Numbers 69. Reports of Colonel J. W. Allen, Second Virginia Infantry, of operations May 24-June 9.
CAMP NEAR NEW MARKET, VA.,
June 4, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to Special Orders, No.-, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Second Regiment Virginia Volunteers in the engagement near and at Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, on Saturday night and Sunday, May 24 and 25:
Arriving near Newtown just before sunset, our advance was delayed by the enemy's fire from the hills beyond until after dusk, when the brigade resumed the line of march, the Thirty-second Regiment in advance, followed by the Twenty-seventh, the Second occupying the center of the brigade, continuing our march in this manner, with light skirmishing in front, until about 1 a. m., when our advance guard of cavalry was driven back by a heavy volley from the enemy, concealed in an orchard near the left and front, and receiving an order from General Winder to that effect, I directed the head of my regiment at right angles to the road, and then by the left flank moved parallel to the turnpike, until arriving at the stream found it impossible to advance by the front, and crossed by the flank on a narrow foot-way; before accomplishing which received, through Lieutenant Garnett, an order to return to the turnpike. The Fifth Regiment had passed before I reached the road.
In this manner we advanced, with four companies as skirmishers (Company F, Second Regiment, being one of them), until after we had passed through Kernstown. Sharp skirmishing occurring at the road at this point, we remained until after dawn, when the order was given to move forward. Arriving at Perkins' Mill, the Twenty-seventh was filed to the left of the road, and I received an order from General Winder to take the direction of the Twenty-seventh, Second, and Fifth Regiments, and occupy the heights to the left of the turnpike, on which there was a breastwork and across which the enemy's line of skirmishers was already extended.
Skirmishers were thrown forward from the Twenty-seventh and Fifth, and the main bodies of the Second and Twenty-seventh, immediately after crossing the run, moved forward promptly and soon occupied the position indicated. Immediately on reaching the crest of the hill a battery about 400 yards in advance opened on my regiment. I drew it back slightly under the crest of the hill, where we remained over an hour, subject to the direct and enfilading fire of the enemy's guns, two shells from which fell and exploded exactly in companies I and H of my regiment.
The men during this trying time maintained their position with perfect coolness, and when I received an order from General Winder to advance, as the enemy were being driven back by General Taylor's brigade on our left, every man started forward in admirable style. After passing the ridge, behind the crest of which I had taken my first position, I discovered the enemy about to take advantage of a stone wall directly in front of General Taylor's brigade, to make a stand, hereupon I directed my regiment, together with the companies of the Fifth (which had been thrown forward as skirmishers), by the right flank, and passed the end of the wall, thus turning the flank of the force