From the above statement it will be seen that the disaster occurred in consequence of a gross violation of orders, more censurable in this particular instance from the fact that the enemy was known to be encamped in force between Woodstock and Edenburg. Considering the exigency of their position, the consultation (said to have occupied half an hour) which accursed between the majors in relation to a question not at all debatable, was ill-timed. They are blamable for having suffered their troops to have been attacked in such a position, the two battalions fronting each other.
Below is the official account of the loss of the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry; that of the New York cavalry is given in the inclosed report of Major Adams.
The loss of the Pennsylvania cavalry is nearly altogether in prisoners, and occurred in consequence of the exhaustion of the horses. Major Adams, who passed over the whole theater of the retreat, reports seeing only 2 dead Union soldiers.
Official reports of loss of the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry:
Commissioned officer.............................2 11
Non-commissioned officers and privates..........7 177
I am, general, very truly and respectfully, yours,
R. H. MILROY,
Brigadier General B. F. KELLEY,
Commanding Defenses of the Upper Potomac.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 13, 1863.
GENERAL: I have just received General Milroy's report of the affair of the 26th ultimo, in which he says that the capture of our troops resulted from gross violation of his orders. You will investigate this matter, and report for dismissal the officer or officer chargeable with this loss.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
Numbers 2. Report of Major Alonzo W. Adams, First New York Cavalry, of skirmish near Strasburg.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST NEW YORK CAVALRY,
Winchester, Va., February 27, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following brief report of the part taken by a detachment of the First New York Cavalry in the action of Yesterday:
On the morning of the 26th, I received an order from you to send a squadron of this regiment or report at headquarters for scouting duty. I immediately dispatched Lieutenants Passenger and Weiss, whit Companies G and L, numbering 45, rank and file, Lieutenant Passenger in command.