrown on a hill to our right, to support Jenks' battery, which had been advanced to a position commanding the village of Kernstown and the wood on the right. The Fourteenth Indiana was sent forward to support Clark's battery, which advanced along the road. The Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania was thrown over the hills to the right, to prevent a flank movement of the enemy. The Second brigade, commanded by Col. Sullivan, composed of the Thirteenth Indiana, Fifth Ohio, Sixty-second Ohio, and Thirty-ninth Illinois, were sent to the left, supporting Carroll's skirmishers, a section of Davis's battery, and Robinson's First Ohio battery, and to prevent an attempt which was made to turn that flank. We had succeeded in driving the enemy from both flanks and the front until four o'clock P. M., when Jackson, with the whole of his infantry, supported by artillery and cavalry, took possession of the hillside on the right, and planted his batteries in a commanding position, and opened a heavy and well-directed fire upon our batteries and their supports, attracting our attention whilst he attempted to gain our right flank with his infantry. At this juncture, I ordered the Third brigade, Col. E. B. Tyler, Seventh Ohio, commanding, composed of the Seventh and Twenty-ninth Ohio, First Virginia, Seventh Indiana, and One hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania, to move to the right, to gain the flank of the enemy and charge them through the woods to their batteries posted on the hill. They moved forward steadily and gallantly, opening a galling fire on the enemy's infantry The right wing of the Eighth Ohio, the Four-teenth and Thirteenth Indiana, Sixty-seventh and Fifth Ohio, and Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, were sent forward to support Tyler's brigade, each one in its turn moving forward gallantly, sustaining a heavy fire, from both the enemy's batteries and his musketry. Soon all the regiments above named were pouring forth a well-directed fire, which was promptly answered by the enemy, and after a hotly-contested action of two hours, just as night closed in, the enemy gave way, and were soon completely routed, leaving their dead and wounded on the field, together with two pieces of their artillery and four caissons. Our forces retained possession of the field, and bivouacked for the night. The batteries, under their chief, Lieut.-Col. Daum, were well posted and admirably served during the whole action. I respectfully refer you to the several accompanying reports for the details of the engagement. I regret to report the loss of the gallant Col. Murray, of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, who fell while bravely leading forward his men amidst a fearful storm of shot and shell. When all have done so well, both officers and men, and achieved so much, it would be seemingly invidious to particularize any individual officer, yet I can say, without doing injustice to others, that Col. Tyler deserves the highest commendations for the gallant manner in which he led his brigade during the conflict, and the gallant Carroll, Harrow, Foster, Lewis, Patrick, Thoburne, Sawyer, Buckley, Cheek, and Creighton, deserve well of their country. Col. Sullivan, Candy's brigade, on the left, was not attacked in force. His batteries and skirmishers engaged the enemy and prevented the turning of that flank: and he, too, merits the highest commendation.
Major H. G. Armstrong, A. A. A. General:
Major H. G. Armstrong, A. A. A. General:
Acting Brig.-Gen. Tyler's report.
headquarters Third brigade, camp near Strasburgh, March 22.sir: My command left Camp Shields at eleven o'clock A. M., twenty-third March, reaching the Toll-Gate south of Winchester just as our batteries were opened upon the enemy. Remaining in column a short time, I received your order to strike the enemy on his left flank with my brigade, composed of the Seventh Ohio, Lieut.-Col. Creighton; Twenty-ninth Ohio, Col. Buckley; First Virginia, Col. Thoburne; Seventh Indiana, Lieut.-Col. Cheek, and One hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania, Col. Lewis. The order was executed with the Seventh Ohio on the right, Twenty-ninth Ohio on the left, First Virginia in the centre, Seventh Indiana on the right wing, and One Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania on the left wing, advancing in column of divisions. When within easy musket-range, the enemy opened fire upon us with his infantry force, consisting of nine regiments. The reception was a warm one, and so heavy firing was it, that I ordered up the reserve at once, when the action became general. The fire of the enemy was poured in upon us from behind a stone wall with terrible effect; yet the column moved forward, driving them from their cover into an open wood, when our men gave them a shower of leaden hail. The timely arrival of the Fourteenth Indiana, Lieut.-Colonel Harrow, in this unequal contest, was of immense service, followed as they were soon after by the Eighth Pennsylvania, Col. Murray; Thirteenth Indiana, Lieut.-Col. Foster, and still later by the Sixty-seventh Ohio, Lieut.-Col. Votis, and the Fifth Ohio, Lieut.-Col. Patrick, routing the enemy just as twilight was fading into night, leaving his dead and wounded on the field. We took from him one six and one twelve-pounder gun, with their caissons, and about three hundred prisoners. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded could not have been less than five hundred. To speak of the heroic acts of those engaged in the battle would require too much space in this brief report. The officers and men behaved as gallantly as ever men did, and are entitled to great credit. The field-officers of different regiments exerted themselves manfully, many of them having their horses shot under them early in the engagement, and others seriously injured. They pressed forward with their men, determined to conquer or die. When all did so well, and showed  so much daring bravery, it would be unjust to mention one without mentioning all. That officers and men discharged their duty, the result plainly shows, and to them belongs the victory. To Acting Asst. Adjt.-Gen. E. S. Quay, and Aid-de-camp Lieut. Henry Z. Eaton, of my staff, I am greatly indebted for the prompt performance of their respective duties. Herewith I hand you a report of the dead and wounded of my command. All of which is respectfully submitted. I am, sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
Nathan Kimball, Colonel Commanding Shields' Division:
Nathan Kimball, Colonel Commanding Shields' Division:
battle-field near Winchester, March 23, 8 o'clock P. M.sir: In accordance with your instructions, I struck the enemy's left flank with my command, and after contesting vigorously for two hours and forty minutes, he left the field, two guns, one six and one twelve-pounder, with caissons, and over five hundred of his dead and wounded. My command, with the reenforcements sent me, rest on their arms in the fields occupied by the enemy.
Acting Brigadier-Gen. Nathan Kimball, commanding Gen. Shields' Division:
Acting Brigadier-Gen. Nathan Kimball, commanding Gen. Shields' Division:
complete list of killed and wounded of the Seventh regiment, O. V.I. Co. A--Charles Stern, killed; Corporal Ed. Kelley, Corporal Wm. Saddler, Fred. Hoffman, Daniel Clancey, Leander Campbell, Joseph Miller, Hampton Gardner, Arthur Lappin, Thomas Fresher, wounded; Wm. Kehl, missing. Co. B--Jas. Carroll, Jas. Creiglow, Allen C. Lamb, Stephen W. Rice, killed; Duncan Reid; Jos. Smith, Albert E. Withers, Charles Fagan, badly wounded; Sergeant A. H. Fitch, Corporal Wm. E. Smith, and five others slightly wounded. Co. C--Ord. Sergeant A. C. Danforth, E. G. Sackett, killed; O. H. Worcester, W. Coleman, Stephen Kellogg, Jno. Gardner, F. M. Palmer, F. A. Warner, Daniel Kingsberry, Richard Winsor, wounded. Co. D--Corp. A. C. Griswold, Reuben Burnham, Louis Carver, killed. Co. E--Corp. Geo. Blandin, John Milliman, John Atwater, Geo. Anness, wounded. Co. F--Elias Hall, killed;.Capt. A. C. Burgess, Corporal Benjamin Gridley, Fred. Bethel, Chas. W. Minnick, Moses Owens, Arba Pritchell, Edward Thompson, Edward E. Tracy, wounded; Anson Pritchard, missing. Co. G--John Fram, killed; Sergeant E. M. Lazonny, wounded. Co. H--Fred Groth, killed; Capt. J. F. Asper, wounded; A. A. Cavanaha, wounded; S. Bishop, wounded; Owen Gregory, wounded; James Hunt, wounded; W. McClurg, wounded; H. M. McQuiston, wounded; D. O'Connor, wounded; P. Tenny, wounded; Archibald Wise, missing. Co. I--James Bliss, killed; Lieut. Samuel McClelland, wounded; Sergeant A. J. Kelley, wounded; Richard Phillips, wounded; T. B. Danon, wounded; Wm. Birch, wounded; Henry Clemens, wounded. Sergeant-Major J. P. Webb and A. J. Kelly, were mortally wounded and died on the night of the twenty-seventh.
Report to Governor Morton.
headquarters Third brigade, Gen. Shields' division, camp near Edinburgh, April 10, 1862.sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Indiana troops under my command in the engagement at Winchester, on the twenty-third of March, 1862. Owing to the constant movement of our forces, I have been compelled to delay this report until now. The Seventh Indiana infantry formed a part of the Third brigade of Gen. Shields' division and at the time, was under the command of Lieut.-Col. Cheek, in the absence of Col. James Gavin, on important private business. The engagement was opened early in the day, and kept up by the artillery until about three o'clock P. M. The enemy had possession of a hill on their extreme left, which commanded our right, on which they had their batteries, supported by infantry, and was playing upon us with considerable effect, when the Third brigade was ordered to turn their flank and charge their batteries. The Seventh Indiana was the second regiment in line, and with the first received the opening fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, and a moment after a volley from the entire line; yet our men moved forward until they received orders to deliver their fire, which they did, accompanied with a terrific yell, which none but Western men can give. The effect met fully my expectations. We found the enemy greatly outnumbering us, posted behind rocks and a stone wall running parallel with our advancing line. Still with the advantage of position and nearly or quite double our force, they were compelled to retire after contesting sharply for two hours and forty minutes, leaving their dead, wounded, and two pieces of artillery on the field. I desire to call your attention particularly to the Seventh regiment, which was under a galling fire during the entire engagement, fully sustaining the reputation of Indiana's gallant soldiery, standing up against such fearful odds with unequalled bravery. To Lieut.-Colonel Cheek and Major Shaw great credit is due for the manner in which each discharged his respective duties, fearlessly and without a fault. The line officers, so far as I observed, did their whole duty as gallantly as any other in the conflict, and deserve much credit for their daring bravery. At one time, had they given way, the battle must have been lost to us. The whole regiment, officers and men, merit special notice, The Fourteenth Indiana, Lieut.-Col. Harrow, and the Thirteenth Indiana, Lieut.-Col. Foster,  were sent to reenforce us in a very critical moment, and I cannot speak in too high commendation of these gallant officers and their commands. Nobly did they discharge their duty, deserving well the title of Indiana's brave soldiers, and will receive no doubt, at your hands, and of the State, as Indiana men always have, full credit for their hard-earned fame. Well may Indiana be proud of her noble sons, and they of her. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
To His Excellency the Hon. O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana:
To His Excellency the Hon. O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana:
Report of Lieut.-Col. Cheek.
headquarters Seventh regiment Indiana Vols., near Strasburg, Va., March 28.sir: I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by the Seventh regiment Indiana Volunteers in the battle at Winchester, Virginia, on the twenty-third instant. About one o'clock P. M., pursuant to your order, the regiment was formed, took position in the brigade, and by a forced march reached Kernstown (three miles south of Winchester) at half-past 2 P. M. I was then ordered to the support of Colonel Daum's battery, which was then in position and playing upon the enemy. Soon after the enemy changed the position of his batteries to an elevation to our right, and opened upon us a well-directed fire of shot and shell. At once my command was placed farther to the right of our batteries, under cover of woods. Here we remained until four o'clock P. M., when orders were received from you to take position in column, to charge and take the enemy's pieces. Your order was promptly obeyed, and the column proceeded under cover of timber to within a short distance of the enemy's left, when the enemy (concealed from us, and sheltered behind a stone fence and other temporary works) opened upon us a destructive and blinding fire of canister and musketry. About this time an order was given to deploy column, (the several regiments being then in column of division,) but amid the din of musketry, and the roar of artillery, no order could be heard by the men. Our forces partly avoided the fire of the enemy by falling down and taking advantage of a ridge between us and the stone fence. The fire of the enemy was returned with telling effect, our men giving deadly aim wherever the enemy could be seen. The fierceness with which our forces withstood the fire from a vastly superior force, for two hours and forty minutes, demands the greatest praise. Upon the appearance of the Eighty--fourth Pennsylvania and the Fourteenth Indiana regiments, which were ordered to our support, a rout of the enemy commenced, which soon became complete, many throwing down their arms and retreating in the greatest confusion. My command was soon in line, and following the Seventh Ohio, pursued the enemy a short distance, when darkness intervened, and we were ordered to halt and bivouac upon the ground so hotly contested by the enemy. Early in the action, my horse and that of Major B. C. Shaw were shot. The Major was severely hurt by being thrown against a tree, and was taken from the field. Up to that time he rendered me valuable service, exerting himself to perfect the lines as we advanced. Adjutant Lostutter, although wounded in the early part of the action, remained with me, executing orders, and giving aid in rallying and encouraging the men. Without disparagement to other officers, it is but justice that I should speak of those who were with me and about me at all times-namely, Capts. Will. C. Banta, Sol. Waterman, Merit C. Welch, Jesse Armstrong, and Wilson C. Lemert; and Lieuts. George C. Watson, (commanding company A,) David M. Hamilton, Acting Quartermaster, Comar Chrisman, and Benjamin Abrams, by their brave examples gave cheer to the men, and by untiring exertions contributed greatly to our success. The result, to my regiment, was nine killed and thirty--five wounded, a list of whom, with name, grade and company, is herewith submitted. Many have slight wounds, which are not reported among the wounded. Your obedient servant,
Col. E. B. Tyler, Commanding Third Brigade, S. D.:
Col. E. B. Tyler, Commanding Third Brigade, S. D.:
John F. Cheek, Lieut.-Col. Commanding Seventh Indiana.
Colonel Foster's official report.
camp Shields, headquarters Thirteenth Indiana, four miles South of Strasburg, Va., March 26, 1862.sir: In obedience to your order, I herewith submit the following report of the part taken by the Thirteenth regiment Indiana Volunteers, in the action of the twenty-second and twenty-third of March, near Winchester, Va. I was ordered by you to withdraw my command, (which was stationed on picket duty on the Front Royal and Cedar Creek road,) and to report to you at the toll-gate on the Strasburg pike. Collecting my command, I proceeded immediately to join you, and reached the toll-gate about ten A. M., and marched forward on the right of your brigade, and took position in front of and on the enemy's right, which position we occupied until five P. M., under a heavy fire of shell and round-shot from his batteries, which were stationed in the edge of a wood. At five P. M., you ordered me to the enemy's left, to support a part of the First and Second brigades. We marched over the hills on the right, exposed to a heavy fire of grape and shell. We took position on the left of the Fourteenth Indiana, which had been pressed back by the overwhelming numbers brought into action by the enemy, immediately in front and on their left. Here it was that the Thirteenth Indiana suffered most, being exposed to the fire of a whole brigade posted behind a stone fence and in an open wood. Inch by inch the brave and gallant men of my command, the Thirteenth, pressed  them back. The Fourteenth Indiana's left rallied promptly to our support, and I gave the command to “Forward — charge bayonets!” Here it was that the two remnants of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Indiana regiments went in with a yell and drove from the field a whole brigade, which proved to be Loring's celebrated Irish brigade of the provisional army, and completely routed them. We should have captured their colors had it not been that night was coming on, and for fear of firing into our own men I ordered a halt. It was so dark that we could pursue them no further. After gathering up the wounded on our own and on the rebel side, we slept on our arms until daylight, when I proceeded to join you on the advance toward Strasburg in pursuit of the enemy, and have arrived at this camp, after sharing the honors of being in the advance with your brigade, and driving the enemy beyond this place a distance of twenty-two miles. Before closing this report, I must refer to the officers and men of the Thirteenth regiment. All alike acted nobly and fought bravely, adding new laurels to those already won in Western Virginia. Lest I should be thought to prefer one above another, I forbear making any personal mention, as they, all, both officers and men, fought with a coolness and desperation that proved them not inferior to our brave Hoosiers who are battling in other localities for our holy cause. The medical staff, and more particularly of our own Assistant Surgeon, require of me a mention. Dr. Gall, principal, having been detailed during the early part of the action to take charge of the wounded, who were being sent to Winchester, left Dr. W. C. Foster alone on the field, and he was in the thickest and hottest of the fight, with the members of the Thirteenth's band, carrying off the killed and wounded as they fell on the field, and but for him our list of dead would have been greater than it is. We captured a number of commissioned officers, some of whom are wounded. Among them are a major and an aid to the rebel Gen. Jackson, a number of lieutenants and privates, and a quantity of small arms, all of which I will report to you as soon as I can ascertain the exact number of each. Our loss is about forty or fifty killed and wounded. Among the wounded are Major Dodds and Capt. Sales, of company G. Circumstances and orders to move forward prevent me from giving you a more detailed account at this time. Enclosed find a list of killed and wounded. I am respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. J. C. Sullivan, Acting Brig.-Gen. Commanding Second Brigade:
Col. J. C. Sullivan, Acting Brig.-Gen. Commanding Second Brigade:
Robert S. Foster, Lieut.-Col. Commanding Thirteenth Indiana,
R. C. Shriber's report.
Winchester, March 26, 1862.General: I beg respectfully to report to you that after having received, on Sunday last, the twenty-third of March, at nine o'clock A. M., an order to report for duty as Aid-de-Camp on your staff, I left headquarters for Kernstown, and assisted Colonels Kimball, Tyler, and Sullivan in their efforts as commanders of brigades, fighting the enemy under Gen. Jackson, and to insure an unity of action of their three respective commands. I reported at half-past 9 A. M., to Col. Kimball, Acting Brigadier, and senior officer on the field, who was stationed on a hill almost one half mile west of Kernstown, which latter place is intersected by the turnpike leading to Strasburgh. There I informed myself as to the events which had transpired previous to my arrival, and understood that the enemy who, in endeavoring to drive in our pickets the day before, had been repulsed, had opened with his artillery about eight o'clock A. M., upon our forces again; and that since the time we were engaged responding to his battery of four guns, which he then had in play, and in endeavoring to repel his small but harassing attacks of cavalry upon our chain of sentinels. Reconnoitring the ground surrounding me, I found that between the hill upon which I now stood with Col. Kimball and the hill opposite us, upon which the enemy's battery was posted, about half a mile distant, a ravine was lying, running from east to west, which is entirely free of wood; when about half a mile to the east a forest connected both hills, through the centre of which passes a mud road, and is bounded on its extreme right by another mud road leading to Cedar Creek. The country to the left (west) of the turnpike is flat and comparatively little wooded. We placed in position a six-gun battery, com-commanded by Captain Jenks' First Virginia artillery, to oppose the enemy's four guns, which latter were soon reinforced by a whole battery, whereupon Capt. Clark's regular battery was put in prolongation of the former named. Both batteries were fought by Col. Daum, Chief of artillery of Gen. Shields' division, in person. Our fire from the two batteries became too hot for the enemy, and they brought a third battery in the direction of their right wing, in such position upon our two batteries on the hill, that they enfiladed them, but with this manoeuvre exposed their battery to a raking fire of one of the Ohio batteries placed near Kernstown to defend the pike, and they were necessitated to limber to the rear with all their batteries, but continued their fire. In the mean time the infantry regiments were moving up to the support of our batteries, and formed into line of battle about a thousand yards to the rear of our batteries, when at once the enemy's heavier battery moved to the front, and threw, in rapid succession, a number of well-aimed shell into our batteries and the cavalry and infantry stationed upon the interior slope of the battery-hill, and the necessity to storm and take their guns became evident. In conjunction with Colonels Kimball and Tyler, the following infantry regiments were drawn up in mass, parallel with each other: The right, resting upon the mud road passing through the forest, was held by the Seventh Ohio, the Sixty-seventh  and Fifth following, and the Thirteenth Indiana, and Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, and Twenty-ninth Ohio a little to the rear; thus leaving the One Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania and the three companies of the Eighth Ohio in reserve. During the time these arrangements were made a messenger was sent to you, General, to have your approval as to this flank movement, and I personally apprised all the commanders in the rear and flanks of our intentions, so as to keep then on the alert. Col. Daum was enjoined to keep his artillery in lively fire, so as not to direct the attention of the enemy from him, and when the order came to move on everything was ready to respond. Gen. Tyler moved his column by the right flank as far as the Cedar Creek road, rested his right upon the same, and the left upon the before-mentioned mud road, pushing forward upon both roads some cavalry, changed direction to the left, right in front, and moved silently but steadily upon the enemy's left through the woods for almost half a mile, when, coming upon a more sparsely wooded ground, he made half a wheel to the left, and came to the face of the extreme flank of the enemy, who received him behind a stone wall at about two hundred yards' distance with a terrific volley of rifled arms; but still on went the regiments without a return fire, and then threw themselves with immense cheering and an unearthly yell upon the enemy, who, receiving at fifteen yards our first fire, fell back across the field, thus unmasking two six-pound iron-guns, which hurled, on being cleared in front, death and destruction into our ranks with their canister. But still onward we went, taking one gun and two caissons, and making there a short stand. Again the enemy unmasked two brass pieces, which at last drove us back by their vigorous fire. But I saw that the captured gun was tipped over, so that the enemy, in regaining the ground; could not drag it away. The Fifth Ohio and Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania threw themselves forward once more with fixed bayonets, the former losing their standard-bearer four times in a few minutes. Capt. Whitcomb at last took the colors up again, and cheering on his men fell also. So, too, Col. Murray, while gallantly leading on his Eighty-fourth regiment. In fact that ground was strewn with dead and wounded. Gen. Tyler lost there his aid, Lieut. Williamson of the Twenty-ninth Ohio. I hurried back to bring up the One Hundred and Tenth and Fourteenth Indiana, by a right oblique movement through the woods, and the enemy, receiving all the combined shock, retired and left us in possession of our dearly-bought gun and caissons. United, onward we pressed; again the enemy's two brass pieces and musketry poured in their fire. Three companies of the Eighth Ohio reenforcing us, we gained our brass piece and its caisson, and compelled the enemy to fall back. This was at seven P. M. I moved to the right flank, and caused the cannon to go forward on the now fast retreating enemy, when I met with six of Ashby's cavalry — who shot down my orderly and killed his horse--one of their bullets piercing my cap. I was compelled to use my sword to kill one of them. The cavalry captured two hundred and thirty-nine prisoners, and met only with little resistance from the enemy's cavalry. At eight P. M. the musketry ceased. A few more cannon-shots from their extreme left were fired, so as to withdraw our attention from the retreating foe, and all was over. Our men remained on the field of battle picking up the wounded, and slept upon their arms, and awoke for the pursuit of the enemy on the morning of the twenty-fourth, who fell rapidly back beyond Newton, when at nine o'clock of the morning of that day Major-Gen. Banks took command, and I reported back to you. General, I have the honor to be ever ready to serve in so glorious a body of soldiers, under your able leading. Your most obedient, humble servant,
To Brig.-G. en. James Shields, Commanding Second Division, Fifth Army Corps.
To Brig.-G. en. James Shields, Commanding Second Division, Fifth Army Corps.
Gen. Shields' account of the battle.The following letter from Gen. Shields, to a friend in Washington, gives the General's informal account of the battle of Winchester:
Strasburg, on the eighteenth and nineteenth inst., discovered Jackson reinforced in a strong position, near New-Market, within supporting distance of the main body of the rebels under Johnston. It was necessary to decoy him from that position. Therefore I fell back rapidly to Winchester on the twentieth, as if in retreat, marching my whole command nearly thirty miles in one day. My force was placed at night in a secluded position, two miles from Winchester, on the Martinsburg road. On the twenty-first the rebel cavalry, under Ashby, showed themselves to our pickets, within sight of Winchester. On the twenty-second all of Gen. Banks's command, with the exception of my division, evacuated Winchester, en route for Centreville. This movement and the masked position of my division made an impression upon the inhabitants, some of whom were in secret communication with the enemy, that our army had left, and that nothing remained but a few regiments to garrison this place. Jackson was signalized to this effect. I saw their signals and divined their meaning. About five o'clock on the afternoon of the twenty-second, Ashby, believing that the town was almost evacuated, attacked our pickets and drove them in. This success increased his delusion. It became necessary, however, to repulse them for the time being. I therefore ordered forward a brigade, and placed it in front between Winchester and the enemy. I only let them see, however, two regiments of infantry, two batteries of artillery, and a small  force of cavalry, which he mistook as the whole force left to garrison and protect the place. In a little skirmish that evening, while placing the artillery in position, I was struck by a fragment of a shell, which broke my arm above the elbow, injured my shoulder, and damaged me otherwise to such an extent that I have lain prostrate ever since. I commenced making preparations for any emergency that might occur that night or the next morning. Under cover of the night I ordered an entire brigade (Kimball's) to take up a strong position in advance. I pushed forward four batteries, having them in a strong position to support the infantry. I placed Sullivan's brigade on both flanks, to prevent surprise and to keep my flanks from being turned, and I held Tyler's brigade in reserve, to operate against any point that might be assailed in front. In this position I awaited and expected the enemy's attack next morning. My advance brigade was two miles from the town, its pickets extending perhaps a mile farther along the turnpike leading to Strasburg. About eight o'clock in the morning, I sent forward two experienced officers to reconnoitre the front and report indications of the enemy. They returned in an hour, reporting no enemy in sight except Ashby's force of cavalry, infantry and artillery, which by this time had become familiar and contemptible to us. Gen. Banks, who was yet here in person, upon hearing this report, concluded that Jackson could not possibly be in front, or be decoyed so far away from the main body of the rebel army. In this opinion I too began to concur, concluding that Jackson was too sagacious to be caught in such a trap. Gen. Banks, therefore, left for Washington. His staff-officers were directed to follow the same day, by way of Centreville. Knowing the crafty enemy, however, I had to deal with, I omitted no precaution. My whole force was concentrated, and prepared to support Kimball's brigade, which was in advance. About half-past 10 o'clock it became evident we had a considerable force before us; but the enemy still concealed himself so adroitly in the woods that it was impossible to estimate it. I ordered a portion of the artillery forward, to open fire and unmask them. By degrees they began to show themselves. They planted battery after battery in strong position, on the centre and on both flanks. Our artillery responded, and this continued until about half-past 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when I directed a column of infantry to carry a battery on their left flank and to assail that flank, which was done promptly and splendidly by Tyler's brigade, aided by some regiments from the other brigades. The fire of our infantry was so close and destructive, that it made havoc in their ranks. The result was the capture of their guns on the left and the forcing back of their wing on the centre, thus placing them in a position to be routed by a general attack, which was made about five o'clock by all the infantry, and succeeded in driving them in flight from the field. Night fell upon us at this stage, leaving us in possession of the field of battle, two guns and four caissons, three hundred prisoners, and about one thousand stand of small arms. Our killed in this engagement cannot exceed one hundred men — wounded, two hundred and thirty-three. The enemy's killed and wounded exceed one thousand. The inhabitants of the adjacent villages carried them to their houses as they were removed from the field of battle. Houses between the battle-field and Strasburg, and even far beyond, have since been found filled with the dead and dying of the enemy. Graves have been discovered far removed from the road, where the inhabitants of the country buried them as they died. General Banks, in his pursuit of the enemy beyond Strasburg afterwards, found houses on the road. twenty-two miles from the battle-field filled in this manner, and presenting the most ghastly spectacle. The havoc made in the ranks of the rebels has struck this whole region of country with terror. Such a blow had never fallen on them before, and it is more crushing because wholly unexpected. Jackson and his stone-wall brigade, and all the other brigades accompanying him, will never meet this division again in battle. During the night they managed to carry off their artillery in the darkness. We opened upon them by early light next morning, and they commenced to retreat. Gen. Banks returned from Harper's Ferry between nine and ten o'clock A. M., and placed himself, at my request, at the head of the command, ten miles from the battle-field, pursuing the enemy. Reinforcements, which we had ordered back from Williams's division, and which I had ordered forward during the night, now came pouring in, and with all these we continued the pursuit, pressing them with vigor and with repeated and destructive attacks as far as Woodstock, where we halted from mere exhaustion. The enemy's sufferings have been terrible, and such as they have nowhere else endured since the commencement of this war; and yet such were their gallantry and high state of discipline, that at no time during the battle or pursuit did they give way to panic. They fled to Mt. Jackson, and are by this time no doubt in communication with the main body of the rebel army. I hope to be able in a few days to ride in a buggy, and place myself at the head of my command; but I have neither sufficient force nor sufficient rank to do that service to the country that I hope and feel I am capable of. No man could be better treated than I am by Gen. Banks; and yet if he and his command had been here on the twenty-third, you would have heard nothing of a fight, because our wily enemy would not have been entrapped. I want an efficient cavalry regiment — the Third United States cavalry, for instance — and additional infantry. I wish you would see the Secretary of War, for instance, in relation to this matter. I can do the country service if they give me a chance.
Secretary Stanton's despatch.The following despatch was telegraphed to Gen. Shields:
The following is Gen. Banks's general order relative to the battle:war Department, Washington, March 26, 1862.Brig.-Gen. Shields: Your two despatches relative to the brilliant achievement of the forces under your command have been received. While rejoicing at the success of your gallant troops, deep commiseration and sympathy are felt for those who have been victims in the gallant and victorious contest with treason and rebellion. Your wounds, as well as your success, prove that Lander's brave division is still bravely led, and that wherever its standard is displayed, rebels will be routed and pursued. To you and the officers and soldiers under your command, the Department returns thanks.Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
headquarters Fifth Army Corps, Strasburg, March 26.The Commanding General of the Fifth Army Corps congratulates the officers and soldiers of General Shields' division, and especially its gallant commander, on the auspicious and decisive victory gained over the rebels on the twenty-third inst. The division has already achieved a renown against superior forces, and a subtle and barbarous enemy. (Signed)
Brig.-Gen. Shields congratulates the officers and soldiers of his division, upon the glorious victory achieved by them on the twenty-third inst., near Winchester, Va. They defeated an enemy whose forces outnumbered theirs, and who were considered the bravest and best disciplined of the confederate army. He also congratulates them that it has fallen to their lot to open the campaign on the Potomac. The opening has been a splendid success. Let them inscribe “Winchester” on their banners, and prepare for other victories. (Signed)
General order, No. 19. The General commanding the division directs that the special thanks of himself and command be tendered to Capt. Ambrose Thompson, Division Quartermaster, for the energy, industry, and efficiency with which he has conducted the affairs of his department, previous to and during the battle of Winchester, and in his untiring and successful efforts since, to employ every means which judgment and activity could devise to furnish this division with everything required to render it efficient in the field. This order will be published to the command as an assurance of our appreciation of his ability, and a copy of the same will be furnished Capt. Ambrose Thompson.
Governor Curtin's official order.
Headquarters P. M., Harrisburgh, April 4, 1862.General order, No. 20. The Governor congratulates the members of the Eighty-fourth and One hundred and tenth regiments Pennsylvania Volunteers upon their gallantry in the recent severe and brilliant action at Winchester. Their bearing upon that occasion, under the formidable attack of a bold and desperate foe, was worthy of the high reputation already won by the soldiers of Pennsylvania on the memorable fields of Dranesville, Roanoke Island, and Newbern. The Governor is proud to recognise the enviable distinction thus gained by the troops of the commonwealth, and trusts that to the end of the present wicked rebellion they may be distinguished by similar deeds of valor and endurance, and that, whenever called to meet the enemies of their country, they may prove their fitness to sustain its flag. The example of the gallant Colonel Murray, of the Eighty-fourth, who fell at the head of his regiment in the conflict at Winchester, with that of the noble men of his command, who there gave their lives a willing sacrifice to their country, must stimulate all who have enlisted in her service to increased devotion, while their memory will be cherished by every patriot and add honor to the arms of Pennsylvania and the Union. The Governor directs that “Winchester, twenty-third of March, 1862,” be inscribed on the flags of the Eighty-fourth and One hundred and tenth regiments, and that this order be read at the head of all the regiments of Pennsylvania volunteers.
Cincinnati Gazette narrative.
Winchester, April 1.The excitement and smoke of battle having now cleared away, I am enabled to send you a full and concise history of the late terrible battle of Winchester. On the eighteenth and nineteenth ultimo, Gen. Shields made a reconnaissance in the direction of Mount Jackson, and there ascertained that the enemy under Jackson was strongly posted near that place, and in communication with a large force at Luray and Washington. He deemed it important to draw him from his position and supporting force if possible. To effect this, he fell back upon Winchester on the twentieth, giving his movement all the appearance of a hasty retreat. The last brigade of the First division of Gen. Banks's corps d'armee left Winchester for Centreville by the way of Berryville, on the morning of the twenty-second, leaving only Shields' division and the Michigan cavalry. The enemy's scouts, observing this movement,  signaled Jackson, with fires upon the hill-tops, that Winchester was being evacuated by the Federal forces, and about five o'clock P. M., the brigand Ashby with some of his cavalry drove in our pickets. The Federal troops immediately sprung to their arms, and two regiments of infantry, accompanied by two batteries of artillery, pushed forward and drove back the enemy, who retreated after a short resistance to a little distance beyond Kernstown, a small village on the Valley Turnpike, about three and a half miles southernly from Winchester. It was during this attack that Gen. Shields, while directing one of the batteries to its position, was struck by a fragment of a shell, which burst near him, breaking his arm above the elbow, and for the time entirely paralyzing one side of his body. No one around him supposed him injured, for the old hero gave no word or sign of having been wounded, but continued to give his orders, through his staff-officers, as coolly and deliberately as if nothing had happened, until everything had been arranged to his satisfaction. The same shell killed an artilleryman near him, and barely missed Major H. G. Armstrong, Assistant Adjutant-General. The General, divining the attack of the enemy to be only a ruse to make him show his strength, kept the rest of his forces out of sight; and though prostrated by the injuries he had received, set to work to make the requisite disposition of his force for the ensuing day. Under cover of night he pushed forward Kimball's brigade nearly three miles on the Strasburg road. Daum's artillery was posted in a strong position, to support this brigade if attacked. Sullivan's brigade was posted in the rear of Kimball's, and within supporting distance of it, covering all the approaches to the town from the east, south, and west. Tyler's brigade and Broadhead's cavalry were held in reserve, so as to support our force in front at any point where it might be attacked. These dispositions being made, the General rested for the night as well as his wounds would permit. A brief description is here necessary of the approaches to Winchester and of the field which the next day became the scene of one of the most bloody and desperately fought battles of modern times. Winchester is approached from the south by three principal roads. These are the Cedar Creek. road on the west, the Valley Turnpike leading to Strasburg in the centre, and the Front Royal road on the east. On the Valley Turnpike, about three and a half miles from Winchester, is a little village called Kernstown; about a half a mile north of this village and west of the Valley Turnpike, is a ridge of high hills commanding the approach by the valley road and a part of the surrounding country. This ridge was the key-point of our position, and on this Col. Kimball, the senior officer in command of the field, took his station. Along this ridge Lieut.-Col. Daum, Chief of Artillery, posted three of his batteries, keeping one battery in reserve some distance in the rear. Part of the Federal infantry was posted on this ridge, within supporting distance of the artillery, and sheltered by the irregularities of the hills. The main body of the enemy was posted in order of battle, about half a mile beyond Kernstown, his line extending about two miles from the Cedar Creek road on his left, to a ravine near the Front Royal road on his right. The enemy had so skilfully selected his ground that, while it afforded facilities for manoeuvring, he was completely masked by high and wooded grounds in front, and so adroitly did he conceal himself, that at eight o'clock A. M., of the twenty-third, nothing was visible but the same force which had been repulsed the evening previous. Being unable in consequence of his wound to reconnoitre the point in person, Gen. Shields despatched an officer to perform that duty, who returned about an hour after, reporting that there were no indications of any hostile force, except that of Ashby's cavalry. Gen. Shields and Gen. Banks, after consulting together, came to the conclusion that Jackson was nowhere in the vicinity, and therefore Gen. Banks took his departure for Washington. Although the conclusion had been reached that Jackson was not before Winchester, yet Gen. Shields, knowing the crafty enemy he had to deal with, did not neglect a single precaution. About half past 10 o'clock A. M., another battery opened against our position, and Col. Kimball saw in that quarter indications of a considerable force in the woods. Informing General Shields of this fact, Sullivan's brigade was immediately pushed forward and placed in a position to oppose the advance of the enemy's right wing. The action opened by a fire of artillery on both sides, but at too great a distance to be very effective. The advance was made by the enemy, who pushed forward a few more guns to his right, supported by a considerable force of infantry and cavalry, with the apparent intention of enfilading our position and turning our left flank. An active body of skirmishers, consisting of the Eighth Ohio, Col. Carroll, and three companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, under Major Bond, was immediately thrown forward on both sides of the valley road to check the enemy's advance. These skirmishers were supported by four pieces of artillery and Sullivan's brigade, and this united force repulsed the enemy at all points. The attempt against our left flank having failed, the enemy withdrew the greater part of his force on the right and formed it into a reserve to support his left. He then added his original reserve and two batteries to his main body, and under shelter of a hill on his left, on which he had already posted other batteries, he advanced their formidable column, with the evident determination of turning our right flank or overwhelming it. Our batteries on the opposite hill were soon found insufficient to check or even retard him. A message was sent to Gen. Shields informing him of the state of the field. Not a moment was to be lost. “Throw forward all your disposable infantry, carry his batteries, turn  his left flank, and hurl it back on the centre,” were his orders, and Col. Kimball executed them with rapidity and vigor. The movement was entrusted to Tyler's splendid brigade, and following their intrepid leader, they pressed forward with enthusiasm to the performance of this perilous duty. The enemy's skirmishers were as chaff before the wind. Steadily onward it went until within a few yards of a high stone wall, behind which the enemy was securely posted, when it was met by a fire so fierce and deadly that its ranks melted away like frost before the morning sun. They wavered but for a moment, then rushed forward to the desperate struggle. At this juncture Col. Tyler was reinforced by five companies of the Fifth Ohio, the Thirteenth Indiana, and Sixty-second Ohio, of Sullivan's brigade, and the Fourteenth Indiana, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, seven companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, and three companies of the Eighth Ohio, of Kimball's brigade; and with a cheer and a yell that rose high and loud above the roar of battle, drove the enemy from their shelter, and through the woods, with a fire as destructive as ever fell upon a retreating foe. The rebels fought desperately, as their piles of dead attest, and, to their chagrin and mortification, Jackson's “invincible stonewall brigade” and the accompanying brigades were obliged to fall back upon their reserve in disorder. Here they took up a new position, and attempted to retrieve the fortunes of the day. But again rained down upon them the same close and destructive fire. Again cheer upon cheer rang in their ears. But a few minutes did they stand against it, when they turned and fled in dismay, leaving their killed and wounded on the field. Night alone saved them from total destruction. The enemy retreated about five miles, and took up a new position for the night. Our troops threw themselves down upon the field to rest and to partake of the first food since early dawn. Although the battle had been won, still Gen. Shields could not believe that Jackson would have hazarded a decisive engagement at such a distance from the main body of the enemy without expecting reenforcements. So to be prepared for any contingency, he brought together all the troops within his reach, and sent an express for Williams's brigade, now twenty miles distant, to march all night and join him in the morning. He gave positive orders to the forces in the field to open fire upon them as soon as daylight would enable them to point their guns, and to pursue the enemy without respite, and compel him to abandon his guns and baggage or cut him to pieces. It appears that Gen. Shields had rightly divined the intentions of his crafty antagonist, for on the morning of the twenty-third a reenforcement of five thousand men from Luray reached Front Royal, on their way to join Jackson. This reinforcement was being followed by another body of ten thousand from Sperryville, but recent rains having rendered the Shenandoah River impassable, they were compelled to fall back without effecting the proposed junction. At daylight on the twenty-fourth our artillery again opened upon the enemy. He entered upon his retreat in good order, considering what he had suffered. Gen. Banks, hearing of the engagement on his way to Washington, halted at Harper's Ferry, and ordered back a part of Williams's division. Gen. Banks himself returned, and after making a hasty visit to Gen. Shields, who was confined to his bed with his wounds, assumed command of the forces in pursuit of the enemy in person. The pursuit was kept up with vigor until they reached Woodstock, where the enemy's retreat became fright, and the pursuit was abandoned, because of the utter exhaustion of our men. The killed, as reported, are one hundred and three. Among them the country will deplore the loss of the brave Col. Murray of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania volunteers, who fell while gallantly leading his regiment in the face of the enemy. The wounded are four hundred and forty-one, many of them slightly, and the missing twenty-four. The enemy's loss is difficult to ascertain. Two hundred and seventy were found dead on the battle-field, forty were buried by the inhabitants of the adjacent village, and by a calculation made from the number of graves on both sides of the valley road, between Winchester and Strasburg, their loss in killed must have been about five hundred, and in wounded a thousand. The proportion of the killed and wounded of the enemy shows the closeness and terrible destructiveness of our fire — nearly half the wounds being fatal. The enemy admit a loss of between a thousand and fifteen hundred. Our force in infantry, cavalry, and artillery did not exceed seven thousand. That of the enemy must have been more than eleven thousand. Jackson, who commanded in the field had, in addition to his own “stone-wall” brigade, portions of Smith's and Loring's brigades. Their force in infantry must have been nine thousand. The cavalry of their united brigades amounted to fifteen hundred, and they had thirty-six pieces of artillery. The Federals had six thousand infantry, seven hundred and fifty cavalry, and twenty-four pieces of artillery. The thanks and commendations of the country are due the officers and soldiers for their noble conduct on that trying day. It was worthy the great people whose national existence they had pledged their lives to sustain. Col. Kimball, commanding the First brigade, and the senior officer in the field — cool, brave, and judicious, executing orders with vigor and sagacity. Col. Tyler, commanding the Third brigade, winning the admiration of the army by the fearless intrepidity with which he led his gallant brigade, and achieved the decisive movement of the day. Col. Sullivan, commanding the Second brigade, with the gallant Col. Carroll of the Eighth Ohio,  presenting for the whole of that eventful day an impassable barrier between the enemy's right wing and the goal of their hopes. Lieut.-Col. Daum, chief of artillery, sending his messages of death with unerring certainty, and all the brave officers and soldiers, who knew their duty and performed it, earned for themselves the gratitude of a great nation. The incidents of the day, if written out, would fill volumes, but a few may serve to show the temper of the men in whose hands the fate of Union is held. The color-bearer of the Fifth Ohio volunteers was three several times shot down, when Capt. George P. Whitcomb, of the color-company, seizing the colors, pressed forward. He, too, soon fell, when they were upheld by a wounded corporal unable to rise from his knees. Lieut.-Col. Voris, commanding the Sixty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, although himself wounded in the thigh, caught the colors from the hands of the dying sergeant, and calling on his men to follow him, pressed forward where the fight was fiercest. This same man covered a wounded rebel soldier from the chill night air with his overcoat, as soon as the flying enemy left him time to look around him. It should not be forgotten that a large proportion of the officers and men engaged in this fight were “raw” troops, having never before heard the screaming of shells, the whistling of bullets, or met an enemy in deadly conflict, and that they were opposed to that “stone wall” of Jackson's, which has never before turned their backs upon the Union army in battle. The officers of Gen. Shields' staff are entitled to the gratitude of their countrymen for the fidelity with which they discharged the trying duties that devolved upon them. They had to penetrate the thickest of the fight to carry to their General intelligence of the state of the field, and they performed their duties throughout the day with fearless alacrity. The following is a list of officers of Gen. Shields' staff who were present and participated in the battle: Major H. G. Armstrong, O. V., Assistant Adjutant-General. Major R. C. Shriver, Capt. E. D. Mason, 0. V., Lieut. J. S. Jones, O. V., Aids-de-Camp. Capt. Ambrose Thompson, Quartermaster. Henry Bryant, Acting Medical Director. Our troops are now beyond Woodstock, where they are stopped for the present by the burning of a bridge by the rebels. This will be repaired in a few days, when we will follow up the good results attained by the battle of
New-York world account.
Winchester, March 24, 1862.We are most unexpectedly called upon to report another battle which has added one more to the list of those brilliant successes which have lately attended our advancing columns — a victory more brilliant in the fact that not even the most distant suspicion of an approaching foe and an impending battle was for a moment entertained. Jackson had been driven away in an inglorious retreat, and abandoned his strongholds which he had held for six months in security, his baggage had been transported previous to the removal of his forces, as if the retreat had been carefully provided for, and he had been pursued by the Federal troops several miles beyond Strasburg, where the chase was abandoned, the forces withdrawn to Winchester, and Jackson left to pursue his course down the valley of Virginia. This task having been fully accomplished, as we supposed, the whole column was being removed to Fairfax Court-House, upon the turnpike which leads directly from this place to Alexandria, and the greater part of the Fifth corps d'armee was on its way, some having proceeded upon the march across the Shenandoah over the pontoon which had been constructed, as far as the village of Snickersville, a distance of nineteen miles from Winchester, and four miles beyond the river. Of those which had not crossed, a large number were encamped on this side, and nearly the whole force had withdrawn or were preparing to do so. In such a condition, and with such preparations, did Jackson make this bold and unexpected onset, which resulted disastrously to his command, and conferred additional testimony to the intrepidity and coolness of our soldiers. The military bridge across the Shenandoah broke down on Sunday, as the first of a brigade was attempting to cross, and half a day was employed in repairing the damage. Had this accident occurred twelve hours later, after nearly all had passed the river, the remnant might have been sadly exposed to attack from Jackson, having no means of escape and no means for being reenforced. It is rumored among secessionists that this attack of Jackson was to prevent the reenforcement of Gen. McClellan by Gen. Banks's column. If so, he has probably succeeded, for it certainly cannot be spared at once from this vicinity. It seems more probable that, supposing more of our division to have gone to Fairfax, he made this dash expecting to capture some prisoners and force the few remaining to wage an unsuccessful battle with him. On Saturday our forces had started upon the Alexandria turnpike, and nearly half of them had reached the Shenandoah, when very heavy and continued firing was heard in the direction of Strasburg. Little attention was paid to it, however, and nothing was known either of the skirmishing on Saturday, or of the battle on the following Sunday, until too late to return and engage in it, and when they had arrived, the battle had been fought and won by Gen. Shields' division, who alone participated in the fight. The first notice of the enemy's approach was received at nine o'clock A. M. of Saturday. Major Copeland, of Gen. Banks's staff, with about twenty-five of the Michigan cavalry, kept skirmishing with the guerrillas of Col. Ashby, from the time of their first appearance until five o'clock in the evening, when, ascertaining the approach of Gen.  Jackson in force, he sent word to Gen. Shields of the threatened attack upon the town. Upon this information, Col. Kimball's brigade and Capt. Huntington's battery, First Ohio, were immediately advanced upon the Strasburg road, the direction from which the enemy were approaching, and only a mile from the outskirts of the town met the enemy's battery in position at the right of the road, upon a hill, their guns all pointing down the turnpike. Capt. Huntington's battery was immediately placed in position likewise, at the right of the road and in a hollow; and Gen. Shields, with his staff, rode to the front, and himself gave the order to fire, when a shell from the enemy's battery exploded near him, a fragment striking his arm and causing a fracture of the long-bone, not making the slightest rupture of the skin. The skirmish closed at dusk, the only other accident of which was the killing of one of the artillerymen and one horse. During the fight Gen. Shields continued to give his orders as if nothing had happened, and in reply to an officer who asked, “You are hit, General, are you not?” he said, “Yes, I am, but say nothing of it,” and he continued to issue his commands with firmness and apparent unconcern, until the severity of his wound caused faintness, and he was necessarily removed from the field. Four times has the General now received wounds which have endangered his life--three times in Mexico, and now again. From early morning our pickets were engaged with the cavalry of the enemy, who rode up and down, in the woods and on the road, shooting at our men both from the saddle and dismounted. The firing brought out our artillery again to the position where the enemy had commenced to harass our pickets. The whole battle was conducted by General Shields, who issued his orders from his sick-room, two miles distant, at his headquarters in Winchester. The artillery, who had encamped near the place where the skirmish had occurred on the previous evening, were ordered to be reinforced by the entire command of Gen. Shields, composed of three brigades of infantry, the first commanded by Col. Nathan Kimball, of Indiana; the second by Col. I. C. Sullivan, of Indiana, and the third by Col. E. B. Tyler, of Ohio, whose command, leading the right wing, appeared most conspicuously throughout the battle. There were also engaged four and a half batteries of artillery, commanded by Lieut.-Col. P. Daum, and sixteen companies of cavalry, commanded by Col. Broadhead, of Michigan. Our pickets, whom the cavalry of the enemy had annoyed so much in the morning, were of the Eighth Ohio, and the remainder of their regiment was the first to come to their assistance, who engaged in a promiscuous fight with the enemy until the arrival of the full reinforcement of Gen. Shields' division, already enumerated, who immediately were put in line of battle, extending from a point a short distance to the left of the Strasburg turnpike, to a point two miles distant upon the right. The position chosen by our forces was nearly a mile from the rebel batteries, which they had posted upon the hills near the little town of Kernsville, like our own troops, mostly at the right-hand side of the road, a few guns only being posted upon the left. Tyler's brigade had the right wing, Kimball commanded the middle, and Sullivan the left wing. All of them were protected from the fire of the enemy by the intervening hills, upon which were placed our artillery, confronting the rebel batteries upon the top of the opposite hills, with about a mile distance between them. The cavalry was disposed in squadrons in reserve. There is a road which turns to the right away from the turnpike, and bends forward in the direction of the enemy — a poor, clay road — and as it approaches the enemy's lines, is covered with thick woods on either side. It was behind these woods that the enemy had placed their infantry and cavalry, and several pieces of artillery were in position commanding the road, extending also, as above described, as far as and even beyond the turnpike. From this position of the forces, the rebel infantry and cavalry being concealed by the woods opposite our right flank, it was evident that most was to be feared from the enemy in that quarter. Their first and heaviest fire was, however, opened by their artillery upon our left, they hoping by that means to draw our attention and forces in that direction, and by a sudden onset and charge of their infantry and cavalry upon our right, to outflank us. The attempt was entirely unsuccessful, and the fire was directed against the right. The forces thus placed were under a continual fire of the batteries of the enemy, returning the same most vigorously and constantly, while our men dropped down one after another, and the groans of the wounded were added to the roar of the artillery through five long hours, from half-past 10 to half-past 3. From that onward until dark the fight was one of musketry — of close hand-to-hand conflicts, of hazardous charges and of desperate slaughter. The order was given to the whole right wing to charge, and led on by Col. Tyler, they rushed fearlessly and fought bravely till the enemy was forced to retreat. We cannot attempt to give due credit to all who fought well, but those who most distinguished themselves must be mentioned, and among them the Fifth Ohio. When ordered to advance, they marched forward unflinching, supported by the Fourteenth and Thirteenth Indiana, and when in the very face of the enemy's cannon, and when they could almost touch them with their bayonets, a fire was opened upon them which killed instantly fifteen of them, and brought many of them wounded to the earth. The man who bore the colors was shot down, but another seized them and he was also killed, and the third had fallen, when Capt. Geo B. Wilcomb took them and bore them onward, and was also killed. In this gallant onset a colonel was killed--Colonel Murray, who while leading his regiment to the charge, fell dead from the shot of the enemy. The Seventh  Ohio suffered terribly while debouching through the woods which skirted the right-hand side of the narrow clay road. The enemy never exhibited themselves to view, but shot from behind their cover of stone walls or forest-trees; and it is very significant that among those of their dead who were left upon the field, not one but was shot through the head. The Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania suffered more than any other. This regiment, of which there were only three hundred engaged, lost twenty-three in killed and sixty-three in wounded, one third of them falling from the bullets of the enemy, and among them Colonel Murray, already alluded to, and Capt. Gregory and Lieut. Ream. Another of the unfortunates was Col. Thoburn, wounded in the arm and breast, not dangerously, however. The firing ceased, and the enemy fell rapidly back towards Newton. Gen. Banks had been called away to Washington, and was not present during the battle, but arrived this morning early, and resumed the command, and now follows up the enemy most vigorously, driving him very rapidly before him, and is to-night in Strasburg, expecting that the enemy will make a stand, so as to cover their baggage-trains. The Federal loss as ascertained thus far, is less than one hundred killed and two hundred wounded. The enemy's loss was much greater. Engaged in the battle on that side were twelve regiments of infantry, twenty-six pieces of artillery, and Ashby's cavalry, a magnificent regiment, and vastly superior to our own it must be acknowledged. Of these forces two hundred prisoners were taken, seized near the enemy's right wing by our Michigan cavalry, under Col. Broadhead. Ambulances were bringing in the wounded all the night and day, and of the enemy, those who were not taken off the field amounted to one hundred and fifty wounded. Not less than three hundred of the enemy were killed. Many have said that the severity of the battle was greater than that of Bull Run, and even Stonewall Jackson, in his retreat, declared to the country folks as he passed that he never had seen such fighting before. It was indeed terrific to behold, and I am told by one of the officers who mingled in the thickest of the fight, and who was himself through all the Crimean war, that he had never seen so terrible a fight. The number of surgeons was insufficient to attend to the wounded. Our experience was similar in North-Carolina, and a deficiency in the surgical department has been felt in every quarter of the army, whenever a large number of wounded fall in battle. Among those whom we have of the enemy's dead, the highest in rank is a major. Four wounded officers are prisoners; one of them has both eyes shot out. Hundreds of the enemy's muskets were taken, of every variety, from the very finest to altered flintlocks. Those who fought were all Virginians except an Irish regiment, who are said to have thrown down their arms twice and to have taken them again when Gen. Jackson ordered them to be fired into.
Richmond, Va., “Whig” account.1The subjoined account of Gen. Jackson's brilliant encounter with the enemy in the lower valley of Virginia should have reached us several days ago. It is from a distinguished and thoroughly reliable source, and we give it insertion, notwithstanding much of the information it imparts has been anticipated.
Staunton, March 31.I send you such particulars as I have been able to gather of the bloody battle near Winchester. It is impossible to get accurate accounts of the details of the conflict, as those engaged can only speak of what occurred in the range of their observation, and they were kept too busy to look much around them. From all accounts it was the most desperate contest of the war. Many who participated in both engagements think that Manassas was child's play compared with Winchester, and from the fact that the loss on our side was twenty per cent of the whole number engaged, and that of the enemy still greater, I am inclined to think their opinion is well founded. Gen. Jackson's official report will give the only reliable account of the battle as a whole; but we have gathered some facts from those engaged, and civilians, who left Winchester since the fight, which will shed some light on the subject. I learn from a reliable source that the number of infantry engaged on our side was two thousand two hundred. In addition to these were the Rockingham and Augusta batteries, and probably some others, making an aggregate force of about two thousand five hundred. The force of the enemy was about twelve thousand. For many hours our little band of heroes maintained their stand against the overwhelming hosts of the enemy, and finally withdrew in good order, when the increasing numbers of the foe threatened to surround them. The first rumor was, that Jackson had been caught in a trap, and dreadfully worsted. But this is altogether a mistake. Jackson was duly apprised of the movements of the enemy, and acted with his eyes wide open in the whole affair. His object was to give the enemy a foretaste of what they had to expect in the valley, and if they were satisfied with the result, I am sure “Old Stonewall” is. I learn through a gentleman who left Winchester on Tuesday, that Mr. Philip Williams and other gentlemen applied to the Federal commander for permission to bury our dead. This was granted, and the pious duty was performed in a suitable manner. The number of our dead was eighty-three, which has been increased by subsequent deaths to about ninety. Our whole loss in killed, wounded and prisoners was foul  hundred and sixty-five. Of these about two hundred were wounded. Most of the wounded have been brought to Staunton, where they are comfortably quartered and are cared for in the hospital, which has been established in the spacious and commodious buildings of the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind. I am happy to say that much the larger proportion of the wounds are slight, involving no permanent disability. The wounded are cheerful and anxious to be sufficiently restored to their respective commands. Reliable advices from Winchester represent the loss of the enemy in killed at near one thousand five hundred, and the wounded at a much larger figure. It is said that about three hundred and sixty dead bodies were brought to Winchester for transportation Northward. These, as we suppose, were the elite, whose friends were able to incur the cost of removal. The mass, of course, were buried in the neighborhood of the battle-field. Upon inquiring as to the cause of the disparity of the casualties in the two armies, I learn from some of our men that the enemy were so thick that it was impossible for our men to miss. Every shot took effect — if missing the column at which it was aimed, it was sure to hit in the rear. The most deadly strife occurred near the boundary of two fields which were separated by a stone wall. One of our regiments was in one field and six Yankee regiments in the other. At first they fired across the wall, but after a while each party advanced on a run, to get the benefit of the shelter of the wall; our men reached it first, and the Yankees were then about forty yards distant. Our men immediately dropped on their knees, and, taking deliberate aim, fired deadly volleys into the advancing lines of the enemy. The effect was terrific, and it is said that an Ohio and a Pennsylvania regiment, which were in advance, were almost annihilated. It is said that after this fire not more than twenty men of one of these regiments were left standing. I learn that the regiments engaged in this terrible contest were Burke's and Fulkerson's, which greatly distinguished themselves. Col. Echols is said to have acted with signal courage, coolness and ability, and I am happy to add that Col. Allen had an opportunity of putting the stamp of falsehood on the slanders that were circulated against him at Manassas. My informant remarked: “He had covered himself all over with glory.” In referring to these gentlemen, I do not wish to be regarded as, by imputation, disparaging others. Every man did his duty nobly, and I learn that Gen. Jackson expressed the opinion that they were a band of heroes. The Fifth Virginia regiment was held in reserve, and did not participate actively in the earlier part of the fight, but was called in to perform the perilous task of covering the retreat. This duty it performed nobly, losing many of its gallant members, but dealing death and destruction upon the enemy, who were kept at bay. We lost two guns in the battle--one from the Rockbridge and one from the Augusta battery. The Rockbridge gun was struck by a cannon-ball and disabled. The loss of the other was caused by the killing of one of the horses, which frightened the others, and caused them to turn suddenly and capsize the carriage. The enemy were close upon us, and left no time to replace it. Our men, however, cut out and secured all the horses but one, and he was cut out by the enemy, and escaped from them, and came galloping to our camp. It would seem as if even the horses were infected with the spirit of rebellion and hatred to the Yankees. Col. Echols' left arm was broken by a rifle or musket-ball, about four inches below the shoulder. He was quite comfortable when I visited him, and I hope will save his arm. The report here is, that the enemy lost eight or nine colonels, and a large number of officers of inferior grade. A large proportion of the Augusta militia went to join Jackson this day week, and the residue, who required a few days to make their preparations, are rapidly assembling to leave, this afternoon. As I write, the spirit-stirring drum and ear-piercing fife are calling them to their rendezvous. They are a noble set of man, and will give a good account of themselves. When they reach their destination Augusta will have in the field three regiments, besides Imboden's and Walter's batteries, and Patrick's and Sterrett's companies of cavalry. All the troops engaged in the battle near Winchester were, I believe, from Virginia, except a company or two from Maryland. I do not know all the regiments engaged. They were nine in number, but reduced to skeletons by furloughs. Among them were Allen's, Harman's, Fulkerson's, Patton's, Echols', Cummin's, Burke's, and Preston's, (now Moore's.) Allen's, Fulkerson's, Burke's, and Echols', I belive, suffered most.
To the Editor of the Whig:
To the Editor of the Whig: