War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0339 Chapter XXIV. BATTLE OF KERNSTOWN, VA.

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position and supporting force, if possible. To endeavor to effect this I feel back to Winchester on the 20th, giving the movement all the appearance of a retreat. The last brigade of the First Division of Banks' corps d'armee, General Williams commanding, took its departure for Centreville, by way of Berryville, on the morning of the 22nd, leaving only Shields' division and the Michigan cavalry in Winchester.

Ashby's cavalry, observing this movement from a distance, came to the conclusion that Winchester was being evacuated, and signaled Jackson to that effect. We saw their signal-fires and divined their import. On the 22nd, about 5 o'clock p.m., they attacked and drove in some of our pickets. By order of General Banks I put my command under arms and pushed forward one brigade and two batteries of artillery to drive back the enemy, but to keep him deceived as to our strength only let him see two regiments of infantry, a small body of cavalry, and part of the artillery. While directing one of our batteries to its position I was struck by the fragment of a shell, which fractured my arm above the elbow, bruised my shoulder, and injured my side. The enemy being driven from his position, we withdrew to Winchester.

The injuries I had received completely prostrated me, but were not such as to prevent me from making the requisite dispositions for the ensuing day. Under cover of the night I pushed forward Kimball's brigade nearly 3 miles on the Strasburg road. Daum's artillery was posted in a strong position to support this brigade if attacked. Sullivan's brigade was posted in the rear of Kimball's, and within supporting distance of it, covering all the approaches to the town by the Cedar Creek, Front Royal, Berryville, and Romney roads. Tyler's brigade and Brodhead's cavalry were held in reserve, so as to support our force in front at any point where it might be attacked. These dispositions being made I rested for the night, knowing that all approaches by which the enemy could penetrate to this place were efficiently guarded.

I deem it necessary in this place to give a brief description of these approaches, as well as of the field, which next day became the scene of one of the bloodiest struggles of the war. Winchester is approached from the south by three principal roads: The Cedar Creek road on the west, the Valley turnpike road, leading to Strasburg, in the center, and the Front Royal road on the east. There is a little village called Kernstown on the Valley road, about 3 1/2 miles form Winchester. On the west side of this road, about half a mile north of Kernstown, is a ridge of high ground, which commands the approach by the turnpike and a part of the surrounding country. This ridge was the key-point of our position. Here Colonel Kimball, the senior officer in command on the field, took his station. Along this ridge Lieutenant-Colonel Daum, chief of artillery, posted three of his batteries, keeping was first placed in position in rear of and within supporting distance of these batteries, well sheltered in the windings and sinousities of the ridge. The main body of the enemy was posted in order of battle about half a mile beyond Kernstown, his line extending from the Cedar Creek road to a little ravine near the Front Royal road, a distance of about 2 miles. This ground had been so skillfully selected that, while it afforded facilities for maneuvering, it was completely masked by high and wooded ground in front. These woods he filled with skirmishers, supported by a battery on each flank; and so adroitly had his movement been conducted, and so skillfully had he concealed himself, that at 8 o'clock a.m. on the 23rd