War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0335 Chapter XXIV. BATTLE OF KERNSTOWN, VA.

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No. 1. Reports of Brigadier General James Shields, U. S. Army, commanding division Fifth Army Corps, with congratulations.

WINCHESTER, VA., March 23, 1862.

We have this day achieved a glorious victory over the combined forces of Jackson, Smith, and Longstreet. The battle was fought within 4 miles of this place. It raged from 10.30 o'clock this morning until dark. The enemy's strength was about 15,000; the strength of our division not over 8,000. Our loss, killed and wounded, is not ascertained, but is heavy. The enemy's loss is double that of ours. We have captured a large number of prisoners, some of their guns, and the ground is strewn with the arms they have thrown away in their flight. The cavalry is still in pursuit of the retreating enemy. The particulars cannot be accurately ascertained until daylight.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

S. WILLIAMS,

Brigadier-General.

WINCHESTER, VA., March 23, 1862.

The enemy, though severely handled, is still before us. His motions are watched. If he attempts to retreat before morning we will follow up his rear and pursue him to Strasburg. If he keeps his position till morning I expect to annihilate him. General Banks has ordered back one of Williams' brigades, which ought to be here in three hours. I have ordered forward all the force stationed at Martinsburg, Harper's Ferry, Berryville, and Charlestown. I have ordered in all outposts and guards which are on the route in my rear. All are on the march for this place, and will be here by early dawn to re-enforce me. With the whole of this force I will renew the attack as soon as we have sufficient light to point our guns, and feel confident the enemy cannot escape.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Brigadier-General.

S. WILLIAMS,

Brigadier-General.

WINCHESTER, VA., March 25, 1862.

A dispatch arrived from General Banks, 5 miles below Strasburg, on the road to Mount Jackson. The enemy still on the retreat; our forces in hot pursuit. Their loss must be enormous. They have field their wagons with the dead and dying they have now abandoned. The houses along the route are found filled with wounded and dead. the houses in the town adjacent to the battle-field are also found filled with wounded. The inhabitants had aided their friends in carrying them off during the day. They are also burying them quickly as soon as they die. Our artillery makes terrible havoc amongst them in their flight. I will keep you advised of everything that takes place. I hope information I am constantly communicating is received.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Brigadier-General.

General WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.