Camp at Brown's Gap
June 11th 1862
I have been kept so busily marching & fighting lately that I have not had time to write We gained a glorious victory at Winchester, though the enemy had the advantage of us in position, & our loss was, as far I've been able to ascertain, somewhat greater than theirs. We ad between 40 & 50 killed & near two hundred wounded. We captured large amounts of army stores, ammunition, medicines &c in Front Royal, Strasburg & Winchester & Martinsburg. In W. they burnt most of their commissary stores & several buildings. Between, Strasburg & W. we took about 350 wagons & they burnt about 100. For several miles below W the road was lined with knapsacks, haversack, canteens guns, gum cloths overcoats &c the enemy had left in their haste. I got a gum cloth to roll my blanket in & had I exerted myself a little more I might have got one to wear, but I was very tired, having marched all the previous day & night seldom left my piece to pick up anything. As it was I got an oil cloth nearly new. It does not turn water well though & is fast wearing our, so I will still need that gum coat Pa was to have made, after a while, unless we drive the enemy down the Valley again soon at a double quick. Two days after the fight we went to Charlestown & had another little scrimmage running the enemy to his [?] Two of our guns captured 15 cavalry men charging at full speed after 10 or 12 of our men a few hundred yes. from Ch. As soon as they saw us unlimber they halted & hoisted the white flag. We staid two days at C., skirmishing nearly all the time & driving the enemy to Harpers Ferry. Whilst there Shields commenced advancing on Jackson's left & Freemont on his right, both aiming for Strasburg with the intention of getting in his rear, but by hard marching & skillful maneuvering & a little fight he avoided the trap. The fight took place on Sunday between part of our forces & Freemonts Division. The 1st Brigade was in the rear on the retreat & we were lying in Middletown waiting for our baggage train to pass whilst the fight was going on, 5 or 6 miles to our right. Jackson continued falling back until he came to Harrissonburg, then turned to the left & came across to Port Republic. The enemy pursued all the way & on Monday the pursuit was very close; we were skirmishing all the time. Once the 2nd reg. of cavalry were put to flight & came very near running our battery & the reg. behind us. They had been placed as a support to the cannons which were firing, & ran without sufficient cause. On Sunday again we had another pretty severe fight. Old Jack came very near being captured himself. His headquarters were a short distance out of town & Shield's force, through the carelessness of our pickets, came up the P. Republic road very rapidly & took possession of the town & commenced firing on us before we knew anything about it, but in a very short time Old Jack had our battery & two others in full play upon them. They left one of their guns & fled with the rest. For about half an hour we had a fine opportunity of raking them with our fire. In the mean time Fremont attacked us on the rear & there occurred the severest part of the fight. It lasted five hours. F was finally compelled to fall back 3 or 4 miles. On Monday Jackson crossed the river, burnt the bridge behind him & whipped shields badly. Carpenter's & our batteries did the principal part of the artillery firing. The 1st Brigade was the first in the infantry fight, which was very severe. The Enemy were driven from their position & in turn drove us back 3 or 400 yds, but reinforcements coming up we routed & pursued them several miles, & capture eight of their guns.
[transcribed from a copy which was donated to the Library decades ago. The location of the original is unknown. The recipient may possibly be Elizabeth Ann Willson of Rockbridge County, Va., The writer is unknown]