War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0190 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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and stating that he can hold the works against a force five times as great as his own. General Elliott, in an accompanying letter, coincides generally with the views of General Milroy, and expresses the opinion that the forts can be held against a force two or three times the number of Milroy's command. General Milroy, both before and after the attack, repeatedly telegraphed to General Schenck that he was able to hold the place, and fully confident of sustaining himself against a strenuous attack, and even as late as on June 14, when he had ascertaining that it was a part of Lee's army that was attacking him, he telegraphs that he can hold the place five days, if at the end of that time he can be relieved . On the same day he also telegraphs that he will hold in spite of fate. This last assertion of General Milroy, made at a time when he must have known that his provisions and ammunition were nearly exhausted, shows that he had an overwhelming confidence in the strength of his position and his own ability to defend it . His General opinion, however, is confirmed by Colonel Piatt, and General Tyler, who having been sent by General Schenck to inspect the fortifications at Winchester, communicated to the latter on June 11 their favorable impressions as to the capacity of the works to hold out against any attack that the enemy could be expected to make upon the place, but in this communication these officers did not contemplate the possibility of an attack be Lee's army . General Schenck is also represented by Colonel Piatt as having been considerably influenced in his action in countermanding the order communicate by the latter by the statements of General Kelley was a Virginia ; had lived the greater part of his line in that part of the country, and was well acquainted personally, as well as through scouts, with the roads, passes, fords, &c., through that region . General Schenck had a high opinion of General Kelley's knowledge as to these particulars, and, we therefore, it was represented by the latter that there was no enemy in the Valley other than usual force of Jenkins, Jones, &c., he (General Schenck) was further disinclined to give General Milroy the peremptory order for the evacuation, of which he could not himself see the immediately necessity . This last observation introduces another significant feature in the history of the case, which is now to be noticed- the want of accurate knowledge of the movements of Lee, which continued up to the very time of the attack upon Winchester -a circumstances which may, to a considerable extent, account for, and, if necessary, excuse the hesitation in sending positive and precise orders in regard to the evacuation of the post to General Milroy . III. The circumstances of the attack . Under this head will be considered, first the intelligence of the approach of the enemy, and secondly, the attack itself . 1. The approach of the enemy. It is singular to observe up to how late a period the movements of Lee is advancing upon Winchester and down the Valley remained undiscovered by those in authority . It appears that soon after June 1, intelligence had been received, and it was generally understood that the rebel General Stuart had collected a large force (about 12, 000) of cavalry in Culpeper County, for the purpose of making an extensive raid . In a telegram of May 29, General Halleck had warned General Schenck that his forces must be on the alert in anticipation of an attack, and, on June 8, he telegraphed to the latter general the