War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0308 Chapter XLIX. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

Search Civil War Official Records

We occupied a position on the right of the road leading to Kernstown, and at the commencement of the engagement I was ordered with the Fifteenth West Virginia Volunteers forward, the two regiments being detached from the brigade. We advanced, skirmishing, to a stone fence, about a quarter of a mile beyond Kernstown, where we remained, constantly exchanging fire with the enemy, until ordered by Lieutenant King, acting aide-de-camp, to retire, when we did so, rallying behind a second line of stone fence, where we remained a short time and were again ordered to retire to near Kernstown, which we did. We remained here but a short time, when the whole line retiring and the enemy appearing on our flank we fell back to the point north of Winchester near the fortifications. The retreat having become general, the command became somewhat scattered and retreated in some confusion to Bunker Hill, where the most of the command was collected and encamped for the night. The next day marched to Martinsburg. The fact that this command was detached from the brigade in the early part of the engagement, thus leaving us without knowledge of a point on which to rally, I consider a reason for the confusion arising. Some of the officers and men were cut off from the command and did not join it until its arrival at Martinsburg.

On the arrival of the regiment at Williamsport, 25th July, it was halted and moved by way of Sharpsburg to Harper's Ferry.

I have the honor herewith to forward a list of casualties* in my command.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Battalion Eleventh W. Va. Infty. Vols.

Lieutenant C. W. KIRBY,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 65. Report of Major Milton Wells, Fifteenth West Virginia Infantry, of engagement at Kernstown.


Camp near Sandy Hook, Md., August 7, 1864.

SIR: In accordance with circular from headquarters just received, I forward the following report of the part taken by our regiment in the late engagement at Winchester on the 24th ultimo, as reported to me by Adjt. J. W. Holliday, who was present during the time the regiment was engaged, I myself being absent in hospital, and the commandant of the regiment now being absent:

On or about 9 o'clock on the 24th ultimo the regiment was ordered under arms and moved to a position on the Winchester and Staunton turnpike near Kernstown, where we remained until about 11 o'clock, when we were ordered to the front. Company K being thrown out as skirmishers, the line advanced to an orchard near the town, where we first met the fire of the enemy; from thence we advanced to a stone fence in our front, where we kept up a hot fire until the enemy began to flank us on the left and give us an enfilading fire. We then changed front to meet them in that direction,


* Embodied in table, p. 289.