War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0045 Chapter XXXIX. The Gettysburg Campaign.

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commanded the position of the enemy, and immediately opened on him with sufficient effect to throw him into confusion, when the One hundred and tenth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Keifer, and One hundred and twenty-third Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Wilson charged upon him and drove him back in disorder with considerable loss. Simultaneously the Twelfth West Virginia Infantry, Colonel Klunk, engaged a large body of the enemy's skirmishers in a woods south of the ridge and on the opposite side of the creek and race, and, after holding them in check some two hours, being outflanked and greatly outnumbered retired. Our whole force, which had been advanced on the Strasburg road, retired behind the creek and race above described. That creek and race then constituted the line of our forces in front of the town, and was held by Colonel Ely, with a portion of his brigade, on the Front Royal road, and by General Elliott, with a portion of his brigade, on the Strasburg road. The remainder of my forces were in the forts immediately north of the town. Immediately after pour forces had retired from the Strasburg road to the Winchester side of the creek and race, the enemy advanced his skirmishers, and brisk skirmishing ensued until dark. About 5 o'clock the enemy advanced and took possession of a picket post, surrounded by a stone wall on the south, east, and west, an which commanded the Strasburg road, from which they were dislodged by two companies of the Twelfth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. In this affair, which occurred about 6 o'clock in the evening, we captured a prisoners, from whom I learned that he belonged to Hays'Louisiana brigade, which was a part of Ewell's corps, the whole of which, and part of Longstreet's, was in our immediate vicinity . A deserter who came in shortly afterward confirmed his statement. This was the first intimation that I received that Lee's army had quietly retired before the lines of the Army of the Potomac, and performed a five or six days march. Telegraphic communication with my headquarters continued until 12 m. on Saturday. The Blue Ridge screened the operations of Lee's army from me. I had always relied with implicit confidence upon receiving timely notice by telegraph of its advance in my direction. On Saturday, under cover of the night, I withdrew my forces on the Strasburg and Front Royal roads in front of Winchester to the southern suburbs of the town, under orders to retire to the forts north of the town at 2 o'clock in the morning. Colonel McREynolds arrived with his command between 9 and 10 p. m. an was assigned to the start fort, immediately north of the main fortification . At this time it was evident that at least two corps of Lee's, numbering not less than 50, 000 men, and abundantly supplied with artillery, were in my immediate vicinity, and that my retreat by the Martinsburg and Berryville roads was cut off. I still hoped that there had been some corresponding action of the Army of the Potomac, and that if I could sustain myself for twenty-four hours I would be relieved. Early on Sunday morning detachments of cavalry were sent out on the Berryville and Martinsburg roads, but were driven back by the enemy's skirmishers and sharpshooters. From 7 o'clock on Sunday morning until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, detachments of the Eighteenth Connecticut, Fifth Maryland, and Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, under the direc-