War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0408 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Numbers 40. Report of Colonel Samuel V. Fulkerson, Thirty-seventh Virginia Infantry, commanding Fourth Brigade.


Camp near Mount Jackson, Va., March 26, 1862.

SIR: On the night of the 22nd instant, while in camp, near Strasburg, I received an order from the major-general commanding to have my baggage packed and move my command, consisting of the Thirty-seventh Virginia Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel R. P. Carson; the Twenty-third Virginia Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. G. Taliaferro, and the Danville Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant A. C. Lanier, at dawn on the following morning on the road toward Winchester.

Accordingly I marched off and proceeded about 10 miles, when I was filed off from the road to the left about one-half mile and placed in a piece of woods. I was then ordered to take my infantry force and scour a body of woods standing still farther to the left and extending parallel with the road leading to Winchester. I threw forward skirmishers and proceeded through the woods, followed by the Second Virginia Volunteers, Colonel Allen. When I reached the open land, and finding no enemy in the woods, I reported to the major-general commanding, when he rode forward and ordered me to turn a battery of the enemy, which had opened fire upon us from a commanding hill across the fields in my front, and at the same time he informed me that I would be supported by General Garnett.

I threw my command into column by division at full distance, the Thirty-seventh in front, and, after tearing down a portion of a plank fence, entered the fields directly in front of the enemy's position, from which he instantly opened a galling fire upon us. After going in that direction for some distance I turned a little to the left, which brought the right flank of my command next to the enemy's position. The ground at this point being marshy and several fences interposing, the advance was a good deal retarded but steady, the enemy all the while throwing shell and shot into the column with great rapidity.

On the enemy's right and near his position stood a small cluster of trees. I thought that if I could so direct my course as to place that grove between me and the enemy's guns I would be protected from his fire. But so soon as I had reached the desired point a battery placed in the open ground beyond the trees opened a terrible fire upon me. I then turned still farther to the left and took shelter in a piece of woodland, into which the enemy poured a very hot fire of shell and grape for some half an hour.

In the mean time the enemy threw a heavy column of infantry on the brow of the hill below his guns, seemingly for the purpose of resisting a charge upon the position. My advance up to this point, a distance of about half a mile, was under a fire that might well have made veterans quail. But my officers and men pressed steadily forward, instantly closing up when a break was made in the column by the enemy's shot. I then moved across a hill and took position in a hollow, where General Garnett had his brigade sheltered, and reported my position to the major-general commanding. At this point I was much annoyed by the enemy's shell, but only had one man wounded by it.

In a short time the Twenty-seventh Virginia Volunteers (Colonel Echols) moved forward as skirmishers and soon engaged the enemy,