Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/237
Virginia Mourning Her Dead. 223
"Headquarters, Armies oe the United States.
May 1 8, 1864. To Maj.-Gen. Halleck, Chief of Staff:
By information just received, I judge General Crook is going back to Cauley by the same route he went. If so, all the surplus force in General Sigel's department had better be collected at Harpers Ferry, so that it can be brought here, or sent up the Shenandoah, as may seem most advantageous.
U. S. Grant.
On the 1 st of May, Major-General Franz Sigel prepared for his movement up the Shenandoah Valley, by sending all surplus baggage to the rear, and soon after set out, with one division of infantry under General Sullivan, one division of cavalry under General Stahl, and five batteries of artillery. The General — as became a profound strategist — moved with caution, and by the end of two weeks had reached Xew Market, fifty miles south from Winchester. On the 15th of May this army of over 6,000 men met the Confederate forces under General John C. Breckin- ridge, about two miles south from New Market. The Confed- erate force consisted of one brigade of infantry commanded by Brigadier-General Gabriel C. Wharton and another brigade of infantry commanded by Brigadier-General John Echols, a bri- gade of cavalry commanded by Brigadier-General Imboden, and two or three batteries and one section of a battery commanded by Major McCaughlin.
A gratifying concurrence of opinion, as to the general result of this engagement, is disclosed by the brief reports of the oppos- ing commanders.
General Sigel says : "A severe battle was fought to-day at Xew Market, between our forces and those of Echols and Im- boden. under Breckinridge. Our troops were overpowered by superior numbers ; I therefore withdrew them gradually from the battlefield and recrossed the Shenandoah at about 7 o'clock P. M. Under the circumstances prevailing, I find it necessary to retire to Cedar Creek. The battle was fought on our side by