Numbers 6. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Parham, Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry, of action at Front Royal, May 23.
HDQRS. TWENTY-NINTH Regiment PENNSYLVANIA VOLS.,
Williamsport, Md., June 5, 1862.
SIR: Having just arrived at this point, still an invalid, not yet fully recovered from the bruises, &c., received at Front Royal, therefore I that engagement. It is impossible to furnish a full report in detail, owing to the position of my different companies, yet I will try and furnish a correct report or statement of what I witnessed, &c.
Having been detailed by you with five companies to hold the railroad and bridges from Strasburg to Front Royal, I therefore proceeded and posted the several companies as follows: One company of the Second Massachusetts, Captain Russell, on the road beyond the railroad bridge near Strasburg, with guard at the bridge, also cross-road near the railroad station; one company of the Third Wisconsin, Captain Hubbard, about half way between the above station and Buckton Bridge, with guard at the school-house, railroad station, cross-road, &c.; one company of the twenty-seventh Indiana, Captain Davis, at the Buckton Station, with strong guard at buckton railroad bridge, cross-roads, &c.; one company of the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania, company G., Captain Richardson, on the road between Buckton Station and Pike Bridge, over the North Shenandoah, near Richards' Station; one company of the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania, Company B, Captain Lane, stationed at the railroad bridge over the South Shenandoah, with guard at the three bridges, giving the commanding officers stringent order in reference to the importance of their duties, &c.
On Sunday I proceeded to explore and examine the neighborhood and to collect information as to the enemy, &c.
On Monday I, acting according to information, issued the following orders* (No.-) to the several commanding officers. I immediately passed up the road, and gave additional orders as to making a proper and obstinate defense in case of an attack and how and where to fall back to, &c.
On the 22nd I addressed the following letter to you (I herein inclose a copy),* deeming still my forces weak, and same day ordered the commanding officers to have erected immediately barriers or breastworks to cover their men in case of an attack, which I now really believed would take place soon, owing to the facts that the bridges and road were now in working order, the importance of the connection, the smallness of the guard, and the reduction of your command in the valley, an excellent turnpike road to Winchester from over the mountain and through Front Royal, with other dirt roads diverging in all directions to your rear.
On Thursday afternoon two of the enlisted men of the Third Wisconsin were captured, which fact I telegraphed to you.
On Friday, about 12.30 o'clock p. m., I collected information that I deemed reliable. I immediately proceeded to write a dispatch to you containing such (copy inclosed),* at the same time preparing my men for a determined and obstinate resistance; also informing Colonel Kenly of a momentary attack. Captain Davis, of the Twenty-seventh Indiana,