War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0031 Chapter XXXIII. RECONNAISSANCE TO WINCHESTER, VA., ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

DECEMBER 8, 1862.

Major-General SLOCUM:

Your dispatch of the 5th has been received, but no report has been received since. The commanding general is anxious to know the result of General Geary's reconnaissance, and desires me to request that you make daily reports to these headquarters. He hears from other sources that there is no force of the enemy at Winchester except provost guard. It is very important that the position of the enemy in that neighborhood should be determined.


Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH CORPS, Harper's Ferry, December 8, 1862.

GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date just received. On the 6th instant I telegraphed you as follows:

General Geary has just returned from a reconnaissance. He visited Berryville, Winchester, and Bunker Hill. He captured 125 prisoners, including 4 officers, killed 4 and wounded 20 of the enemy. We lost no men or property. Jackson's command passed through Thornton's Gap about the 1st instant, and moved toward Fredericksburg. Both the Hills have also moved toward the same place. General Geary has information, that he thinks reliable, that the command of Jackson and both the Hills does not exceed 35,000.

I have always telegraphed you the result of a reconnaissance immediately on receiving the report of the officer in command.

All quiet to-day.


Major-General of Volunteers.

Major-General PARKE.


Major-General SLOCUM, Harper's Ferry:

Your dispatch, detailing result of General Geary's reconnaissance to Winchester, just received. It is perfectly satisfactory, and the commanding general is much pleased with your success.

Your dispatch of the 6th, transmitting this intelligence, was not received at these headquarters.


Chief of Staff.

No. 2. Report of Brigadier General John W. Geary, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, TWELFTH ARMY CORPS, Bolivar Heights, Va., December 6, 1862.

COLONEL: In accordance with directions of the evening of December 1, from the commanding general, for me to take the available force of my division and make a reconnaissance on the following morning in the direction of Winchester, for the purpose of ascertaining the force and location of the enemy in the valley, I started, with about 3,200 infantry from the three brigades, and four guns each from Knap's, Hampton's,