maneuvering and stubborn fighting, delayed General Early
an entire day, and thus gave the time necessary for the 6th Corps to arrive at Washington
, before the Confederates
afterwards said that when he saw the banners of the 6th Corps in the works at Fort Stevens
, he gave up all hope of taking the city.
One of his officers said, “Damn the 6th Corps, we find it everywhere.”
These were the men whom the corps had fought at the Wilderness battle at Spottsylvania
, on the 10th and 12th of May, and a part of it at the Monocacy
's Georgians had had a conspicuous part in all those terrible battles, and they knew the metal of which the 6th Corps was made.
The day following the battle of Fort Stevens
, the corps advanced and found that the enemy had retreated.
This was rendered necessary from the fact that General Wallace
had restored the morale of his defeated army, and was threatening Early
's rear and flank.
The advance continued through Rockville
on the river road to the vicinity of Poolsville, the 1st Division having the lead.
At Poolsville the enemy was found, but gave way before the attack of our cavalry.
The corps encamped there for the night.
The next day by a long and dusty march, the cavalry leading, Edwards Ferry was reached.
On the 16th the river was crossed and the advance reached Leesburg
, and passed beyond to Clark's Gap.
Here the 3d Division under General Ricketts
rejoined the corps.
They showed the effect of their hard fight at Monocacy
Of them Beckwith
says, “They gave us an account of their fight there, and spoke of the confidence with which the Rebels
charged them, until they found out what troops were in front of them.
Prisoners said that the Rebel
officers told their men, that the troops in front of them were only ”