On reaching Fort Hill, I learned that Colonel Wells had been ordered with his brigade to proceed through Martinsburg, in guard of the wagon train, and I received orders to retire very slowly and in line of battle, keeping out a good skirmish line toward the enemy. In passing over Fort Hill Colonel Ely's brigade became separated, through some misapprehension, three of the regiments keeping along the ridge of hills in the line taken by Colonel Duval's brigade. I, with the remaining two regiments, proceeded to the rear on the left of the pike, keeping in line with Colonel Hayes' brigade on the right. When a mile from Winchester I received orders to move more leisurely and let Colonel Duval, who was some distance to the left and rear, overtake me. Colonel Hayes' brigade continued to advance, and I was left somewhat behind. A column of the enemy's cavalry was following the retreating column on the right, and was about passing in advance of my two regiments. I deemed it expedient to oblique to the left and unite with the other three regiments of Colonel Ely's brigade, and also form a junction with Colonel Duval's brigade. After forming this junction, I moved forward parallel with the pike and one-fourth of a mile distant from it. Our retreating forces ont he pike and to the right of it had got far in advance of me, with the enemy in close pursuit. Night set in before I could overtake our forces, and procuring a guide, I continued the march through the fields in the direction of Bunker Hill. The enemy sometimes appeared upon our right flank and would fire a few shots and retire. When within two miles of Bunker Hill, I inclined to the right, so as to enter the pike. Emerging from a piece of dark, dense woods into the pike I discovered that my column had been broken, and that not more than 150 men were following me. I started these on the pike and returned with Colonel Curtis, of the Twelfth West Virginia, whose regiment was in the rear, to bring forward the command, supposing that the column had been broken in the dark wood and was but a short distance behind, the column being together when I entered the wood. On going back nothing could be heard of the command, and after passing through the wood and attempting to return discovered ourselves cut off by a force of rebel cavalry that was within fifteen paces of us before it was noticed. We jumped from our horses and sought cover in an adjoining field. This same body of cavalry, as I afterwards learned, had cut off the head of my column as it entered the wood and the main body had passed round to the right. I was unable to reach my command again during the retreat, but with Colonel Curtis succeeded in reaching the North Mountain and from thence to my command, which I overtook at Sandy Hook on the 28th of July. The accompanying reports of Colonel Wells and Ely will inform you what was done by them after I became separated from my command.
The total casualties in the First Infantry Division were 6 killed, 52 wounded, and 108 missing.* Many of the missing may have escaped to points on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad west of Martinsburg, and have not yet been able to join their regiments.
I also append a list of casualties+ from Colonel Mulligan's division, now consolidated in the Third Brigade, of the First Division, under command of Colonel Campbell.
*But see revised table, p. 288.
+Embodied in table, p. 289.