War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0092 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Ninth day

August 17, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment. Present, all the members and the judge-advocate. The proceeding of the previous meeting were read and approved. Mr. U. B. Ward was duly sworn by the judge-advocate as photographer of the court. Major General R. H>Milroy, U. S. Volunteers . a witness called by the court, being duly sworn, says that his official report a general statement of the facts concerning the evacuation of Winchester, but he would give a more detailed statement upon being questioned by the court.

By the Judge-Advocate:

Question . How long before the enemy made their attack upon you was it known to you than an attack was to be made?

Answer. It was on Friday, 12th. The rebels, under Jones, Jenkins, and Imboden, had been in the Valley of the Shenandoah all the winter and spring above me. I had frequent skirmishes with them with my cavalry and infantry scouts, and they were around between Winchester and Strasburg, which were alternately occupied by each army. It was common ground. I frequently drove them beyond Woodstock, but I was not allowed to advance beyond Winchester, Middletown, and Strasburg. On the 122th of June, I pecked a raid there by Stuart's rebel cavalry. I looked for it daily, and kept my infantry and cavalry well in hand, scoured the country, and kept a lookout for spies. On the Front Royal road I sent out a regiment of infantry, one of cavalry, and a section of artillery. I sent only a regiment of cavalry, because I did not expect an advance on that road, and did not dream that any forces would approach me except what were in the Shenandoah Valley. I supposed General Hooker would keep General Lee employed while I looked after the enemy's forces in the Valley. On the Strasburg road I had a very severe skirmish, in which the enemy lost 60 in killed and wounded and 37 prisoners. These prisoners belonged to forces of Imboden and Jones. I questioned them. They said they had received no re-enforcement. On the Front Royal road, near Cedarville, my forces met a strong force of the enemy. I cannot account for them unless they were Stuart's cavalry. Darkness came on, and there could nothing more be done. I came to the conclusion that Stuart's cavalry was in my vicinity. On the next day I again sent out strong forces on both roads, to see what was going on and to feel the enemy. A fight was maintained all day with the enemy in strong force. I had no idea of being attacked. I thought there was no intention to drive us out of the Valley, but merely to occupy our attention . In the evening we captured some prisoners, and learned from then that Ewell's corps, 35, 000 strong, was in the Valley. Shortly after, a deserter came in, confirming the same story. This was on Saturday, the 13th, in the evening . I then left certain that Lee was coming through that way . I left my position to be critical, but after consultation with my officers, that we would be relieved; that Hooker would follow Lee, or that forces would be sent in some direction to my relief. The wires between me and Martinsburg were cut about noon on Saturday. The fight commenced on the 12th, about 12 miles from the town. My advance was 12 miles from the town. On Monday, the batteries of the rebels, were in range of my large guns. On the 13th, the fight commenced about 8 o'clock in the morning, and continued until dusk. I might have cut my way out on Saturday night. I was surrounded then on all sides, but I thought we might be relieved on Sunday, and that it could be no worse to hold on all day Sunday, and then cut my way out. On Saturday night I withdrew my forces to the fortifications on the heights near Winchester, and on Sunday morning a fight ensued. The enemy threw out skirmishers on the south and east of me, in the direction of Front royal, Strasburg, and Berryville. On Sunday, they made a vigorous attack, coming from the west. They brought up very suddenly a battery, and opened on us with some thirty or forty guns, and captured one battery and some battery wagons. My troops fell back to the main fort. We opened on them, and drove them out. I knew of the attack of the 12th-on the evening of the 12th. On the evening of the 13th, I knew