War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0054 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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Corps, the advance of a considerable force of rebel cavalry on the Strasburg road. A force consisting of the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania and the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry was dispatched to discover their whereabouts and numbers. Our force advanced down the Strasburg road until they came upon the rebel advance. The infantry formed an ambuscade; the cavalry charged on the enemy and then retreated, attempting to entice them into the ambush, but did not succeed until the third attempt, when the ruse was successful, and 35 prisoners were taken, 10 killed and wounded, and 15 horses captured. Our force nearer than Strasburg, and that not large. The next morning information was received at headquarters that the rebels were advancing on the Front Royal and Strasburg roads, but that their force was insufficient to cause us to evacuate or occasion any alarm. Brigadier-General Elliott, commanding First Brigade, was ordered with his command to the Strasburg road. Colonel William G. Ely, Eighteenth Connecticut Volunteers, commanding Second Brigade, was sent to Front Royal road, and both were instructed to dispose their forces so as to command both roads. Almost immediately upon our forces getting position, severe skirmishing ensued upon both roads. On the Front Royal road they opened on us from a battery concealed in the woods. Colonel Ely ordered the section of artillery under his command to engage the rebel battery, which it did, until a shell exploded in one of his caissons, disabling the piece and 3 men. He then withdrew without further loss to the road intersecting at right angles both the Front Royal and Strasburg roads, where he took position, and fired with such precision and rapidity that he completely silenced the enemy's guns. No infantry force was visible on the Front Royal road. General Elliott was attacked at the same time with nearly the same force, and maintained his ground until it was deemed expedient to withdraw and plant his batteries on Milltown Heights, a position that fully commanded both roads. Our infantry forces, under Colonel Keifer, were all this time engaging the enemy on the Strasburg road, and succeeded in driving them back nearly to Kernstown (4 miles), but they proved too strong, and compelled him to fall back, flanking him three times, but his men fought the ground so obstinately, and his two pieces of artillery were so well handled, that their attempt to surround and take him proved abortive. They continued advancing, however, and when within reach of our guns on Milltown Heights, showed two long lines of battle, composed of a force of not less than 5, 000 men, which all supposed comprised their entire force. Our batteries opened on them, the infantry forces at the same time charging, and in less than fifteen minutes their entire lines were broken and their whole body retiring in the direst confusion. General Milroy superintended the placing and firing of the guns, and personally directed all the details of the fight. The rebels retired into the woods; our forces had successfully engaged them at all points; they everywhere had been repulsed, and we were fully convinced that the worst was over, and that their attack upon Winchester had proved a disastrous failure. That night, to guard against surprise, it was deemed best to withdraw the battery from Milltown Heights, as we did not have a sufficient force of infantry to support it in case of a general attack during the night. Our lines were all drawn inward close to the outskirts of the town; strong outposts were established, and the utmost vigilance