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Doc. 53.-Fremont's pursuit of Jackson.

New-York Tribune account.

Fremont's headquarters, Mount Jackson, Va., June 3, 1862.
Gen. Fremont left Franklin on Sunday, May twenty-fifth. His troops were exhausted by previous forced marches to relieve Schenck and Milroy, from which they had not had time to recruit, and were weak from want of food. The first seven miles of road were only just not absolutely impassable by wagons. It was just such a road as cannot be found in the East, nor where an army has not passed. Wounded and sick were left at Franklin, because an attempt to carry them would have killed them. Nevertheless, with all its train of wagons, the army marched fifteen miles the first day. The next it reached Petersburgh, thirty miles from Franklin, at noon, and halted till Tuesday morning. Orders were then issued that knapsacks, tents, and baggage of every description that could possibly be dispensed with should be left behind. The knapsacks were stored in houses; officers were allowed a single valise. Five days rations of hard bread were issued to the troops, and on Tuesday the army advanced to Moorefield. It encamped in a valley five times broader, and infinitely more beautiful, than the valley at Franklin. On Wednesday the march was ten miles, the roads growing continually more difficult, and rain falling steadily. Col. Cluseret, commanding the rearguard, brought up his men with admirable rapidity, having remained in Franklin till Monday, reached Petersburgh at four o'clock Tuesday, and starting again at midnight, brought his troops to Moorefield by seven o'clock.

Thursday, the troops remained in camp, too much exhausted by their extraordinary fatigues and want of supplies to continue their march to any advantage. The delay was the result of a careful inspection of each brigade and regiment by the staff of Gen. Fremont, approved by the Medical Director, Dr. George Suckley. Refreshed by the halt, the army on Friday advanced to Wardensville, twenty miles distant. A reconnoissance had been made the day before by Lieut.-Col. Downey, of the Third Maryland regiment, Potomac Home Brigade, who, with one company of Indiana cavalry, explored both roads and the village. On his return he was halted by a rebel within thirty feet, and challenged. As he drew his pistol to reply, the soldier raised his carbine and fired. The ball struck the horse of Colonel Downey, and then passed through his coat at the shoulder. The horse fell, and with him the Colonel, who was stunned by the shock. Recovering, he charged at the head of his men, and drove through the town a large body of rebel cavalry which had posted itself to intercept his passage. Two of the rebels were killed, and several wounded, without loss on our side.

On Saturday, May thirty-first, the last of the intervening mountain ranges was crossed, and the western barrier of the Shenandoah Valley alone remained to be traversed. The troops pushed on twelve miles through the rain, and halted at night where the Winchester and Strasburgh roads divide. On the narrow ridges along which the path wound in constant ascent, there was no plain or table-land for camp. By the side of the road the tired troops dropped and slept under the partial shelter of open forests, many of them too wet and tired even to build fires. The General and his staff spent the night in a deserted and ruinous house at the angle of the roads, and shared together the floor, which, because a roof was over it, was a comfort and a luxury. For the troops, especially, it was rough preparation for the expected battle on to-morrow, but the spirit of the men was most admirable. It was nine o'clock in the evening before the main column came by the house, but they passed with elastic step, which only the depth of the mud made unsteady, and whole regiments went by singing as they marched, and sometimes cheering as they passed headquarters.

Next morning the sun came out. The advance moved at six o'clock, and by eight the whole column was in motion. An hour and a half after-ward, while the General and his staff, riding next the cavalry, were ascending one of the long hills which anywhere else would be mountains, suddenly came the sound of a gun from the front. In a moment a succession of quick reports followed, and announced unerringly that Col. Cluseret's brigade was engaged with the enemy.

The skirmish in advance is not very serious Cluseret's position is a good one for infantry, but Col. Pilsen sees at a glance that his artillery cannot be advantageously posted, and in the hope of inducing the enemy to advance, Cluseret is ordered to withdraw slowly. Four companies--two of the Sixtieth Ohio and two of the Eighth Virginia--were thrown out as skirmishers, and the contest was for a while rather eager. An effort of the enemy to flank the position was repulsed with a loss of seven wounded, five of the Eighth Virginia and two of the Sixtieth Ohio, whose names are given below, with other casualties since occurred. The cannonade ceased about eleven o'clock, and was not renewed. It was soon known that only the rear-guard or flanking column of Jackson had been engaged, while his main force passed hurriedly on over the Winchester and Strasburgh road.

But the wily rebel meant to run — not fight — and had succeeded in reaching Strasburgh just in season to pass between McDowell on the one side and Fremont on the other. I know nothing of the movements of the former, except that his advance-guard reached Strasburgh next morning, twelve hours after it had been entered by Col. Cluseret, but it is certain no efforts could have accelerated the march of the column under Gen. Fremont.

Cluseret was ordered on, entered Strasburgh in the evening, marching in a storm of rain, and thunder and lightning, such as only the mountains know. A reconnoissance was immediately sent out. The force advanced three or four miles

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J. C. Fremont (6)
Cluseret (6)
Stonewall Jackson (2)
Downey (2)
George Suckley (1)
Robert C. Schenck (1)
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R. H. Milroy (1)
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W. B. Franklin (1)
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June 3rd, 1862 AD (1)
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