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upon Ricketts, who had changed front to the left, to meet their advance on his flank, his right resting on the river; and, though he had been obliged to form in a single line without reserves, so great was the disparity of numbers that his front was considerably overlapped by theirs. Wallace, perceiving the inequality, sent two of Tyler's guns to Ricketts; and soon—burningtlie wooden bridge and the block-house across it, so as to preclude an easy advance of the enemy thereby—sent to Ricketts every man who could be spared.
The enemy's first line charged, and was quickly repelled; his second line next advanced, and was likewise repulsed; but after a fiercer, more protracted struggle. And now Wallace might have retreated with honor, having achieved the main purpose of his stand ; but 1 o'clock was at hand, when Ricketts's three absent regiments of veterans were promised; and, with their help, he felt able to hold his ground against the enemy's far superior numbers. But 1 p. M. arrived and no regiments; nor could anything be heard of them—both telegrapher and railroad agent having decamped. He waited au hour longer; but there were no reinforcements; while the enemy, in two strong lines, again issued from the woods on our left and advanced deliberately to the charge; and he reluctantly ordered Ricketts to prepare for a retreat by the Baltimore pike, which commenced at 4 P. M.
The stone bridge on that road was held by Col. Brown; and it was of vital importance that it should still be held firmly. Gen. Tyler had already sent his reserve to Brown; he now galloped thither himself, and
took command; Wallace soon arriving to reiterate the order that it must be held at whatever cost until Ricketts should have crossed to the Baltimore pike and commenced his retreat thereon. Tyler held on, fighting, till 5 p. M.; by which time his remaining force was nearly enveloped by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy; so that he, with his staff", was compelled to dash into the woods on the right, and thus barely escaped capture. Brown had just retreated down the pike; losing some of his men, but holding the most of them steadily in their ranks. The enemy made no effective pursuit; Bradley T. Johnson's cavalry being absent, marching on Baltimore by the Liberty road. Ricketts's three missing regiments had been halted at Monrovia, 8 miles distant; whence they had ample time to reach the field in time to save the day. They joined Wallace at Newmarket, and thence covered the retreat: which terminated twelve miles from the Monocacy.
Our loss in this action was 98 killed, 579 wounded, 1,282 missing: total, 1,959. Many of the missing probably oidy straggled in the retreat, as the enemy took but 700 prisoners. They admitted only a total loss of 600 ; but 400 of their severely wounded were found in hospital at Frederick, when we reoccupied that city two or three days afterward.
Johnson's cavalry next day approached Baltimore, when that city was filled with reports that Wallace's little army had been annihilated at the Monocacy. The Baltimore Secessionists, less numerous than in April or July, 1801, were no whit less bitter; and they reasonably hoped, for
EARLY MENACES WASHLVGT0N-I3 REPULSED. 605 ■ The CoL Mulligan who defended Lexington, Mo., in 1861.
some hours, to welcome a ' liberating' army. But Early, after a brief halt on the battle-field, was now marching on Washington; and Baltimore, though weakly held, was not to bo taken on a gallop. Brig.-Gens. Lockwood and Morris were there; and they soon rallied thousands of loyal citizens, by whom every approach was guarded, and earthworks thrown up. in the suburbs which could not be carried without difficulty and delay. Johnson declined the attempt; but a detachment of his horsemen, under Harry Gilmor, made a dash at the Philadelphia railroad near Magnolia station, next morning; bdrning the long trestle over the inlet known as Gunpowder, stopping there the morning train northward, and robbing passengers and mails.
Early's cavalry advance readied Eockville on the evening of the 10th; his infantry was next day within 6 or 7 miles of Washington; which they actually menaced .on the 12th. Gen. Augur, commanding the defenses, pushed out, toward evening, a strong reconnoissance to develop their strength; and a smart skirmish ensued, wherein we had 280 killed and wounded, and the enemy at least as many. If Early had rushed upon Washington by forced marches from the Monocacy, and at once assaulted with desperate energy, he might have taken the city, and might have lost half his army: he must have lost all his army if he had carried the city and attempted to hold it.
Whatever his purpose, it was now too late to do any thing but what he did—retreat across the Potomac, with his cavalry, batteries and trains freshly horsed, 2,500 spare
horses, and 5,000 cattle. For the 19th corps (Emory's), ordered from New Orleans by sea, had reached Fortress Monroe a few days previous, and had been sent by Grant to Washington; as had the 6th (Wright's) from before Petersburg, with directions that Gen. Wright should assume command. Had Early waited, his force, now reduced to 15,000, would have been confronted and crushed by one of at least 40,000.
Wright's pursuit was not made in such force as he should have had, and was timid and feeble. Crossing the Potomac at Edwards's ferry, he moved through Leesburg and Snicker's gap to the Shenandoah; which he had partially crossed when Early turned" upon him suddenly and fiercely, driving back his advance with a loss of fully 500. Wright recrossed after the enemy had moved off, but soon returned to Leesburg, and, turning over the command to Crook, repaired to Washington.
Averill, moving from Martinsburg on Winchester, was fought" near that city, for three hours, by a Rebel force, which he finally worsted; taking 200 prisoners and 4 guns; with a loss of 150 or 200 killed and wounded on either side. The approach of Early from Snicker's gap now compelled him to draw off.
Grant, deceived by advices that Early was returning to Lynchburg and Richmond, ordered the 6th and 19th corps by water to Petersburg, intending to strike a blow with his > thus augmented forces before Early' could arrive. Hunter was still on his weary way from his miscarriage at Lynchburg — dry rivers, broken railroads, &c, impeding his progress.
Crook, left in command of the depleted force on the Potomac, now moved up to Harper's Ferry, and thence pushed out once more to Winchester, supposing that there was nothing there that could stop his progress.
He was grievously mistaken. Early had not gone 60uth, but was close at hand; and soon our advance was annoyed" by smart skirmishing, which pushed back our cavalry on our infantry, and next day routed them, driving Crook's entire command pell-mell to Martinsburg with a loss of 1,200, including Gen. Mulligan" killed. Early's loss was trifling. There was an artillery duel next day at Martinsburg; but Crook, having gained time to save his trains, crossed over into Maryland, leaving Early undisturbed master of the south side of the Potomac from Shepherdstown to Williamsport.
He made an unwise use of his advantage. Maryland and southern Pennsylvania being in utter panic— many running off their stock to places of safety, while thousands openly exulted at the brightened prospects of the Rebellion—he sent B. T. Johnson, McCausland, and others, with perhaps 3,000 cavalry, on a sweeping raid northward. McCausland took a considerable circuit, threatening some points in order to distract attention from others; dispersing a small body of recruits at Carlisle barracks, and finally striking Chambersburg,"then totally defenseless and in good part deserted, and demanding $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in currency, under penalty of conflagration. The money not being instantly produced, the place was fired, and about two-thirds of it destroyed.
The excuse alleged for this act of Vandalism was the burning of exGov. Letcher's house at Lexington by Hunter, six weeks before. That was held to be justified—and, at all events, was solely incited—by finding in a Lexington printing-office the type and proof of a handbill issued and signed by Letcher, calling on the people of that region to'bushwhack' Hunter's men—that is, fire at them from every covert, while not embodied as a military force and seeming to be peaceful farmers or artisans. If this burning violated the laws of war, it had already been twice avenged by burning Gov. Bradford's country residence near Baltimore, and ex-P. M. General Blair's, near Washington. It was not in accordance with Lee's orders nor his practice in either of his invasions; for, though he burned Thaddeus Stevens's iron-works near Gettysburg (as we burned manufactories of warlike material, clothing, &c, throughout the South), he sternly forbad wanton devastation; and he was obeyed.
Averill, with 2,600 cavalry, perplexed by the enemy's bewildering demonstrations, had fallen back from Hagerstown to Greencastle, and was but 9 miles from Chambersburg while Johnson and McCausland, with but part of the Rebel cavalry north of the Potomac, sacked and burned that town. He arrived that day, but they had left; moving westward to McConnellstown, whither he followed; arriving in time to save it from a similar fate. He promptly charged; but there was not much of a fight; the enemy hurrying southward to Hancock, and thence across the Potomac.
SHERIDAN APPOINTED TO COMMAND.
The panic throughout southern Pennsylvania had ere this become intensified. Gen. Couch, commanding there, was assured that a great Rebel army of invasion was marching on Pittsburg; and that city renewed the defensive efforts of the year before. The guerrilla John S. Moseby, with 50 men, dashed across the Potomac at Cheat ferry, surprising and capturing at Adamstown nearly his own number of horsemen, and robbed a few stores; and, though he ran back instantly, his trifling raid was magnified into a vague and gloomy significance.
Neither the 6th nor the 19th corps had proceeded farther than Georgetown, D. C, when Crook's defeat and its consequences impelled them in quite another direction than that of Petersburg. Moving" by Rockville and Frederick, they had reached Harper's Ferry, and there met Crook, with part of Hunter's long expected infantry, on the day Chambersburg was burned; and now, with an immense train, the whole force was started on a wild-goose-chase after Early, who was supposed to belaying waste southern Pennsylvania.
Gen. Kelley, commanding at Cumberland, had undertaken to stop Johnson's raiders as they passed him on their retreat, and had a smart skirmish with them at Falck's mill, in which he claimed the advantage; but Col. Stough, with 500 men, sent to Oldtown to intercept them, had there been routed, after a short skirmish; himself and 90 men being captured. The enemy retreated up the south
"July 26. * Aug. 4. "Aug. 2.
■ Aug. 4. "Aug. T.
TM There was, in 1865, a spicy newspaper controversy betwoen these Generals touching their respective strength in their Valley campaign.
branch of the Potomac, pursued by Averill, who struck" them near Moorefield, routing them, with a loss of but 50 on our side; Averill capturing their guns, wagons, and 500 prisoners.
Gen. Grant had already sent" Sheridan to Washington, with intent to have him placed in charge of our distracted operations on the Potomac and Shenandoah; and he now came up" himself, to obtain, if possible, a better understanding of what was going on. In his conference with Hunter, that officer expressed a willingness to be relieved, if that were deemed desirable; and Grant at once telegraphed to Washington to have Sheridan sent up to Harper's Ferry; himself awaiting there that officer's arrival. An order soon appeared" appointing Maj.-Gen. Philip H. Sheridan commander of the new 'Middle Department,' composed of the late Departments of West Virginia, Washington, and Susquehanna; and two divisions of cavalry (Torbert's and Wilson's) were soon sent him by Grant; raising his force to nearly 30,000 men; while Early's, confronting him, can hardly have exceeded 20,000."
It was no fault of Sheridan's that his accession to command was not immediately followed by a vigorous offensive. Doubtless, his motley forces needed to be better compacted and fitted together; but, under skillful and capable leadership, they would attain this most rapidly in the field. Yet there had been so much failure and disappointment in this quarter, while the
Early made his force scarcely half so numerous as Sheridan's. Sheridan rejoined that the prisonen taken by him from Early exceeded the number to which that General limited his entire command.