Numbers 73. Reports of Brigadier General William W. Averell, U. S. Army, commanding Second Cavalry Division, of operations July 8-August 3, with itinerary of the division, July 2-31.
HDQRS. SECOND CAV. DIV., DEPT. OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Hagerstown, Md., July 28, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I left Charleston, Kanawha County, W. Va., for Parkersburg, on Tuesday, July 8, with my division. Left Parkersburg on Friday, July 15, for Martinsburg; arrived at that place on the 17th following, with the advance of my division. I immediately established pickets across the Shenandoah Valley south of Martinsburg, and sent scouts to ascertain the strength and movements of the enemy.
Being informed during the night of the 18th that the enemy had reached Berryville from Maryland, by way of Snicker's Gap, I marched on the morning of the 19th, with Colonel Duval's brigade of infantry, 1,350 strong, and 1,000 cavalry, viz: First, Third Virginia, and Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, together with the First Virginia and First Ohio Batteries, to within four miles of Winchester, driving the enemy's cavalry under Jackson before me.
During the evening of the 19th information was received that Early had arrived at Berryville and divided his command into two columns, one then moving via Millwood toward Strasburg, and the other going toward Winchester (Early himself being with the latter),and that Crook's division and the Sixth Corps were at Snicker's Gap. I endeavored to communicate with General Wright, advising him. to attack the column on the Millwood road, but subsequently learned that instead of attacking he retired toward Washington.
On the morning of the 20th I advanced toward Winchester, and, being apprized by my scouts of the presence of the enemy in some force about three miles north of the place, I formed in line of battle before arriving in his view. In the morning 200 of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry were sent out on the Gerrardstown road to approach Winchester from the west, the balance of the regiment being sent to attack at Berryville. About 300 of the Second Virginia Cavalry joined me at this time from Martinsburg. Placing a regiment of infantry in line of battle on each side of the road with skirmishers in front and a regiment of infantry in column in rear of the right and left flanks, artillery in the center, and a regiment of cavalry on each flank, I advanced in this order vigorously to the attack. After marching nearly two miles through a country almost entirely open, with the center upon the pike, the enemy announced his position by opening a rapid fire four guns concealed in the timber which stands upon Carter's farm, three miles north of Winchester. He at the same time made some demonstrations with a cavalry brigade on each flank. My artillery was placed in position, the infantry regiments in column were thrown forward into line, cavalry skirmishers covering my entire front were withdrawn rapidly to the flanks, the concentrated fire of the twelve guns was opened upon the enemy's center, and the infantry advanced and became hotly engaged, while the cavalry entered into a fierce struggle on each flank. My right being imminently threatened, I sent the Second Virginia to assist the Third in its attack, leaving not a man in reserve or any