War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0118 N. C. VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Colonel John W. Schall, U. S. Volunteers, a witness called by the court being duly sworn, answers:

By the Judge-Advocate:

Question. What position did you hold in General Milroy's command at Winchester the fight at and evacuation of, that place in June last?

Answer. I am a colonel of the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. I commanded that regiment, in the Second Brigade, which was commanded by Colonel Ely, Eighteenth Connecticut.

Question. State what you know of the battle at, and retreat from, that place.

Answer. The organization of this brigade was made of the morning of the 13th of June, 1863, that is, I was then ordered to report to Colonel Ely as my brigade commander. About the same time . our pickets were being engaged with the enemy. Soon after this, I received an order to take my regiment on the Front Royal road, and support a section of Battery L, Fifth U. S. Artillery, under command of Lieutenant Spooner. I was stationed on the right of the artillery, and about the time I got my regiment into position, the artillery fell back, and joined the rest of the battery. Colonel Ely ordered me to fall back, and I fell back, in support of the battery. Afterward my regiment ordered on to the ridge, known I think, as Apple Pie Ridge where we remained bout an hour. Again I was ordered back, to support Battery L, Fifth U. S. Artillery, in the same position where I had left it. I remained there an hour and half, and was again ordered to report with my command to Major-General Milroy, on Apple Pie Ridge . He directed me to proceed out on the Strasburg road, and to drive away the enemy's skirmishers, who were in possession of the mill, and to hold that place until furthers orders. Those instructions were carried out. About dark, I received orders to return to my original position, in support of the battery, and in the evening I received orders to fall back, at 2 o'clock in the morning, to the fortifications. About 8 o'clock next morning, I was ordered with my regiment to the town of Winchester, to drive out the enemy's skirmishers, who had entered the town on the southwest side. I was engaged during the day until 4 p. m., when the Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry relieved me. I again returned to the hill known as " the fortifications, " an hour later received and order to remove to the star fort. I think it was intended to change position in camp. On my moving in the direction of the fort, Battery L was opened upon by the enemy's artillery ; it was stationed in the fortifications north of the main fort. I was ordered to the One hundred and sixteenth Ohio Infantry, which was stationed in the direction of the battery and a little to the right. I afterward received orders to move forward in support of Battery L, but, when the order reached me, that battery was already captured, and its support (the One hundred and tenth Ohio) was falling back. I was then ordered back to the main fort. About dark on the 14th, my command was stationed in the rifle-pits on the east of the main fort. I held these pits until about 1 o'clock next morning, when I received orders from Major Cravens, assistant adjutant-general, to the effect that I should prepare my command to evacuate, and he directed me to get crackers for my men, if I needed them. I immediately notified my company commanders of this order, and, during my absence with them, an order to march came; it was received by my lieutenant-colonel, I think. I think it was a verbal order from my brigade commander, placing my regiment on the right of the brigade, with orders to move at once. We proceeded down the Martinsburg pike about 4 miles, when I had intimation that there had been some firing in front, and, as we were marching on, I received orders from my brigade commander, I think, to form my regiment in line. General Milroy was close by. I immediately brought my men into line, and immediately a toward had orders, I think from General Milroy direct, to change front to the right. During this movement, I noticed several regiment of the First Brigade to my left. I was ordered to advance in the direction I held after changing front, and I noticed a regiment on my left advancing at the same time. It was still quite dark, and I could just see them. I should have stated before that one company of my regiment was detached as skirmishers about the time we were forming line, and that while we were forming line some cavalry or wagon horses separated the left company of my regiment by running in between them; afterward they joined. I had orders to advance in the direction of the woods, and had gone but a few steps when skirmishing commenced. I advanced within a short distance of the woods, and during this time the enemy opened upon us with