War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0136 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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Question. What orders were delivered by you during the retreat from Winchester?

Answer. The evacuation of Winchester was ordered about 10 o'clock Sunday night . General Milroy communicated the order to me. He informed me that the artillery was to be abandoned, and also the wagons, that the brigade, regimental, and division quartermasters were to be instructed to carry off the public horses, if possible, and the ammunition that could not be carried by the men was to be thrown into the cisterns of the forts, or otherwise destroyed, as far as practicable, and that the brigades, in the order of their numbers, should march as soon as practicable out of the forts. He directed me to busy myself in carrying out those dispositions, and also other staff officers. I communicated the order for the evacuation to Lieutenant Colonel Stanley [Schall], Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania, and Colonel Klunk, Twelfth Virginia, admonishing them at the time that the evacuation was to be conducted silently. The men were at the time asleep in the trenches and rifle-pits. They were waked up by notifying their captains. Avoiding the town of Winchester, they struck the Martinsburg road about a mile from the main fort, and proceeded north, on the Martinsburg road, a distance of four miles and a half from Winchester, when the advanced guard was fired upon by the pickets of the enemy. The enemy was in a woods, and consisted, as I have since learned, of Johnson's division of Ewell's corps, from 8, 000 to 10, 000 strong, with two batteries. When I first heard the firing upon our advance guard, I was riding with the Colonel Ely at the head of his brigade. I immediately rode forward toward the front, and met Major Cravens, of General Milroy's staff . He directed me to ride forward, and order two regiments (the One hundred and tenth and One hundred and twenty-second Ohio), which had filed to the left some distance back to the Martinsburg road, and place them in line of battle there, fronting the woods in which the enemy appeared to be . I immediately proceeded to execute this order. When I arrived at the front of the column, I was about delivering the order to Colonel Keifer, of the One hundred and tenth Ohio, when I saw General Elliott for beginning to give this order to his colonels when he was presented. General Elliott then explained to me that he had filed those regiments to the left with reference to forming his line of battle . The propriety of this disposition was manifest at the time, and the emergency being great, without returning for fresh orders, as General Milroy's aide, I approved of it. General Elliott then ordered to Colonel Keifer, with the One hundred and tenth Ohio, to proceed into the woods. The order was promptly obeyed. As soon as the regiment reached the woods, a severe firing of musketry occurred. General Elliott remarked to me that the enemy must be there in force, and that the One hundred and tenth should be immediately supported by the One hundred and twenty-second Ohio. I volunteered to deliver the order to Colonel Ball, of the One hundred and twenty-second Ohio, and to guide him to the woods, so as to place him on the right flank of the One hundred and tenth in tolerably good order, and immediately commenced firing . Both regiments then advanced, and drove the enemy out of the woods. There were indications of a surprise to the enemy by the suddenness of their attack. They took one of their caissons, or passed it. We could look into their camp an see that their artillery horses were ungovernable. We were so close that we could hear the orders given by their officers in endeavoring to restore order . The fire of the enemy though rapid, went over us, both of small-arms and artillery, As we progressed, we saw evidences from the wounded and slain of the enemy that our fire had been efficient . After this contest had lasted perhaps an hour, Colonel Keifer requested me to return to the rear and learn what dispositions were going on the right to sustain Colonel Ball and himself . I complied with his order . When I arrived at the rear, I noticed the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, the Eighteenth Connecticut . General Milroy was also present, but dismounted, his horse being, as I supposed disabled. He was engaged in turned with all possible expedition to Colonel Keifer, to notify him of the support which he was about to have on the right. I supposed at the time that from the effect of the fire of the One hundred and tenth and One hundred and twenty-