General Ashby why he was not where I desired him at the close of the engagement, he stated that he had moved to the enemy's left, for the purpose of cutting off a portion of his force. General Steuart pushed on to Martinsburg, where he captured a large amount of army stores.
There is good reason for believing that, had the cavalry played its part in this pursuit as well as the four companies had done under Colonel Flournoy two days before in the pursuit from Front Royal, but a small portion of Banks' army would have made its escape to the Potomac.
On the following day (26th) divine service was held for the purpose of rendering thanks to God for the success with which He had blessed our arms and to implore His continued favor.
In order to make a demonstration toward the Potomac, General Winder, early on the morning of the 28th, left his encampment near Winchester with the Fourth, Fifth, Thirty-second, and Twenty-seventh Virginia Regiments and Carpenter's and Poague's batteries, and took up the line of march for Charlestown by Summit Point. When about 5 miles from Charlestown he received information that the enemy was in possession of that place in heavy force. Upon being advised of this I ordered General Ewell, with re-enforcements, to his support. Notwithstanding the report of the large number of the enemy, and the expectation of re-enforcements in the course of the day, General Winder moved forward cautiously toward Charlestown, and, as he emerged from the woods, less than a mile distant from the town, he discovered the enemy in line of battle about 1,500 strong, and decided to attack them. Upon the appearance of our troops they were fired upon by two pieces of artillery. Carpenter's battery was immediately placed in position, the Thirty-third Virginia Regiment to support it. This battery was so admirably served that in twenty minutes the enemy retired in great disorder, throwing away arms, blankets, haversacks, &c. The pursuit was continued rapidly with artillery and infantry to Halltown.
A short distance beyond that point, observing the enemy in position on Bolivar Heights, General Winder returned to the vicinity of Charlestown.
On the following day the main body of the army took position near Halltown, and the Second Regiment Virginia Infantry was sent to the Loudoun Heights, with the hope of being able to drive the enemy from Harper's Ferry across the Potomac.
In the mean time Shields was moving from Fredericksburg, on my right, and Fremont from the South Branch, on my left, with a view to concentrating heavy force in my rear and cutting off my retreat up the valley. To avoid such a result orders were issued for all the troops, except Winder's brigade and the cavalry, to return to Winchester on the 30th. Directions were given to General Winder to recall the Second Regiment from Loudoun Heights, and as soon as it should return to its brigade to move with its command, including the cavalry, and rejoin the main body of the army.
Before I reached Winchester the enemy's cavalry had appeared at Front Royal, and Colonel Conner, who held that town with the Twelfth Georgia and a section of Rice's battery, hastily and improvidently abandoned the place, permitting not only Federal prisoners, then in our possession but some of this own men to fall into the hands of the enemy. Quartermaster and commissary stores, which we had previously captured at that place, and which Major Harman in his report estimates at the value of $300,000, were, before they could be recap-