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Doc. 32.-the Union cavalry service.

Details of the operations during the campaign against Lee, June and July, 1863.

Falling Waters, Maryland, Wednesday, July 15, 1863.
in addition to the battles of Beverly Ford, Aldie, Middleburgh and Upperville, now matters of history, I have to record fifteen more engagements of our cavalry with the enemy, in thirteen of which cavalry was exclusively used, with flying artillery--all within sixteen days. I have already furnished you with brief accounts of these battles as they have transpired — such as could be hastily prepared when prostrated by fatigue produced by physical exertion and the loss of sleep, and laboring under the depressing effect of a relapse from the wildest excitement and while seated on the wet grass or under a dripping tree — valuable time, in which companions sought repose. But how describe fifteen battles in sixteen days? To do the subject justice would require the pen of a Victor Hugo and as much time as was consumed in the preparation of Les Miserables. Surrounded as I am at this moment by all the paraphernalia of actual war, deadly contest still raging within hearing, ay, within full sight of my temporary abode, fully expecting the enemy to force me upon the road at any moment, should our arms meet with but a temporary and even the slightest reverse — it is impossible to describe with that minuteness of detail desirable, the scenes of strife that have passed under my own observation in the brief space of time mentioned. The whole scene, as reviewed at this time, seems more like a dream than a reality. Fighting by day, and marching and sometimes fighting at night, in thunder-storms, crossing mountains, and fording swollen rivers — with a wily, relentless foe both in front and flank, made desperate by his situation — a river in his rear, with only one pontoon and almost without a train, and a large victorious army in front pressing him into his lair.

In attempting to write this resume, I am prompted quite as much to the task by a desire to do justice to the noble dead who sleep in a soldier's grave, to those now suffering from wounds received, to the survivors who have passed through these terrible ordeals unscathed, and last to the cavalry arm of the service, as I am with any hope of presenting any thing particularly new Shame! shame! that while our [184] volunteers are freely laying their lives upon the altar of their country — fighting battles and suffering all the trials and exposure incident to active military life — that now, when death and disease has thinned their ranks, and the necessities of the country require more men, there can be found those at home who have the effrontery to resist the means adopted to secure so desirable an end. Could the men engaged in the recent disturbance in New-York have heard the indignation expressed by our soldiers when they first read of the riot in New-York, from newspapers scattered along the column to-day, and the wish that they could be led against that mob, they would never dare look a soldier in the face again.

On the twenty-fifth of June, after the battles of Aldie, Middleburgh, and Upperville, the cavalry moved forward to Leesburgh, thence across the Potomac at Edwards's Ferry to Poolesville, passing through Seneca Mills, Middlebrook, Doub's Station, Jefferson, to Frederick City. At this point the force was divided, and went in different directions. As General Kilpatrick was placed in command of the largest division, and being a man of fertile genius, whose heart is in the cause in which he is engaged — and withal one of the most dashing cavalry officers in the United States or any other service, the writer concluded that his duty to the paper he represented required him to proceed with a command which promised so much. For once his judgment was not at fault. The experience of the last ten days has proved quite conclusively that the Third division of the cavalry is the place for representatives of newspapers in search of either news, fatigue, or fighting.

Leaving Frederick on Sunday, the twenty-eighth, Walkerville, Mount Pleasant, Liberty, Johnsville, Middleburgh, Taneytown, and Littletown were passed through, without any important event to record; and, on the thirtieth, (Tuesday,) Hanover was reached. As the troops crossed the line into Pennsylvania, their spirits seemed to be revived by the fertile fields and homelike scenes around them. Cheerfully they moved on — many of them, alas! too soon, to their last resting-place.

The battle at Hanover.

At about midday, General Kilpatrick, with his command, was passing through Hanover, in York County, Pennsylvania--a town containing three thousand inhabitants — and when the rear of General Farnsworth's brigade had arrived at the easterly end of the place, General Custer's brigade having advanced to Abbottsville, General Stuart made a simultaneous attack upon his rear and right flank. The attack was entirely a surprise, as no enemy had been reported in the vicinity; and under any ordinary general, or less brave troops, so sudden and impetuous was the first charge, the whole command would have been thrown into the wildest confusion, and, as a necessary consequence, suffered a severe loss and a disastrous defeat. The force was in the hands of a master. Speedily making his dispositions, the General hurled upon the insolent and advancing enemy the Fifth New-York cavalry--a regiment never known to falter in an emergency. General Stuart in person led the charging column, and the Fifth was led by General Farnsworth and Major Hammond. For some time the contest hung in the balance, but General Custer's brigade returning after a severe struggle, which lasted nearly four hours, the enemy was forced to retire. They lost in this engagement a stand of colors, fifty men--ten of whom were killed — and included among the latter was Captain James Dickenson, of Baltimore, attached to the Tenth Virginia cavalry. Lieutenant-Colonel Payne, of the same regiment was taken prisoner, together with forty others — officers of the line, non-commissioned officers and privates. It was in this fight that the Adjutant of the Fifth New-York, Lieutenant Gaul, lost his life while gallantly leading his men.

As the cavalry by the battles at Aldie and Upperville, prevented the rebel Stuart from marching his column through Maryland and Pennsylvania by the way of Edwards's Ferry and Boonsboro, so did the whipping of him at Hanover prevent further marauding excursions toward the centre of the State.

Stuart and Early, the marauding chiefs of the rebel army, when they heard that Kilpatrick was on their track, abandoned the disgraceful work they were engaged in, and began to look about them for a safe exit from the State.

These legalized Dick Turpins had demanded tribute in almost every town visited by them, and threatened to destroy the towns unless their demands were promptly met. In some towns the citizens nobly refused to comply, but prepared rather to sacrifice their property than to yield to the invader. In many places, I regret to say, the reverse of all this was acted upon. At York, a town of twelve thousand inhabitants, the chief burgomaster, a man named Small, rode seven miles to surrender the town, and before any demand had been made for its surrender. General Early condescended to say, that if in the course of his peregrinations York was visited, he would consider the surrender as an ameliorating circumstance. Visiting the place, he demanded a ransom of one hundred thousand dollars and a supply of provisions and clothing for his whole command. A committee of citizens was actually formed, and forty-five thousand dollars in greenbacks and the required provisions were turned over to the Early aforesaid, who magnanimously offered to spare the town then, provided the balance of the money demanded was paid upon his return, which he said would be within a few days. Fortunately, General Kilpatrick's troops frightened this pink of generals away, and the citizens of York and vicinity were saved the opportunity of further humiliating themselves.

On the Saturday previous to arriving in Hanover, one hundred and fifty of Stuart's cavalry entered that place, and did pretty much as they pleased, not one of the three thousand inhabitants daring to remonstrate or raise a finger in self-defence. [185] In fact, it appears they met more friends than enemies — for they found those who gave them information as to the movements of our troops, and were thereby enabled to make the sudden attack they did upon the rear of General Farnsworth's brigade the following Tuesday. Indeed, I have had in my possession a letter written by Fitz-Hugh Lee, and addressed to General Stuart on the very morning of the attack, giving a correct account of General Kilpatrick's movements, “obtained,” he says, “from a citizen, and is reliable.” There was no “reliable citizen” in all Pennsylvania to inform General Kilpatrick of the approach of General Stuart upon the rear of General Farnsworth's brigade; and our commnnders throughout the campaign in that State, labored under almost as many disadvantages as if campaigning in an enemy's country. Indeed, not until we arrived near Gettysburgh, could any valuable information as to the enemy's movements be obtained. In conversation with the editor of a paper in Hanover, whom I accidentally met, after showing him the letter of Fitz-Hugh Lee, I made the remark that the rebels appeared to have a great many sympathizers in that vicinity. He replied: “I don't know as to that, but you see this is a very strong Democratic county, and the Democrats were opposed to the removal of McClellan!” Leading and active Union men were pointed out by the traitors, who seek to mask their treason under the garb of Democracy in this town, that they might be plundered by the marauders. One man, a jeweller, was thus pointed out, and his stock in trade, though concealed, was unearthed, and divided among the rebel soldiers. In Hanover, and at other points, particularly in York County, the enemy found warm friends ready to welcome them, and actually received some recruits for their army. Women at the Washington Hotel in York degraded themselves by waving their handkerchiefs in token of welcome to the rebel troops, and there were a number of citizens who spread tables for the officers, and invited them to their houses. At Mechanicsville, one “Democrat” was so buoyant, that he mounted a sword, and guided the rebel column to the railroad junction, where they destroyed a large amount of property. There seemed to be a perfect understanding between the enemy and men whose loyalty had been questioned before. One of this class recovered nine horses from Stuart; “they were taken by mistake.” The keeper of a hotel in Abbotstown, who, I regret to say, was once a leading “Wide awake” also manifested his pleasure at receiving a visit from the rebels. Fortunately, even the Democrats of York County have seen all they wish of rebels — a column of whom can be smelled as far as a slave-ship. A majority of the women in Hanover and elsewhere are truly loyal. They cared for the wounded — even taking them from the streets while bullets were flying around promiscuously. They furnished provisions to the soldiers, and in most instances, positively refusing to receive any pay. In one instance, a citizen voluntarily exchanged horses with a scout to en able the latter to escape.

While our troops were engaged at Hanover, another rebel force made a dash at Littlestown, with a view of capturing a train near that place. Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander and Captain Armstrong happened to be near the spot at the time, and repulsed the enemy with the Fifth and Sixth Michigan regiments.

Before visiting Pennsylvania, there is not a shade of doubt but what the rebels expected to secure a large acquisition to their force as soon as the State was invaded; seventy-five thousand, men was the number they everywhere, in Maryland and Virginia, told the citizens, as they passed along, would join them. But your Copper head is a man of words, and when asked to fight, many of them, at least, suddenly began to love the Union. The enemy lost more men by desertion in Pennsylvania than they received in recruits.

A little boy named Smith, twelve years of age, who came out as bugler in the First Maine cavalry, was active in the fight, and had a horse killed under him at Hanover. Since that time he has been adopted as an aid by General Kilpatrick, and is always to be seen near the General, whether in a charge or elsewhere. Since Hanover he has had another horse killed under him, and one wounded.

Wednesday, July second, General Kilpatrick made a forced march to the vicinity of Heidlersburgh, to intercept Stuart, who was moving toward the main body of the rebel army. Unfortunately, the information of this movement came too late; the enemy had passed the point indicated two hours before the head of the column reached it. In the then jaded condition of the horses, it was impossible to continue the pursuit, and the command fell back several miles, and bivouacked for the night.

The battle at Hunterstown.

Thursday, July second, General Kilpatrick moved his whole command upon Hunterstown, and driving in the enemy's pickets, attacked the left flank of the army. General Gregg's command had the day before been fighting the enemy at Gettysburgh, and held the hill west of the town until driven from it by the artillerymen attached to the Eleventh corps--a position which cost many valuable lives to retake.

The column did not reach Hunterstown until four o'clock P. M., when a squadron of the Eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, headed by Captain Estes, charged through and drove the enemy back upon his reserve on the Gettysburgh road. After surveying the position, General Farnsworth's brigade was ordered on a road to the right leading to Cashtown, and General Custer's brigade was placed to the left. Company A, Captain Thompson, of the Sixth Michigan, was ordered to charge upon the rebel force then in sight; at the same time two companies of the Sixth were deployed as skirmishers in a wheat-field obliquely to the road, so as to pour in a [186] raking fire upon the enemy should the force sent forward be repulsed. The charge ordered was made, General Custer and Captain Thompson leading it. The company was repulsed, and the enemy came charging down the road at a fearful rate, yelling like fiends. But their tune was soon changed. Two shells from Elder's battery, together with a flank fire from the Michiganders in the wheat-field, soon brought them to an about face. Pennington's battery was soon in position, and a regular artillery duel commenced, and was continued until after nightfall. Our fire was very destructive to the enemy, as prisoners of rank have since admitted. Captain Thompson was severely wounded, two men were killed, and some twenty-five were wounded. The enemy's loss must have been very severe, for they left three dead lieutenants on our hands and a dozen or more of their wounded. In the charge made, a boy named Churchill, of the First Michigan, took an active part, and succeeded in killing a man who was trying to kill General Custer, whose horse had been shot in the melee.

Having repulsed the enemy, General Kilpatrick received orders to join the main command at Two Taverns, which place was reached at about four o'clock, Friday morning, July third. Three hours afterward the whole command was again in motion, and, by eleven o'clock, made a dash upon the right flank of the enemy, with a view of destroying his train, if possible, and, at all events, creating a diversion. Owing to a misunderstanding, one brigade (General Custer's) of this division went to the right, and, consequantly, the first object mentioned was not accomplished, but the second was fully. It was known that the enemy would mass his forces on Friday, for the purpose of breaking our right. The sudden and unexpected attack of General Kilpatrick on his own right caused the enemy to fear a flank movement in that direction, and changed the character of the battle from attack to simply defensive. Unexpectedly hearing heavy firing, and receiving a brisk attack on the right flank and rear, the enemy sent forward a large force of infantry to cooperate with the cavalry, then being pressed back. Having had their skirmishers driven from the woods, the enemy took a strong position behind two stone and rail fences, one a few rods in the rear of the other, and a similar fence on the flanks. General Kilpatrick was anxious to carry this position, because, if successful, the enemy's ammunition train could be reached. Every means had been used to start the enemy for a charge, but unsuccessfully. The First Vermont, Colonel Preston; First Virginia, Major Copeland; and the Eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, Colonel Brinton, were in position to charge. The First Vermont, First Virginia, and a squadron of the Eighteenth Pennsylvania, led by General Farnsworth, dashed forward at the word until the stone wall was reached. A few men pulled the rail fence away from the top of the wall. General Farnsworth leaped his horse over, and was followed by the First Vermont--the enemy breaking before them and taking a position behind the second fence. The few rods between the two fences where our men crossed was a fearfully dangerous place, the little fence receiving the concentrated fire of three lines, from front and both flanks. The witnesses of the movement stood in breathless silence — their blood running cold as the chargers gained the second fence. Man after man was seen to fall--General Farnsworth among the rest. “He is killed!” gasped many a one, looking at that fatal spot; but no — that tall form and slouched hat are his — he lives — and all breathe again. His horse had been killed; a soldier gives him his horse; the General again mounts and dashes on. The enemy here make a more formidable stand, but are driven away, and the whole force go dashing, reeling over the fence in a whirlpool of shot and shell, such as is seldom ever witnessed by soldiers. The constant roar of musketry and artillery on the main field gave to the scene a peculiar grandeur. It was fearfully grand. The second fence crossed, and new fires were opened upon this brave band. To retreat at that point was certain death, and the only chance of safety was to advance, and advance they did for between one and two miles, to the rear of the rebel army, in sight of the coveted train — but at what a cost! Dispersing, the men returned under a galling fire as best they could. A few did not get back to their command for hours — many never came. The list of missing gradually lessened, and hope led us to look anxiously for the return of General Farnsworth; and when, with the morning's dawn, no tidings from him were heard, then hope said he was wounded — a prisoner — he has been left seriously, perhaps dangerously, wounded at some house by the roadside. Vain hope! Messengers were sent in every direction to search for the missing spirit. It did not seem possible that he could be dead; and yet, so it was. He fell just after crossing the second fence, his bowels pierced by five bullets. There some of the Vermont boys, left behind at the hospital, found his body two days after the fight, and saw it decently interred. The brave, noble, and generous Farnsworth has gone to his last rest, and the sod that covers his grave has been wet by the tears of those who loved and honored him while living. His name will ever be held in remembrance by every member of the Third division.

Of the three squadrons of the Vermont regiment in the advance in this charge, there were fifteen killed, fifteen wounded, and twenty or more are missing. The regiment lost seventy-five men during the fight.

This was the last charge of the day at this point. It caused the enemy to concentrate a still larger force upon his right flank until their whole line fell back. Night soon came on, and with it a drenching shower, in which the cavalry, exhausted with the labors of the day, retired two miles and sought such repose as could be obtained in an open field.

The day had been exceedingly hot and many men were prostrated by the heat. The Fifth New-York supported a battery which was exposed [187] to a very hot fire. A shell passed through the body of Daniel Hurley, company C, killed a horse, and wounded John Buckley, of the same company.

Saturday morning, July fourth, it became known that the enemy was in full retreat, and General Kilpatrick moved on to destroy his train and harass his column. A heavy rain fell all day, and the travelling was any thing but agreeable. We arrived at Emmetsburgh--one of the strongest secesh villages to be found — about midday, during a severe storm. After a short halt the column moved forward again, and at Fountaindale, just at dark, we commenced ascending the mountain. Imagine a long column of cavalry winding its way up the mountain, on a road dug out of the mountain side, which sloped at an angle of thirty degrees — just wide enough for four horses to march abreast — on one side a deep abyss and on the other an impassable barrier, in the shape of a sleep embankment; the hour ten o'clock at night, a drizzling rain falling, the sky overcast, and so dark as literally not to be able to see one's own hand if placed within a foot of the organs of vision; the whole command, both men and animals, worn out with fatigue and loss of sleep; then imagine that, just as the head of this tired, hungry and sleepy column nears the crest of the mountain, a piece of cannon belches forth fire and smoke and destructive missiles directly in front. Imagine all this, and a little more, and the reader can then form some idea of what occurred to General Kilpatrick's command, on Saturday night, July fourth, as it ascended the mountain to the Monterey Gap, and so across to Waterloo on the western slope. The column commenced to ascend the mountain at about dark, and arrived near the Monterey House, at the top, between nine and ten o'clock. The enemy had planted a piece of artillery near this spot, so as to command the road, and also had sharpshooters on the flanks. It was intended to make a strong defence here, as one half-mile beyond the enemy's train was crossing the mountain on the Gettysburgh and Hagerstown pike. The Fifth Michigan cavalry was in advance, and although on the look-out for just such an occurrence, it startled the whole column; a volley of musketry was fired by a concealed force at the same time at the head of the column; the first squadron of the Fifth broke, fell back upon the second and broke that — but there was no such thing as running back a great ways on that road; it was jammed with men and horses. The broken squadron immediately rallied, and skirmishers were posted on the most available points, and the First Virginia, Major Copeland, was ordered to the front, and upon arriving there was ordered to charge; and charge they did at a rapid gait down the mountain side into the inky darkness before them, accompanied by a detachment of the First Ohio, Captain Jones. As anticipated, the train was struck, just in rear of the centre, at the crossing one half-mile west of the Monterey House. A volley is fired as the train is reached. “Do you surrender?” “Yes,” is the response, and on the First Virginia dash to Ringgold, ordering the cowed and frightened trainguard to surrender, as they swept along for eight miles, where the head of the train was reached. Here the two hundred men who started on the charge had been reduced to twenty-five, and seizing upon a good position the rebels made a stand. As the force in front could not be seen, Major Copeland decided not to proceed further, but to await daylight and reenforcements. Both came and the enemy fled. Arriving at Gettysburgh pike, the Eighteenth Pennsylvania was placed there as a guard; for protection a barricade was hastily thrown up. No sooner was this done than cavalry was heard charging down the road. “Who comes there, etc.?” calls out the officer in charge at the barricade. “Tenth Virginia cavalry!” was the reply. “To----with you, Tenth Virginia cavalry,” and the squadron fired a volley into the darkness. That was the last heard of the Tenth Virginia cavalry that night, until numbers of the regiment came straggling in and gave themselves up as prisoners of war. Other cavalry moved up and down the road upon which the train was standing, and some most amusing scenes occurred. The train belonged to Ewell's division, and had in it also a large number of private carriages and teams, containing officers' baggage. Four regiments were doing guard-duty, but as they judged of the future by the past, they supposed our army would rest two or three months after winning a battle, and magnanimously permit the defeated enemy to get away his stores and ordnance, and have a little time also to recruit, and therefore the attack was a complete surprise. A thunderstorm was prevailing at the time, and the attack was so entirely unexpected that there was a general panic among both guard and teamsters. I am not surprised at this, for the howling of the storm, the rushing of water down the mountain-side, and the roaring of the wind, altogether were certainly enough in that wild spot to test the nerves of the strongest. But when is added to this a volley of pistol and carbine shots occasionally, a slap on the back with the flat of a sword, and a hoarse voice giving the unfortunate wight the choice of surrendering or being shot, then added to this the fearful yells and imprecations of the men wild with excitement, all made up a scene certainly never excelled before in the regions of fancy. Two rebel captains, two hours after the train had been captured, came up to one of the reserve commands and wanted to know what regiment that was — supposing it belonged to their own column. They discovered their mistake when Lieutenant Whittaker, of General Kilpatrick's staff, presented a pistol and advised them to surrender their arms. Several other officers who might have easily escaped came in voluntarily and gave themselves up. Under so good subjection were the enemy that there was no necessity of making any change in teamsters or drivers — they voluntarily continuing right on in Uncle Sam's service as they had been in the confederate service, until it was convenient to relieve [188] them. At first the prisoners were coralled near the Monterey House. When the number had got to be large they were driven down the mountain toward Waterloo. A gang started off in this direction at about midnight — it was not prudent to wait until morning, for daylight might bring with it a retreating column of the enemy, and then all the prisoners would have been recaptured; finally, when near the Gettysburgh road crossing, a band of straggling rebels happened to fire into the head of the party from a spur of the mountain overlooking the road. Here was another panic, which alike affected guards and prisoners. The rain was falling in torrents, and the whole party, neither one knowing who this or the other was, rushed under the friendly shelter of a clump of trees. All of these prisoners might have, at that time, escaped. Hundreds did escape before daylight dawned.

It is impossible to tell the number of vehicles of all descriptions captured; the road was crowded with them for at least ten miles; there were ambulances filled with wounded officers and privates from the battle-field of Gettysburgh; ambulances containing Ewell's, Early's, and other officers' baggage; ambulances filled with delicacies stolen from stores in Pennsylvania; four and six mule and horse teams; some filled with barrels of molasses, others with flour, hams, meal, clothing, ladies' and childrens' shoes and underclothing — mainly obtained from the frightened inhabitants of York County and vicinity; wagons stolen from Uncle Sam with the “U. S.” still upon them; wagons stolen from Pennsylvania and loyal Maryland farmers; wagons and ambulances made for the confederate government, (a poor imitation of our own;) wagons from North-Carolina and wagons from Tennessee--a mongrel train — all stolen, or what is still worse-paid for in confederate notes, made payable six months after the recognition of the Southern Confederacy by the United States Government--or in other words — never. After daylight a lot of the wagons were parked and burnt at Ringgold; hundreds were burned in the road where captured. Our men filled their canteens with molasses and replenished their stock of clothing, sugar, salt, and bacon. Some very expensive confederate uniforms were captured; several gold watches and articles of jewelry were found. A few of the captured wagons (the best) were saved, and to the balance, with contents, the torch was applied. The road here is more like the bed of a rocky river, the dirt having been washed away by the heavy rains, left large boulders exposed; where there were no boulders, there was mud and water. Over this road the troopers dashed and splashed in the midnight darkness, yelling like demons. Is it to be wondered at that the confederate soldiers unanimously declare that they never will visit Pennsylvania again?

The Fifth New-York was pushed forward to Smithsburgh early on Sunday morning, but found only a small picket to interrupt their progress, and this ran away upon their approach. This town was held by the Fifth until the arrival of the main column, at a late hour in the day.

When the First Vermont, Lieutenant-Colonel Preston, had reached the Monterey House Saturday night, it was detached to aid in the main object of the expedition, by intercepting a portion of the rebel train which it was believed might possibly be in the advance. At the Mountain House, at about twelve o'clock midnight, Colonel Preston took the left-hand road, and moving in a south-westerly direction down the mountain, passed through Smithsburgh and Lightersburgh to Hagerstown, arriving there soon after daylight, without meeting with any team, and scarcely meeting an armed enemy. A drove of cattle and something like one hundred rebel soldiers, stragglers, were captured, and were brought into the main column Sunday night.

The head of the column, as I have said before, reached Ringgold at about daylight — the whole command, horses as well as men, tired, hungry, sleepy, wet, and covered with mud. Men and animals yielded to the demands of exhausted nature, and the column had not been at a halt many minutes before all fell asleep where they stood. Under the friendly protection of the dripping eaves of a chapel, a gay and gallant brigadier could have been seen enjoying in the mud one of those sound sleeps only obtained through fatigue, his long golden locks matted with the soil of Pennsylvania. Near him, in the mud, lay a dandyish adjutant, equally oblivious and unmindful of his toilet, upon which he generally bestows so much attention. Under a fence near at hand is reclining a well-got up major, whose stylish appearance and regular features have turned the heads of many fair damsels on Chestnut street; here a chaplain, there a trooper, a Commanding General, aids, orderlies, and servants, here for the nonce meet on a level. The faithful trooper lies by his horse, between whom there seems to exist an indescribable community of feeling. Two hours are thus passed in sleep — the provost-guard only on duty — when word is passed that “the column has all closed up,” which is the signal to move on again. The indefatigable Estes shakes himself and proceeds to shake the Commanding General to let him know that the object for which the halt was made had been accomplished; that it is time to move. Five minutes more all are in the saddle again and marching for Smithsburgh. A body of armed men, mailed in mud! what a picture. Smithsburgh was reached by nine o'clock A. M. The reception met with there made all forget the trials of the night — made them forget even their fatigue. It was Sunday. The sun shone forth brightly; young misses lined the street-sides singing patriotic songs; the General was showered with flowers, and the General and troops were cheered until reechoed by the mountain sides; young ladies and matrons assailed the column with words of welcome and large plates heaped up with pyramids of white bread spread with jelly and butter, inviting all to partake. While the young sang; the old shed tears and wrung [189] the hands of those nearest to them. The little town was overflowing with patriotism and thankfulness at the arrival of their preservers. While these things were detaining the column, the band struck up “Hail Columbia,” followed by the “Star-spangled banner.” many eyes unused to tears were wet then. The kind reception met with here did the command more good than a week's rest. Even the horses — faithful animals — seemed to be revived by the patriotic demonstration. No one who participated in the raid of Saturday night, July fourth, 1863, can ever forget the reception met with at Smithsburgh. It was like an oasis in the desert — a green spot in the soldier's life. May God prosper the people of Smithsburgh!

The battle at Smithsburgh.

Here General Kilpatrick decided to let his command rest until evening. But the enemy were on the alert, and seemed determined not to let the troops rest. At about two o'clock P. M., Assistant Adjutant-General Estes, accompanied by scout McCullough and a correspondent, started out to carry despatches to the Headquarters of the army, then near Gettysburgh. It was known that the enemy's pickets and patrols were scattered about promiscuously, and a considerable degree of caution was necessary to avoid being captured. At the suggestion of the scout, a route passing a little north of Emmetsburgh was selected as being the most practicable. The trio started off in good spirits, and had gone about six miles up into the mountain when suddenly they came to within one hundred yards of seven armed rebels — the advance, as it suddenly proved to be, of a large column of cavalry and mounted infantry in pursuit of General Kilpatrick. The rebels ordered the trio to surrender, and at the same moment fired. Instead of surrendering, the party wheeled their horses and dashed off down the rocky mountain road at a breakneck speed, the rebels following them. For nearly four miles the race was continued, some-times the pursued gaining a little and sometimes the pursuing party. The race was interrupted by meeting one of our cavalry patrols. A squadron, and then a regiment, was thrown out to keep the enemy in check, until the prisoners who had been started on this road could be sent off on another toward Boonsboro. While this was going on, another column was reported to be approaching from a north-easterly direction, on the road which the Vermont cavalry had passed over at an early hour in the morning. General Kilpatrick, having got his prisoners off in safety, was in his element, and declared his intention not to leave town until the time agreed upon — evening — notwithstanding the force confronting him was much larger than his own. The enemy had evidently intended to attack him from two points simultaneously, but upon trying at one point, and seeing what splendid disposition General Kilpatrick had made of his force they undoubtedly arrived at the conclusion that the town could be taken only by a greater sacrifice of life than the result to be attained thereby warranted. They opened a battery on a hill commanding the town, several shells from which struck houses in town during the engagement, doing considerable damage. Elder's battery was opened to respond. The attack was kept up until nightfall, when the enemy, having failed in several attempts to charge into the town, suspended operations, and General Kilpatrick slowly retired, and reached Boonsboro the same night. In this contest the enemy displayed their usual cunning. They, it has since been ascertained, had picked up about seventy-five of our men — stragglers and men whose horses had given out. While the fight was going on at Smithsburgh, these men were exposed in an open field with the avowed intention of attracting our fire. It was the only force thus openly exposed.<

In the affair at Smithsburgh, in the disposition of his troops, General Kilpatrick displayed generalship of a high order. Nearly surrounded by a much superior force, he so arranged his command that he could concentrate just so many as might be required to repel an attack at any point, and still from no one point of the field could one fourth of his command be seen. The enemy being on the mountain side, had a better view, and they did not like it.<

At dusk the prisoners having got well away, General Kilpatrick moved off slowly, and at eleven o'clock that night reached Boonsboro. The enemy did not follow.

On this march a sad affair occurred. A private of the Fifth New-York, who was much intoxicated, deliberately and without cause killed Lieutenant Williamson, of Elder's battery, by shooting him with a pistol. The men in the vicinity immediately killed the offending trooper. Lieutenant W. was an excellent officer, and much respected in the command.

The battle of Hagerstown and Williamsport.

Early on Monday morning, July sixth, General Kilpatrick hearing that the enemy had a train near Hagerstown, moved upon that place. The enemy's pickets were met near the edge of the town. A squadron of the Eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, under Captain Lindsey, and led by Lieutenant-Colonel Brinley, of the Eighteenth, and accompanied by Captains Dahlgren, late of General Hooker's staff, and Chauncey, Russell, and Snyder, of General Kilpatrick's staff, and a scout, charged into the town.

The enemy's advance was commanded by Colonel Davis, of the Tenth Virginia cavalry, who was captured. The party charged up the first street into town fifty rods, to where it enters Potomac street. The scout was a little in advance. Colonel Davis, likely to escape, by the superior fleetness of the horse he rode, the scout fired and killed the horse. The main portion of the party turned to the right, up Potomac street, and charged through the town, through the square, past the market, running the gauntlet of a shower of bullets fired from streets, alleys, and houses. Of this party, Captain Snyder, of the Eighteenth [190] was wounded and taken prisoner. Lieutenant Campbell, of the Eighteenth, had his horse killed; the scout had the end of his nose grazed by a ball; Thomas Hogan, standard-bearer, kept up with the advance, and was killed; Isaac Anderson was killed. Thomas Adams, company B, Eighteenth; Sergeant J. B. Gordon, company A, Eighteenth; Lieutenant David McKay, and others, were wounded.

Captains Dahlgren and Lindsey turned to the left as they entered Potomac street, in pursuit of five men. The men took the first street to the right, and were closely followed. One took deliberate aim at Captain Lindsey and killed him. Captain Dahlgren immediately split the man's head open with his sabre, and so the fight was kept up for some time.

Soon after the first charge a second charge was made by a second squadron of the Eighteenth, under Captains Cunningham and Pennypacker. Of this party only one returned that day. Captain Elder then opened his battery on the outskirts of the town and began an effective fire. While the battery was not in use he went on a reconnoissance to a piece of woods at his right and captured twenty troopers, the advance of a party attempting to make a flank movement and capture his pieces. Captain Elder had his horse killed. Deployed in the gardens and fields in the outskirts of the town, were portions of the First Virginia and First Vermont cavalry. A squadron of the First Virginia, numbering fifty-six men, under Captain W. C. Carman, lost twenty-six men; one officer, Lieutenant Swintzel, was killed, and several others were wounded. To the right of the First Virginia was the First Vermont, deployed as skirmishers, and still further on the right was General Custer's brigade, the First, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Michigan regiments. Two companies — D, Lieutenant Cummings, and A, Lieutenant Edwards of the First Vermont, were deployed as skirmishers in the town. They advanced through a wheat-field, drove the enemy from a fence on their front, when they were recalled to form in the rearguard. They lost fourteen men. Companies L, E, and F, under Captain Schofield and Lieutenant Newton, were deployed to the right of the town, company I, Lieutenant Caldwell, acting as a reserve force. L and E made one charge in skirmish line, and carried a house from behind which the enemy had annoyed our line seriously. These four companies lost fifteen men. The remainder of the Vermont regiment was held in reserve. It appears that the head of one of the enemy's columns, composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, had just entered Hagerstown as General Kilpatrick reached there. When the attack commenced, the fact was speedily discovered that there was a large force present, and it would be useless therefore to attempt to strike the train at this point, and General Kilpatrick decided to move rapidly to Williamsport. This was a difficult movement to execute, but was successfully accomplished. Leaving the First Vermont and Fifth New-York with Elder's battery to protect the rear, the balance of the command was hurried forward. This rear-guard had one of the sharpest fights of the campaign. Taking a position on the Williamsport road, they awaited the approach of the enemy. They were not kept long in suspense, for in less than half an hour the enemy advanced two columns of infantry and one of cavalry, each column numbering more men than the whole force ordered to hold them in check. Of course, it was an easy matter to flank our troops with such a command; but the rebels paid dearly for the advantage gained. The enemy had advanced through the line as our skirmishers retired. Our rear-guard held their first position full half an hour after being attacked. The enemy advanced skirmishing, and made a dart for Elder's guns. They got so near that one gunner knocked a rebel down with his rammer. Elder gave them grape and canister, and the Fifth New-York sabres, while the First Vermont used their carbines. The repulse was complete, but owing to the superior force of the enemy, our men were compelled reluctantly to fall back. At the second position taken there was another desperate contest, against odds. Here one of the bravest spirits fell--Lieutenant Woodward, son of the Chaplain of the First Vermont. At one time companies B and H, First Vermont, Captain Beeman, were entirely cut off, and they were ordered to “surrender I” “I don't see it,” replied Captain Beeman. “Who are you talking to q” screamed the rebel officer. “To you,” was the response, when the Captain, leaping a fence, was followed by the squadron, and nearly all escaped. Falling back again, two of the Vermont, companies were preparing to charge an advancing force; they yelled so loud that a portion of the force engaged at Williamsport supposed them to be rebels, and fired a couple of shells into their ranks. This mistake caused the charge to be abandoned, and our men fell back upon the main body. The officers and men of this rear-guard behaved nobly, and many really shed tears because they could not carry out their orders to the letter. The First Vermont lost fifty men in this retreat. Lieutenant Stuart, of company G; Lieutenant Caldwell, of company I, and Sergeant Hill, of company C, were among the wounded. Stuart and Hill were left upon the field.

It was four o'clock P. M. when General Kilpatrick, with the main column, reached the crest of the hill overlooking Williamsport, on the Boonsboro pike. General Buford's command had been engaged with the enemy two or three miles to the left for two or more hours; Major Medill, of the Eighth Illinois, had already fallen mortally wounded. Two pieces of Pennington's battery were placed on the brow of the hill to the right of the pike, and the other pieces to the left. A squadron of Fifth Michiganders had previously charged down the pike, driving in the enemy's picket and a battalion which occupied an advanced position. The First Michigan, Colonel Towne, was deployed as skirmishers to the right, and ordered to drive the enemy from a brick house a [191] little in advance and to the right of the artillery. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to obey this order; but before it could be done, the brisk firing of the rear-guard warned the Commanding General that his force occupied a dangerous position. Never was a command in a more critical situation; never before was a man cooler, or did one display more real generalship than General Kilpatrick on this occasion. Tapping his boot with his whip, and peering in the direction of the rapidly approaching rear-guard, he saw it falling back apparently in some disorder. Not a moment was to be lost; inaction or indecision would have proved fatal, and the moral effect of a successful campaign destroyed in an hour. Fortunately General Kilpatrick was cool and defiant, and felt the responsibility resting upon him. This made him master of the situation, and by a dashing movement, saved the cavalry corps from disaster. Seeing his rear-guard falling back, he bethought himself of what force could be withdrawn from the front in safety. The enemy were pressing his front and rear — the crisis had arrived; he ordered the Second New-York (Harris's Light) to charge upon the exultant foe then coming like an avalanche upon his rear. Nobly did this band of heroes perform their task. They fell into the breach with a yell, and, sword in hand, drove back the enemy, relieving the exhausted rearguard, and holding the enemy in check until the whole command was disposed of so as to fall back, which they did in good order, fighting as they went. For three miles, over one of the worst roads ever travelled by man, was this retreat conducted, when the enemy, dispirited at their want of success in surrounding and capturing the whole command, halted, and the cavalry corps went into camp, men and officers, exhausted from the labors of the day, falling to sleep in the spot where they halted. Colonel Devins's brigade, of General Buford's command, had relieved the rearguard, and were harassed by the enemy all night. Several times an advance was attempted, but on each occasion they were handsomely repulsed, in which work the Ninth New-York cavalry took a conspicuous part. On this day Colonel Devins's advance destroyed twenty wagons between Williamsport and Falling Waters. When Pennington's battery was being placed in the first position on the hill above Williamsport, the enemy, by concentrating their fire upon that spot, endeavored to drive the battery away. A perfect shower of shot and shell fell in and around it. There was no flinching, however. Pennington was there, General Kilpatrick was there. Had they succeeded in this attempt, our force, by the enemy advancing in overwhelming numbers, would have been scattered to the four winds.

The battles at and near Boonsboro, Funktown, and Antietam Creek,

Tuesday morning, July seventh, the cavalry force moved back to Boonsboro, the enemy following closely the rearguard, and at intervals there was brisk skirmishing between General Buford's command and the enemy. The same was true of the night. The Sixth cavalry, (regulars,) under Captain Chaflant, made a reconnoissance at night and had a brisk fight, in which they lost eight or nine men. Wednesday morning there were indications that the enemy were present in large force, and by ten o'clock the “fandango” opened in real earnest, in which both Buford's and Kilpatrick's troops participated. The enemy were forced back to the Antietam Creek. Thursday the fight was renewed, and again on Friday, when Funktown was occupied. Saturday the enemy was again forced back, and on Saturday General Kilpatrick's command again moved upon Hagerstown.

The Second battle at Hagerstown.

When within two miles of the town, the enemy's skirmishers were met. The main features of this battle, and those that took place between Boonsboro and Hagerstown, I have before pretty fully described, and therefore I shall now only record some incidents in connection with them, omitted in the haste of the moment in my previous reports. After fighting for an hour the town was fully occupied, and the enemy fell back to the crest of the hill, one and a half miles west of the town. The streets picketed by the enemy were barricaded, and the troops were disposed of outside of town so as to resist an attack. In clearing the outskirts of the town of skirmishers, the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh New-York infantry, of General Ames's brigade, (Eleventh corps,) rendered material assistance. Upon entering the town, the hearts of our troops were made glad by finding between thirty and forty Union soldiers who had been missing since the Monday before, a majority of whom were supposed to be dead. A few were wounded; all had been concealed by citizens, and had been treated well. Captain Snyder, reported killed, was found wounded at the Franklin Hotel, carefully attended by a bevy of lovely damsels. The ball entered at the right side of the abdomen, and was taken out on the left side. The wound, though severe, is not a mortal one. He also received a severe sabre-cut on the top of his head. Captain Snyder rode some three hundred yards after he was shot, and used his sabre freely, when he fell to the pavement near the hotel, where he was taken in and kindly cared for by the proprietor. Captain Carman, of the First Virginia cavalry, was also concealed. He was skirmishing with his company on Monday, and suddenly a whole regiment of infantry rose before his command; they had been concealed in a field of wheat. He lost five men on the first volley, when those remaining sought a place of safety. Captain Carman fell flat on the ground in a potato patch, and was passed by unnoticed. Captain Macquillet, of the same regiment, was wounded, but managed to conceal himself, was found by a rebel, who robbed him of two hundred dollars, watch, etc., and was finally taken into the house of a citizen. Captain McMasters, of General Kilpatrick's staff, had his horse killed here. A large majority of [192] the citizens of this town are loyal, and they were much gratified when the Union troops reoccupied the place. The rebels treated the citizens the same as they had done people in Pennsylvania--that is, took every thing they could carry away. Not satisfied with taking articles for their own immediate use, the officers as well as men went so far as to steal dresses, hoop-skirts, and other articles of clothing for their wives and sweethearts.

On Monday, the thirteenth, General Kilpatrick was anxious to make an advance, but could not obtain orders. Some of the Pennsylvania militia were placed at his disposal, and he thought he would try one regiment under fire. The Philadelphia Blues was selected, and, accompanied by the First Vermont cavalry, a demonstration was made on our right — the enemy then occupying a fortified position. The militia were then deployed, and it was somewhat interesting to see how different individuals acted as they came under fire for the first time. Some laughed, others cracked jokes; many were serious, and wore a determined aspect. For new troops, however, they acted creditably. The General desired them to move to the crest of a knoll, where the bullets were flying pretty lively. There was some hesitancy at first, whereupon the battle-flag presented to the division by the ladies of Boonsboro was sent to the front. Sergeant W. Judy, bearer of the flag, cried out: “This is General Kilpatrick's battle-flag, follow it!” The militia obeyed the summons promptly. Judy was wounded, and fell some distance in front of the line, and it was supposed for some time that the enemy had captured the flag; but at night, when Judy was brought in on a litter, he proudly waved the battle-flag. The novelty of being under fire for the first time was keenly felt by the militia. About the first man touched had the top of his head grazed just close enough to draw blood. He halted, threw down his musket, truly an astonished man. One or two officers and a dozen or more privates also ran up to see what the matter was. Running both hands over his pate, and seeing blood, he exclaimed, “A ball, I believe,” while the others stood agape with astonishment, until the shrill voice of the General sounded in their ears : “Move on there!” Another man's throat was so closely grazed by a ball as to raise a large bunch, but without breaking the skin. A council was held to ascertain whether he was hit by a ball or not. Despite the danger, these and similar acts caused much amusement to the men more used to exposure.

General Kilpatrick was much annoyed at the restraint he was under all day Monday and Tuesday; he desired to move on, believing that the enemy, while making a show of force, was crossing the river. This subsequently proved to be correct. Had the army advanced on Tuesday morning, Lee's whole army would either have been captured or dispersed. When, on Wednesday morning, an advance was made without orders, the fact was then ascertained that the ene. my commenced falling back when the attack was made by the First Vermont and Pennsylvania militia the day before, the enemy believing that it was the initiatory movement of a general advance. Such was the panic among the rebel troops that they abandoned wagons, ammunition, arms, tents, and even provisions. Hundreds of rebels, fearing Kilpatrick's men, fled to the right and left to avoid their terrific charges, and subsequently surrendered themselves. One strapping fellow surrendered to a little bugler, who is attached to General Custer's brigade. As he passed down the line, escorting his prisoner, a Colt's revolver in hand, he called out: “I say, boys, what do you think of this fellow?” “This fellow” looked as if he felt very mean, and expected he would be shot by his captor every moment for feeling so. All along the road to Williamsport prisoners were captured, and their rearguard was fairly driven into the river. The Fifth Michigan charged into the town, and captured a large number of soldiers, as they were attempting to ford the river. From thirty to fifty of the rebels were drowned while attempting to cross; twenty-five or thirty wagons and a large number of mules and horses were washed away. A regiment of cavalry was drawn up on the opposite bank, but a few of Pennington's pills caused them to skedaddle. They fired a few shells in return, but no harm was done.

Hearing that a force had marched toward Falling Waters, General Kilpatrick ordered an advance to that place. Through some mistake, only one brigade — that of General Custer's — obeyed the order. When within less than a mile of Falling Waters, four brigades were found in line of battle, in a very strong position, and behind half a dozen Eleventh corps or crescent-shaped earth-walls. The Sixth Michigan cavalry was in advance. They did not wait for orders, but a squadron--companies D and C, under Captain Royce (who was killed) and Captain Armstrong--were deployed as skirmishers, while companies B and F, led by Major Weaver, (who was killed,) made the charge. The line of skirmishers was forced back several times, but the men rallied promptly, and finally drove the enemy behind the works. A charge was then made, the squadron passing between the earthworks. So sudden and spirited was the dash, and so demoralized were the enemy, that the first brigade surrendered without firing a shot. The charging squadron moved directly on, and engaged the second brigade, when the brigade that had surrendered seized their guns, and then commenced a fearful struggle. Of the one hundred who made this charge, only thirty escaped uninjured. Seven of their horses lay dead within the enemy's works. Twelve hundred prisoners were here captured, and the ground was strewn with dead and wounded rebels. Among the killed was Major-General Pettigrew, of South-Carolina. A. P. Hill was seated, smoking a pipe, when the attack commenced; it came so suddenly that he threw the pipe away, mounted his horse, and crossed the river as speedily as possible. Three battle-flags were captured, two of them covered with the [193] names of battles in which the regiments owning them had been engaged. Prisoners were captured all along the road between Williamsport and Falling Waters, in which service the First Ohio squadron, under Captain Jones, acting as body-guard, as usual, took an active part. Sergeant Gillespie, of company A, being in advance, overtook a party of men trying to get off with a Napoleon gun; the horses balked, and the Sergeant politely requested the men to surrender, which order they very cheerfully obeyed. Seven men and four horses were taken with the gun. The caissons were filled with ammunition, and Captain Hasbrouck, of the General's staff, at once placed it in position, and used it upon the enemy — a whole brigade being then in sight. Another Napoleon gun was abandoned, and taken in charge by the Eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Brinton. Captain Royce, of the Sixth Michigan, was with the skirmishing party, and was shot twice; the first time through the leg, and the second ball went through his head. Company C, of the skirmishers, lost fifteen men, ten of whom were wounded, namely: First Lieutenant Potter, wounded in head, and captured; John Demay, wounded in breast, and captured; Sergeant Reynolds, foot; Corporal Gibson, leg; William Sweet, Sidney Meagher, slightly;----Daniels, M. McClure, Jacob Lain, Patrick Mc-Quirk, and Corporal J. Dodge, missing; Sergeant John Pettis, Michael Gibbins, Frederick Williams, prisoners.

Just at the close of the fight General Buford's command came up and pursued the flying foe to the river, capturing four hundred and fifty prisoners. The enemy succeeded in destroying their pontoon-bridge, however, and thus effectually prevented immediate pursuit.

the left at Williamsport.

Leaving Frederick City on the sixth, General Buford made a short halt at Boonsboro, and then moved upon Williamsport, where he arrived on the seventh. General Merritt's brigade (regulars) opened the fight first on the right, while Colonel Gamble's brigade formed the left. The Third Indiana charged into Falling Waters, and captured seventeen wagons and several prisoners. The Eighth Illinois was deployed as skirmishers, and soon drew the fire of three regiments of infantry, strongly posted behind fences, walls, and trees. Tibball's battery was opened with effect, and joined with our skirmishers. The rebels could not stand the fire and ran. While the Eighth Illinois was charging a barn near this point, Major Medill fell, mortally wounded, while gallantly leading his men. This brigade was relieved by the one commanded by Colonel Devins.

the right at Gettysburgh.

But little has been said of the part taken by the cavalry on the right at Gettysburgh, Friday, July third. General Gregg's division, assisted by General Custer's brigade, of General Kilpatrick's division, rendered an important service here. The enemy seemed determined to capture our batteries and turn the flank. The movement was only prevented through the stubborn bravery of the troops. The Seventh Michigan, a new regiment, charged up to a stone wall under a front and flank fire from a concealed enemy — charging in column by company, closed en masse. When the first company reached the wall, and was brought to a sudden stand-still, the balance of the column, being in a very exposed position, was thrown into some confusion. The regiment was recalled, when the First Michigan, Colonel Linne, made a more successful charge. A colonel of the rebel army, who was subsequently captured, told me that the artillery firing at this point (Pennington's battery) was the best he ever witnessed. At one battery, he says, six of the eight gunners at each gun were either killed or wounded in less than twenty minutes.

Devins's brigade at Gettysburgh.

General Devins's brigade, of General Pleasanton's division, reached Gettysburgh Tuesday, June thirtieth, drove the enemy out, and were most cordially received by the people. The following morning the brigade took a position at the west of the town, when skirmishing was immediately commenced. At this point, Captain Hanley, of the Ninth New-York, with one hun. dred men, held the enemy's skirmishers at bay for two hours, and finally drove them. Unfortunately, soon after this, as the enemy reenforced, advanced again, one of the unfortunate mistakes occurred; a battery opened upon our own men, and by the combined attack, front and rear, the position was lost.


On Tuesday, June thirtieth, Captain Dahlgren applied at the headquarters of the army for permission to make a reconnoissance. He asked for one hundred men, but could only obtain ten. With these he hovered around the enemy's line of communication, and was at one time in sight of the enemy's ammunition-train. If the one hundred men had been furnished him he could have destroyed this train, and the enemy would have been out of ammunition at Gettysburgh. Capturing a messenger of Jeff Davis, and destroying a pontoon-bridge at Williamsport, Captain Dahlgren returned to headquarters. Then one hundred men from the Sixth New-York cavalry were furnished him, and he started out immediately again. At Greencastle and Waynesboro Captain Dahlgren had several fights with the enemy. At the latter place he arrived just in time to prevent the citizens from paying tribute to Stuart's men, under Jenkins. He captured four hundred men and two pieces of artillery, when the enemy came upon him in superior force, recaptured all except twenty-two prisoners and the two guns. Capt. Dahlgren had his horse killed, and escaped by crawling into the bushes. He made the citizens arm themselves and assist in defending the place, and when the enemy reappeared, the citizens conducted the prisoners to [194] a place of safety in the mountains. At Waynesboro, when Jenkins made a demand to see the authorities, they referred him to Capt. Dahlgren,. who, with his men, were drawn up in line of battle in another part of the town. Jenkins sent word that he would hang Captain Dahlgren and his men if they did not leave. They did not leave, however; a fight ensued, resulting in Jenkins being driven back six miles. Jenkins had five times as many men as Dahlgren. On this reconnoissance Captain Dahlgren destroyed one hundred and seventy-six loaded wagons, captured one wagon, two captains, and eleven men.

July second, Captain Coffin, of the Ninth New-York, with eighty men, was sent from near Gettysburgh up the Hagerstown pike on an important mission, which he successfully accomplished. He ascertained the exact position of the enemy and the whereabouts of his train, which would have been destroyed but for the error made in the movements of one of General Kilpatrick's brigades.

In sixteen days, one division of our cavalry has had fifteen battles, with infantry in nearly all to contend against, captured and destroyed nearly or quite one thousand loaded wagons, and between three and four thousand horses and mules; taken between four and five thousand rebel prisoners, destroyed one half of the rebel General Stuart's cavalry force, and so demoralized the balance that when a green (or blue) militia regiment, (the Philadelphia Blues,) with a regiment of Green Mountain Boys, attacked them while posted behind earth-works at Hagerstown, the whole command fled panic-stricken — or at Williamsport, where Custer's brigade of Michiganders, with Pennington's battery, captured more than man for man from an enemy whose force consisted of four times their numbers, and strongly located behind earth-works. This is cavalry fighting, the superior of which the world never saw. The cavalry also contributed largely to the success of our arms at Gettysburgh.

In claiming these results for the cavalry arm of the service, the flying artillery with it must not be forgotten. I speak more particularly of Pennington's and Elder's batteries, because circumstances have placed me in the way of realizing their worth. These batteries have contributed materially to the successes of the cavalry. Both the officers who command these batteries and the officers under them, are peculiarly well qualified to fill their positions, by reason of their experience, combined with a thorough knowledge of their branch of the profession of arms, and also from the fact that their hearts are in the work they have in hand.

This letter has already become too lengthy, or I would refer to the able surgeons attached to the cavalry command, of the skill and untiring industry of which this branch of the service can boast, as demonstrated in the persons of Pancost, Capehart, Phillips and others; of the patriotic ladies in the towns through which this command has passed during the last three weeks--especially the ladies of Boonsboro — who with their own fair hands made and presented flags to the commanders of several brigades; but these matters must be reserved for a more fitting occasion.

The following named persons were in the Washington Hotel Hospital, Hagerstown, July fourteenth:

Sergeant J. W. Woodbury, First Vermont cavalry--wounded in leg.

W. Judy, First Ohio, color-bearer to General Kilpatrick's body-guard — thigh.

J. S. Merritt, First Vermont cavalry--arm.

P. Welsh, First Michigan cavalry--back.

Daniel Horton, Eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry--shoulder.

J. M. Austin, Seventh Michigan cavalry--scalp.

S. M. Conklin, Eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry--shoulder.

George S. Spofford, First Vermont cavalry--arm.

Albert Shew, Philadelphia Blue reserves — shoulder.

Robert McNutt, Philadelphia Blue reserves — breast.

John Agin, Philadelphia Blue reserves — left hand.

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