War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0579 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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mounted his stead and escaped, but not without being shot at. The last he saw of Dr. Free, who was in the advance, was in the act of mounting his horse. The quartermaster sergeant distinctly heard two shots fired afterward, but knew nothing of the fate of Dr. Free until the next day, December 11, 1863, when a detachment of men, and an officer of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers went out in search of the guerrillas, and to gain some information,if possible, in regard to the fate of Dr. Free. When they arrived at the place where the attack had been seen made the day previous, they saw no guerrillas, of course, but found the body of Dr. Free, pierced by two balls and seven buckshot,lying by the side of a log some 30 feet from where he had last been seen the day previous by the quartermaster sergeant. He was shot in the right hypochondriac region, and all the bullet holes could be covered by the palm of the hand, showing conclusively that his antagonist could not have been more than 10 or 15 feet from him when he fired.

The body of Dr. Free was brought to camp lat in the evening of the 11th of December, and having been properly cleansed, was confined in a rough board coffin and kept until the 18th of December, awaiting permission for some one to accompany the body home. Nothing having been heard from the papers that were sent up on the 11th of December, we concluded that, having kept the body six days, it would be best to forward it to Washington and have it expressed from there to his friends. His body was sent on the 18th of December in charge of Sergeant McKee, and ordered to be confined in a metallic coffin and expressed to his brother, Dr. John L. Free, Shrewsbury, York County, Pa.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers.

CUMBERLAND, MD., December 23, 1863-9 a.m.

(Received 11 a.m.)

Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM,

Chief of Staff:

General Sullivan telegraphs that Colonel Wells, commanding column, reached Strasburg last evening, and that Early's division, of Ewell's corps, is certainly following him, and was at Mount Jackson yesterday. It was currently reported at Harrisonburg before Wells left that Averell had destroyed the depot at Salem, locomotives, trains, &c. I have nothing definite from Averell yet.



CUMBERLAND, MD., December 23, 1863.

(Received 7 p.m.)

Brigadier-General CULLUM,

Chief of Staff:

Just received telegram from General Averell announcing his brilliant success. He informs me he has forwarded a copy direct to the general. Has it been received? If not, I will forward at once.