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Slavery and four years of war : a political history of slavery in the United States, together with a narrative of the campaigns and battles of the Civil War in which the author took part: 1861-1865 (Volume 2) online

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LIBRARY

OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.



Class




MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE GORDON MEADE, U. S. A.
AUGUST 18, 1864.



SLAVERY AND
FOUR YEARS OF WAR

A POLITICAL HISTORY OF SLAVERY
IN THE UNITED STATES

TOGETHER WITH A NARRATIVE OF THE CAMPAIGNS

AND BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR IN WHICH

THE AUTHOR TOOK PART: 1861-1865



BY

JOSEPH WARREN KEIFER

BREVET MAJOR-GENERAL OF VOLUNTEERS ; EX-SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, U. S. A. ; AND MAJOR-GENERAL OF
VOLUNTEERS, SPANISH WAR



ILLUSTRATED

.VOLUME II. -
1863-1865



G. P. Putnam s Sons
New York and London
Imicfeerbocfeer press

1900



COPYRIGHT, 1900

BY
JOSEPH WARREN KEIFER



Ube Tfcnicfeerbocfeer ffres0, Hew



CONTENTS



CHAPTER I

PAGE

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON ANTIETAM, FREDERICKSBURG,
AND CHANCELLORSVILLE BATTLES AT WINCHESTER UNDER
GENERAL MILROY His DEFEAT AND RETREAT TO HAR
PER S FERRY WITH INCIDENTS ..... i

CHAPTER II

INVASION OF PENNSYLVANIA CAMPAIGN AND BATTLE OF
GETTYSBURG LEE S RETREAT ACROSS THE POTOMAC,
AND LOSSES ON BOTH SIDES 22

CHAPTER III

NEW YORK RIOTS, 1863 PURSUIT OF LEE S ARMY TO THE
RAPPAHANNOCK ACTION OF WAPPING HEIGHTS, AND
SKIRMISHES WESTERN TROOPS SENT TO NEW YORK TO
ENFORCE THE DRAFT THEIR RETURN INCIDENTS, ETC. 36

CHAPTER IV

ADVANCE OF LEE S ARMY, OCTOBER, 1863, AND RETREAT
OF ARMY OF THE POTOMAC TO CENTREVILLE BATTLE
OF BRISTOE STATION ADVANCE OF THE UNION ARMY,
NOVEMBER, 1863 ASSAULT AND CAPTURE OF RAPPA
HANNOCK STATION, AND FORCING THE FORDS AFFAIR
NEAR BRANDY STATION, AND RETREAT OF CONFEDERATE
ARMY BEHIND THE RAPIDAN INCIDENTS, ETC. . . 48



r "



iv Contents

CHAPTER V

PAGE

MINE RUN CAMPAIGN AND BATTLE OF ORANGE GROVE, NO
VEMBER, 1863 WINTER CANTONMENT (1863-4) OF ARMY
OF THE POTOMAC AT CULPEPPER COURT-HOUSE, AND ITS
REORGANIZATION GRANT ASSIGNED TO COMMAND THE
UNION ARMIES, AND PREPARATION FOR AGGRESSIVE WAR 58

CHAPTER VI

PLANS OF CAMPAIGNS, UNION AND CONFEDERATE CAMPAIGN
AND BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS, MAY, 1864 AUTHOR
WOUNDED, AND PERSONAL MATTERS MOVEMENTS OF THE
ARMY TO THE JAMES RIVER, WITH MENTION OF BATTLES
OF SPOTSYLVANIA, COLD HARBOR, AND OTHER ENGAGE
MENTS, AND STATEMENT OF LOSSES AND CAPTURES . . 74

CHAPTER VII

CAMPAIGN SOUTH OF JAMES RIVER AND PETERSBURG HUN
TER S RAID BATTLE OF MONOCACY EARLY S ADVANCE
ON WASHINGTON (1864) SHERIDAN S MOVEMENTS IN
SHENANDOAH VALLEY, AND OTHER EVENTS . . .94

CHAPTER VIII
PERSONAL MENTION OF GENERALS SHERIDAN, WRIGHT, AND

RlCKETTS, AND MRS. RlCKETTS J ALSO GENERALS CROOK

AND HAYES BATTLE OF OPEQUON, UNDER SHERIDAN,
SEPTEMBER, 1864, AND INCIDENTS ..... 104

CHAPTER IX

BATTLE OF FISHER S HILL PURSUIT OF EARLY DEVASTA
TION OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY (1864) CAVALRY
BATTLE AT TOM S BROOK, AND MINOR EVENTS . . .118

CHAPTER X

BATTLE OF CEDAR CREEK, OCTOBER 19, 1864, WITH COM
MENTS THEREON ALSO PERSONAL MENTION AND INCIDENTS 128



Contents v

CHAPTER XI

PAGE

PEACE NEGOTIATIONS LEE S SUGGESTION TO JEFFERSON
DAVIS, 1862 FERNANDO WOOD S CORRESPONDENCE WITH
MR. LINCOLN, 1862 MR. STEPHENS AT FORTRESS MON
ROE, 1863 HORACE GREELEY, NIAGARA FALLS CONFER
ENCE, 1864 JACQUESS-GILMORE S VISITS TO RICHMOND,
1863-4 F. P. BLAIR, SEN., CONFERENCES WITH MR.
DAVIS, 1865 HAMPTON ROADS CONFERENCE, MR. LIN
COLN AND SEWARD AND STEPHENS AND OTHERS, 1865
ORD-LONGSTREET, LEE AND GRANT, CORRESPONDENCE,
1865; AND LEW WALLACE AND GENERAL SLAUGHTER,
POINT ISABEL CONFERENCE, 1865 . . . 158

CHAPTER XII

SIEGE OF RICHMOND AND PETERSBURG CAPTURE AND RE
CAPTURE OF FORT STEDMAN, AND CAPTURE OF PART OF
ENEMY S FIRST LINE IN FRONT OF PETERSBURG BY
KEIFER S BRIGADE, MARCH 25, 1865 BATTLE OF FIVE
FORKS, APRIL IST ASSAULT AND TAKING OF CONFEDER
ATE WORKS ON THE UNION LEFT, APRIL 20 SURRENDER
OF RICHMOND AND PETERSBURG, APRIL 30 PRESIDENT
LINCOLN S VISIT TO PETERSBURG AND RICHMOND, AND
His DEATH .184

CHAPTER XIII

BATTLE OF SAILOR S CREEK, APRIL 6TH CAPITULATION OF
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE S ARMY AT APPOMATTOX COURT
HOUSE, APRIL 9, 1865 SURRENDER OF OTHER CONFEDER
ATE ARMIES, AND END OF THE WAR OF THE REBELLION . 201

APPENDICES

A
GENERAL KEIFER

Ancestry and Life before the Civil War .... 235

Public Services in Civil Life ...... 255

Service in Spanish War ....... 286



vi Contents

B

PAGE

Mention of Officers of the noth Ohio Volunteer Infantry . 300

C

Farewell Order of General Keifer in Civil War . . . 302
Casualties in Keifer s Brigade 303

D

Correspondence between Generals Wright and Keifer Re
lating to Battle of Sailor s Creek .... 304

E

Letter of General Keifer to General Corbin on Cuba . . 307

F

List of Officers who Served on General Keifer s Staff in

Spanish War . . . . . . . .313

G

Farewell Order of General Keifer in Spanish War . .315




ILLUSTRATIONS



PAGE

MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE GORDON MEADE, U.S.A., AUGUST

18,1864 . . . . . . Frontispiece

BRIGADIER-GENERAL WESLEY MERRITT ..... 6

[From a photograph taken 1864.]
MAJOR-GENERAL ROBERT C. SCHENCK ..... 6

[From a photograph taken 1863.]
MAJOR-GENERAL FRANK WHEATON .... .12

[From a photograph taken 1865.]
BREVET BRIGADIER-GENERAL J. WARREN KEIFER . . .12

[From a photograph taken 1865.]
MAJOR-GENERAL WILLIAM H. FRENCH . . . . .22

[From a photograph taken 1863.]
MAP OF ORANGE GROVE BATTLE-FIELD, MINE RUN, VA. . . 60

[November 27, 1863.]
BREVET BRIGADIER-GENERAL JOHN W. HORN, SIXTH MARYLAND

VOLUNTEERS 64

[From a photograph taken 1864.]

BREVET BRIGADIER-GENERAL M. R. McCLENNAN, 138 PENN
SYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS 64

[From a photograph taken 1864.]
BRIGADIER-GENERAL JOSEPH B. CARR ... -7

[From a photograph taken since the war.]

COLONEL JAMES W. SNYDER, NINTH NEW YORK HEAVY AR
TILLERY .......... 7O

[From a photograph taken 1865.]



viii Illustrations



MAJOR WM. S. M C ELWAIN, IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS . . 84

[From a photograph taken 1863.]
BREVET LIEUTENANT-COLONEL AARON SPANGLER, IIOTH OHIO

VOLUNTEERS .... ... 84

[From a photograph taken 1863.]
MAJOR-GENERAL HORATIO G. WRIGHT 90

[From a photograph taken 1865.]
MAJOR-GENERAL JAMES B. RICKETTS ... . IOO

[From a photograph taken 1865.]
FANNY RICKETTS ......... IOO

[From a photograph taken 1865.]
CAPTAIN WM. A. HATHAWAY, IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS . IO2

[From a photograph taken 1863.]

BREVET MAJOR JONATHAN T. RORER, I38TH PENNSYLVANIA

VOLUNTEERS .... .... IO2

[From a photograph taken 1865.]

GENERAL PHILIP H. SHERIDAN, U.S.A. ..... 104

[From a photograph taken 1885.]

BATTLE-FIELD OF OPEQUON, VA. ...... Io8

[September 19, 1864. From the official map, 1873.]

BREVET MAJOR-GENERAL RUTHERFORD B. HAYES . . .114

[From a photograph taken from a painting.]

BREVET COLONEL MOSES M. GRANGER, I22D OHIO VOLUNTEERS. Il6
[From a photograph taken 1864.]

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL AARON W. EBRIGHT, I26TH OHIO VOL
UNTEERS Il6

[From a photograph taken 1864.]

BATTLE-FIELD OF FISHER S HILL, VA. . . . . . Il8

[September, 1864. From the official map.]

MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE CROOK, U.S.A. .... 122

[From a photograph taken 1888.]

MAJOR-GENERAL GEO. W. GETTY . . . . . .128

[From a photograph taken 1864.]



Illustrations ix

PAGE

BRIGADIER-GENERAL WM. H. SEWARD . . 128

[From a photograph taken 1864.]
MAP OF CEDAR CREEK BATTLE-FIELD, VA 132

[October 19, 1864.]
CAPTAIN J. C. ULLERY, IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS . . . 136

[From a photograph taken 1865.]
BREVET COLONEL OTHO H. BINKLEY, IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS. 136

[From a photograph taken 1863.]

PETERSBURG, VA., FORTIFICATIONS, 1865 .... l86
BREVET COLONEL CLIFTON K. PRENTISS, SIXTH MARYLAND

VOLUNTEERS ......... 192

[From a photograph taken 1865.]

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WM. N. FOSTER, IIOTH OHIO VOLUN
TEERS 192

[From a photograph taken 1863.]
JOHN W. WARRINGTON, PRIVATE, IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS . 2OO

[From a photograph taken 1899.]
JOHN B. ELAM, PRIVATE, IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS . . 2OO

[From a photograph taken 1899.]
BREVET MAJOR-GENERAL J. WARREN KEIFER AND STAFF, 1865,

THIRD DIVISION, SIXTH ARMY CORPS .... 2o8

J. WARREN KEIFER, MAJOR-GENERAL OF VOLUNTEERS . . 286

[From a photograph taken 1898.]
PRESIDENT McKINLEY AND MAJOR-GENERALS KEIFER, SHAFTER,

LAWTON, AND WHEELER ...... 2Q2

[From a photograph taken on ship-deck at Savannah, Ga., De
cember 17, 1898.]




SLAVERY AND FOUR YEARS
OF WAR



CHAPTER I

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON ANTIETAM, FREDERICKSBURG,
AND CHANCELLORSVILLE BATTLES AT WINCHESTER
UNDER GENERAL MILROY HIS DEFEAT AND RETREAT
TO HARPER S FERRY WITH INCIDENTS

THE Confederate Army, under Lee, invaded Maryland in
1862, and after the drawn battle of Antietam, Septem
ber 1 7th, it retired through the Shenandoah Valley and
the mountain gaps behind the Rappahannock.

McClellan had failed to take Richmond, and although his
army had fought hard battles on the Chickahominy and at
Malvern Hill, it won no victories that bore fruits save in lists
of dead and wounded, and his army, on being withdrawn from
the James in August, 1862, did not effectively sustain General
John Pope at the Second Bull Run. On being given com
mand of the combined Union forces at and about Washington,
McClellan again had a large and splendidly equipped army
under him. He at first exhibited some energy in moving it
into Maryland after Lee, but by his extreme caution and de
lays suffered Harper s Ferry to be taken (September 15, 1862),
with 10,000 men and an immense supply of arms and stores,
and finally, when fortune smiled on his army at Antietam, he
allowed it to lay quietly on its arms a whole day and long



VOL. II. I.



2 Campaigns of the Civil War

enough to enable Lee to retreat across the Potomac, where he
was permitted to leisurely withdraw, practically unmolested,
southward. The critical student of the battle of Antietam will
learn of much desperate fighting on both sides, with no clearly
defined general plan of conducting the battle on either side.
As Lee fought on the defensive, he could content himself with
conforming the movements of his forces to those of the Union
Army. Stonewall Jackson, after maintaining a short, spirited
battle against Hooker s corps, withdrew his corps from the
engagement at seven o clock in the morning and did not return
to the field until 4 P.M. 1

Generally the Union Army was fought by divisions, and
seldom more than two were engaged at the same time, often
only one. In this way some of the divisions, for want of proper
supports, were cut to pieces, and others were not engaged at all.
Acting on interior lines, Lee was enabled to concentrate
against the Union attacks and finally to repulse them. Not
withstanding this mode of conducting the battle, the Confed
erate Army was roughly handled and lost heavily.

General Ambrose E. Burnside late in the day succeeded in
crossing Antietam Creek at the Stone Bridge and planting
himself well on the Confederate right flank. McClellan also
had, at night, many fresh troops ready and eager for the next
day s battle. A considerable part of his army had not been
engaged, and reinforcements came. The two armies confronted
each other all day on the iSth, being partly engaged in bury
ing the dead, as though a truce existed, and at night Lee
withdrew his army into Virginia. 2

Indecisive as this battle was, it is ever to be memorable as,
on its issue, President Lincoln kept a promise to " himself and
his Maker." On September 22, 1862, five days later, he
issued a preliminary proclamation announcing his purpose to
promulgate, January i, 1863, a war measure, declaring free
the slaves in all States or parts of States remaining at that

1 Manassas to Appornattox (Longstreet), pp. 242, 257, 401.

* Ibid., 263.

3 Abraham Lincoln (Nicolay and Hay), vol. vi., p. 159.



Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville 3

time in rebellion. He had long before the battle of Antietam
contemplated taking this action, and hence had prepared this
proclamation, and promised himself to issue it on the Union
Army winning a victory. The driving of Lee s army out of
Maryland, and thus relieving Washington from further menace,
was accepted by him as a fulfilment of the self-imposed condi
tion.

McClellan was relieved of the command of the Army of the
Potomac while at Orleans, Virginia, November 7, 1862, and
Burnside became his successor. McClellan never again held
any command.

Burnside moved the army to Falmouth, Virginia, opposite
Fredericksburg, on the Rappahannock. Though only urged
to prepare for the offensive, he precipitated an attack on the
Confederate Army, then strongly intrenched on the heights of
Fredericksburg. He suffered a disastrous repulse (December
14, 1862), and next day withdrew his army across the Rappa
hannock to his camps.

Burnside was relieved of the command of the Army of the
Potomac January 25, 1863, and Major-General Joseph Hooker
succeeded him.

The battle of Chancellorsville was fought, May I to 5, 1863,
in the Wilderness country, south of the Rapidan, and resulted
in the defeat of the Union Army and its falling back to its
former position at Falmouth.

The defeats at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville led to a
general belief that another invasion of the North would be
made by Lee s army. Such an invasion involved Milroy s
command at Winchester, then in the Middle Department,
commanded by Major-General Robert C. Schenck, whose
headquarters were at Baltimore.

This much in retrospect seems necessary to give a better
understanding of the events soon to be mentioned.

Soon after Chancellorsville, the Confederate forces in the
upper Shenandoah Valley became more active, and frequent
indecisive conflicts between them and our scouting parties took
place. Our regular scouts, who generally travelled by night in



4 Campaigns of the Civil War

Confederate dress, brought in rumors almost every day of an
intended attack on Winchester by troops from Lee s army.
In May I was given special charge of these scouts. So uni
form were their reports as to the proposed attacks that I gave
credence to them, and advised Milroy that unless he was soon
to be largely reinforced it would be well to retire from his ex
posed position. He refused to believe that anything more
than a cavalry raid into the Valley or against him would be
made, and he felt strong enough to defeat it. He argued that
Lee would not dare to detach any part of his infantry force
from the front of the Army of the Potomac. But in addition
to the reports referred to, I learned as early as the 1st of June,
through correspondence secretly brought within our lines from
an officer of Lee s army to which I gained access, that Lee
contemplated a grand movement North, and that his army
would reach Winchester on June 10, 1863. The Secessionists
of Winchester generally believed we would be attacked on that
day. I gave this information to Milroy, but he still persisted
in believing the whole story was gotten up to cause him to
disgracefully abandon the Valley. 1

The loth of June came, and the Confederate Army failed to
appear. This confirmed Milroy in his disbelief in a contem
plated attack with a strong force, and my credulity was ridi
culed. As early, however, as June 8th, Milroy wired Schenck
at Baltimore that he had information that Lee had mounted
an infantry division to join Stuart s cavalry at Culpepper;
that the cavalry force there was " probably more than twice
12,000," and that there was " doubtless a mighty raid on
foot." * Colonel Donn Piatt, Schenck s chief of staff, visited
and inspected the post at Winchester on the loth and nth,
and when he reached Martinsburg, Va., on his return on the
nth, he dispatched Milroy to immediately take steps to re
move his command to Harper s Ferry, leaving at Winchester

1 In letters, dated in May, 1863, to Col. Wm. S. Furay (then a correspondent
(Y. S.) of the Cincinnati Gazette with Rosecrans army in Tennessee), I detailed
the general plan of Lee s advance northward, and gave the date when the move
ment would commence.

* War Records, vol. xxvii., Part III., p. 36.



Battles at Winchester 5

only a lookout which could readily fall back to Harper s
Ferry. 1 This order was sent in the light of what Piatt deemed
the proper construction of a dispatch of that date from Hal-
leek to Schenck, and from the latter to him. Milroy at once
wired Schenck of the receipt of the Piatt dispatch, saying:

" I have sufficient force to hold the place safely, but if any force
is withdrawn the balance will be captured in twenty-four hours.
All should go, or none."

This brought, June 1 2th, a dispatch from Schenck to Milroy
in this language :

" Lt.-Col. Piatt has . . . misunderstood me, and somewhat
exceeded his instructions. You will make all the required prepa
rations for withdrawing, but hold your position in the meantime."

On the 1 2th Milroy reported skirmishes with Confederate
cavalry on the Front Royal and Strasburg roads, adding:

" I am perfectly certain of my ability to hold this place. Noth
ing but cavalry appears yet. Let them come."

As late as the I3th, Halleck telegraphed Schenck, in answer
to an inquiry, that he had no reliable information as to rebel
infantry being in the Valley, and the same day Schenck wired
his chief of staff at Harper s Ferry to " Instruct General Mil
roy to use great caution, risking nothing unnecessarily, and
be prepared for falling back in good order if overmatched."

Milroy advised Schenck of fighting at Winchester on the
1 3th, and from General Kelly, on the same day, Schenck
learned for the first time that General Lee was on his way to
drive Milroy out of Winchester. Schenck at once attempted
to telegraph Milroy to " fall back, fighting, if necessary, and
to keep the road to Harper s Ferry."

Halleck wired Schenck on the I4th: " It is reported that

1 War Records, vol. xxvii., Part II., p. 125. Piatt, June nth, wired Schenck
from Winchester, after inspecting the place, that Milroy " can whip anything the
rebels can fetch here." Ibid., p. 161.



6 Campaigns of the Civil War

Longstreet and E well s corps have passed through Culpepper
to Sperryville, towards the Valley/

This was the first intimation that came from Halleck or
Hooker that Lee s army contemplated moving in the direction
of the Valley, or that there was any apprehension that it might
escape the vigilance of the Army of the Potomac, supposed to
be confronting it or at least watching its movements. Another
dispatch came on the I4th to General Schenck as follows:

" Get Milroy from Winchester to Harper s Ferry if possible. He
will be gobbled up if he remains, if he is not already past
salvation.

" A. LINCOLN,

" President United States." a

It remains to narrate what did take place at Winchester, and
then, in the full light of the facts, to decide upon whom cen
sure or credit should fall.

When, on the I4th, Halleck announced that Longstreet and
E well s corps * have passed through Culpepper to Sperryville
towards the Valley," we had been fighting Ewell s corps, or
parts of it, for two days at Winchester, three days march from
Culpepper, and other portions of Lee s army had reached the
Valley and Martinsburg. The report that Winchester was to
have been attacked on June loth was true, but the advance of
the Union cavalry south of the Rappahannock, and its battle
on the Qth at Brandy Station, north of Culpepper Court House
(Lee s then headquarters), so disorganized the Confederate
cavalry as to cause a delay in the movement of Ewell s corps
into the Valley, then proceeding via Front Royal.

On the night of the I2th of June my scouts found it impos
sible to advance more than four or five miles on the Front
Royal, Strasburg, and Cedar Creek roads before encountering
Confederate cavalry pickets. This indicated, as was the fact,
that close behind them were heavy bodies of infantry which it
was desired to closely mask. At midnight I had an interview

1 War Records, vol. xxvii., Part II., pp. 130-7, 159-81.
* Ibid., p. 167 (186).







CO v

O -?
cc ^



Battles at Winchester 7

at my own solicitation with Milroy at his headquarters, when
the whole subject of our situation was discussed. I was not
advised of the orders or dispatches he had received, nor of his
dispatches to Schenck expressing confidence in his ability to
hold Winchester. Milroy persisted in the notion that only
cavalry were before him, and he was anxious to fight them and
especially averse to retreating under circumstances that might
subject him to the charge of cowardice. He also sincerely
desired to hold the Valley and protect the Union residents.
He reminded me fiercely that I had believed in the attack
coming on the loth, and it had turned out I was mistaken. I
could make no answer to this save to suggest that the cavalry
battle at Brandy Station had operated to postpone the attack.

During my acquaintance with Milroy he had evinced confi
dence in and friendship for me; now he manifested much
annoyance over my persistence in urging him to order a retreat
at once, and finally he dismissed me rather summarily. 1

Early the next morning I received an order to report with
my regiment near Union Mills on the Strasburg pike, and to
move upon the Cedar Creek road, located west of and extend
ing, in general, parallel with the Strasburg pike. It was soon
ascertained that the enemy had massed a heavy force upon
that road about three miles south of Winchester. A section
of Carlin s battery under Lieutenant Theaker reported to me,
and with it my regiment moved about a mile southward, keep
ing well on the ridge between the pike and the Cedar Creek
road. The enemy kept under cover, and not having orders to
bring on an engagement I retired the troops to the junction
of the two roads. About 2 P.M. I was informed that Milroy
desired me to make a strong reconnoissance and develop the
strength and position of the enemy. To strengthen my forces,

1 A few days before this event I peremptorily ordered all officers wives and
citizens visiting in my command to go North, but the ladies held an indignation
meeting and waited on General Milroy, with the request that he countermand my
order, which he did, at the same time saying something about my being too appre
hensive of danger. I had the pleasure of meeting and greeting these same ladies
in Washington, July 5th, on their arrival from Winchester via Staunton, Rich
mond, Castle -Thunder, the James and Potomac Rivers.



8 Campaigns of the Civil War

the 1 2th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Moss, and
a squadron of the I3th Pennsylvania Cavalry, were assigned to
me. I moved forward promptly with the I2th on the left on
the plain, the infantry and artillery in the centre covering the
Strasburg pike, and the squadron on the ridge to my right,
which extended parallel with the pike. We proceeded in this
order about a mile, when my skirmishers became closely en
gaged with those of the enemy. It was soon apparent to me
that the enemy extended along a wide front, his advance being
only a thin cover. But as my orders were to develop the
enemy, I brought my whole command into action, drove in
his advance line and with the artillery shelled the woods behind
this line. We suffered some loss, but pressed forward until the
enemy fell back to a woods on the left of Kearnstown. My
artillery opened with canister, and for a few moments our front
seemed to be cleared. But my flankers now reported the
enemy turning my right with at least a brigade of infantry.
I therefore withdrew slowly and in good order, embracing
every possible opportunity to halt and open fire. Reinforce
ments were reported on the way. I directed that they should,
on their arrival, be posted on the high ground to the right of
the pike in front of the bridge at Union (or Barton s) Mills to
cover our retreat, which must be made with the artillery and
infantry over this bridge.

Colonel Moss, not believing he could cross the tail-race with
its embankments and the stream below the Mills, commenced
moving his cavalry towards the bridge. I turned him back
with imperative orders to cover the left flank as long as neces
sary or possible, then find a crossing below the Mills. Un
fortunately, when the artillery reached the bridge in readiness
to cross, it was found occupied by the I23d Ohio, Colonel W.
T. Wilson commanding, marching by the flank to my relief
under the guidance of Captain W. L. Shaw, a staff officer of
General Elliott. This regiment was directed, as soon as it
cleared the bridge, to deploy to the right, advance upon the
high ground and engage the enemy then pressing forward in
great numbers. Before Colonel Wilson could get his regiment



Battles at Winchester 9

into battle-line it was under a destructive fire and lost heavily.
Nevertheless, though the regiment was a comparatively new



Online LibraryUnknownSlavery and four years of war : a political history of slavery in the United States, together with a narrative of the campaigns and battles of the Civil War in which the author took part: 1861-1865 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 33)