Report of Col. Nathan Kimball, Fourteenth Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of the Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, SHIELDS' DIVISION,
Camp near Strasburg, Va., March 26, 1862

        SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle which was fought near Winchester, Va., on Sunday, the 23d instant, between the forces composing the division which I had the honor to command and the rebel forces under General Jackson.

        Early in the morning of the 23d the enemy commenced the attack, advancing from Kernstown and occupying a position with their batteries on the heights to the right of the road and the woods in the plain to the left of the road with cavalry and infantry and one battery. I at once advanced the Eighth Ohio, Colonel Carroll with four companies taking the left and Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer with three companies the right of the turnpike road. Colonel Carroll advanced steadily, coming up with two companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, who had been out as pickets. Uniting them with his command, he drove one of the enemy's batteries which had opened a heavy fire upon him, and after a sharp skirmish routing five Companies of the enemy, which were posted behind a stone wall and supported by cavalry, holding his position during the whole day, thus frustrating the attempts of the enemy to turn our left.

        The right of the Eighth Ohio remained in front until about 4 o'clock p.m., when they were recalled to support one of our batteries on the heights. The Sixty-seventh Ohio were thrown on a hill to our right to support Jenks' battery, which had been advanced to a position commanding the village of Kernstown and the wood on the right. The Fourteenth Indiana was sent forward to support Clark's battery, which advanced along the road. The Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania was thrown over the hills to the right to prevent a flank movement of the enemy.

        The Second Brigade, commanded by Colonel Sullivan, Thirteenth Indiana, composed of the Thirteenth Indiana, Fifth Ohio, Sixty-second Ohio, and Thirty-ninth Illinois, was sent to the left, supporting Carroll's skirmishers, a section of Daum's battery, and Robinson's First Ohio Battery, and to prevent an attempt which was made to turn that flank. We had succeeded in driving the enemy from both flanks and the front until about 4 o'clock p.m., when Jackson, with the whole of his infantry, supported by artillery and cavalry, took possession of the hill on the right, and planted his batteries in commanding position, and opened a heavy and well directed fire upon our batteries and their supports, attracting our attention whilst he attempted to gain our right flank with his infantry.

        At this juncture I ordered the Third Brigade, Col. E. B. Tyler, Seventh Ohio, commanding, composed of the Seventh and Twenty-ninth Ohio, First Virginia, Seventh Indiana, and One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania, to move to the right to gain the flank of the enemy, and charge them through the wood to their batteries posted on the hill. They moved forward steadily and gallantly, opening a galling fire on the enemy's infantry. The right wing of the Eighth Ohio, the Fourteenth and Thirteenth Indiana Regiments, Sixty-seventh Ohio, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, and Fifth Ohio, were sent forward to support Tyler's brigade, each one in its turn moving gallantly forward, sustaining a heavy fire from both the enemy's batteries and musketry. Soon all of the regiments above named were pouring forth a well-directed fire, which was promptly answered by the enemy, and after a hotly contested action of two hours, just as night closed in, the enemy gave way and were soon completely routed, leaving their dead and wounded on the field, together with two pieces of artillery and four caissons. Our forces retained possession of the field and bivouacked for the night.

        The batteries, under their chief, Lieutenant-Colonel Daum, were well posted and ably served during the day and the whole action. I respectfully refer you to the several accompanying reports for the details of the engagement.

        I regret to report the loss of the gallant Colonel Murray, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, who fell while bravely leading forward his gallant men, amidst a perfect storm of shot and shell.
Where all have done so well, both officers and men, and achieved so much, it would be seemingly invidious to particularize any individual officer; yet I can say, without doing injustice to others, that Colonel Tyler deserves the highest commendation for the gallant manner in which he led his brigade during the conflict, and he, with the gallant Carroll, Harrow, Foster, Voris, Patrick, Thoburn, Sawyer, Buckley, Cheek, and Creighton, deserve well of their country. Colonel Sullivan, commanding the Second Brigade, and on the left, though not attacked in force, his batteries and skirmishers engaged the enemy and prevented the turning of that flank. He too merits the highest commendation. I am under many obligations to Colonel Clark, Majors Copeland and Perkins, and Captains Shriber and Sheffler, of Major-General Banks' staff, for valuable assistance rendered, and it is with pleasure I mention their gallantry on the field. To Col. John S. Mason, of the Fourth Ohio, and his adjutant, Lieutenant Green, I am deeply indebted for valuable assistance rendered. To my own staff officers, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. John J.P. Blinn and Aide-de-Camp Lieut. Charles T. Boudi not, I am under many obligations for the gallant and efficient manner in which they discharged their duties on the field.

        I herewith submit a plan of the battle, prepared by Captain Mason, of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, to whom I am much indebted for this valuable assistance.

        A recapitulation of the killed, wounded, and missing is also appended.

        All of which is respectfully submitted.

        NATHAN KIMBALL,
       
Colonel Fourteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Commanding

Fighting Jackson at Kernstown - by Nathan Kimball, Brevet Major General, U.S.V.

Nathan Kimball - Biography

Music of the War for Southern Independence

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