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[377]

Chapter 15: the Army of the Potomac on the Virginia Peninsula.


General McCLELLAN'S batteries would all have been ready to open on the Confederate works on the morning of the 6th of May;
1862.
but there was then no occasion for their use, for those works were abandoned. So early as the 30th of April, Jefferson Davis and two of his so-called cabinet, and Generals Johnston, Lee, and Magruder, held a council at the Nelson House,1 where, after exciting debates, it was determined to evacuate Yorktown and its dependencies. A wholesome fear of the heavy guns of the Nationals, whose missiles had already given a foretaste of their terrible power, and also an expectation that the National gun-boats would speedily ascend the two rivers flanking the Confederate Army, caused this prudent resolution. The Merrimack had been ordered to Yorktown, but it had so great a dread of the watchful little Monitor that it remained at Norfolk. Already some war-vessels, and a fleet of transports with Franklin's troops, as we have observed, were lying securely in Posquotin River, well up toward Yorktown. These considerations caused immediate action on the resolutions of the council. The sick, hospital stores, ammunition, and camp equipage were speedily sent to Richmond, and on the night of the 3d of May, the Confederate garrisons at Yorktown and Gloucester, and the troops along the line of the Warwick, fled toward Williamsburg. Early the next morning
May 4.
General McClellan telegraphed to the Secretary of War that he was in possession of the abandoned [378] post, and added: “No time shall be lost. I shall push the enemy to the wall.” 2

At that hour a vigorous pursuit of the fugitives had begun by the cavalry and horse-artillery under General Stoneman, followed along the Yorktown road by the divisions of Generals Joseph Hooker and Philip Kearney, and on the Winn's Mill road, which joins the former within two miles of Williamsburg, by the divisions of Generals W. F. Smith, Darius N. Couch, and Silas Casey. Those of Generals Israel B. Richardson, John Sedgwick, and Fitz-John Porter, were moved to the vicinity of Yorktown, to be ready to go forward as a supporting force, if required, or to follow Franklin's division, which was to be sent up the York River to West Point, to co-operate with the pursuing force on the flank of the fugitives, and to seize that terminus of the Richmond and York River railway. General Heintzelman was at first charged with the direction of the pursuit, but the General-in-Chief changed his mind, and directed General Edwin V. Sumner, his second in command, to go forward and conduct the operations of the pursuers. McClellan remained at Yorktown, to make arrangements for the dispatch of Franklin up the York.

The Confederates had, some months before, constructed a line of strong works, thirteen in number, across the gently rolling plateau on which Williamsburg stands. These were two miles in front of that city at the narrowest part of the Peninsula the right resting on a deep ravine near the James River, and the left on Queen's Creek, near the York River. The principal work was Fort

Edwin V. Sumner.

Magruder, close by the junction of the Yorktown and Winn's Mill roads. It was an earth-work with bastion front, its crest measuring nearly half a mile, surrounded by a wet ditch, and heavily armed. The others were redoubts, similar to those cast up around Washington City. At these works the retreating Confederates left a strong rear-guard to check the pursuers, while the main body should have time to place the Chickahominy River between it and the advancing Nationals. [379]

When Stoneman approached these lines he was met by Confederate cavalry, and these, with the guns of Fort Magruder and its immediate supporters, caused him to halt, fall back about four miles, and wait for the infantry. Hearing of this repulse, Hooker, who was not far in the rear of a brick church on the Yorktown road, was impatient to move forward, but the way was blocked by Smith's division. Therefore he sought and obtained leave of Heintzelman to throw his command on the Hampton or Warwick road; and in the mean time Sumner, with Smith's division, moved on to the point where Stoneman was halting, at five o'clock in the evening. These bivouacked for the night. Hooker pressed forward along the Hampton road, and took position on the left of Smith's at near midnight. Rain was then falling copiously, and the roads were rendered almost impassable. There all rested until dawn,

May 5, 1862.
when Hooker again pressed forward, and at half-past 5 came in sight of the Confederate works, the spires of Williamsburg appearing in the distance across the open level land. Before the Nationals for nearly half a mile the way was obstructed by felled trees, and the open plain beyond was thickly dotted with rifle-pits.

Knowing that thirty thousand troops were within supporting distance of him, and the bulk of the Potomac Army within four hours march, Hooker made an immediate advance upon the Confederate works, believing that he could sustain a conflict until aid might reach him, if needed. At half-past 7 o'clock General Grover was directed to make the attack, by sending into the felled timber the First Massachusetts on the left, and the Second New Hampshire on the right, with orders to skirmish up to the verge of the open fields, to pick off the Confederate sharp-shooters and artillerists. At the same time the Eleventh Massachusetts and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania were directed to form on the right of the New Hampshire regiment, and advance as skirmishers until they should reach the Yorktown road; while Weber's battery was pushed forward into the open field, within seven hundred yards of Fort Magruder. This drew the fire of the Confederates,. which killed four of the artillerists and drove off the remainder. The battery was soon re-manned by volunteers from Osborn's, and with the assistance of Bramhall's, which was now brought into action, and also sharp-shooters, Fort Magruder was soon silenced, and the Confederates in sight on the plain were, dispersed.

Patterson's brigade (Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth New Jersey) was; charged with the support of these batteries, and was soon heavily engaged with Confederate infantry and sharp-shooters, who now appeared in great numbers. Hitherto the opponents of the Nationals were composed of only the Confederate rear-guard; now Longstreet's division, which had passed on through Williamsburg, had been sent back by Johnston to support that rear-guard, for the pressure of the pursuers was greater than the hitherto tardy movements of McClellan had given reason to expect. These were fresh and strong, and Hooker was compelled to send the First Massachusetts. and Seventieth and Seventy-second New York (Excelsior Brigade), under Brigadier-general Grover, to the aid of Patterson. In the mean time the Eleventh Pennsylvania and Twenty-sixth Massachusetts had reached the Yorktown road, and Colonel Blaisdell, who led them, was directed to clear [380] that way for the advance of the National forces, and form a connection with Heintzelman's corps.

Hooker was sorely pressed. The Confederates were heavily massed in front of Patterson and his supports. At half-past 11 o'clock he sent a note to Heintzelman, asking immediate assistance. That officer was absent, and Hooker was obliged to fight on unaided. At one o'clock the l battle had assumed gigantic proportions, and Hooker's last regiments (Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth New York) had been sent into the fight. He was losing heavily and making no apparent head-way, for as the conflict progressed fresh Confederate troops under Pickett, Gholson, Pryor, and others hastened back from the direction — of the Chickahominy to assist their struggling comrades, until a large portion of Johnston's army in that region were in the conflict. Three times the Confederates had made fierce charges on Hooker's center, with the hope of breaking his line, but were repulsed, and as

Excelsior brigade.

often the places of the defeated ones were filled with fresh troops. Once a dash was made from the direction of Fort Magruder, which resulted in the capture of five of Weber's guns, and between two hundred and three hundred prisoners.

For almost nine consecutive hours Hooker's division fought the foe unaided,3 excepting by the brigade of General J. J. Peck, of Couch's division, which arrived on the field early in the afternoon, and was posted on Hooker's right. There it acted as a continually repelling foil to the attacks of the Confederates, until near night, when it was relieved by two other of Couch's brigades. Finally the ammunition of some of Hooker's regiments, and also of the artillery, began to fail,4 and no supply train had yet come up. The rain had made much of the road between Yorktown and Williamsburg an almost impassable slough, through which, and over the little wooded hills, whose trees the fugitives had cast in the way, and across miry ravines coursed by swollen brooks, cannon and wagons had to be dragged with almost a snail's pace. Hooker had called repeatedly on Sumner for help, but could get none, for that officer had ordered a large portion of the troops in hand to the right, under Hancock, to keep the Confederates in check in that direction, and to flank the works if possible.5 So he fought on, maintaining his ground until between four and five o'clock, when the gallant and dashing Philip Kearney came up with his division, with orders [381] from Heintzelman (who with his staff had arrived on the ground early in the afternoon) to relieve Hooker's worn and fearfully thinned regiments. Kearney pressed to the front, and Hooker's troops withdrew from the fight and rested as a reserve. They had lost in the battle one thousand seven hundred of their companions.

Kearney deployed Berry's brigade to the left of the Williamsburg road, and Birney's to the right, and at the same time two companies of Poe's

Boad between Yorktown and Williamsburg.

Second Michigan were pressed forward to cover the movement, and drive back Confederate skirmishers, who were almost silencing the National batteries. Thus Major Wainwright, Hooker's chief of artillery, was enabled to collect his gunners and re-open the fire from several quiet pieces. At that moment the fearfully shattered New Jersey Fifth went promptly to their support. The battle, which was lagging when Kearney arrived, was renewed with spirit, and the Nationals began to slowly push back their foe.

The heavy felled timber prevented all direct forward movement, and Kearney ordered the Thirty-eighth New York (Scott Life-guard), Colonel Hobart Ward, to charge down the road and take the rifle-pits in the center of the abatis by their flank. This duty was gallantly performed, with a loss to the regiment of nine of its nineteen officers. It did not quite accomplish Kearney's full desire, and he ordered the left wing of the Fortieth New York (Mozart), Colonel Riley, to charge up the open field and take the rifle-pits in reverse. Riley was hotly engaged in front, and the movement was performed under the lead of Captain Mindil, Birney's chief of staff, and the Confederates were driven out. By this time the rear brigade of the division [382] had been brought up by General Jameson, and a second line was established under a severe fire. Disposition was at once made for further vigorous operations, when profound darkness fell upon the armies, the struggle ceased, and the wearied National soldiers rested on the soddened battle-field.

Meanwhile Hancock had been successfully engaged in his flank movement. He had been dispatched by General Smith at an early hour, with about twenty-five hundred men,6 to seize and hold an unoccupied redoubt at the extreme left of the Confederate position, which had been thrown up by Magruder,

Site of the Dam.7

but was unknown to Johnston and his officers. It was upon a high bank above a ravine commanding a dam on Cub Dam Creek, a little tributary of Queen's Creek, about a mile and a half eastward of the Yorktown road. Hancock d crossed the creek, took possession of the redoubt without opposition, and also of another one twelve hundred yards in advance of it, which was unoccupied. Two more redoubts stood between these and Fort Magruder, and a few shells and the bullets of sharp-shooters soon drove the Confederates from them. But Hancock's force was too small to make their occupation by it a prudent act, and he determined to wait for re-enforcements.

The occupation of the two redoubts on his extreme left by Hancock was the first intimation that Johnston had of their existence. He at once perceived the importance of the position, for it was on the flank and rear of the Confederate line of defense, and seriously menaced its integrity. He directed General Hill to send a sufficient force to drive back the Nationals, and to this duty General Jubal Early, with a force of Virginia and North Carolina troops, was assigned.

Hancock had earnestly called for re-enforcements, but they did not come. Twice General Smith had been ordered to send them, and each time the order was countermanded just as they were about to move, for Sumner was unwilling, he said, to risk the center by weakening it. So, instead of re-enforcements, Hancock received an order to fall back to his first position. He was slow to obey, for he felt the importance of his forward movement, but when, at about. five o'clock, he saw the two redoubts nearest Fort Magruder [383] re-occupied by Confederates, and a force moving on his front, and pressing forward with the war-cry of “Bull Run! Bull Run!” he retired beyond the crest of a ridge, not far from the dam, disputing the ground as he fell back, and there formed a line of battle and awaited Early's approach. When that force was within thirty paces of his line he ordered a general bayonet-charge. This was executed with the most determined spirit. The Confederates broke and fled with precipitation, with a loss of over five hundred men. Hancock held his position until Smith sent re-enforcements, by order of McClellan, who had arrived near the field of action, and soon afterward the contest ceased all along the line. So ended the battle of Williamsburg. That post was

Battle of Williamsburg.8

already won, for Hancock held the key of the position. McClellan reported the entire National loss in this battle at two thousand two hundred and twenty-eight, of whom four hundred and fifty-six were killed and fourteen hundred wounded.9 That of the Confederates was, according to careful estimates, about one thousand.

This battle, in which so much of the precious blood of the young men of the country was shed,10 appears to have been fought without any controlling mind in charge of the movement, or much previous knowledge of the locality and the Confederate works. The Commander-in-Chief was twelve [384] miles distant during most of the battle, and did not arrive near the field until near its close. A sudden change of commanders conducting the pursuit seems to have produced some confusion and misapprehension. When Kearney arrived on the field he ranked Hooker; and all day long there was uncertainty as to who was in command, each general appearing to fight as he considered best.11 In consequence of this there was great confusion in the advance. The troops of different commands became mixed, and much delay ensued. So much was a head needed, and so tardy were re-enforcements, that while Hooker was heavily engaged, at noon, Governor Sprague and the Prince de Joinville rode in great haste to Yorktown, to urge McClellan to go immediately to the front. “I suppose those in front can attend to that little matter,” was his short reply; but he was finally induced to mount his horse at two o'clock, and at five, when Kearney and Hancock were about giving the blow that won the victory, he approached the battle-field, ascertained that more than “a skirmish with the rebel rear-guard” was in progress, and gave some orders. The fighting soon afterward ceased, and he countermanded his order on leaving Yorktown for the divisions of Sedgwick and Richardson to advance, and directed them to accompany Franklin to West Point.

At ten o'clock that night, when Longstreet had commenced his flight from Williamsburg with such haste as to leave nearly eight hundred of his wounded men to become prisoners, and was following the more advanced of Johnston's army, in a rapid march toward the Chickahominy, McClellan telegraphed to the War Department, from “Bivouac in front of Williamsburg,” that the Confederates were before him in force, probably greater than his own, and strongly intrenched. He assured the Secretary, however, that he should “run the risk of holding them in check there.” 12 Experts on both sides (among them several of McClellan's Generals) declared their belief that,. had the fugitives been promptly and vigorously pursued the next morning, the National army might easily have followed them right into Richmond;13 but the Commanding General, in his report, made fifteen months afterward, declared that the mud was too adhesive to allow him to follow the retreating forces along the roads which the latter traveled with such celerity. They were safely encamped under the shelter of the fortifications around Richmond before he was ready to move forward from Williamsburg.

On the morning after the battle

May 6, 1862,
the National troops took possession of Williamsburg, and General McClellan, from the house of Mr. Vest, Johnston's late Headquarters, telegraphed to the Secretary of War a brief account of the events of the previous day, and concluded with the prediction that was so terribly fulfilled--“We have other [385] battles to fight before reaching Richmond.” At Williamsburg the pursuit really ended, and Johnston was permitted to place the Chickahominy and its malarious borders between himself and his tardy opponent.

The flank movement up the York was not commenced in time to perform its intended service as such. Franklin's long waiting division was not dispatched for that purpose until the day of the battle at Williamsburg, when it was debarked at Yorktown and re-embarked. It arrived at the head of York that night, and on the following morning

May 6, 1862.
Newton's brigade landed and took position on a plain of a thousand acres of open land, on the right bank of the Pamunkey, one of the streams that form the York river.14 Within twenty-fours hours afterward Franklin's whole division had encamped there, and gun-boats had quietly taken possession of West Point, between the

Vests House.15

two rivers, and the National flag was unfurled over that little village, from which every white person had fled. In the mean time General Dana had arrived with a part of Sedgwick's division, but remained on the transports. The divisions of Richardson and Porter soon followed.

No signs of Confederate troops appeared at first, but that night one of Franklin's vedettes was shot near the woods that bordered the edge of the plain. On the following morning a considerable force of Confederates was seen, when Dana landed, and the Sixteenth, Thirty-first, and Thirty-second New York, and the Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania, were ordered to drive from the woods what was supposed to be a body of scouts lurking there in front of a few Confederate regiments. They pushed into the forest and were met by Whiting's division and other troops, forming the rear-guard of Johnston's retreating forces, when a spirited engagement began, chiefly by Hood's Texas brigade and Hampton's (South Carolina) Legion, on the part of the Confederates. The contest was continued for three or four hours, when the cannon on the gun-boats, and batteries that were speedily landed, drove the foe from their shelter in the woods, and kept them at bay. In this encounter the Nationals lost one hundred and ninety-four men, mostly of the Thirty-first and Thirty-Second New York. The loss of the Confederates was small. The National force now at the head of York was sufficient to hold it firmly, as a secure base of supplies for the Army of the Potomac.

As we have observed, McClellan's pursuit of Johnston nearly ended at Williamsburg, where his sick and wounded were placed in the buildings [386] of the venerable William and Mary College, and in portions of the Asylum for the Insane. While these were thus provided for, the men fit for duty were allowed to rest more than two days, until the main body of the army moving up from the direction of Yorktown should arrive. Then, on the 8th,

May, 1862.
General Stoneman was sent forward with the advance to open a communication with Franklin, at the head of York, followed by Smith's division, on the most direct road to Richmond, by way of New Kent Court-House. The roads were left in a wretched condition by the fugitive Confederate Army, and the General-in-Chief, with the advance portion of his force, did not reach the vicinity of the White House,16 at the head of the navigation of the Pamunkey, and about eighteen miles from Richmond, until the 16th. He arrived at Tunstall's Station, on the Richmond and York River railway, on the 18th, and on the 22d he made his Headquarters at Cool Arbor,17 not far from the Chickahomminy, and between eight and nine miles from Richmond. His advanced light troops had reached Bottom's

The modern “White House.”

bridge, on the Chickahominy, at the crossing of the New Kent road, two days before. The Confederates had destroyed the bridge, but left the point uncovered. Casey's division of Keyes's corps was thrown across,
May 20.
and occupied the heights on the Richmond side of the stream, supported by Heintzelman. [387]

In the mean time a most important movement had been made in McClellan's rear by the Confederates at Norfolk, and by General Wool at Fortress Monroe. Wool, who saw the eminent advantage of the James River as a highway for the supplies of an army on the Peninsula, had, ever since McClellan decided to take that route to Richmond, urged the Government to allow him to attempt the capture of Norfolk, and thus make the breaking up of the blockade of the James an easy matter. But it was not until after the evacuation of Yorktown, when President Lincoln and Secretaries Chase and Stanton visited Fortress Monroe, that his suggestions were favorably considered. He then renewed his recommendations; and when, on the 8th,

May, 1862.
he received positive information that Huger (who, with Burnside in his rear and McClellan on his flank, saw that his position was untenable) was preparing to evacuate that post, orders were given for an immediate attempt to seize Sewell's Point, and march on Norfolk. Arrangements were made with Commodore Goldsborough to co-operate; and a large number of troops were embarked on transports then lying in Hampton Roads. Goldsborough attacked the Confederate batteries on the point, which replied with spirit. The Merrimack came out to assist

McClellan's Headquarters at Cool Arbor.

them, when the National vessels withdrew, and the troops were disem barked. The enterprise was abandoned for the timer but information that reached Headquarters a few hours later revived it.

On the following day General Wool, with Colonel T. J. Cram (his Inspector-general, and an accomplished topographical engineer) and Secretary Chase, made a reconnaissance toward Willoughby's Point, and along the coast toward the sea, when it was decided to land five thousand troops at a summer watering-place called Ocean View, by which the works on Sewell's Point could be taken in reverse, and a direct route to Norfolk be opened. The troops were again embarked, and a bombardment was opened on Sewell's Point from Fort Wool, in the Rip Raps,18 to deceive the Confederates with the appearance of a design to renew the attempt to land there.

At a little past midnight, the troops, artillery, infantry, and cavalry,19 under the immediate command of Brigadier-general Max Weber, were in readiness for debarkation at Ocean View, and early in the morning

May 10, 1862.
[388] a landing was effected unopposed, under the direction of Colonel Cram. The water was so shallow that the troops were compelled to pass ashore on platforms laid on old canal barges. The entire movement was successful; and at eight o'clock in the morning General Wool, accompanied by the President and the two Secretaries, and Generals Mansfield and Viele, took command in person. The infantry were immediately pushed forward to secure the bridge over Tanner's Creek.20 They found it on fire, and received shot from cannon on the opposite side of the stream. Supposing this to indicate intended opposition, the artillery was hurried forward, but on its arrival the foe had disappeared. The troops pushed forward, and at five o'clock in the afternoon reached the lines of the strongly intrenched camp of the Confederates, where they found twenty-nine

Wool's Landing-place at Ocean view.

mounted cannon, but no troops. Onward they marched, and just before reaching the city they were met by a flag of truce, heralding the approach of the Mayor with a proposition to surrender the town. Huger had been instructed not to attempt to hold the city against any demonstration of National troops; and when he was informed that Wool had landed at Ocean View, he turned over Norfolk to the keeping of Mayor Lamb, and with his troops fled towards Richmond. Norfolk was formally surrendered to General Wool; and from the City Hall he issued an order announcing the fact, appointing General Viele Military Governor, and directing that all the rights and privileges of peaceable citizens should be carefully protected. The venerable commander then rode back to Ocean View (thus making a journey on horseback that day of thirty-five miles), and reached Fortress Monroe at near midnight with the pleasing intelligence of his success, for the anxious President and Secretary of War. On the following morning he [389] received publicly expressed thanks for his achievement.21 At dawn the same morning a bright light was seen in the direction of Norfolk, and then an explosion was heard. The fleeing Confederates had set the Merrimack, other vessels, and the Navy Yard on fire, and by a slow match communicating with her magazine, the monster ram was blown into fragments.22 Sewell's Point and Craney Island, both strongly fortified, were abandoned.23 The Confederate gun-boats in the James River fled toward Richmond, and the navigation of that stream was opened to the National vessels.24 The Confederates destroyed all they could by fire before they departed, but left about two hundred cannon in fair condition, to become spoils of victory. Two unfinished armored vessels were among those destroyed.

While the stirring events we have just considered were occurring in Southeastern Virginia, important military movements were seen in the Shenandoah Valley and the adjacent region on both sides of the Blue Ridge. There were three distinct Union armies in that region, acting independently of, but in co-operation with, the Army of the Potomac. One was in the Mountain Department, under Fremont; another in the Department of the Shenandoah, under Banks; and a third in the newly created Department of the Rappahannock, under McDowell. At about the time of the siege of Yorktown, early in April, General Fremont was at Franklin, in Pendleton County, over the mountains west of Harrisonburg, with fifteen thousand men; General Banks was at Strasburg, in the Valley, with about sixteen thousand; and General McDowell was at Fredericksburg, on the Rappahannock, with thirty thousand.

When the appearance of McClellan on the Peninsula drew Johnston's main body from the Rapid Anna to the defense of Richmond, Washington was relieved, and McDowell's corps was ordered forward to co-operate with the Army of the Potomac; and for this purpose Shields's division was detached from Banks's command and given to McDowell, making the force of the latter about forty-one thousand men and one hundred guns. Such was the disposition of the National forces in Virginia at the close of April, when “Stonewall Jackson,” who, as we have observed, was driven up the Shenandoah Valley after his defeat by Shields at Kernstown, again commenced offensive operations.

Jackson remained a few days at Mount Jackson, after his flight from Winchester, and then took a position between the South Fork of the Shenandoah [390] and Swift Run Gap, eastward of Harrisonburg, in Rockingham County. There he was joined

April 30, 1862.
by the division of General R. S. Ewell, from Gordonsville, and also two brigades under Edward S. Johnson, who had an independent command in Southwestern Virginia. Jackson's entire force was now about fifteen thousand men, while General Banks was lying at Harrisonburg, not far away, his force reduced to about five thousand men by the withdrawal of Shields's division.

Jackson was watching Banks closely, with orders to hold him, while General Lee, with a strong column, should push beyond the Rappahannock to cut off the communication between Winchester and Alexandria,25 when he was startled by the information that one of Fremont's brigades, under General Milroy, was approaching from the direction of Monterey, either to join Banks or to fall upon Staunton. He perceived that such a junction, or the occupation of Staunton, might give to the, Nationals the possession of the, Shenandoah Valley, and he took immediate measures to prevent the catastrophe. Leaving Ewell to watch Banks, he moved rapidly upon Staunton, and from that point sent Johnson, with five brigades, to attack Milroy. The latter, greatly outnumbered, fell back to the Bull Pasture Mountains and took post at McDowell, thirty-six miles west of Staunton, whither Schenck hastened with a part of his brigade to assist him. Jackson had also hurried. from Staunton to assist Johnson, and on the 8th he appeared with a large force on a ridge overlooking the National camp, and commenced planting a battery there. Milroy led a force to dislodge him,26 and for about five hours a battle, varying in intensity, was fought with great gallantry on both sides. Darkness put an end to the conflict. Schenck (who ranked Milroy) saw that the position of the Nationals was untenable, and by his direction the whole force retreated during the night to Franklin, having lost two hundred and fifty-six men, of whom one hundred and forty-five were only slightly wounded. Jackson reported a loss of four hundred and sixty-one, of whom three hundred and ninety were wounded. Among the latter was General Johnson. It was a fairly drawn fight, and yet Jackson, whose troops largely outnumbered the Nationals, and had every advantage of position, sent a trumpet-toned note to Ewell the next morning, saying, “Yesterday God gave us the victory at McDowell.”

Jackson pursued the Nationals to Franklin, where he heard from Ewell that Banks was evidently preparing to fly from Harrisonburg. So he hastened back to McDowell, recrossed the Shenandoah mountains to Lebanon Sulphur Springs, rested a little, and then pressed forward to fall upon Banks. The latter had fled to Strasburg pursued by Ewell, and Jackson pushed on,, joining the latter at New Market. Then he led the united forces into the Luray Valley, between the Massanutten Mountain and the Blue Ridge, and hastened toward Front Royal, to cut off Banks's retreat in that direction, [391] if he should attempt to join McDowell by way of the Manassas Gap railroad.

Ashby's cavalry so perfectly masked this movement that Banks was not aware of it, and almost without a warning Ewell fell

May 28, 1862.
with crushing force on the little garrison of Front Royal, of about a thousand men, under Colonel Kenly.27 That gallant Marylander28 made a spirited resistance against the overwhelming force, ten times his own in

Fac-Simile of Jackson's note to Ewell.29

number, but he was driven from the town. He made a stand on a ridge a mile distant, from which he was soon pushed across the river. He attempted to burn the bridge behind him over the Shenandoah, but failed. His pursuers put out the flames, and he was soon overtaken by the cavalry of Ashby and Flournoy, when he again gave battle. In that encounter he was severely [392] wounded, and himself and seven hundred of his men, with a section of rifled 10-pounders and his entire supply-train, fell into the hands of the victors.30

Banks was at Strasburg, about fifteen miles distant, unsuspicious of great danger being so near, when, at evening, he was startled by intelligence of Kenly's disaster, and the more astounding news that Jackson, at the head of about twenty thousand men,31 was rapidly making his way toward Winchester. It was Jackson's intention to cut Banks off from re-enforcements and capture or disperse his troops. Banks had perceived his danger too soon, and with his usual energy and skill he resumed his flight down the valley at nine o'clock the next morning,

May 24, 1862.
his train in front, escorted by cavalry and infantry, and with a rear-guard or covering force of cavalry and six pieces of artillery, under the command of General John P. Hatch. The vanguard was led by Colonel Dudley Donnelly, and the center by Colonel George H. Gordon.

Just as the column had passed Cedar Creek, three miles from Strasburg, word came that the train had been attacked at Middletown, two miles farther on. The news was instantly followed by a host of frightened fugitives, refugees, and wagons, “which,” says Banks, “came tumbling to the rear in wretched confusion.” The column was instantly reorganized, with the train in the rear,32 and Colonel Donnelly, pushing on to Middletown, encountered a small Confederate force there, which was easily driven back on the Front Royal road by Knipe's Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, supported by Cochran's New York Battery and the Twenty-eighth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Brown. Broadhead's First Michigan cavalry now took the lead, and soon reported the road clear to Winchester, thirteen miles below Middletown; but before Banks's main body had all passed the latter village, the Confederates occupied it in large numbers. The rear-guard were compelled to fall back to Strasburg. Making a circuit to the Northward, Tompkins's First Vermont cavalry rejoined Banks at Winchester the next morning, and De Forest's Fifth New York cavalry made its way among the mountains of the Potomac with a train of thirty-two wagons and many stragglers, and joined Banks at Clear Spring. The main column meanwhile had moved on and encountered a Confederate force near Newton, eight miles from Winchester, which was repulsed by the Second Massachusetts, Twenty-eighth New York, and Twenty-seventh Indiana; and by midnight

May 24.
the extraordinary race for Winchester was won by Banks, who had made a masterly retreat with very little loss, and had concentrated his infantry and artillery there. Broadhead's cavalry first entered the city. [393]

The retreating troops found very little time for rest. The Confederates, composed entirely of Ewell's corps, were closing around them in vast numbers compared to their own. Banks's force was less than seven thousand effective men, with ten Parrott guns and a battery of 6-pounders, smooth-bore cannon. The Confederate force was full twenty thousand in number. The leaders of the latter felt confident that on the morrow they would see the capture or destruction of their opponents. Yet they did not idly revel in these pleasing anticipations. Like a vigilant soldier, as he was, Ewell, who bivouacked within a mile and a half of Winchester, began operations to that end before the dawn. The equally vigilant Banks

Richard S. Ewell.

was on the alert, and at daylight his troops were in battle order. Colonel Gordon, commanding the right, was strongly posted on a ridge, a little south of the city, and Colonel Donnelly was in charge of the left. Near the center, the troops were well sheltered from their foes by stone walls. General Hatch (who was cut off at Middletown), with Tompkins's cavalry, had rejoined the army just in time to participate in the battle.

The battle opened furiously in front of Winchester.

May 25, 1862.
Ewell had placed a heavy body of troops on the Berryville road, to prevent re-enforcements reaching Banks from Harper's Ferry, and regiments were heavily massed on the National right, with the evident intention of turning it. This danger was so boldly and bravely met, that the Confederates were kept in check for five hours by a steady and most destructive fire.33

In the mean time Jackson's whole force had been ordered up,34 and Banks's signal officers reported the apparition of regimental standards in sight that indicated a strength equal to twenty-five thousand men. The Union commander perceived that further resistance would be only a prelude to destruction. In anticipation of this contingency, his trains had been sent toward the Potomac, and now an order for retreat was given. Under a most galling fire of musketry the army broke into a column of march, and, covered by a rear-guard composed of the Second Massachusetts and Third Wisconsin, passed rapidly through Winchester, assailed in the streets by the secessionists [394] of both sexes.35 On leaving the city in some confusion (but finally in good order), it moved rapidly on toward Martinsburg, twenty-two miles distant, in three columns, and reached that point late in the afternoon. There the wearied and battle-worn soldiers rested less than two hours, and then, pressing on twelve miles farther, reached the Potomac, opposite Williamsport, in the course of the evening,36 where soon afterward a thousand camp-fires were blazing on the hill-sides. Jackson had halted his infantry a short distance from Winchester, but George H. Stewart had followed the fugitives with cavalry to Martinsburg, where the pursuit was abandoned. Three days later a Confederate brigade of infantry drove a small Union force out of Charlestown.

Within the space of forty-eight hours after hearing of Kenly's disaster at Front Royal, Banks, with his little army, had marched fifty-three miles, with an overwhelming force on his flank and immediate rear a part of the way, and fought several skirmishes and a severe battle. Jackson attributed his failure to crush Banks to the misconduct of Ashby and his cavalry, who, stopping to pillage the abandoned wagons of Banks's train between Middletown and Newton, did not come up in time to pursue the fugitives after the battle at Winchester.37

After menacing Harper's Ferry, where General Rufus Saxton was in command, Jackson began

May 80, 1862.
as hasty a retreat up the Valley as Banks had made down it, for he was threatened with immediate peril. General Shields, as we have observed, had been ordered to join McDowell in a movement toward Richmond, to co-operate with McClellan. He reached McDowell's camp with eleven thousand men on the day of the battle of Winchester.
May 23.
On the following day the President and Secretary of War arrived there, when McDowell, whose army was then forty-one thousand strong, was ordered to move toward Richmond on the 26th. That order was countermanded a few hours later, for, on their return to Washington, the President and his War Minister were met by startling tidings from the Shenandoah Valley. The safety of the National capital seemed to be in great peril, and McDowell was ordered to push twenty thousand men into the Valley by way of the Manassas Gap Railroad, to intercept Jackson if he should retreat. At the same time Fremont was ordered by telegraph to hasten with his army over the Shenandoah Mountain to Harrisonburg for the same purpose, and with the hope that he and the troops from McDowell might join at Strasburg in time to head [395] off Jackson. McDowell obeyed, but with a heavy heart, for, he said, “it is a crushing blow to us all.”

Fremont's army made as rapid a march as possible over the mountain region, through drenching rains, and with five days rations of hard bread. He took a more northerly road to the Valley than the one from Franklin to Harrisonburg, and reached Strasburg on the evening of the 1st of June, a little too late to intercept Jackson, for the latter had passed through that town a few hours before. Next morning Shields's vanguard of cavalry, under General Bayard, reached Strasburg, too late likewise for the intended service of interception. And now began a race up the Valley as exciting as the one down it ten days before. Shields marched vigorously up the South fork of the Shenandoah, between the Massanutten Mountains and the Blue, Ridge, along the lateral Luray Valley, hoping to head his foe at some point above, while Fremont followed directly in his rear, up the North fork, along the great pike to Harrisonburg. The rains had swelled many of the little mountain tributaries of the Shenandoah into torrents too formidable to ford, with safety, and Jackson destroyed all the bridges behind him, and sent cavalry through the Massanutten passes to break down or burn those in front; of Shields. Thus he kept his prisoners at least a day in his rear, reaching Harrisonburg on the 5th of June.

Jackson now perceived that his only chance for escape was to cross the swollen Shenandoah at Port Republic, where there was a strong bridge; so, after a brief rest, he diverged to the southeast from the pike to Staunton,, for that purpose. Another object in view was to prevent Shields, who was. near at hand on the east side of the river, crossing the stream or forming a, junction “with Fremont, when the united forces would equal his own in” numbers.

Jackson's rear was well covered with his cavalry (Second and Sixth Virginia), under General Turner Ashby. About two miles from Harrisonburg this rear-guard was attacked by a reconnoitering party of cavalry,, under Colonel Percy Wyndham. A smart skirmish ensued, and at first the. Nationals were repulsed, with the loss of that leader and sixty-three of his. men, who were made prisoners.38 General Bayard and Colonel Cluseret then pushed forward with cavalry and infantry, when Ashby, hard pressed, called for an infantry support. General Stewart's brigade was ordered up, and was soon engaged in a sharp fight, in which the little band of Kane's Pennsylvanians (Bucktail Rifles) performed uncommon deeds of valor. Kane was wounded and made prisoner, and lost fifty-five of his men. Ashby was, killed. His death was a severe blow for the Confederates. They regarded his loss as equal to that of a regiment, for he was one of the most fearless. and enterprising of their cavalry commanders.39

Fremont was so close upon the Confederates, that the latter were obliged to turn and fight before attempting the passage of the Shenandoah at Port Republic. Jackson left Ewell with three brigades (Elzy's, Trimble's, and [396] Stewart's) of the rear division of his army at Union Church, about seven miles from Harrisonburg, to keep back the Nationals and gain time, while he should throw forward his own division to cover the bridge at Port Republic, five miles farther on, and prevent Shields from crossing it.

Ewell strongly posted his force, about five thousand strong, on a ridge that crossed the road near the church, with his flanks well protected by woods. This excellent position was chosen by General vance of the center; Stewart was on the right, and Elzy on the left. In that position he was attacked on Sunday morning, the 7th,

June, 1862.
by Fremont, who had moved out of Harrisonburg at six

A. Elzy.

o'clock, and at nine was ready for battle. Schenck was on the right,40 Milroy in the center,41 and General Stahl on the left,42 forming a line about a mile and a half in length. Between Milroy's right and Schenck's left were the Sixtieth Ohio, Eighth Virginia, and the Garibaldi Guards of Blenker's division, commanded by Colonel Cluseret. Stahl's wing was supported by Bohlen's brigade, and the remainder of Blenker's division was held as a reserve. The Nationals moved steadily to the attack, down through a little valley and up a slope, in the face of a storm-of shot and shell. At eleven o'clock the conflict was general and severe. It was specially so at the center, and continued several hours, Milroy and Schenck all the while gaining ground; the former with heavy loss. The brunt of the battle fell upon him and Stahl, and upon Trimble on the part of the Confederates. Stahl's troops

Union Church at Cross Keys.43

finally gave way, and an order was given at about four o’Clock for the whole line to fall back, at the moment when Milroy had penetrated Ewell's center, and was almost up to his guns. That daring soldier obeyed, but with the greatest reluctance, for he felt sure [397] of victory. The Confederates occupied the battle-field that night, and the Nationals rested where their first line was formed in the morning.44 “So ended the battle of Cross Keys.” 45

Ewell, whose position was an excellent one, intended to renew the battle. with his repulsed enemy at dawn, but was called to aid Jackson in his operations at Port Republic. His troops slept on their arms, and just as day was breaking they silently moved toward the Shenandoah, carrying with them all of their wounded comrades excepting those who were mortally hurt. Fremont followed them closely

June 9, 1862.
in battle order, with Milroy on the right, Blenker on the left, and Schenck in the center. The brigades of Stahl and Bayard formed the reserve.

In the mean time there had been stirring events at Port Republic. Jackson had crossed the Shenandoah, and was occupying the town when Fremont and Ewell were fighting at Cross Keys. The vanguard of Shields's force, under acting Brigadier-general Carroll, had been pressing up the eastern side of the Shenandoah from Conrad's Store, and a portion of it had arrived near Port Republic almost simultaneously with Jackson's advance. On Saturday, the 7th, Carroll had been ordered to hasten to that point, destroy the bridge, seize Jackson's train, and fall on his flank. With less than a thousand infantry, one hundred and fifty cavalry, and a battery of six guns, he went forward and halted that night within six miles of Port Republic. He was informed that Jackson's train was parked there,. with a large drove of beef cattle. With the cavalry and five pieces of artillery he dashed into the town, for the purpose of capturing the June 8. coveted prize; drove Jackson's cavalry-guard out, and took possession of the bridge. Had he burned that structure instantly he might have ruined Jackson, for he would have cut him off from Ewell, who was fighting Fremont a few miles distant. But he waited for his infantry to come up, and during that interval he was attacked by a superior force and driven out to a point two miles from the town, where in the afternoon he was joined by General E. B. Tyler and his brigade, two thousand strong, who had hastened to his assistance, and now took command.46

While awaiting orders from Shields, Tyler was informed that the Confederates were on his front in large force, endeavoring to outflank him on his left, and with all the approaches to the town and bridge covered by artillery. Ewell had escaped the pursuit of Fremont, and had crossed the bridge, and so strongly re-enforced Jackson that the latter justly felt almost invincible. Tyler quickly counteracted the flanking movement by employing nearly his whole force, which did not exceed three thousand men, in opposing it. With these, after being pushed back a little by the assailants, he drove into the woods about eight thousand Confederates, some [398]

Map of operations in Upper Virginia.

[399] of whom then crossed over and joined the regiments of General Winder, of Ewell's division, which was on Tyler's right, and where a battle had begun that soon became heavy. General Dick Taylor's Louisiana brigade, which had flanked and attacked General Tyler's left, but was driven back, now made a sudden dash through the woods that completely masked it, upon a battery of seven guns under Lieutenant-colonel Hayward, and captured it. With his Own regiment (Sixty-sixth Ohio), and the Fifth and Seventh Ohio, Colonel Candy, who was in the rear of the battery, made a spirited counter-charge, and re-captured it with one of the Confederate guns, but the artillery horses having been killed, he was unable to take it off. Instead of the guns, he took with him, in falling back, sixty-seven of Taylor's men as prisoners.

So overwhelming was the number of Jackson's troops that Tyler was compelled to retreat. This was done in good order, “save the stampede of those who ran before the fight was fairly opened.” 47 He was pursued about five miles, gallantly covered by Carroll and his cavalry. “Upon him I relied,” said Tyler, “and was not disappointed.” 48 In the engagement and retreat the Confederates captured four hundred and fifty prisoners, and eight hundred muskets. So ended the battle of Port Republic;49 and Jackson telegraphed to Richmond, saying--“Through God's blessing the enemy near Port Republic was this day routed, with the loss of six pieces of his artillery.” The battle was disastrous in its results, but glorious for the officers and men of the National army engaged in it. It was one of the brilliant battles of the war.50

Jackson kept Tyler in check until his main body crossed the bridge, when his rear-guard set it on fire. The sounds of battle and the sight of columns of smoke had hastened the march of Fremont. When he came near Port Republic he found the bridge in flames, the Shenandoah too deep to be forded anywhere, and his enemy beyond his immediate grasp. Here ended the pursuit — here ended the famous race of Fremont, Shields, and Jackson up the Shenandoah Valley, which was skillfully won by the latter. On the following morning

June 9, 1862.
the National army began to retrace its steps, and, in the midst of a drenching rain, it reached Harrisonburg toward evening. Fremont fell back to Mount Jackson and Shields to New Market, when both commanders were called to Washington. Jackson re-crossed the Shenandoah and encamped at Weyer's Cave,
June 12.
two miles from Port Republic, and on the 17th he was summoned, with a greater portion of his army, to assist in the defense of Richmond.

The writer, accompanied by two friends ( S. M. Buckingham and H. L. [400] Young), visited the theater of events recorded in this chapter early in October, 1866. Having explored places made famous by the exploits of Sheridan and others at a later period of the war, from Harper's Ferry to Winchester, and at Kernstown, Middletown, Cedar Creek, and Fisher's Hill, we left Strasburg for Harrisonburg at nine o'clock in the evening,

Oct. 5, 1866.
in an old-fashioned stage-coach, making three of nine passengers inside, with a remainder on the top. Our route lay along the great Valley Pike from Winchester to Staunton, a distance of fifty miles, and we were at breakfast in Harrisonburg the next morning at eight o'clock. An hour later we were on our way to the battle-fields of Cross Keys and Port Republic, in a well-worn and rusty pleasure-carriage belonging to a colored man, the proprietor of a livery-stable, who furnished us with an intelligent colored driver and a good team of horses. It was a very beautiful morning; and in the clear atmosphere the lofty hills of the Blue Ridge on the east, the Short Shenandoah Mountains on the west, and the Massanutten range northward, were perfectly defined. Our driver was a competent guide, being familiar with the events and the localities in that region, and we anticipated a day of pleasure and profit, and were not disappointed.

A mile south of Harrisonburg we turned to the left up a rough, lane-like road, that skirted the field upon a ridge in which Ashby was killed. The place of his death was at the edge of a wood two hundred yards north of the road. The abrupt southern end of Massanutten Mountain, on which Jackson had a signal-station while Banks lay near him, arose like a huge buttress above the general level, seven miles to our left, while before us and to the right was a beautiful hill country, bordered by distant mountain ranges. We soon came to the battle-ground of Cross Keys, sketched the Union Church (see page 396), that was in the midst of the storm of conflict, and rode on to Port Republic, twelve miles from Harrisonburg, where we passed over a substantial new bridge on the site of the one fired by Ewell's rear-guard. After spending a little time there, we rode through the once pretty but then dreadfully dilapidated and half-deserted village, forded the Shenandoah (which was very shallow because of previously dry weather) a little above the town, and rode on two miles to the house of Abraham Mohler, the owner of Weyer's Cave near by, where we ordered dinner, and then proceeded with a guide to explore the famous cavern. Near it was the camping-ground of Jackson. We climbed a steep ridge, about one hundred and fifty feet above a tributary of the Shenandoah at its base, entered a rocky vestibule, each with a lighted tallow candle, and went down by rough paths and sometimes slippery acclivities far into the awful depths of the mountain, along a labyrinth of winding passages among the rocks. Chamber after chamber, recess after recess, passage after passage was visited until we were many hundred feet from the daylight. Here we were compelled to stoop because of the lowness of the roof; there its glittering stalactites were ninety feet above us; and everywhere we had the most strange and wonderful visions of cavern scenery. Nowhere did we find regularity of forms, nor abundant reasons for many of the fanciful names given to the localities, which Cooke's valuable little guide-book contains.

This is not the place nor the occasion to describe this really great wonder [401] of nature — a wonder worthy of a voyage across oceans and continents to see;51 so we will dismiss the consideration of it by saying that we ascended into upper air and the sunlight at a late hour in the afternoon, with appetites that gave a keen relish to a good dinner at Mohler's, for we had eaten nothing since breakfast. After dinner we rode on by a good highway, parallel with the Valley Pike, toward Staunton, passing the site of what is known as the Battle of Piedmont (to be mentioned hereafter) at sunset, and arrived at our destination at a late hour in the evening. We spent the next day (Sunday) in Staunton, and on Monday morning departed by railway for the scenes of strife eastward of the Blue Ridge, along the hollow of Rockfish Gap in that range, and through the great tunnel. Magnificent was the panorama seen on our right as we emerged from that dark artificial cavern in the mountains. Skirting the great hill-side along a terrace, we saw, a thousand feet below us, one of those beauteous and fertile valleys with which the mountain regions of Virginia abound. Others opened to our view as we descended gradually into the lower country. We passed the seat of Jefferson, near Charlottesville, at noon, dined at Gordonsville, and lodged that night at Culpepper Court-House. Our experience at the latter place will be considered hereafter.

Tail-piece — Punishments in camp.

1 This was a large brick house in Yorktown, which belonged to Governor Nelson, of Virginia, and was occupied by Cornwallis as Headquarters during a part of the period of the siege of that post in 1781, when, at the instance of the owner, who was in command of Virginia militia engaged in the siege, it was bombarded and the British General was driven out. When the writer visited Yorktown in 1848, the walls of that house exhibited scars made by the American shells and round shot on that occasion. When he was there in 1866 the house, which had survived two sieges more than eighty years apart, was still well preserved, and the scars made in the old War for Independence were yet visible. At his first visit he found the grave-yard attached to the old Parish Church in Yorktown, and not far from the Nelson House (in which two or three generations of the Nelson family were buried), in excellent condition. there being several fine monuments over the graves of leading members of that family; but at his last visit that cemetery

Parish Church in 1866.

was a desolation-those monuments were mutilated, and the place of the steeple of the Church (which the Confederates used for a quarter-master's depot, and whose walls and roof only were preserved) was occupied by a signal-tower, erected by Magruder. The Nelson house was used as a hospital by the Confederates.

2 Yorktown presented to the victors evidences of great precipitation in the final departure of the troops, as well as deliberate preparation for a diabolical reception of the Nationals after the flight of the garrison. The Confederates left most of their heavy guns behind them, all of which were spiked. They also left their tents standing; and near wells and springs, magazines; in the telegraph office, in carpet bags and barrels of flour, and on grassy places, where soldiers might go for repose, they left buried torpedoes, so constructed and planted under bits of board, at the pressure of the foot of man or beast would explode them. By these infernal machines several men were killed, and others were fearfully wounded. Mr. Lathrop, Heintzelman's telegraph operator, had his foot blown off above the ankle. “The rebels,” wrote General McClellan, “have been guilty of the most murderous and barbarous conduct in planting torpedoes here. I shall make the prisoners remove them at their peril.” By his order some Confederate officers, who were prisoners, were compelled to search for and exhume them. They knew where they were planted,

Torpedo.

and it was a fitting work for such men to perform.

3 Hooker found it impossible to use cavalry to advantage, and he was compelled to decline the proffered services of Brigadier-general Emory, and of Colonel Averill of the Third Pennsylvania cavalry, excepting for reconnoitering purposes. To Averill, and Lieutenant McAlister of the Engineers, Hooker publicly expressed his thanks; the latter having carefully reconnoitered such of the Confederate works as were concealed from view.

4 Some of the shattered regiments were supplied with ammunition for a time only from the cartridge-boxes of their fallen comrades on the field.

5 “ History will not be believed,” said Hooker, in his report of the battle (May 10, 1862), “when it is told that my division were permitted to carry on this unequal struggle from morning until night unaided, in the presence of more than 80,000 of their comrades with arms in their hands. Nevertheless it is true.”

6 These consisted of parts of his own, and of Davidson's brigade, which was then under his command. Of his own brigade he chose for this duty the Fifth Wisconsin, Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, and Sixth Maine; and from Davidson's, the Seventh Maine and Thirty-ninth New York Volunteers. These were accompanied by Lieutenant Crowen's New York battery of six guns, and Wheeler's battery.

7 this is a sketch of the appearance of the site of the Dam when the writer visited the spot in June, 1866. it is from a rude bridge then recently thrown across the stream. The redoubt was on the high bank directly ever the little figure. Here the bank, as in many other places on the Peninsula, presented layers of perfect sea-shells (mostly escollop and oyster), the position of which is indicated in the sketch by the horizontal shaded lines near the figure. This Dam was destroyed by Confederates while National troops were crossing the creek below, and the flood thus let loose drowned several soldiers.

8 in this plan, a and b indicate the two redoubts on the extreme left of the Confederates, taken by Hancock, and c the point to which Stoneman fell back to wait for re-enforcements.

9 McClellan's report to the Secretary of War, August 4, 1863; reports of his division and brigade commanders engaged in the battle; reports of General Johnston and his subordinate officers, and oral and written statements to the author by actors in the struggle.

10 No army in the world had ever exhibited an equal proportionate number of so many educated and highly respectable young men as this; and never did greater coolness or valor appear. Among the scores of young men who perished early in this campaign, and who were good examples of the best materials of that army, were *Captain Henry Brooks O'Reilly, of the First Regiment, New York Excelsior Brigade, and Lieutenant William De Wolf, of Chicago, of the regular army, who had performed gallant service in the battles of Belmont and Fort Donelson. The former fell at the head of his company, while his regiment was maintaining the terrible contest in front of Fort Magruder, in the afternoon of the 5th of May. He had just given the words for an assault, “Boys, follow me I forward, march!” when he fell, and soon expired. Lieutenant De Wolf was in charge of a battery of Gibson's Flying Artillery in the advance toward Williamsburg on the 4th, and in the encounter in which Stoneman and his followers were engaged with the Confederate cavalry on the day before the battle, and while valiantly doing his duty, he was severely wounded. Typhoid fever supervened, and he died a month later at Washington city. It would be a delightful task to record the names of all the brave who thus perished for their country, but we may only speak of one or two now and then as examples of true patriots and representatives of the Army of Liberty.

11 Report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, i. 20.

12 According to the Confederate official reports, the entire body of troops under Johnston, then below the Chickahominy, did not exceed 30,000 in number, while McClellan's “present and fit for duty” (within a distance of twelve miles of the battle-field) was about 100,000. The commanding General seems to have been singularly uninformed or misinformed concerning the country before him, during this campaign. He refused to receive information from the loyal negroes, preferring to take the testimony of Confederate prisoners. He officially declared that information concerning the forces and position of the enemy “was vague and untrustworthy,” and when he commenced his march up the Peninsula, he did not know, he says, whether “so-called Mulberry Island was a real island,” or which was “the true course of the Warwick River across the Peninsula,” or that the Confederates had fortifications along that stream. See McClellan's Report, page 74.

13 See Report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, i. 20.

14 These are the Pamunkey and the Mattapony. Strictly speaking, these streams do not form the York River, for it is really a long estuary of Chesapeake Bay, and the two rivers are only its chief affluents.

15 this was a large brick House, on the main street in Williamsburg, belonging to William M. Vest, and was used by the commanders of both armies. Its appearance in June, 1866, when the writer visited Williamsburg, is given in the above sketch.

16 The “White House,” as it was called, was the property of Mary Custis Lee, a great-granddaughter of Mrs. Washington, daughter of George W. P. Custis, the adopted son of Washington, and wife of the Confederate Commander, Robert E. Lee. It stood on or near the site of the dwelling known as “The White House,” in which the widow Custis lived, and where the nuptial ceremonies of her marriage with Colonel George Washington were performed. That ancient house, then so honored, had been destroyed about thirty years before, and the one standing there in 1862 was only a modern structure bearing the ancient title. It was occupied, when the war broke out, by a son of Robert E. Lee. The wife and some of the family of Lee, who were there, fled from it on the approach of the National army, at the time we are considering. The first officer who entered the house found, on a piece of paper attached to the wall of the main passage, the following note:--

Northern soldiers, who profess to revere Washington, forbear to desecrate the home of his first married life — the property of his wife-now owned by her descendant.

(Signed)

A Granddaughter of Mrs. Washington.

See The Siege of Richmond, by Joel Cook, page 169.

This misrepresentation, made to save from injury property that was not in existence until more than thirty years after Washington's death, had the effect, for a while, to have it guarded, by order of the Commanding General, with as much care as if it had been the Tomb of the Father of his Country Members of the Second regiment of cavalry, of which Robert E. Lee was Lieutenant-colonel when he abandoned his flag, were detailed to guard the house; and so sacred was it held to be, that the suffering sick soldiers, who greatly needed the shelter (of its roof, were not allowed even to rest upon the dry ground around it. The false story of its history was soon exposed, and it was left to the fate that overtook the property of other rebellious Virginians.

17 Cool Arbor derived its name from a tavern, at a delightful place of summer resort in the woods for the Richmond people, even so early as the time of the Revolution. The derivation of the name determines its orthography. It has been erroneously spelled Coal Harbor and Cold Harbor. The picture on the next page is a view of the house known as New Cool Arbor, not far from the site of the old one. It was yet standing when the writer visited the spot in June, 1866. It was on a level plain, and near it was a National cemetery into which the remains of the slain Union soldiers buried in the surrounding fields were then being collected and reinterred.

18 An unfinished fortification that commanded the entrance to Hampton Roads, in front of Fortress Monroe, It was at first called Fort Calhoun. Its name was changed to Wool, in honor of the veteran General.

19 The troops composing the expedition consisted of the Tenth, Twentieth, and Ninety-ninth New York; Sixteenth Massachusetts; First Delaware; Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania; one hundred mounted riflemen; Follet's battery of light artillery, and Howard's battery.

20 By reference to the map on page 899, volume I., the reader will have an idea of the direction of the movement. Ocean View was on Willoughby's beach, about at the edge of the map, and the outward road was the one followed by the troops.

21 “ The skillful and gallant movements of Major-general John E. Wool, and the forces under his command,” said Secretary Stanton, in an order issued by direction of the President, on the 11th, “which resulted in the surrender of Norfolk, and the evacuation of strong batteries erected by the rebels on Sewell's Point and Craney Island, and the destruction of the rebel iron-clad steamer Merrimack, are regarded by the President as among the most important successes of the present war; he therefore orders that his thanks, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, be communicated by the War Department to Major-general John E. Wool, and the officers and soldiers of his command, for their gallantry and good conduct in the brilliant operations mentioned.”

22 The Merrimack, then in command of Commodore Tatnall, was at Craney Island, for the two-fold purpose of protecting Norfolk and guarding the mouth of the James River. The land troops had fled without informing Tatnall of the movement, and the unfortunate old man, seeing the Navy Yard in flames, and all the works abandoned, could do nothing better than to destroy his ship and fly, for with his best efforts he could not get her into the James River.

23 Craney Island was much more strongly fortified now for the defense of Norfolk than it was in 1813. See Losing's Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Captain Case, of the Navy, was the first man to land on the abandoned Island, and to pull down the ensign of rebellion and place the National flag there.

24 Reports of Colonel T. J. Cram and Flag-officer Goldsborough; Narrative of Henry J. Raymond; Letter of General Wool to the author, May 28, 1862.

25 On the 5th of May Lee wrote to Ewell that he had ordered North Carolina troops to report to him at Gordonsville, and said: “I desire that those troops shall not be drawn to Swift Run Gap unless your necessities require it, the object being to form a strong column for the purpose of moving beyond the Rappahannock, to cut off the enemy's communication between Winchester and Alexandria.” --Autograph letter of Robert E. Lee. This was precisely such a movement as the Government anticipated, and which might have resulted in the capture of Washington, had not the corps of McDowell been left for its defense.

26 These consisted of the Twenty-fifth, Thirty-second, Seventy-fifth, and Eighty-second Ohio and Third. Virginia, with a 6-pounder of the Twelfth Ohio battery, under Lieutenant Bowen.

27 These were composed of two companies each of the Twenty-seve Pennsylvania and Fifth New York cavalry, one company of Captain Mapes's Pioneers, and a section of Knapp's battery. Kenly was charged with the protection of the road and bridges between Front Royal and Strasburg. One company each of the Second Massachusetts, Third Wisconsin, and Twenty-seventh Indiana were posted along that road.

When the writer was at Nashville, early in May, 1866, he was permitted by General Ewell, then residing there, to peruse and make extracts from the manuscript records of his brigade, kept by his young adjutant. In it was the statement, that when Ewell's force was near Front Royal, a young woman was seen running toward them. She had “made a circuit to avoid the Yankees,” and she sent word to General Jackson, by officers who went to meet her, “to push on — only one regiment in the town, and that might be completely surprised; if we pressed on we might get the whole.” This “young lady” was the afterward notorious rebel spy, Belle Boyd, “who was to my eye,” recorded the adjutant, “pleasant and lady-like in appearance, and certainly had neither ‘freckled face, red hair and large mouth,’ as the New York Herald said she had. She seemed embarrassed by the novelty of her position, and very anxious that we should push on.”

28 See page 553, volume I.

29 this is an exact fac-simile of Jackson's entire note to Ewell, with all its blots, carefully copied from the original, kindly placed in the hands of the author by the late Frank Henry

30 On the same day the Thirty-sixth and Forty-fourth Ohio, under Colonel George Crook, stationed at Lewisburg, in West Virginia, were furiously attacked by General Heth, with three Virginia regiments of Confederates. The assailants were soon repulsed, with a loss of arms, 400 prisoners, and about 100 killed and wounded besides. Colonel Crook, who was wounded in the foot, lost 11 killed and 51 wounded. Heth arrested pursuit by burning the bridge over the Greenbrier River.

31 His force consisted of Ashby's cavalry, the brigades of Winder, Campbell, and Fulkerston, the command of General E. S. Johnson, and the division of General Ewell, composed of the brigades of Generals Elzy, Taylor, and Trimble, the Maryland line, consisting of the First Maryland and Brockenborough's battery, under General George H. Stewart, and the Second and Sixth Virginia cavalry, under Colonel Flournoy.

32 In view of a possible necessity for a return to Strasburg, Banks sent Captain Abert, of the Topographical Engineers, to prepare the Cedar Creek bridge for the flames. Abert and the accompanying troops (Zouaves d'afrique, Captain Collins) were cut off from the column, had a severe skirmish at Strasburg, and did not rejoin the army until it was at Williamsport, on the Potomac.

33 , “One regiment,” says Banks in his report, “is represented, by persons present during the action, and after the field was evacuated, as nearly destroyed.”

34 The battle thus far had been fought by Ewell without the aid of Jackson, and even without his knowledge of what was occurring in front of Winchester, for he was seven miles in the rear. So ignorant was he of the situation of affairs at the front, that at the moment when Banks was about to retreat, Colonel Crutchfield came to Ewell with orders from Jackson to fall back to Newton, seven miles distant, for the Nationals were being heavily re-enforced. Jackson supposed Ewell to be four or five miles from Winchester, when, as we have observed, he had encamped within a mile and a half of the city the evening before. it is evident from the manuscript daily record of Ewell's brigade, consulted by the writer, that to Ewell, and not to Jackson, is due the credit of driving Banks from Winchester.

35 “ My retreating column,” said Banks, “suffered serious loss in the streets of Winchester. Males and females vied with each other in increasing the number of their victims, by firing from the houses, throwing hand-grenades, hot water, and missiles of every description.” --Report to the Secretary of War, June, 1862.

Hand-grenades are usually small shells, about two inches and a half in diameter, and are set ont I fire by a short fuse. They are sometimes made of other forms, with a percussion apparatus, as seen in the annexed illustration. This kind is used more on the water, and has a stem with guiding feathers, made of paper or parchment.

36 Banks's loss during this masterly retreat, exclusive of Kenly's command, and the sick and, wounded left in hospitals at Strasburg and Winchester, was 38 killed, 155 wounded, and 711 missing, making a total of 904. Only 55 of his 500 wagons were lost, and not a gun was left behind. A large amount of commissary and quarter-master's stores were destroyed. Jackson's reported loss, including that at Front Royal, was 68 killed and 829 wounded. He also reported that he captured 2 guns, 9,354 small arms, and about 3,050 prisoners, including 750 sick and wounded. The actual number of prisoners was a little less than 3,000.

37 Jackson's Report to the ConfederateSecretary of War.” “l Never,” he said, “have I seen an

Hand Grenade.

opportunity for cavalry to reap a richer harvest of the fruits of victory.”

38 The record of Ewell's Adjutant, mentioned in note 1, page 891, was kept in a blank book captured at this time, in which Colonel Wyndham had begun to enter copies of his military orders.

39 A few minutes before his death, Ashby was riding a horse that belonged to Lieutenant Willis, his own very fine black English stallion being in the rear. Willis's horse was the same that was wounded under General Jackson at the battle of Bull's Run. He was now killed, and Ashby was on foot, just in front of the line of their Fifty-eighth Virginia, when he was shot through the body. He advanced a few paces and fell.

40 With the Thirty-second, Fifty-fifth, Seventy-third, Seventy-fifth, and Eighty-second Ohio.

41 With the Second, Third, and Fifth Virginia and Twenty-fifth Ohio.

42 With the Eighth, Forty-first, and Forty-fifth New York and Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania, with the remnant of the brave Bucktails who survived the battle on the previous day.

43 this little picture shows the appearance of the Church when the writer sketched it, in October, 1866. it was built of brick, and stood in a grove of oaks, a short distance from the Port Republic road from Harrison. Burg. Its interior was a ruin, and its walls showed many scars of heavy shot and shell. In front of it was a cemetery, in a substantial inclosure. Fremont used the Church for a hospital.

44 The National loss in this battle was 664, of which two-thirds fell on Stahl's brigade. The losses were distributed as follows: Stahl's brigade, 427; Milroy's, 118; Bohlen's, 80; Cluseret's, 17; Schenck's, 14; Bucktail's, 8. Schenck's brigade inflicted a severe loss on the foe, chiefly by his artillery, while his own force suffered less than the others. One of the companies of the Bucktail Rifles lost all of its officers, commissioned and noncommissioned. Captain Nicholas Dunka, of Fremont's Staff, was killed.

45 On the battle-ground was once a tavern, whose sign-board had the device of two keys crossed. Near it was a store and two or three dwellings, and a fourth of a mile distant the Union Church. This little settlement was known as the Cross Keys.

46 The map on the opposite page shows the theater of events we have just been considering in this. chapter, and of some a little later. It may be consulted with profit by the reader of succeeding chapters.

47 Tyler's Report to Shields, June 12, 1862.

48 Report of General Tyler to General Shields, June 12, 1862. The National troops employed in third struggle were the Seventh Indiana; Fifth, Seventh, and Twenty-ninth Ohio; and the First Virginia, with sections of Captains Clarke and Huntington's batteries, on the right; and the Eighty-fourth and One Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania; Sixty-sixth Ohio, and sections of Captains Clarke, Huntington, and Robinson's batteries, and a company each of the Fifth and Sixty-sixth Ohio, as skirmishers, on the left, which was the key of the position.

49 Port Republic is a small village on the eastern bank of the south fork of the Shenandoah River, pleasantly situated on a plain. It is a post village of Rockingham County.

50 General Ewell declared to the writer, that in that engagement the Confederate troops were three to one of the Nationals in number, and that it was a most gallant fight on the part of the latter.

51 This cave is seventeen miles northeast from Staunton, in the northern extremity of Augusta County. It is on the eastern side of a high hill that runs parallel with the Blue Ridge, and a little more than two miles from it. It was accidentally discovered by a hunter — a German named Barnard Weyer — about the year 1804. A short distance from it, in the same hill, is Madison's Cave, so well described by Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia, at a time when this far greater cave was unknown.

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