War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0445 Chapter XXIV. ADVANCE ON HARRISONBURG, VA.

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To attack on the flanks with a considerable force, particularly above on their left flank, having a good guide who knows the fords well, I should think would be successful, as they evidently feared an attack in that quarter, and therefore sent the two sections of a battery referred to in that direction. Their work seemed all open in the rear.

In conclusion, allow me to express to you my heartfelt thanks for your kindness in placing me in command of the picked men of your command, and I believe the Second Brigade (General J. J. Abercrombie commanding) is universally admitted to be the finest body of men in the service, and notwithstanding their fatiguing march, without any sleep at night, they, both officers and men, were ready to undergo any future amount of hardship, and all seemed anxious to acquit themselves as heroes. I would especially mention the fine gunnery of Lieutenants Godbold, Brockway, and Barry. I never saw finer practice by older officers in the U. S. Army. Captain Gould and Lieutenant Wyman, Rhode Island cavalry, rendered much valuable assistance on the march, the former by the precision with which he conducted the advance and rear guards and flankers, and the latter as scout, bringing in much useful information from dangerous points. To Lieutenant Tucker, Maine cavalry, is due our safe-conduct to our point of destination.

The officers and men, without exception, displayed exceeding coolness while under a sharp fire of shot and shell for nearly two hours without firing a gun, which is considered the most trying position in which infantry can be placed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. M. BRYAN, JR.,

Lieutenant Colonel, Twelfth Mass. Vols., Commanding Reconnaissance.

Brigadier-General ABERCROMBIE,

Commanding Second Brigade.

APRIL 19-24, 1862. - Operation in the vicinity of Sparta, New Market, South Fork of the Shenandoah River (near Luray), and Harrisonburg, in the Shenandoah Valley, Va.

Reports of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, U. S. Army.

NEW MARKET, April 19, 1862.

Our advance guard occupied this morning the village of Sparta, 8 miles in front of New Market. For the first time in their retreat the rebels burned the small bridges on the road, obstructing by the smallest possible means the pursuit of our troops. Some dozen or more bridges were thus destroyed, but I immediately reconstructed.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commending.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

NEW MARKET, April 19, 1862.

To-day I have been to the bridges on South Fork Shenandoah, Massanutten Valley, with a force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, to pro