The battle of Kernstown.
The following communications, received at the office of the Dispatch,
will be perused with interest:
Incidents of the fight.
Newmarket, Va., April 5, 1862.
Several accounts of this memorable day have already been given, but as the lapse of time is required to acquaint the reader with the full and true account of all battles, we think it nothing amiss to give another description of our famous struggle at Kernstown
We will, therefore, mention briefly a few incidents of this remarkable occurrence, and leave the seat to the experienced historian.
On the morning of the 23d of March, we were ordered from camp at a very early hour.
After traveling a distance of 18 miles, and about midday, we heard a loud and repeated cannonading in our front.
A closer approach assured us that it was our pickets contending with those of the enemy, and that the enemy was not for distant.
We were marched off the road a few hundred yards to our left, where we remained till 3 o'clock P. M., when the cannonading and bombardment informed us that the time for action was drawing nigh.
The movements of the enemy having at length conditioned the battle-ground upon our left, one by one the batteries and regiments were seen making their way to the glorious struggle for liberty or death.
Soon the echoes of musketry were heard ascending the mountain summit as our brave boys marched boldly up to the enemy's front.
Never, perhaps, did Southerners stand more firmly, or fight more courageously under more discoursing circumstances, than did our little band in this battle of Kernstown
For six long hours they contended with at least five times their own numbers; yet, till the order was announced from the lips of our gallant General Jackson
himself, did they dare to leave the field, or despair of victory.
Whilst every regiment doubtless acted its part well in this engagement, yet we could not but take particular cognizance of the acts of bravery that marked and distinguished those of the Third Brigade, commanded by Colonel Burks
Never before having had an opportunity of displaying their valor, they seemed anxious for the hour when they, too, might share a blow in their country's cause.
For seven long months they traversed the mountains of Northwestern Virginia
, subsisted upon scanty supplies, and performed many hard and toilsome marches.
Thus hardened to their country's service, they cared but little for the life they once held so dear, and seemed even enraged at the cannon's roar.
Led on by their dauntless commander, they marched forward to the battle- ground with stern and expressive countenances, and fought with calm and deliberate energy.
It is useless to say they did execution, for every volley of their musketry is said to have played havoc in the enemy's ranks.
The last regiment of this brigade that was ordered to the field was the 42d Virginia, commanded by Col. Langhorne
, of Lynchburg
When the sun was but an hour high, the battle being in its hottest state, the command was given to the 42d to "fall in." They were prompt to orders, and in a few minutes were approaching the bloody field on double-quick time.
They fought with great courage till nightfall, when the whole force, wearied and broken down, were ordered to retire from the field.
This regiment was the last that received the order, the last that left the field, and the regiment that closed the retreat.
And what strikes us so sensibly is that, when left alone upon that dreary night, and apparently deserted by all these brave sons of the Old Dominion, they still stood and bravely fought beneath their floating banner.
Seventy of their number were among the killed, wounded, and missing.
The horse of Col. Langhorne
was shot down on the field.
But we cannot dwell here.
We can but say to the boys of the 42d Virginia, "yo are the remnant of a well fought field."
did not pursue us further that night, but are said to have spent the night in gathering up their dead and wounded.
encamped but a few miles from the battle-ground, where he remained till a late hour the following morning.
In the morning one of our regiments of infantry was sent back under a flag of truce to bury our dead, but the whistle of the Yankee
ball told them in musical terms to let their dead alone.
We have not as yet been able to get an accurate account of the enemy's loss in the engagement, but from several reports that have reached us from quite reliable sources, it does not amount to less than 1,500 killed, wounded, and missing, while ours does not exceed 500.
The enemy are still advancing up the Valley
. Gen. Jackson
has fallen back within two miles of Newmarket
, where he seems to be making every preparation to give them another warm reception at their next arrival.
Twenty-Third Virginia Regiment.
Newmarket, Shenandoah, Va.,
April 3, 1862.
Having seen in your issue of the 1st a statement that a list of those killed, wounded, and missing in the battle of the 23d of March had not been furnished for publication, I send you below a list of those from our regiment, (23d Va:)
Capt. J. E. Parkinson
's company (B)--Wounded — J. E. Foster
Missing — Geo. L. Sanderson
, Thomas B. Hall
, W. A. Dearing
Capt. A. V. Scott
's company, (C)--Wounded — Wm. T. Edmonds
Capt. W. J. Sergeant
's company, (D)--Missing--Capt. W. J. Sergeant
, Private Richard S. Watkins
Capt Wm. Haymes
's company, (E)--Wounded — Jas. E. Barnes
, Wm. Davis
, Thomas M. Hobson
Captain W. F. Harrison
's company, (F)--Wounded — Edward S. Clark
Missing — Jas. S. Johnston
, Wilson Bowler
, Henry C. Young
's company, (G)--Killed — Henry L. Francisco
Wounded — Wm. A. Garrett
, Martin Sharp, John P. Waddy
Missing — John L. Burruss
, Henry Duke
, Henry Oliver
, Richard F. Talley
, David A. Trice
Cpt. R. A. Tompkins
's company (H.)--Wounded--Lieut. E. C. Crump
Missing — Simon Haup
Cpt J. P. Fitzgerald
's company, (I.)--Missing--1st Sg't N. E. Venable
, privates Frank Hambleton
, Jas. M. Hambleton
Capt. S. T. Walton
's company, (K.)--Killed — John O. Pettus
, P. G. Eubank
Wounded--Capt S. T. Walton
, Serg't J. H. Pettus
, private J. C. Hankins
Missing--Corporal P. A. Booth
, privates C. B. Andurm
, N. B. Cooch
, Wm. Cassad
., W. L. Eubank
, J. H. Eubask
, N. Flemming
, E. H. Hankins
, J. Howard
, A. W. Keeling
, C. Robertson
, J. J. McCargo
, W. J. Webb
, S. M. Willis
A copy of the Baltimore American
has found its way into our camp, containing a list of prisoners now in that city, which contains the names of many, if not all, of those set down as missing.
Our regiment was much reduced, the re-enlisted men being absent on furlough, and many officers on recruiting service.
Only one hundred and forty rank and file were reported in the regiment for duty the morning of the fight.
There were many individual instances of personal bravery.
Lieut. Col. A. G. Taliaferro
, commanding, had his horse shot under him, and I have seen the print of three musket shots on his sword; but he escaped unhurt.
Col. G. W. Curtis
, of Brook county, who was forced to leave his home by the invaders, and has been for some months acting Lieutenant
in company F, was wounded in the fight, but, nothing daunted, boldly led his men safely off the field.
The statement in your issue of the 31st, that the 27th Virginia had a race with the enemy for a stone fence, was a mistake.
The 23d and 37th engaged the enemy at that point, and, reaching the fence about 50 yards in advance, poured into their ranks a most destructive fire and put the few not left upon the field to flight.
We have no disposition to quarrel with the "Stonewall
" Brigade about positions, feeling confident that each and all endeavored to do their duty, and that Gen. Jackson
, in his report, will give all a fair share of the glory.
Loss of the Rockbridge Artillery in the engagement.
Camp of the Rockbridge Artillery,
First Brigade, A. V.,
Shenandoah co., Va.,
April 5, 1862. Editors Dispatch
Below I send a list of the casualties occurring in the Rockbridge Artillery, Captain William McLaughlin
, in the battle near Winchester
on the 23d ult. This company is a large one, and containing, as it does, many members from the State
at large, the accompanying list will be examined with even more than usual interest.
It may be regarded as accurate, having been furnished me by the commanding officer
of the battery:
Killed — none.
Wounded--Sergeant James L. Paxton
, of Rockbridge
, severely in the leg, (amputated;) Privates Samuel D. Anderson
; severely in the arm, (broken;) William H. Byrd
, of Rockbridge
, dangerously, (leg shot off;) Michael J. Emmett
, of Rockbridge
, very slightly in the face; of Orange
, very slightly in the face; Thomas P. Gray
, of Rockbridge
, dangerously in the foot, (since dead;) J. Campbell Heiskell
, of Hardy
, slightly in the arm; Kinlock Nelson
, of Nelson
, very slightly in the foot; George W. Reintzel
, of Rockbridge
, severely in arm and hip; John A. Wallace
, of Rockbridge
, mortally in the thigh.
Missing — Robert S. Bell
, of Winchester
, (taken prisoner.)