PURSUIT OF JACKSON-SHENANDOAH VALLEY.
During the night the dead were
buried and wounded sent back to Winchester, and early in the morning the
detachment joined Col. CARROLL, when we were pushed
forward to the front, on the left of the pike, and followed the rear of
the retreating enemy to Cedar Creek, occasionally receiving the attention
of a shot from their artillery, but without damage.
At Cedar Creek we bivouaced for the night, during which
Gen. BANKS overtook us with a considerable force
from Harper's Ferry, and the next day the whole army went into camp south
of Strasburg, where we remained quietly, except making a reconnoissance on
the 27th to near Woodstock, until the 1st day of April, when the whole
force moved to Edinburg, skirmishing all day with the rebel rear guard,
and went into camp within cannon shot of the rebel outposts.
We remained in this camp until the 16th of April, on
the evening of which day an advance was made with a view of capturing
Col. CARROLL was to take a picked
command, and by making a circuitous march, seize the Shenandoah river
bridge at Mt. Jackson, while Shields, with the main force, would attack
Col. CARROLL's command consisted
of 300 men from the Fourth Ohio, commanded by Lieut. Col. GODMAN;
300 from the Eighth Ohio, and 100 from the Sixty-seventh Ohio, under
command of the writer, and 300 from the Fourteenth Indiana, commanded by
Lieut. Col. HARROW, and two sections of Clark's
The distance, by the route taken, was some seven miles greater than had
been represented, the mountain streams were swollen, and the roads almost
impassible. We expected to have been at the bridge before daylight, but at
nine o'clock in the morning we were still eight miles away, and learned
that JACKSON had escaped. Our march for the balance,
of the way was accommodated to the conditions of the roads, and of our
tired men and horses.
The rebels had given SHIELDS the
slip, and had got away with trifling loss, but the pursuit was so rapid
that he had not succeeded in entirely destroying the bridge. At 4 o'clock
in the afternoon bur. advance column was pushed forward as far as New
Market, six miles distant, and encamped, the enemy having disappeared.
It was some four or five days before our tents and
baggage came up, and as it rained almost constantly the troops suffered
greatly for want of shelter and provisions. This camp was occupied until
the 12th of May, except that a reconnaissance was made to near
Harrisonburg, in which the Eighth participated.
This campaign in the Shenandoah Valley introduced us to
one of the fairest parts of the earth. The country is rich arid
productive. The wooded mountains to the west, and the incomparable outline
of the Blue Ridge to the east, make up a panorama of the rarest beauty.