Col. W. S. H. Baylor
, of Jackson
's staff, dashed into the town.
The latter had been held by a part of the Thirty-ninth Illinois regiment, a squadron of cavalry and a section of artillery, reinforced on the morning of the 4th by the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania from Hancock
, and at midday by the Thirteenth Indiana.
These Federal troops skirmished for some hours with Jackson
's advance, then hastily retired, their commander, Colonel Murray
of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, having decided not to await an attack.
They retreated precipitately to Hancock
, leaving their stores and camp at Bath
to be captured.
Finding the enemy gone, Jackson
ordered an immediate pursuit, his main body moving toward Hancock
and driving the rear of the enemy across the Potomac
moved toward Sir John's run, but did no damage to the enemy retreating in that direction, as they were able to check his advance with a few men, along the narrow defile of the run, until after dark, when they made good their retreat over the Potomac
, with the Third Arkansas, the Thirty-seventh Virginia and two guns, was sent to destroy the Baltimore & Ohio railroad bridge over the Big Cacapon.
The guard made a stout resistance, but he drove it off on the morning of the 5th and destroyed the bridge, railroad station and telegraph line.
bivouacked with his main force opposite Hancock
on the night of the 4th.
The next morning, through Colonel Ashby
, he demanded a surrender of the town, threatening if that were not done in two hours, given for the removal of non-combatants, he would open his batteries upon it. General Lander
, who had assumed command at Hancock
, refused to surrender and prepared to resist until large reinforcements, which had been summoned from both east and west over the National
road, could reach him. Jackson
put several pieces of artillery in position and kept up a brisk cannonade during the afternoon of the 5th and the forenoon of the 6th, meantime trying to construct a bridge across the Potomac
, two miles above Hancock
, that he might cross the river and fall on Lander
Finding that it would take several days to construct this bridge, during which time the enemy in front of him would be largely reinforced, and having freed this part of his district from the enemy and destroyed such stores as he could not carry away, Jackson