I returned to Point of Rocks by sunrise the next morning, and sent one squadron to Berlin and Sandy Hook to protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. At 11:30 A. M. I received a telegram from General Howe to repair to Frederick and ascertain the force of the enemy reported in the vicinity of Boonesboro. Calling in my forces I arrived at Frederick at eight o'clock P. M., where I received orders to report in person to Major-General Wallace, at Monocacy Junction, and by him was ordered to take two pieces of Alexander's battery and move forward by the way of Middletown and find the enemy. I left Frederick City at 5:30 A. M. July fifth and met the enemy's cavalry in equal force approaching from Middletown, and immediately engaged and drove them back, when they were heavily reinforced, and I retired slowly to Catoctin mountain and placed the artillery in position, from which it was able to shell the enemy's skirmish-line with effect. The enemy had used two guns of longer range and heavier metal than those of Alexander's battery, but we had the advantage in position. After five hours skirmishing, the enemy being heavily reinforced, and flanking me, I was compelled to fall back on Frederick. For three hours I had been fighting at least one thousand men, and I could see additional reinforcements moving up from Middletown. The enemy pressed me closely as I retired on Frederick, where I found an additional gun and ammunition. Placing the guns rapidly in position I cleared the road of cavalry and opened on the head of the approaching column, which fell back and deployed to our left, bringing up artillery which was posted south of the Hagerstown pike in a commanding position. At this time Colonel Gilpin with the Third Maryland regiment, Potomac Home brigade, came up, and being senior officer took command of all the forces. I moved to our left, and with my cavalry dismounted, engaged the enemy, fighting continually until dark, repulsing them effectually. My loss this day was one officer, Lieutenant Gilbert, mortally wounded, two men killed, and seven wounded. The enemy retired to Catoctin mountain during the night. The next morning I sent forward a portion of my regiment to find the enemy, and skirmished with them the greater part of the day, repulsing several charges and driving their skirmishers into the mountain. Captain Lieb, Fifth United States cavalry, with ninety-six mounted infantry; Major Wells, First New York veteran cavalry, with two hundred and fifty-six cavalry of various regiments, and the Independent Loudon Rangers were ordered to report to me that day, all of whom I had supporting the men of my own regiment or on the flanks watching the movements of the enemy, The loss in the Eighth Illlinois cavalry, was Captain John V. Morris, one man killed, and seven men wounded. The infantry having fallen back, I called in my forces covering the rear of the column, leaving Frederick City about two o'clock A. M. on the morning of the ninth of July. I arrived at Monocacy Junction, via Baltimore turnpike, about daylight. After two hours rest I deployed a squadron (Eighth Illinois cavalry) on the Georgetown Pike between the junction and Frederick; sent Captain Lieb with the mounted infantry to hold a ford above the bridge where the Baltimore pike crosses the Monocacy, and one company (Eighth Illinois cavalry,) down the Monocacy, to move well round on the enemy's right flank. The squadron on the Georgetown pike met the enemy's skirmishers within a mile of the junction and held them in check until compelled to retire before vastly superior numbers, which they did in good order. I moved with all the available force I had to our left, where I had been informed the enemy were making demonstrations with their cavalry. I had posted one company on the left of the infantry to cover a ford across the Monocacy, and was down between the river and the road to Buckeystown, which was the line I designed taking up, when the enemy charged across the river with a brigade of cavalry upon the company I had just posted. Lieutenant Corbit, in command of the company, drove the advance back, and for a few minutes held his ground, then retired in good order to the Buckeystown road, which he held until the infantry came to his support. The enemy dismounted their cavalry, and engaged the left of our infantry. During this time I was cut off from the main body of our forces, having three orderlies with me, and directly in rear of the rebel cavalry. Two squadrons of my regiment were also cut off, but further down the river. One squadron I directed to accomplish the work of destroying bridges and obstructions crossing over the Monocacy and making circuit of the enemy's right to join me on the Georgetown pike, near Monocacy Junction; the other squadron I brought around the enemy's flank, and took a position on the left of the infantry. During this time I had scouts and patrols on the Georgetown pike as far as Urbana, and fifty men of Major Wells' command at the latter place, patroling toward Buckeystown. When the rebel infantry charged upon our left, and our forces had fallen back, I retired toward Urbana, skirmishing with the enemy's cavalry. They pressed me closely and made several charges. At Urbana the Seventeenth Virginia cavalry charged me with desperation, but were repulsed with the loss of their colors, their major, color-bearer, and several men killed and a number wounded. The force pursuing me was McCausland's brigade. I had eighty (80) men of my own regiment and thirty-five (35) men of Stahl's cavalry I could not bring into action, and ordered them to the rear to enable me to keep a clear road in my rear. Deploying my eighty men as skirmishers, and making a show of having received reinforcements, the enemy dismounted their advance regiment to fight me on foot, sending their horses to the rear, and blocking up the road. I immediately called back my skirmishers
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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