War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0269 Chapter XLIX. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY, ETC.

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enemy on the Snickersville pike, capturing 117 mules and horses, 82 wagons, and 62 prisoners, besides killing and wounding a good many. I have no doubt that the enemy is in full retreat for Richmond, but the cavalry reports, which can hardly fail to be received to-night, will settle the matter. He is represented as much demoralized, though this is doubtful, as regards his old infantry force. The Third Division, Sixth Corps, reached here about 6 p. m., and the trains of the Nineteenth Corps are still coming in.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. G. WRIGHT,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff, &c.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH AND NINETEENTH CORPS,

Near Leesburg, Va., July 21, 1864--1.30 p. m.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that shortly after writing my dispatch of the 17th instant from Clark's Gap, I learned that the enemy had halted in the Valley of Virginia, and was holding the crossing of the Shenandoah in some force. I at once moved on Snicker's Gap (which we held with our cavalry), designing to cross the Shenandoah River, if practicable, and attack him. The attempt at crossing was resisted in strong force, and believing it better to turn his position, I designed doing so by way of Key's Gap, thus effecting a junction with some of the forces of General Hunter lower down the Valley. In the mean time, a cavalry force was sent to Ashby's Gap, which effected a crossing of the river, but was finally driven back with some loss. This and other information induced me to defer the movement by way of Key's Gap, in the belief that a crossing might be effected where we were, and the enemy probably fought in detail. Preparations were accordingly made, and on pushing across on the morning of the 20th, it was found the enemy had retreated during the night, taking the road to Front Royal and Strasburg. Conceiving the object of the expedition to be accomplished, I at once started back, as directed in your orders, and to-night shall encamp on the east side of Goose Creek, on the Leesburg pike. Two day's easy march will bring the command to Washington, crossing the Potomac at Chain Bridge.

Our losses at Snicker's Ferry will not exceed 200, while those of the enemy are reported by the inhabitants at 50 to 60 killed, and 300 wounded. Our loss at Ashby's Gap was about 130; that of the enemy not known.

I will make a more detailed report on reaching Washington.

Both Early and Breckinridge were at Snicker's Ferry when we reached there. It was Early's intention, as expressed to the citizens, to hold the Valley and gather in the crops, and his rapid retreat southward occasioned them much surprise.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. G. WRIGHT,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major-General HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.