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4 Series I Volume XXXVII-I Serial 70 - Monocacy Part I

Page 4 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLIX.

driving out the garrison (250 men, strongly fortified) and securing several prisoners and horses. As I supposed it to be General Early's intention to invest Maryland Heights, I thought the best service I could render would be to sever all communications both by railroad and telegraph between that point and Washington, which I did, keeping it suspended for two days.

As this was the first occasion on which I had used artillery, the magnitude of the invasion was greatly exaggerated by the fears of the enemy, and panic and alarm spread through their territory. I desire especially to bring to the notice of the commanding general the unsurpassed gallantry displayed by Captain Richards, commanding First Squadron. Our crossing was opposed by a body of infantry stationed on the Maryland shore. Dismounting a number a sharpshooters, whom I directed to wade the river above the point held by the enemy, I superintended in person the placing of my piece of artillery in position, at the same time directing Captain Richards, whenever the enemy had been dislodged by the sharpshooters and artillery, to charge across the river in order to effect their capture. The enemy were soon routed and Captain Richards charged over, but before he could overtake them they had retreated across the canal, pulling up the bridge in their rear. My order had not, of course, contemplated their pursuit their fortifications, but the destruction of the bridge was no obstacle to his impetuous valor, and hastily dismounting and throwing down a few planks on the sills, he charged across under a heavy fire from a redoubt. The enemy fled panic-stricken, leaving in our possession their camps, equipage, &c.

Captain Richards has on this, as well as many other occasions, shown himself worthy to wear the honor bestowed upon him by the Government when, disregarding the rule of seniority, it promoted him for valor and skill to the position whose duties he so ably discharges.

On the morning of July 6, while still encamped near the Potomac, information was received that a considerable force a cavalry was at Leesburg. I immediately hastened to meet them. At Leesburg I learned that they had gone toward Aldie, and I accordingly moved on the road to Ball's Mill in order to intercept them returning to their camp in Fairfax, which I succeeded in doing, meeting them at Mount Zion Church and completely routing them, with a loss of about 80 of their officers and men left dead and severely wounded on the field, besides 57 prisoners. Their loss includes a captain and lieutenant killed, and 1 Lieutenant severely wounded; the major commanding and 2 lieutenants prisoners. We also secured all their horses, arms, &c.

My loss was 1 killed and 6 wounded - none dangerously.

After this affair the enemy never ventured in two months after the experiment of another raid through that portion of our district.

A few days afterward I again crossed the Potomac, in co-operation with General Early, and moved through Poolesville, Md., for the purpose of capturing a body of cavalry encamped near Seneca. They retreated, however, before we reached there, leaving all their camp equipage and a considerable amount of stores. We also captured 30 head of beef-cattle.

When General Early fell back from before Washington I recrossed the Potomac near Seneca, moving thence to the Little River pike in order to protect him from any movement up the south side of the river. The enemy moved through Leesburg in pursuit of General

Page 4 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLIX.