Friday, February 3, 2012

Gen. Banks’ Retreat

NEW YORK, May 28. – The Herald has pretty full accounts of Banks’ retreat from its correspondent.

Only 150 men out of 800 or 900 engaged escaped from the Front Royal fight.

Forty of our soldiers, mostly sick were captured at Newtown.  On named David Dickinson, of the 66th Ohio was killed in the skirmish of Saturday.

The Maine and Vermont cavalry suffered severely.  Co. A of the Vermont cavalry were all lost, captured or killed except Capt. Platte, his Lieutenant and half a dozen men, who made good their escape.

Major Collins is among the captured and Major Sawyer, whose horse fell under him and injured his foot, made his escape, with no further injuries.

During the Sunday fight which continued two hours before the retreat from Winchester Donnelly’s brigade behaved admirably and repulsed the enemy but being outflanked by superior numbers they were compelled to withdraw. – Our forces, Donnelly’s brigade on the left and Gordon’s on the right were in position along a gorge between two hills.  The enemy are said to have fought well.  At one point they came up in a large hollow square single file on the frong and back and double file on each side, marching up thus to within a certain distance, they were ordered to halt, fix bayonets and charge, which they did in good order.

Col. Gordon and staff are safe, also General Williams and staff.

While retreating through Winchester, men from houses opened fire with pistols on our soldiers killing a great many of them.

Lieut. Brown of the 28th N. Y. is said to have been killed.

Col. Knipe of the 46th Pennsylvania wounded and taken prisoner.

Col. Murphy of the 29th Pennsylvania killed and many others.

The column retreated in good order pursued by the enemy beyond Martinsburgh.  The baggage train proceeded as far as the Potomac and many of the teams have been conveyed across the ferry boats.  The operator at Martinsburgh had left the town on the first rumor of a battle at Winchester, and taken the instruments with him.  The whole town seemed deserted , the stores were closed, many Union people came along with us, and negroes.

Gen. Banks was in the rear of the retreat and a shell exploded only four feet from him, fortunately without injuring him.  Winchester is reported to be burned.

The enemy had stationed a force at Berryville to prevent our retreating towards Harper’s Ferry and we were compelled to take the road to Martinsburg.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 31, 1862, p. 3

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