Numbers 25. Report of Colonel Turner Ashby, Seventh Virginia Cavalry.
CAMP NEAR WOODSTOCK, VA., March 26, 1862.
DEAR SIR: In reporting the part performed by troops under my command in the engagement of Sunday, the 23rd, it proper to state that four companies of cavalry, under Major O. R. Funsten, were, by your order, sent by me to the extreme left of your line, and acted under your orders directly.
Having followed the enemy in his hasty retreat from Strasburg on Saturday evening, I came upon the forces remained in Winchester within a mile of that place and became satisfied that he had but four regiments, and learned that they had orders to march in the direction of Harper's Ferry.
On Sunday morning I moved mu force of cavalry, battery of three guns, and four companies of infantry, under Captain Nadenbousch, to Kernestown, where, after firing sa few shots and pressing in the direction of Winchester with cavalry, I learned that the enemy was increasing his force and intended making a stand. He had thrown skirmishers out to threaten my guns, when I ordered Captain Nadenbousch to protect them against him, which he did by driving him from his place in the woods most gallantly; and it was with extreme regret that I found in necessary to order him to fall back, which I did, owing to the enemy's getting in position upon my left with artillery and infantry, to command the position taken by Captain Nadenbousch.
Accompanying this you will find Captain Nadenbousch's report.
Upon falling back, which I did for one-fourth of a mile. I received your order to prepare for an advance, and learned that you force had arrived. My orders being to threaten the front and right, I placed two guns to bear upon the front and one upon his left, where I kept up an incessant fire with some visible effect, gaining ground upon him, when I ordered a charge upon his extreme left, where I drove their advance upon the main line, losing 1 lieutenant (Thaddeus Thrasher) killed and 6 privates wounded. We, however, took 6 or 7 prisoners.
The loss of Lieutenant Thrasher is a great one to his company and regiment, as his boldness and efficiency had made their mark in the regiment.
One man was taken prisoners upon the left of Captain Turner's company, having been thrown from his horse and orders to the rear.
When the firing ceased at twilight I ordered my guns back to the rear and the cavalry to cover the flank of Colonel Burks' command, coming out in the turnpike, and after they had passed remained at Bartonsville with my companies until 2 o'clock on Monday morning, when the enemy again advanced cautiously.
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry.
HDQRS. VALLEY DISTRICT, April 7, 1862.
Colonel Ashby will please state the number of men engaged on March 23.
By ordered of Major-General Jackson:
A. S. PENDLETON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
25 R R-VOL XII