War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0044 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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On Saturday morning, at a few minutes before 8 o'clock, my cavalry patrols on the Front Royal road reported that the enemy was approaching in force. Deeming it advisable that under the circumstances the whole command should be united at Winchester, I gave Colonel McReynolds the concerted signal above stated. I immediately sent forward on the Front Royal road and Strasburgs roads forces to observe and report the forces and movements of the enemy. That on the Front Royal road consisted of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Eighteenth Connecticut Infantry, Fifth Maryland Infantry, and one section of Battery l, Fifth U. S. Artillery, Colonel Ely commanding. A little over a mile from Winchester this force encountered a battery of the enemy's artillery . located in a wood at the right of the Front Royal road. After a short artillery skirmish, Colonel Ely retired hiss command to near the junction of the Front Royal and Strasburg roads, immediately south of and adjoining Winchester. The enemy did not pursue in force. Occasionally during the day small detachments of rebel cavalry approached from that direction, but were driven off by our infantry pickets, which were well protected, and directed to remain at their posts and act as skirmishers . The force on the Strasburg road consisted of the One hundred and tenth and One hundred and twenty-third Ohio, the Twelfth West Virginia Infantry, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, and Carlin's battery, Brigadier-General Elliott commanding. A little to the west and adjoining Winchester is a high ridge, which extends from the town south for over a mile to Mill Creek, which is known as Apple-Pie Ridge . Around the southern terminus of this ridge the creek and a mill-race wind across the Strasburg road, and from thence in a northerly direction across the Front Royal road, and north of that road to Hollingsworth Mills, where the race terminates and the creek takes an abrupt easterly course. The whole length of the race is about 2 miles . The creek and race combined afford a strong protection against cavalry, and for that reason and the additional one that stone fences and other covers abound in its vicinity, they had been adopted as a portion of my infantry picket line. The force above designated, excepting two sections of Carlin's battery, stationed on the southern extremity of the ridge above described, proceeded up the Strasburg road to within a short distance of Kernstown, where it remained, encountering no enemy, excepting occasional parties of skirmishers, until about 2 p. m., when Brigadier-General Elliott, through Lieutenant [William]Alexander, of his staff, reported to me at the place where the two sections of Carlin's battery were stationed that he could find no enemy in his front, but that there were indications that he was massing his forces on our left, in the vicinity of the Front Royal road. I then directed General Elliott to retire his force on the Strasburg road back to the creek and race above described, so as to put in a position to support Colonel Ely on the Front Royal road or the forces in the forts, as the exigency might require. While this order was being executed, and when General Elliott's command had arrived within 600 yards of the creek and race, a considerable force of the enemy's infantry in two lines of battle displayed itself to our right, with the apparent intention to flank and cut off our retiring troops. I estimated the force of the enemy then in sight at 2, 000. The two sections Carlin's battery on the ridge as above stated