, 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.
, perceiving the inequality, sent two of Tyler
's guns to Ricketts
; and soon — burning the 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 an hour longer; but there were no reenforcements; 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.
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.
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.
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
'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
, 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 only 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.
'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, 1861, were no whit less bitter; and they reasonably hoped, for