War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0694 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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conduct of First Sergt. C. F. Merkle, Corpl. Francis Dalton, Musician Delmege, and Private John Martin. Where so many deserve to be mentioned it is difficult to discriminate. Two rifled Parrott guns and two caissons were also lost, and 30 horses, most of which were killed by the sharpshooters of the enemy.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. CLARK,

Captain Fourth Artillery.

Colonel PHILIP DAUM,

Chief of Artillery.

Numbers 56. Report of Brigadier General Nathan Kimball, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade, of action at Front Royal, May 30.

HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., DEPT. RAPPAHANNOCK, Front Royal, Va., May 31, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to your orders I moved with my command from Rectortown at 6 p. m. the 29th instant, and after a short rest near Manassas Gap reached Front Royal at 11.30 a. m. the next day, the 30th. I had reason to believe the enemy were in large force in the village, and on approaching the heights commanding the town from the southeast I ordered two guns to be placed in position. This was scarcely done before the enemy was discovered and fire opened upon him. I ordered the Fourth Ohio Volunteers to occupy the hills to the south and southwest, and the Seventh West Virginia and Fourteenth Indiana Volunteers the hills to the northeast and north, reserving the Eighth Ohio Volunteers to support the guns. This disposition of my force was not completed before the enemy commenced a hurried retreat by the road toward Winchester, after setting fire to the railroad depot buildings and the cars near it. A detachment of infantry was hurried forward to extinguish the flames, who by the most strenuous efforts saved several cars loaded with grain, but the buildings were destroyed.

A small body of New Hampshire cavalry, all I had, closely followed by the Fourth and Eighth Ohio Volunteers, were pushed forward in pursuit of the enemy, who was overtaken about 2 miles from the village, and after a sharp skirmish and a decisive charge of the fearfully small body of cavalry he was scattered with loss, and the pursuit abandoned because of the utter exhaustion of my men, they having marched, with but little rest since the evening before, 23 miles. My command rested upon the ground where the pursuit ended.

The enemy's loss in killed and wounded I am unable to ascertain, as he carried them away with him. I succeeded in capturing 155 prisoners and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, clothing, and forage. The prisoners are from the Twelfth Regiment Georgia Infantry; the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Regiments and Bate's and Wheat's battalions Louisiana infantry; the Second, Fifth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-seventh, Forty-second, Forty-eighth, Fifty-second, and Fifty-eighth Virginia Infantry, and the Sixth and Seventh Virginia and Ashby's Cavalry; the Twenty-first North Carolina and the Sixteenth Mississippi Infantry. Three commissioned officers and 17 privates were recaptured.