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[74]

Expedition into Maryland-battle of Monocacy and advance on Washington.

Report of General Early.

Leesburg, July 14, 1864.
General,--After driving Sigel's whole force, of several thousand men, to Maryland Heights and demonstrating against him I moved, on the 8th, around his force, through Boonsboroa, Fox's and Crampton Gaps, and entered Frederick City on the morning of the 9th, driving the enemy's cavalry through the city. I found Wallace in force at Monocacy Junction, his force being stated in northern accounts at 10,000, and consisting, in part, of the Third division of the Sixth corps, under Ricketts, which had arrived the day before. This force we attacked on the afternoon of the same day, Ramseur demonstrating in front, while Gordon moved across the Monocacy, on the enemy's flank, by a route which had been opened by McCausland's brigade of cavalry in a very gallant manner. The enemy in a very short time was completely routed by Gordon, and left the field in great disorder and retreated in haste on Baltimore.

In this action our entire loss was between six and seven hundred, including the cavalry; but I regret to say Brigadier-General Evans was wounded and some gallant officers killed.

On the morning of the 10th I moved towards Washington, taking the route by Rockville, and then turning to the left to get on the Seventh-street pike. The day was very hot and the roads exceedingly dusty, but we marched thirty miles. On the morning of the 11th we continued the march, but the day was so excessively hot, even at a very early hour in the morning, and the dust so dense, that many of the men fell by the way and it became necessary to slacken our pace. Nevertheless, when we reached the right of the enemy's fortifications the men were almost completely exhausted and not in a condition to make an attack. Skirmishers were thrown out and moved up to the vicinity of the fortifications.

These we found to be very strong and constructed very scientifically. They consist of a circle of enclosed forts, connected by breastworks with ditches, palisades, and abattis in front, and every approach swept by a cross-fire of artillery, including some heavy guns. I determined, at first, to make an assault, but before it could be made it became apparent that the enemy had been strongly reinforced, and we knew that the Sixth corps had arrived from Grant's army, and after consultation


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John B. Gordon (2)
James Watson Wallace (1)
Sigel (1)
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J. A. Early (1)
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July 14th, 1864 AD (1)
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