: the demonstrations against the former were only intended to distract attention from a blow aimed at the latter.
, soon satisfied of this, drew out his scanty forces — for the East
had, ere this, been swept nearly bare of troops to fill the chasms made by constant fighting in the armies operating against Richmond
— and resolved to confront the invaders on the Monocacy
, which afforded a tolerable defensive position.
Yet, when his forces were concentrated at Frederick
they numbered barely 3,000; and these mainly Home Guards and 100-day volunteers, who had never been in action.
, with his cavalry — some 400 in all — was sent out to Middletown
to find the enemy; but was soon driven back2
by Gen. Bradley T. Johnson
, with 1,000 Rebel horsemen.
retreated on Frederick
, and was there supported by Lt.-Col. Griffin
's infantry, raising his force to 1,000; and a brief artillery duel ensued, which resulted in Johnson
's falling back.
now reached Frederick
— his forces having hitherto been immediately directed by Gen. Tyler
--but could gain no reliable account of the enemy's strength or purposes — the wildest and most conflicting reports being in circulation.
He soon learned by telegram from Sigel
, on Maryland Heights
, that the enemy lately beleaguering him had left, marching northward, as if making for Pennsylvania
; while he had assurances from Washington
that a corps of veterans were hurrying to his assistance.
, with a brigade of good soldiers, belonging to the 19th corps, actually came up. Finding the enemy in his front rapidly growing formidable, and threatening to turn his left, Wallace
now withdrew by night3
across the Monocacy
, and took up the position on its left bank, already held by Gen. Ricketts
, which lie resolved to hold so long as he could — since, if the Rebels
were in strong force, and intent on a dash at Washington
, it was important at least to check them, by compelling them to concentrate and fight; thus gaining time for the arrival of help from Grant
Early in the morning,4 Wallace
's dispositions for battle were completed.
His right, under Gen. Tyler
, covered the Baltimore pike
; his left, under Gen. Ricketts
, held the high road to Washington
Each had three guns.
The bridges were held ; skirmishers being thrown out beyond them.
's cavalry watched the lower fords.
Only part of Ricketts
's division was on hand; but the residue was expected by railroad at 1 P. M. At 8 A. M., the enemy advanced in force from Frederick
, throwing out skirmishers and planting behind them his guns, which soon opened the battle.
Having not less than 16 Napoleons to our 6 smaller pieces, the superiority of his fire was very decided.
The skirmishing grew gradually warmer and more general, and soon there was serious fighting at the stone bridge on the Baltimore pike
A considerable body of Rebel infantry, moving by their right just out of range of our guns, flanked our left, forcing a passage of the Monocacy
at a ford nearly two miles below the wooden bridge on the Washington
And now, at 10 1/2 A. M., the enemy advanced in battle array