Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
December 2, 1862

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Series 1, Volume 21, pp. 31-32

Report of Brig. Gen. John W. Geary, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.

Bolivar Heights, Va., December 6, 1862.

COLONEL: In accordance with directions of the evening of December 1, from the commanding general, for me to take the available force of my division and make a reconnaissance on the following morning in the direction of Winchester, for the purpose of ascertaining the force and location of the enemy in the valley, I started, with about 3,200 infantry from the three brigades, and four guns each from Knap's, Hampton's, and McGilvery's batteries, and about 50 of the First Battalion Maryland Cavalry, at about 6.30 a. in., the troops supplied with one day's rations in haversacks and five days' additional in wagons.

We marched by the Harper's Ferry and Winchester turnpike to Charlestown, which we reached at about 8.30 a. m., coming suddenly upon two companies of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, who had taken position in vacant houses and in woods about three-fourths of a mile this side of the town. A skirmish here occurred between our advance and this body of the enemy, which latter prosecuted a constant firing for some fifteen minutes, resulting to them in the loss of 4 or 5 wounded and several horses killed, and in their rout. The column was at once pushed on through Charlestown, taking the Berryville road, upon which, from successively assumed positions, we drove another squadron of cavalry to within a mile of Berryville, where we discovered the Seventh and Twelfth Regiments of Virginia Cavalry upon a hill about 1 mile west of the town, who were dislodged by the prompt opening of Knap's Pennsylvania battery, in the advance, upon them, driving them in the direction of Winchester. The ground which they occupied being most desirably prominent, I took possession of it by advancing my whole force, and driving them from it. This movement was at once succeeded by the advance of one regiment of infantry and two pieces of artillery, under cover of a skirt of woodland for about 1 mile farther, in the same direction, where I placed them in defensive position, and sent forward my cavalry force about a mile farther on the same road, when they encountered the enemy, the whole of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, several hundred strong, who charged impetuously upon them. My cavalry retired, pursued by three parallel columns, following closely, the charging regiment cheering vociferously at every step as they advanced, firing upon them, until they came to within about 100 yards of the muzzles of the advanced guns of Knap's battery, which, in conjunction with the Seventh Ohio Volunteers, opened fire upon them with fine effect, mortally wounding 4, and wounding about 20 others. Those mortally wounded died in the vicinity a short time after. Seven or eight of their horses were killed and mortally wounded, and the whole party of the enemy was dispersed in the greatest confusion and demoralization.

Being now about dusk, I did not deem it prudent to advance, and ordered a halt, for the double purpose of allowing the men to rest for the night and to gain information of the strength of the enemy before us, regarding whom great uncertainty prevailed. Our troops bivouacked in line of battle upon the site of the skirmish, felling trees as temporary barricades...

JNO. W. GEARY, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Lieut. Col. H. C. RODGERS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Twelfth Army Corps.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Series 1, Volume 21, pp. 35

Bolivar Heights, Va., December 7, 1862.

I have the honor to report, as an addendum to the report of the recent reconnaissance to Winchester, that in the skirmish near Charlestown, among the rebel wounded were Lieutenant Baylor, who had his arm blown off, and Privates Isler and Timberlake, all of the cavalry.

We have this morning taken 2 additional prisoners of war, viz: Private Raymond Eatman, Second North Carolina Infantry, and Jacob Robertson, White's cavalry battalion.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieut. Col. H. C. RODGERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Point Pleasant Daily Register
December 11, 1862

From Fredericksburg.

NEW YORK, Dec. 8--

...The Herald has a Harper's Ferry dispatch stating that Gen. Geary, with 3,300 infantry, 12 pieces of artillery and 500 cavalry, marched upon Winchester on the 3d, and demanded its surrender, which was complied with.

He reports Gen. Slocum as having left Harper's Ferry on the 1st. He met the enemy's cavalry under White, Henderson and Baylor at Charlestown, routing them.

He again met the enemy, drew him into a trap; killed 5 and wounded 18.

Our troops captured one hundred horses and mules, and several wagon loads of flour belonging to the rebel army at Winchester. They also took twenty-five rebels who were unable to escape---they were paroled. Seventy five conscripts claimed protection, which was granted. Five of our own prisoners were released.

Gen. Geary, in pursuance to order, returned to Harper's Ferry, though large deputations, of citizens begged him to remain. Our only loss was one man slightly wounded. The steam transports Empire State, Eastern Queen, Union, Corrie, White, and Star of the South, sailed last night.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: December 1862

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