A third time cut off, with nothing but misfortune staring us in the face, though we had spared no human effort to come to your aid, I was at last compelled to provide for our own personal safety; so, placing in the wagons 23 men too fatigued to walk, I left the road with the rest and took to the woods, and providentially having found a pocket-compass and a map, succeeded in reaching Hancock on Monday, the 26th instant, at 2 p. m., and on the following day had the gratification of reporting to you in person.
I have omitted to mention that I brought with me from Strasburg 2 lieutenants and 50 men of various regiments, who had been guarding the commissary stores at that place.
The 23 men who remained with the wagons, I am informed, bravely defended them along the whole route, and rejoined me at Hancock. We lost all our personal baggage, knapsacks, blankets, &c.
I am greatly indebted to Captain James W. Abert, U. S. Army, Topographical Engineers, for most valuable suggestions during my engagement with the enemy, as also to my brother officers, Lieutenant Barthoulot and Heimach.
Incredible, general, as it may appear, my men marched 141 miles in forty-seven hours, as measured by Captain Abert.
Reassuring you of my desire always to serve you and the cause to the extent of my poor capacity, and congratulating you upon the success of your unparalleled retreat, I have the honor to be, very respectfully your obedient servant,
CHARLES H. T. COLLIS,
Captain, Commanding Zouaves d'Afrique, Body Guard.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Shenandoah.
Numbers 14. Report of Brigadier General John P. Hatch, U. S. Army, commanding cavalry, of operations May 24-25.
HDQRS. CAVALRY, DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH,
Williamsport, Md., May 30, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the operations of the cavalry under my command during the 24th and 25th instant:
The composition of the force was as follows: The Fifth New York Cavalry, Colonel De Forest; the First Vermont, Colonel Tompkins,and five companies of the First Maine, Lieutenant-Colonel Douty, afterward joined by five companies of the First Maryland, Lieutenant-Colonel Wetschky, Hampton's battery, and one howitzer of Best's battery attached.
On the morning of the 24th the First Maine and two companies of the First Vermont accompanied the main body of the army on the retreat toward Winchester. Colonel Tompkins with the remainder of his regiment made a reconnaissance into Woodstock by the turnpike, and Captain Krom, of the New York Fifth, with two companies reconnoitered the same distance by the Middle road. Nothing was seen of the enemy on either road.
Orders were then received for the cavalry to follow in the rear of