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    First Battle of Winchester Report. Fair copy, three pages, 8" x 10", "Head Quarters 3rd Brigade Camp Near Williamsport Md.," May 28, 1862, from George H. Gordon, "Col. 2nd Mass. Regt. Commdg. 3rd Brigade," to General Alpheus S. Williams, "Commdg 1st Division 5th Army Corps.," written only three days after the First Battle of Winchester in Frederick County, Virginia.

    Colonel Gordon begins his report, "At dawn of the 25th Sunday, I was informed that a very large force was driving in my pickets. I gave immediate information of these facts to yourself and proceeded at once to the field. I immediately drew up my command in line of battle, posted my Artillery upon the crowning point of the ridge upon which the right of my line rested, and awaited events to be developed by my skirmishers thrown to the front." Gordon then lists the regiments he commanded, along with the number of artillery pieces. The colonel reckoned he had less than 4,000 infantry, but among the enemy, he "distinctly made out their Regimental flags 28 full regiments of Inf'y numbering probably 22000. . . . Opposing their advancing lines with musketry until it seemed madness longer to resist the endless columns which defiled upon my right flank." Severely outnumbered, Gordon commanded his army to fall back towards Martinsburg and Williamsport, which they successfully did. At the end of the report, Gordon highly praised Lieutenant Colonel Andrews and Colonel [Thomas] Ruger.

    The Confederates won an important victory in the Shenandoah Valley at the First Battle of Winchester, which pitted Stonewall Jackson's much larger Confederate force against Nathaniel Banks' Union force. The retreat that Gordon mentions took them north through Winchester, then on to Martinsburg. Continuing north, they crossed the Potomac River into Maryland at Williamsport. Two weeks after writing this report, Colonel Gordon was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers. This report on lined-paper is age-toned. Some dampstaining with usual folds.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
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