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History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-6, Volume 1
Volume 367, Page 817   View pdf image (33K)
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noon, June 12, when Colonel McReynolds, commanding the brigade, made preparations for
resistance. Early on Saturday morning, June 13, the enemy made its appearance and
some slight skirmishing was begun.

The battery had been engaged in the construction, with the other troops of the
brigade, of the defensive works around Berryville for some weeks after their arrival in
March. These were now successfully used in delaying the advanced guard of Rhodes'
Division of Ewell's Corps by compelling its deployment, and thus fulfilled the purpose
of their construction; for two sections of the battery, under Lieutenants Evans and Leary,
were assigned to the infantry of the brigade, which was pushed out on the Winchester
Road, while the First New York Cavalry and the right section, under Lieutenant Alex-
ander, formed the rear guard and succeeded so well in delaying the enemy, that only
their advanced cavalry were able to accomplish any annoyance of the retreating forces.

McReynolds' Brigade consisted of the First N. Y. Cavalry, the Sixth Maryland
Infantry, the Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry and Alexander's Battery.

This movement was made in obedience to orders from Major General Milroy, who
recalled the brigade to Winchester, where it arrived late at night. It was assigned to a
completed redoubt, designed for a force of 1500 men, with emplacements for eight
guns and rifle trenches, known as the Star Fort, built on a ridge running due North
from Winchester, about two miles from the town and one mile west of the Martinsburg
Pike. At the crossing of Opequon Creek, about five o'clock on Saturday afternoon, the
rear guard was handsomely charged by a squadron of Georgia cavalry of the brigade
of General Jenkins. The assault was speedily checked by a double charge of canister
shot, fired down the road into the cavalry column with crushing effect by one of the
guns of Lieutenant Alexander's section.

Early on Sunday morning one section, under Lieutenant Leary, reported to Briga-
dier General Washington L. Elliott, and operated with his brigade all day, until, after
some sharp fighting it was ordered to rejoin the battery in the afternoon in the Star Fort.

It is noticeable that the first Confederate battery to go into position and engage the
battery was the Baltimore Light Artillery, composed mainly of Maryland soldiers in the
confederate service.

The army of Lee was now closing round Milroy's Division ; his artillery fire was
concentrated on the Star Fort, and an artillery duel was maintained until about 9.30
o'clock at night. General Milroy, realizing his desperate situation, sent orders out at
midnight directing the guns to be spiked and the carriages and harness destroyed.

This was effectually done, and before dawn the men and horses joined the retreat-
ing column of Milroy, outside the defenses of Winchester.

At dawn, on the morning of June 15, Milroy's Second Division, Eighth Corps,
marched out, having, for three days, with 9,000 men, delayed the advance of the Army
of Northern Virginia towards Pennsylvania, in the second battle of Winchester.

All wheeled vehicles, including the guns and carriages, had been abandoned and
left in the works by order of General Milroy, and the command hoped to be able to
break through the cordon of Lee's troops.

As many cannoneers as could be mounted rode the off and spare horses, the drivers
riding their team horses. The casualties during the actions of the 13th and 14th of


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History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-6, Volume 1
Volume 367, Page 817   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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