Numbers 70. Reports of Colonel Charles A. Ronald, Fourth Virginia Infantry, of operations May 23-June 9.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH VIRGINIA VOLUNTEERS,
June 4, 1862.
In the engagement with the enemy on May 23, 24, and 25 I have the honor to submit the following report so far as the Fourth Regiment was concerned:
The regiment did not arrive at Front Royal in time to take part in the engagement of the 23rd.
On the morning of the 24th the regiment, with the brigade, took up the line of march at an early hour from Front Royal (the Fourth Regiment in front) for Middletown. Arriving at the forks of the road, the brigade was halted for several hours. The march was then resumed, and marching in quick-time, arrived at Middletown about - p. m. The march was continued a short distance in the direction of Strasburg.
The enemy being in full retreat down the valley, the brigade was ordered to about-face and was counter-marched by regiments, which threw the Fourth in the rear. This being done, the regiment marched in pursuit of the enemy. When about 1 mile west of Newtown I was directed by Lieutenant Howard, aide-de-camp, to file to the left and put the regiment under cover in the woods. While this order was being executed Captain O'Brien directed me back to the road, as the position in the road was out of the range of the enemy's guns.
About sunset the regiment, with the brigade, pushed forward, the Thirty-third being in front. The enemy being in ambush, and the position of the preceding regiments being changed, the Fourth now became the second in the order of march; but no casualty occurred during the night.
On the morning of the 25th the regiment arrived near Winchester. About 5 a. m. Lieutenant Garnett directed me to take up a position on the right of our lines and to support a line of skirmishers that had been thrown out. The point to be occupied was in a wheat field, designated by Lieutenant Garnett as the skirmishers advanced. I advanced the regiment to within about 600 or 800 yards, as I supposed, of the enemy's battery, which battery was on the right of the road. I expected to draw the fire of this battery, but it did not open upon me, although in full view of it.
The regiment did not become engaged during the fight. When the retreat commenced I double-quicked the regiment for the turnpike, taking the nearest route, but before reaching the road I was met by an order to change the direction farther to the right, which I did, and followed the enemy 5 miles below Winchester, on the Martinsburg road.
No casualties. Strength, rank and file, 200.
CH. A. RONALD,
Colonel Fourth Virginia Volunteers.
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
P. S. - It is proper to state that my reason for reaching the road by the nearest route was with the view of intercepting the enemy's battery, which I believed could be done.