On the afternoon of the 16th I moved my headquarters back to Winchester; while moving back, at Newtown, I heard cannonading at or near Front Royal, and on reaching Winchester, Merritt's couriers brought dispatches from him, stating that he had been attacked at the crossing of the Shenandoah by Kershaw's division, of Longstreet' corps, and two brigades of rebel cavalry, and that he had handsomely repulsed the attack, capturing 2 battle-flags and 300 prisoners. During the night of the 16th and early on the morning of the 17th Emory moved from Winchester to Berryville, and on the morning of the 17th Crook and Wright reached Winchester and resumed the march toward Clifton, Wright, who had the rear guard, getting only as far as the Berryville crossing of the Opequon, where he was ordered to remain, Crook getting to the vicinity of Barryville. Lowell reached Winchester with his two regiments of cavalry on the afternoon of the 17th, where he was joined by General Wilson's division of cavalry. Merritt, after his handsome engagement near Front Royal, was ordered back to the vicinity of White Post, and General Grover's division joined Emory at Berryville. The enemy having a signal station on Three Top Mountain, almost overhanging Strasburg, and from which w\every movement made by our troops could be seen, was notified early on the morning of the 17th as to this condition of affairs, and without delay followed after us, getting into Winchester about sundown, and driving out General torbert, who was left there with Wilson and Lowell, and the Jersey brigade of the Sixth Corps. Wilson and Lowell fell back to Summit Point, and the Jersey brigade of the Sixth Corps. Wilson and Lowell fell back to Summit Point, and the Jersey brigade joined its corps at the crossing of the Opequon. Kershaw's division and two brigades of Fitz Lee's cavalry division, which was the force at Front Royal, joined Early at Winchester, I think, on the evening of the 17th.
On the 18th the Sixth Corps moved, via Clifton, to Flowing Spring, two miles and a half west of Charlestown, on the Smithfield pike; Emory about two miles and a half south of Charlestown on the Berryvile pike; Merritt came back to Berryville; Wilson remained at Summit Poitn, covering the crossing of Opequon Creek as far north as the bridge at Smithfield, Merritt covering the crossing of the Berryville pike; Crook remained near Clifton, and the next day moved to the left of Emory. This position was maintained until the 21st, when the enemy moved a heavy force across the Opequon at the bridge at Smithfield, driving in the cavalry pickets, which fell back to Summit Point, and advanced rapidly on the position of the Sixth Corps near Flowing Spring, when a very sharp and obstinate skirmish took place with the heavy picket-line of that corps, resulting very much in its favor. The enemy appeared to have thought that I had taken position near Summit Point, and that by moving around rapidly through Smithfield he would get into my rear. In this, however, he was mistaken. During the day Merritt, who had been attacked and held his ground, was recalled from Berryville. Wilson had also been attacked by infantry, and had also held his ground until ordered in. During the night of the 21st the army moved back to Halltown without inconvenience or loss, the cavalry, excepting Lowell's command, which formed on the left, moving early on the morning of the 22d, and going into position on the right of the line.
On the morning of the 22d the enemy moved up to Charlestown, and pushed well up to my position at Halltown, skirmishing with the cavalry vedettes. The dispatches received from the lieutenant-general commanding, from Captain G. K. Leet, assistant adjutant-general, at Washington, and information derived from my scouts and from prisoners