War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0379 ChapterXXIV. BATTLE OF KERNSTOWN, VA.

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Numbers 23. Reports of Major General Thomas J Jackson, C. S. Army, Commanding the Valley Direct, with resolution of the Confederate Congress.


Rapidan, Va., March 25, 1862.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

SIR: I have just received the inclosed letter from General Jackson. He evidently attacked the enemy under a misapprehension as to his force. He had previously reported it reduced from about 28, 000 to 10,000 men. He now represents the Federal force in the valley as too strong to be driven back by a mere detachment of this army. In such an position our communications would be completely be complete exposed to McClellan.

It is reported that a bridge over the Shenandoah has been made on the Snickersville road.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,




Near Newtown, Va., March 24, 1862.

GENERAL: As the enemy had been sending off troops from the district and from what I could learn were still doing so, and knowing your great desire to prevent it, and having a prospect of success, I engaged him yesterday about 3 p. m. near Winchester and fought until dusk, but his forces were so superior to mine that he repulsed me with the loss of valuable officers and men killed and wounded; but from the obstinacy with which our troops fought and from their advantageous position I am of the opinion that his loss was greater than mine in troops, but I lost one piece of artillery and three caissons.

On Saturday two brigades went down to Berryville with their baggage. The supposition is that they have crossed at Castleman's Ferry. From a prisoners whom we took I learn that more troops had marching orders at Winchester. This fight will probably delay, if not prevent, their leaving, and I hope will retain others. From what I hear there are 15,000 troops at Berryville, Charlestown, and Harper's Ferry. Shield yesterday appears to have had seventeen regiments of infantry. I head he had much less much less when I made the attack. To drive him back if he advance I ought to have 5,000 infantry. I have enough artillery. The heavy guns were sent Gordonsville. I will they and my this side of Strasburg. My wagons have gone to the rear and my forces are waiting to see whether the enemy will advance. Ashby is about 5 miles from Winchester.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,



General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Dist. Of Northern Va.


Near Mount Jackson, March 29, 1862.

MY DEAR GENERAL: My information, from a spy who left Winchester on day before yesterday, is that from 8,000 to 10,000 of the