No. 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Turner Ashby, C. S. Army.
On Martinsburg Turnpike, Va., March 8, 1862.
I have the honor to report the result of a skirmish between Capts. S. B. Myers' and Koontz's companies with the advancing column of the enemy coming out from Bunker Hill on yesterday, brought on by his advance, while Captains Myers and Koontz and myself were visiting the outposts of pickets.
Upon learning that he was advancing in force, I ordered these two companies up from their rendezvous (1 mile in our rear), ordering the pickets, under charge of Lieutenant Neff, to keep him in check as long as possible, which he did most gallantly until these companies arrived, only amounting to 45, as many of them were still on duty as pickets. Having ordered them to form behind a skirt of timber, which reached across the turnpike, under charge of Captain Myers, Captain Koontz and myself moved forward to make an observation, when I became satisfied, from movements made by the enemy's officers, that he had a co-operating force upon each flank and was quite strong, which afterwards proved true, as I saw two regiments in column on our left, one-half mile from the turnpike, and had reports from scouts of another column on the right. Being, however, confident of being able to elude them at the proper time, I determined to check the column advancing upon the turnpike as long as prudent to remain, which I did for more than one hour, as upon every advance he made my men give him such a galling fire as to drive him back out of slight under the hill, at one time driving him for one-fourth of a mile. I did not allow my men to pursue, as I had a position of my choice, and feared, in the excitement, they might charge to the supporting column of infantry. After the column of infantry upon my left made its appearance, double-quicking, and had passed beyond me about 300 yards, I ordered my men to fall back slowly, which they did in a walk, turning every time the enemy made a demonstration to charge and driving them back.
In the stand made behind the timber the enemy had 3 men wounded that I know of and 2 horses left on the ground; 1 wounded (that of an officer). I had 1 man dangerously wounded.
I skirmished before the advancing column for 3 miles, he throwing shot and shell from two pieces which he had on the turnpike. Upon meeting three companies of cavalry, which I had ordered to re-enforce me, I again formed across the road, when the enemy halted, and after a little time returned towards Bunker Hill, near to which place I followed them, they having their encampment three-fourths of a mile this side, their pickets 1 mile, into which I fired.
I am pleased to express my highest commendation and appreciation of the conduct of Capts. S. B. Myers and Koontz, as well as Lieutenants Neff, Clarke, and Myers, and also of the privates of their companies, who gave evidence of much hope to our cause when the struggle for the valley comes.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Cavalry.
GEORGE G. JUNKIN, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.