), and surprises and completely overwhelms the force Banks has stationed there.
Next day he strikes with damaging effect at Banks' retreating column, between Strasburg and Winchester, and follows him up) all night.
At dawn he attacks him on the heights of Winchester, forces him from his position and drives him in confusion and dismay to the Potomac with the loss of immense stores and a large number of prisoners.
Resting but two days, he marches to Harper's Ferry, threatens an invasion of Maryland and spreads such alarm as to paralyze the movements of McDowell's 40,000 men at Fredericksburg, and to cause the concentration of half of this force, together with Fremont's command, on his rear.
The militia of the adjoining States is called out; troops are hurried to Harper's Ferry in his front; more than 40,000 troops are hastening under the most urgent telegrams to close in around him. Keeping up his demonstrations until the last moment — until, indeed, the head of McDowwell's column wa
Maryland battery on the Mississippi in the Spring of 1863. By Captain W. L. Ritter.
Baltimore, Md., February 27, 1879. Rev. John William Jones, D. D., Secretary Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Va.:
Dear Sir — I give a few items which may serve as a branch link in the great historical chain that is being forged for the future historian.
April 2, 1863, Lieutenant Ritter was ordered to Deer creek, up the Mississippi river, to take command of a section of the Third battery of Maryland artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Bates, of Waddell's Alabama artillery.
This section, with one of Bledsoe's Missouri battery and one of a Louisiana battery, were under the command of Lieutenant Wood, of the Missouri artillery.
These sections were all attached to General Ferguson's brigade, that had been operating along the Mississippi, firing into transports and harassing the enemy in every conceivable manner.
In March, 1863, when Porter's fleet, consisting of five gunboats and sever
, with their fine music, was eagerly anticipated every evening.
But I am consuming too much time with Fort McHenry, and must bid it good bye, with the hope that I may, at some future time, renew the acquaintance under more auspicious surroundings.
On the 15th of September we embarked on the steamer John J. Tracy for Point Lookout — an extreme point of land, distant about seventy-five miles, and situated between the Chesapeake bay and the Potomac river, just opposite the Eastern shore of Maryland.
Our number was about one hundred and sixty; consequently we were not much crowded, and the steamer was quite comfortable and clean, being one of the bay boats, and not a Government transport.
One of our number, a Tennessean, died on the passage, and was buried in the bay. Weights were attached to his body, which was placed upon a plank, one end of which was raised, and the Confederate passed away.
The solemn spectacle was witnessed by our men with much emotion.
He had some friends, no