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5 Series I Volume XII-I Serial 15 - Second Manassas Part I

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Page 5 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

to rout, and driven with heavy loss beyond the Shenandoah Mountains. At this point pursuit was restrained, partly owing to absence of supports, but mainly because of the want of horses to get forward artillery. Guerrillas also began to be active, and later in the month a small body of infantry sent out by General Schenck from Romney was attacked on Grass Lick near Lost River. The skirmish was severe, our men losing several killed and wounded. A re-enforcement of cavalry coming up, however,under Lieutenant-Colonel Downey, of the Potomac Home Brigade, the rebels were driven and pursued, with the loss of their leader and others killed, besides a number wounded and 20 captured. Still later in april and expedition of infantry and cavalry was sent out from Weston by Colonel Harris, of the Tenth Virginia, against guerrillas infesting Webster County. The cavalry, under Lieutenant Lawson, being attacked near Addison, after killing 5 of the enemy fell back upon the infantry under Captain Darnall. A running fight then ensued, in which the guerrillas were assailed in their own style. The skirmish continued for several hors, at the end of which time the bushwhackers were routed, with further loss of 12 killed, several wounded, and 4 or 5 captured.

The village of Addison being deserted by its original inhabitants, and found to be a rendezvous for the enemy, was burned. Some cattle and horses were also captured. The loss of Captain Darnall's command was but 3 wounded in all. The lesson inflicted upon the guerrillas in their instance was severe, and induced their leader to send in a letter offering terms of compromise.

Other affairs and skirmishes took place between detached parties of our troops and the guerrillas up to and within the moth of June. It was ascertained that, under expectation of entire immunity by virtue of commissions issued at this time broadcast by Governor Letcher, these irregular bands were drawing together in considerable strength, and waited only for the coming of the leaves to harass with robbery and murder our lines from right to left. As a preventive measure certain of their class were, after full and fair trial by military commission, promptly executed by hanging. The effect was to correct a mistaken belief in immunity for their crimes, and to render more secure interior points an road, as well as loyal inhabitants of the military districts. In connection with the irregular but often prolonged and severe contests with guerrillas, it is just to name Colonels Harris and Rahtbone, of Virginia troops; Lieutenant-Colonel Downey, of the Potomac Hone Brigade; Captain Lathan, of Ohio Infantry, and captain Fish, of Connecticut Cavalry, as specially active and successful.

The troops of my command, however, though equal to the maintenance, for the time being, of lines established, were, owing to their necessarily scattered condition, unavailable in any large proportion to form active or movable columns or for operations of a general character against the enemy. In view of this fact, as also of a plan submitted for movements in the direction of knoxville and the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, the President had, prior to my leaving Washington in March, promised me ample re-enforcements. The number of these re-enforcements, as determined and urged by the Secretary of War, was 17,000. They were to consist of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, and to have attached pontoon train complete. On the 1st of April a dispatch from the Secretary of War informed me that the division of Brigadier-General Blenker had been detached from the Army of the Potomac and put en route for my department. The order as originally issued to this division it to proceed by way of Harper's


Page 5 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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