On July 5, 1864, Gen. Lewis Wallace
(q. v.), in command of the Middle Department, with his headquarters at Baltimore
, received information that Gen. Jubal A. Early
.), with 15,000 or 20,000 Confederates, who had invaded Maryland
, was marching on Baltimore
Already General Grant
had been informed of the invasion, and had sent General Wright
, with the 6th Corps, to protect the capital.
Gen. E. B. Tyler
was at Frederick
with about 1,000 troops, and Wallace
gathered there, on the 6th, all the available troops in his department that could be spared from the duties of watching the railways leading into Baltimore
from the North
He sent Colonel Clendennin
to search for positive information with 400 men and a section of artillery, and at Middletown
he encountered 1,000 Confederates under Bradley Johnson
, a Marylander, who pushed him steadily back towards Frederick
There was a sharp fight near Frederick
that day (July 7, 1864), and, at 6 P. M. Gilpin
's regiment charged the Confederates
and drove them back to the mountains.
Satisfied that the destination of the invaders was Washington
, and knowing it was then too weak in troops to resist the Confederates
threw his little force in front of them to impede their march.
He withdrew his troops from Frederick
to a chosen position on the left bank of the Monocacy
, and on the 9th fought the invaders desperately for eight hours. Wallace
had been joined by the brigade of Ricketts
, the advance of the oncoming 6th Corps.
Although finally defeated, this little band of Nationals had kept the invading host at bay long enough to allow the remainder of the 6th Corps to reach Washington
's troops had thus gained a real victory that saved the capital.
So declared the Secretary of War
and the lieutenant-general
The check to the Con-
Plan of the battle of Monocacy.|
federates, altogether, was over thirty hours. The number of National troops engaged in the battle was about 5,500; the Confederates
numbered about 20,000.
lost 1,959 men, of whom 98 were killed, 579 wounded, and 1,282 missing.