War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0497 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

lesires that the enemy should cross; all that he wants is early information of the character and number of the troops that pass over." In order that the enemy should have an opportunity to make the desired movement, and that the required observations might be made, I moved my division across the river to Play and established my pickets from Cherry Run to Antietam Furnace, which satisfied all the conditions of the instructions received from the major-general commanding. Having received orders direct from the chief of cavalry on the 19th, I addressed a communication (marked D) to the chief of staff of that date, in reply to which I received on the 23rd the order (marked E) to report to Brigadier-General Torbert, and to obey all orders coming from him, although he was is my junior. On the morning of the 21st I received the dispatch marked F from the major-general commanding, which amazed and pained me, as it evinced an undue readiness on the part of the major-general commanding to find faults in my official conduct. My reply (marked G) is inclosed.

The correctness of my dispositions was shown on the 26th, when the enemy attempted to force a crossing of the river with his entire cavalry force, supported by an infantry division, with artillery. He was prevented and suffered loss without any casualties worth mentioning in my command. My action in preventing the crossing of the enemy into Maryland received no expression of approval from the major-general commanding. Believing that the enemy was about withdrawing to the vicinity of Winchester, I crossed the river on the 28th and advanced to Hainesville, and on the 29th to Martinsburg, driving the enemy's pickets four miles beyond that place, and establishing a picket-line across the Valley. This line being too close to the enemy for his comfort, he advanced Rodes' division of infantry, with cavalry and artillery, on the 31st, compelling me to retire to Falling Waters, with the loss of forty-eight men killed and wounded. Again I believed this advance a screen to a retrograde movement, and moved forward on the 2nd of September without meeting any serious opposition until near Bunker Hill, ten miles from Martinsburg, where I attacked three brigades of the enemy's cavalry under Lomax routing them and capturing 2 battle-flags, 55 prisoners, 20 wagons, 1 battery forge, a herd of cattle, and a quantity of small-arms. The enemy had no artillery. On the ensuing day the enemy's attacked me, but were completely beaten and were driven to within five miles of Winchester, where his infantry was encountered. The enemy was pressed again on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, until it was ascertained that he did not intend any farther movement up the Valley. All the information gained by the above detailed movements from scouts and all other sources was promptly transmitted to the headquarters Middle Military Division, and I have reason to believe that upon the information thus sent the army left its entrenchments in front of Harper's Ferry and moved forward to the line of the Opequon. These movements, it may be seen from the inclosed orders (marked H), were made in compliance with instructions from the major-general commanding; yet these very operations were the subject of covert animadversions at the headquarters Middle Military Division,and I have been informed that the manner in which they were represented to the General-in-Chief induced the issuance of an optional order to relieve me from duty. Actuated solely by a desire to render the greatest possible service with my division, I cannot conjecture the grounds upon which my motives and reputation were permitted to suffer reproach.

32 R R-VOL XLIII, PT I