War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0641 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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and part of Reynolds' battery, and Lieutenant Daniels from Battery Stanton, on Maryland Heights. The scene at this time was very impressive. The night was intensely dark; the hills around were alive with the signal-lights of the enemy; the rain descended in torrents; vivid flashes of lighting at intervals the grand and magnificent scenery, while the crash of thunder, echoing among the mountains, drowned into comparative insignificance the roar of our artillery. After an action of about an hour's duration the enemy retired. He made another unsuccessful attack at midnight with regiments of Mississippi and Louisiana Infantry, and after a short engagement disappeared. Signal-lights continued to be seen in every direction.

On Saturday morning, ignorant of the enemy's movements, I sent out a reconnaissance in force to discover his whereabouts, and found that he had retreated. I pushed forward as far as Charleston and found the enemy's rear guard had left an hour before. Fifty pieces of his cannon passed through Charleston that morning, the enemy being in strong force, variously estimated at from 18,000 to 25,000, and many reports in circulation that he had repulsed our forces sent to attack him in the rear; and my own forces, of not more than 7,000 effective men, being completely worn-our, by fatigue and exposure, I deemed it not prudent to advance, at least until he men rested. On Sunday General Sigel, arrived and on Monday he assumed command. I have not yet received the reports of the subordinate commanders, and cannot particularize individual instances of good conduct. As a general thing the troops bore their fatigue and hardships with cheerfulness.

Great credit is due to Brigadier-Generals Cooper and Slough, commanding the First and Second Brigades respectively, for their untiring exertions during the five days and night siege. Also to Colonel D. S. Miles, commanding the Railroad Brigade, and his aides, Lieutenants Binney and Reynolds as well as my own personal staff, Captain George Merrill, assistant adjutant-general; Capts. J. C. Anderson and Ulric Dahlgren, additional aides-de-camp; Major George W. Brum, volunteer aide, and Mr. Thorndyke, of the Eighth Missouri Regiment, who volunteered his services on this occasion. Lieutenant Daniels, with his naval battery of Dahlgren guns on Maryland Heights, 2,000 feet above the level of the sea, did splendid service throughout the entire siege.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers,

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT

Washington, June 17, 1862.

Brigadier General R. SAXTON:

GENERAL: The thanks of this Department are cordially tendered to you for your late able and gallant defense of Harper's Ferry against the rebel forces under command of General Jackson. You were placed in command at that point at a moment of extreme danger and under circumstances of extraordinary difficulty.

By your gallantry and skill great service was rendered to the country, which I feel it to be the duty of this Department to acknowledge

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