War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0014 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN N VA., W. VA., AND MD.

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learn something of General McDowells' movements, early in the day I had sent forward Major Haskell, of my staff, with a party of scouts. He fell in with a party of the enemy's cavalry and two of my scouts were captured at Strasburg, but no information was obtained.

With th earrival of the rear the leadin gcorps of my command again stretched forward, takin gthe road to Strasburg. At 7 in the morning of this day, June 1, my advanced, under Lieutenant-Colonel Cluseret, first touched Jackson's main body, driving in the advanced pickets of General Ewll's brigade. pressing forward an encountering and driving stronger bodies of skirmishers the column within a short distance came upon cavalry and a battery in position, which immediately opened fire. The enemy's aritllery was engaged by detachments from the Eighth Virginia and Sixtieth Ohio, under Major Oley, supported afterward by a section of artillery under Lietenant-Colonel Pilsen. The fire of th eenemy's musketry now brought into action indicated the prsence of two or three regiments. I was entirely ignorant of what had taken place in the valley beyond, and it was now evident that Jackson in superior force was at or near Strasburg. In anticipation, there fore, of possible demonstrations on his part before some needed rest could be taken, my command as they came up were ordered to position.

About noon the enemy's batteries ceased fire, and my troops were ordered to encamp. Our cavalry, being pushed forward, found the enemy withdrawing and a strong column of infantry just defiling past our front. A reconnaissance by Colonel Cluseret with the Eighth Virginia, pushed to within 2 miles of Strasburg showed the enemy withdrawn, and at night-fall this officer, with his brigade, accompanied by a battalion of cavalry and a section of artillery, was ordered to move forward upon Strasburg and determine the position of the enemy.

The day closed with one of the most violent rain-storms I have ever seen, with really terrific lightning and thunder, and the night being very dark, and Colonel Cluseret being without guides or knowledge of the country, his troops passed the town of Strasburg, and marching to the light of the enemy's fires, about 11 o'clock came into contact with Ashby's cavalry, which occupied the road forming the rear of Jackson's position, about 2 miles beyond Strasburg, on the road to Woodstock. Disobeying the order to charge, after a scattering fire our cavalry broke in a shameful panic to the rear, passing over and carrying with them the artillery.

To the honor of the Sixtieth Ohio, which at this moment formed the head of the reconnoitering column, not a man of them followed the disgraceful example, but delivered their fire steadily, and checked any movement on the part of the enemy. The officers and men, without exception, of the Sixtieth Ohio and Eighth Virginia, which composed this brigade, deserve special mention for the steadiness and bravery which distinguished them during the affairs of this day, when both regiments were for the first time under fire. Having ascertained the position of the enemy, Colonel Cluseret withdrew his men and returned to camp. The reconnaissance showed the enemy in retreat.

With daylight of June 2 my command move din pursuit. Passing Strasburg I was joined by General Bayard, who had been sent forward by General McDowell with a cavalry force of about 800 men and four pieces of artillery, with a battalion of the Pennsylvania Bucktails, under Colonel Kane. Farther along the locality of Colonel Cluseret's engagement of the night before was marked by one of our caissons, which has been disabled and left for the night on the ground and by