War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0341 Chapter XXIV. BATTLE OF KERNSTOWN, VA.

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and to assail and turn his left flank and hurl it back on the center. Colonel Kimball carried out these orders with promptitude and ability. He intrusted this movement to Tyler's splendid brigade, which, under its fearless leader, Colonel Tyler, marched forward with alacrity and enthusiastic joy to the performance of the most perilous duty of the day. The enemy's skirmishers were driven before it, and fell back upon the main body, strongly posted behind a high and solid stone wall, situated on an elevated ground. Here the struggle became desperate, and for a short time doubtful; but Tyler's brigade being soon joined on the left by the Fifth Ohio, Thirteenth Indiana, and Sixty-second Ohio, of Sullivan's brigade, and the Fourteenth Indiana, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, seven companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, and three companies of the Eighty Ohio, of Kimball's brigade, this united force dashed upon the enemy with a cheer and yell that rose high above the roar of battle, and though the rebels fought desperately, as their piles of dead attest, they were forced back through the woods by a fire as destructive as ever fell upon a retreating foe.

Jackson, with his supposed invincible "Stonewall Brigade" and the accompanying brigades, much to their mortification and discomfiture, were compelled by this terrific fire to fall back in disorder upon their reserve. Here they took up a new position for a final stand, and made an attempt for a few minutes to retrieve the fortunate of the day. But again rained down upon them the same close and destructive fire. Again cheer upon cheer rang in their ears. A few minutes only did they stand up against it, when they turned dismayed and fled in disorder, leaving us in possession of the field, the killed and wounded, 300 prisoners, two guns, four caissons, and a thousand stand of small-arms. Night alone saved him from total destruction. The enemy retreated about 5 miles, and, judging from his camp-fires, took up a new position for the night. Our troops, wearied and exhausted with the fatigues of the day, threw themselves down to rest on the field.

Though the battle had been won, still I could not believe that Jackson would have hazarded a decisive engagement at such a distance from the main body without expecting re-enforcements. So, to be prepared for such a contingency, I set to work during the night to bring together all the troops within my reach. I sent an express after Williams' division, requesting the rear brigade, about 20 miles distant, to march all night and join me in the morning. I swept the posts and routes in my rear of almost all their guards, hurrying them forward by forced marches to be with me by daylight. I gave positive orders also to the forces in the field to open fire upon the enemy as soon as the light of day would enable them to point their guns, and to pursue him without respite, and compel him to abandon his guns and baggage or cut him to pieces. These orders were implicitly obeyed, as far as possible.

It now appears that I had rightly divined the intentions of our crafty antagonist. On the morning of the 23rd a re-enforcement from Luray of 5,000 men reached Front Royal on their way to join Jackson. This re-enforcement was being followed by another body of 10,000 from Sperryville, but recent rains having rendered the Shenandoah River impassable, they found themselves compelled to fall back without being able to effect the proposed junction. At daylight on the morning of the 24th our artillery again opened upon the enemy. He entered upon his retreat in very good order, considering what he had suffered.

General Banks, hearing of our engagement on his way to Washington, halted at Harper's Ferry, and with remarkable promptitude and