War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0551 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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upon the enemy. It proved to be the First Maryland Cavalry, Colonel Wetschky, sent out in the morning as train guard. Hearing the guns, they had returned to participate in the fight. Advantage was taken of this stirring incident to reorganize our column, and the march was continued with renewed spirit and order.

A Martinsburg the column halted two and a half hours, the rear guard remaining until 7 in the evening in rear of the town, and arrived at the river at sundown, forty-eight hours after the first new of the attack on Front Royal. it was a march of 53 miles, 35 of which were performed in one day. The scene at the river when the rear guard arrived was of the most intimating and exciting description. A thousand camp-fires were burning on the hill-side, a thousand carriages of every description were crowded upon the banks, and the broad river lay between the exhausted troops and their coveted rest. The ford was too deep for the teams to cross in regular succession. Only the strongest horses, after a few experiments, were allowed to essay the river before morning. The single ferry was occupied by ammunition trains, the ford by the wagons. The cavalry was secure in its own power of crossing. The troops only had no transportation. Fortunately the train we had so sedulously guarded served us in turn. Several boats belonging to the pontoon train, which we had brought from Strasburg, were launched, and devoted exclusively to their service.

It is seldom that a river-crossing of such magnitude is achieved with greater success. There were never more grateful hearts in the same number of men than when at midday of the 26th we stood on the opposite shore. My command had not suffered an attack and rout, but had accomplished a premeditated march of near 60 miles in the face of the enemy, defeating his plans and giving him battle wherever he was found.

Our loss is stated in detail, with the names of the killed, wounded, and missing, in the full report of Brigadier-General Williams, commanding division, to which reference is made. The number of killed is 38; wounded, 155; missing, 711. Total loss, 904. It is undoubtedly true that many of the missing will yet return, and the entire loss may be assumed as not exceeding 700.* It is also probable that the number of killed and wounded may be larger than that above stated, but the aggregate loss will not be changed thereby. All our guns were saved.

Our wagon train consisted of nearly 500 wagons. Of this number 55 were lost. They were not, with but very few exceptions, abandoned to the enemy, but were burned upon the road. Nearly all our supplies were thus saved. The stores at From Royal, of which I had no knowledge until my visit to that post on the 21st instant, and those at Winchester, of which a considerable portion was destroyed by our troops, are not embraced in this statement.

The number of sick men in the hospital at Strasburg belonging to General Williams; division was 189, 125 of whom were left in the hospitals at Winchester, under charge of Surg. Lincoln R. Stone, Second Massachusetts. Sixty-four were left in the hospitals at Strasburg, including attendants, under charge of Surgeon Gillespie, Seventh Indiana, and Assistant-Surgeon Porter, U. S. Army. Eight of the surgeons of this division voluntarily surrendered themselves to the enemy, in the hospitals and on the filed, for the care of the sick and wounded the hospitals and on the field, for the care of the sick and wounded placed under their charge. They include, in addition to those above named, Brigade Surgeon Pleale, at Winchester; Surgeon Mitchell, First


*But see revised statement, p. 553.