Military Operations in Jefferson County Va. (WV)

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by Chew, Roger Preston

Military Operations in Jefferson County Va. (WV)


Chew, Roger Preston






Farmers Advocate print [[publish location::[Charlestown, WV]]] 1911

Found Location

Old Charles Town Library

Topics Civil War,Military

<a name="Top"></a> Chew, R.P. Military Operations in Jefferson County Va. (WV), 1910 . Reprinted, Jefferson County Oral and Visual History Association, Inc., 1992 .

<a name="Contents">Contents</a>

<a href="#1.0"> Preface </a></small> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#2.0"> Markers One, Six, and Eight. Kearneysville, Uvilla, Crossing of Uvilla and Charles Town Roads. </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#3.0"> Markers Two, Five, and Seven. Butler's Woods, Moler's Cross Roads, and Uvilla</a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#4.0"> Marker Number Three. Shepherdstown Through Four Years of War </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#5.0"> Marker Number Four. Slaughter at the Cement Mill on the Potomac </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#6.0"> Marker Number Nine. Capture By Mosby ; Sharp Encounter at Melvin's Hill</a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#7.0"> Marker Number Ten. Engagement On And Near the Leetown Road</a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#8.0"> Marker Number Eleven. Fighting at Wageley's Shop and in Woods near Leetown</a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#9.0"> Marker Number Twelve. Successful Exploits of Confederate Forces about Smithfield</a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#9b.0"> Marker Number Thirteen. An Account by Col. Harry Gilmore of His Fight with Somers Near Summit Poin</a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#12.0"> Marker Number Fourteen. Repulse of Federals by Imboden at Rippon - The Retreat. </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#13.0"> Marker Number Fifteen. Slaughter and Capture of Blazer's Men at Myerstown </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#14.0"> Marker Number Sixteen. Engagement at Myers Ford, Sunday, Sept. 5, 1864 -- Blazer's and Mosby's Men</a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#15.0"> Marker Number Seventeen. General Bradley T. Johnson Repulses The Enemy Near Kabletown </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#16.0"> Marker Number Eighteen. Charles Town The Scene of Many Engagements </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#17.0"> Marker Number Nineteen. General Winder's Repulse of Federals at Cooke's Hill </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#17b.0"> Marker Number Twenty. Engagement Between Early and Sheridan at Packett's Farm </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#19.0"> Marker Number Twenty-One. Artillery Duel at Old Fair Grounds Near Charles Town </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#20.0"> Marker Number Twenty-Two. Stonewall Jackson's Capture of Federal Army at Harpers Ferry </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#21.0"> Marker Number Twenty-Three. Col. Ashby's Brilliant Exploit at Bolivar Heights </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#22.0"> Marker Number Twenty-Four. The Point Where Federals Surrendered at Harpers Ferry </a> <p style="margin-left:.25in;text-indent:-.25in"><a href="#23.0"> Marker Number Twenty-Five. Surprise for Loudoun Rangers at Key's Switch </a>

<a name="#1.0">Preface to 1992 Edition</a>

<a href="#Contents">Return to Contents</a>

In 1910 , the Confederate veterans of Jefferson County Camp No. 123 erected 25 markers to commemorate Civil War battles and skirmishes that had occurred in this area. They also created a book, Military Operations in Jefferson County Virginia (and West Va.) 1861 -1865 , to describe the events that had occurred at each site. The descriptions that follow are complete and verbatim. These descriptions provide first-hand accounts of the events that occurred in Jefferson County. They are the raw materials from which history is made rather than detatched, objective accounts of military operations. Some of these Civil War sites have changed very little in the last 130 years. Others are barely recognizable. A few markers have been moved by property owners or by volunteers who replaced or restored the originals. Thus the reader may find that some markers do not stand at the original sites. I hope that all markers will be replaced in their original locations in the future. William D. Theriault

<a name="#2.0">Markers One, Six, and Eight</a>

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Kearneysville, Uvilla, Crossing of Uvilla and Charles Town Roads.

On the sixteenth of October, 1862 , Brigadier General Humphreys crossed the Potomac at Butler's Ford, with six thousand infantry, five hundred cavalry, and Six pieces of artillery, and advanced on the roads leading to Kearneysville. Another force, commanded by Brigadier General W.S. Hancock , with his own brigade, fifteen hundred from other brigades, four regiments of cavalry, and four pieces of artillery, advanced from Harpers Ferry at the same time, in the direction of Charles Town. We had, at the time, a line of pickets extending from the North Mountain to the Shenandoah River. The advance was so sudden that it cut off some of the pickets.

Company D, of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, was picketing from Engle's Hill to the Shepherdstown Road. The reserve was near where Marker No. 8 now stands, at the intersection of the Uvilla and Charles Town roads. A sharp encounter took place between the Federal advance and Company D, a little south of this point in Rocky Lane. Captain Knott was wounded in the shoulder. Many of the company were from this section, and knew every road. They easily made their way through the enemy's lines and joined the Regiment. Thus they played even; for about a month previous, our line of pickets were being advanced, and company D struck their pickets at Duffields, and chased them back on their company reserve at Marker 8. They held their own until the company had closed up, when a charge was made and they were driven to Lucas' Woods, where a regiment was stationed. They all decamped and crossed the Potomac.

Humphrey's advance guard went as far as Smithfield, and his main body a little south of Kearneysville. The Confederates had been destroying the railroad in this section, and some of General Winder's Infantry was near. They, with Fitz Lee and Hampton's Brigades of Cavalry, commanded by General Stuart , attacked late in the evening of the sixteenth of October, (Marker No. 1), and, after some severe fighting, drove him from his position. They were steadily driven back on the seventeenth, but made a determined stand two miles south of Shepherdstown, on the Shepherdstown and Duffields road at what is called the Forks. A brigade of regulars, commanded by Major Lowell , U.S.A., occupied this part of the field, and the importance of holding it was apparent. Back of him was the Trough Road which led to the ford on the Potomac and also the road leading to Shepherdstown. If the position were carried his retreat was endangered. Trees were felled across the road to impede the artillery and cavalry, but Winder's infantry forced them back slowly, and the whole force crossed into Maryland.

The losses on both sides were considerable. No estimate of the losses could be found. Our badly wounded were taken to the Uvilla churches and neighboring farm houses, and cared for. Many wounded had been left at these churches after the battle of Sharpsburg, and those unable to get away were paroled by the Federals. At this point is planted Marker No. 6.

<a name="#3.0">Markers Two, Five, and Seven</a>

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Butler's Woods, Moler's Cross Roads, and Uvilla After the Gettysburg Campaign, with Lee back in Virginia and Harpers Ferry in the hands of the enemy, the situation in Jefferson County was about as follows: The enemy's pickets extended about 2 miles out from Harpers Ferry, with signal and spy stations on Maryland Heights. Any movement of troops in the day could be seen by them. Even many of the picket posts were under their observation. The Shenandoah River was high, hardly fordable. Lee's army was in Jefferson and Berkeley Counties until after the middle of the month. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers were carefully picketed, and the army uncertain what the next move would be. On the sixteenth, the Federals, crossing at Shepherdstown and driving in the pickets, advanced a large force of cavalry as far as Kearneysville. Here Fitz Lee and Chambliss' brigades of cavalry confronted them and steadily drove them back. The Federals were amply supplied with artillery, and at every favorable position, made stubborn resistance. Late in the evening, Stuart came on the field and took command, having ordered General Jenkins , with his brigade of cavalry from near Martinsburg to his assistance, who arrived later in the evening. The enemy, having fallen back to Butler's Woods, made a final stand. The cavalry could not well operate, and so both sides dismounted their men and fought until dark. The Confederates remained on the field, expecting to renew the engagement in the morning, but the enemy moved off in the night. There is no official account of the losses on either side. Colonel Drake , of the First Virginia Cavalry, was mortally wounded, and died that night at Mr. Marshall's . About 40 feet from Marker No. 2, measuring west, is the place where he was shot. He was an able officer. This movement of the enemy had been made to ascertain Lee's position, but failed. This force was to have been supported by a brigade from Harpers Ferry, but they failed to arrive on time, as will be shown. Company D, of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, was picketing from near Shepherdstown to Engle's Hill; and when the advance was made, they stayed within the enemy's lines to operate. A courier was captured at Uvilla on the evening of the fifteenth, and sufficient information obtained to justify our watching this road. Early on the morning of the sixteenth, Captain Kearney took position in the timber adjoining the Uvilla store, put a picket in either direction, and awaited events. It was not long until a squad appeared. They were taken in. The company would divide, and charge front and rear. This was continued until thirty-five prisoners, their horses and equipments, and the General's head-quarter's wagon with his extra clothing, camp fixtures, and bedding, and two fine horses and harness, and servant were captured. Several escaped and gave the alarm. Marker No. 7, on the hill north of the Uvilla store, is where most of the captures were made. Major Knott , joining the company at this time, sent the prisoners back to safety, and moved the company to Moler's Cross Roads, two and one-half miles east of Uvilla. When they neared the place, they saw the advance guard of some force. They charged and captured one. The others ran into their column, closely followed by our company. They were over the hill and could not be seen. The company wheeled about and exchanged some shots and retired. It was a brigade of cavalry with artillery on their way to reinforce their forces at Shepherdstown. They, supposing that a heavy force was in their front, placed their artillery in position, threw out skirmishers, put their squadrons in line of battle, and awaited developments. Full three hours time was lost. Every citizen that happened along was held by them until near midnight. They finally moved on, and joined forces near Shepherdstown; but too late. This timely check of this brigade for three hours undoubtedly saved the day on the pike at Butler's Woods. Our forces were very many less than theirs. Marker No. 5 at Moler's Cross Roads, is a few hundred yards west of where the brigade was checked.

<a name="#4.0">Marker Number Three</a>

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Shepherdstown Through Four Years of War

Marker No. 3, planted on the pike south of Shepherdstown near the cemetery, marks no particular battle, but we record some incidents worthy of notice. After the Battle of Sharpsburg, the town was literally filled with wounded Confederates. Every available house was occupied and many private residences as well. Hospital flags seemed to float everywhere. At the time of Lee's retreat, the Federal artillery threw many shells over the town, a few falling in it, but not much damage was done.

Frequent raids were made into the town by the Confederates, and some captures made by either side. Occasionally a Reb would steal into the town the see the home folks, or the girl maybe, and be gobbled up and taken to Fort Delaware or Point Lookout.

The country was without law for the four years, and robbery was frequent by men claiming to be sent by the Federal government, which, in some instances, was true. There was no recourse.

Several cold-blooded murders were committed by scalawag army followers, and no investigation made. Most of this was in the vicinity of Shepherdstown.

Two companies, from the town and surrounding neighborhood, served in the Confederate army from the beginning to the close of the war -- one a cavalry, and the other, an infantry company.

The infantry company, known as the Hamtranck Guards, was organized by Colonel Hamtranck of Mexican war fame. The organization was kept up, and did service in the Brown Raid; and when the war came on it was assigned to the Second Virginia Infantry as Company B, and did its part in all the battles where the regiment was engaged. They were as well drilled as regulars, and as loyal to the South as any troops in the Confederate Army.

Very few escaped wounds or death.

Company F, First Virginia Cavalry, organized in peace times before the Brown Raid, and commanded by Captain Jacob Reinhart at the time of the Raid, was afterward reorganized and recruited to about one hundred and twelve men, commanded by Captain Morgan . This Company was assigned to the First Virginia Cavalry at the beginning of the war. Most of the men were fine horsemen and at home in the saddle -- well drilled and equipped.

In justice to this Company, it can be said without question that no cavalry company in the Army of Northern Virginia did more or better service than the First Virginia Cavalry, which included company F, commanded by Colonel Stuart , afterward General in command of all the cavalry in Lee's army. They did service for the whole army, for a short while, at the beginning. They were drilled and schooled by Stuart in person, in military duties, discipline, endurance, bravery, and patriotism which could be seen to the end of the war. It suffered heavily in killed, wounded, and in prisoners taken.

Jefferson County furnished to the Confederacy five infantry companies, viz A, B, G, H, and K, to the Second Virginia Infantry; four Cavalry Companies, viz A, B, and D, to the Twelfth, and Company F to the First Virginia Cavalry; and Chew's Battery. Many joined other commands. The county was about depopulated of young men.

These companies did active service in the field, cut off from home the greater part of the time.

<a name="#5.0">Marker Number Four</a>

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Slaughter at the Cement Mill on the Potomac

Confederate Marker No. 4. is planted at the crossing of the Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry and the Trough roads, locally called Showman's Shop. At this point A.P. Hill, on the early morning of the twentieth of September, 1862 , placed his division in line of battle, with skirmishers, to the front, extending east and west and on the north side of the Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry road. Three brigades of the division were advanced to the front, and the other forces followed in reserve. There was little opportunity for artillery on the Confederate side, as these three brigades were advanced at the double quick, and never halted until the field was won.

The Battle of Sharpsburg was fought on the seventeenth of September; both armies lay inactive on the eighteenth, and Lee recrossed the Potomac on that night.

Lawton's and Armisted's brigades, with forty-four cannon were posted on the Virginia bluffs to guard the ford. Lee's withdrawal was accomplished without loss. By early dawn of the nineteenth, the Federals had placed cannon on every available position on the Maryland bluffs, and heavy cannonading commenced and continued for several hours, with some losses on both sides. The infantry sharpshooters exchanged shots across the river with little effect. The artillery was withdrawn, and the infantry quietly followed. Two disabled cannon and caisson were abandoned (not captured). Brigadier General Griffin , with four regiments of infantry, crossed over to the Virginia side after the withdrawal of the Confederates, with no opposition except from the rear guard. They remained several hours, then recrossed, taking the disabled guns with him.

Longstreet's Corps moved on to the Valley pike, some twenty miles away. Jackson's Corps was near Charles Town, with the exception of A.P. Hill's Division which had been left in a large body of timber about three and one-half miles from the Potomac River, with Early's Brigade in supporting distance, if needed.

The plan was well conceived and carried out, as after events proved.

Hill was informed of every movement of the enemy. Scouts crossed the river and obtained information from known citizens; and the rumble of artillery wheels on the Maryland side was heard by our pickets along the Potomac, and word sent to Hill. Troops soon began to cross. Courier after courier kept him informed of these events; and, when they were ready to advance, Hill was on the field and ready.

The Federal forces that crossed over, and Hill had to oppose were Major General Lowell's Brigade, the First, Second, Sixth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Seventeenth United States Infantry. Syke's Division, Fifth Corps. They moved up the Trough Road and fronted Hill's right; and Barnes's Brigade took position on the cliffs along the river road. His command consisted of the following regiments: Eighth and Twenty-second Massachusetts Infantry, Second Maine, First Michigan, Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth New York, One Hundred and Eighteenth Pennsylvania, one company of Sharpshooters, one regiment of Cavalry, which crossed with Sykes, and three batteries of Artillery posted on the Maryland bluffs commanded by Weed, Randol, and Van Reed.

The Federal forces were rapidly driven toward the Potomac, and hurriedly crossed over. That portion of Barnes's command whose line of retreat was toward the high precipitous bluffs, directly above the Cement Mill, suffered heaviest loss. Those that did not surrender were driven over the bluffs at places from fifty to eighty feet high. Some reached the bottom in safety, some hung on snags and rock ledges, and some that fell clear were crushed.

The One Hundred and Eighteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, known as the Corn Exchange Regiment, suffered most. It crossed the river with seven hundred and thirty-seven officers and men, and recrossed it with four hundred and sixty-eight (their count). Numbers were shot in the river. The entire Federal loss for that day can not be obtained. The Confederate loss was thirty-four killed and two hundred and thirty-one wounded.

A.P. Hill's Division, at this time, did not number over 4,000 men. It was one of the strongest divisions in the spring of '62, but the Seven Days Battle below Richmond, where they did some of the hardest fighting, their losses at Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas also, were great; and the long march around Pope to Manassas and to Williamsport, and back to Harpers Ferry, made hundreds of them shoeless and foot sore. Then at Sharpsburg they had losses, making their numbers in the three brigades that were engaged about 2,500 men. This estimate is made by responsible men who served in the Division.

Some companies had not more than ten men, and some few had less.

This battle is known as the battle of Cement Mill, or Butler's Ford. It was fought without cannon on the Confederate side; and the Federals would have fared better if they had not used any; for, when the Confederates had closed upon the Federals, they did about equal execution to both.

After the battle was over, A.P. Hill wanted to know the situation on the other side, and Major Gilmore volunteered to ride up the river road, within range of thousands of muskets and about forty cannon, and not a shot was fired at him, the distance being about three-quarters of a mile.

After this repulse, the Confederates picketed at this ford unmolested.

A.P. Hill issued the following address to the Division after this battle:

Soldiers of the Light Division, you have done well. I am well pleased with you. You have fought in every battle from Mechanicsville to Shepherdstown, and no man can say the Light Division was ever broken. You held the left at Manassas against overwhelming numbers and saved the army. You saved the day at Sharpsburg and at Shepherdstown. You were selected to face a storm of round shot, shell, and grape, such as I have never before seen.

I am proud to say to you that your services are appreciated by your General; and that you have a reputation in the army which should be the object of every officer and private to sustain.

A.P. Hill, Major-General .

<a name="#6.0">Marker Number Nine</a>

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Capture By Mosby ; Sharp Encounter at Melvin's Hill

Duffields, on the B. & O. R.R., where Marker No. 9 is located, was always occupied by the Federals when they had possession of the lower valley, thus guarding the railroad, one of the principal feeders of the army of the Potomac. They also picketed the roads to guard against raids of the Confederates. There were times when the railroad was guarded from Harpers Ferry to the North Mountain, in hailing distance of each other, and yet Confederates would pass through frequently. One favorite crossing was about one and one-half miles east of Duffields. Kephart and Melvin's woods was on either side of the railroad, on elevated ground, and the guard could be flanked unobserved.

In July, 1864 , Colonel Mosby surprised and captured the whole force at this place (Duffields), numbering about 100 men. On July 25th, 1864 , George Cook of Company D, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, was mortally wounded about one mile east of Duffields, and died the following day.

A sharp encounter occurred at Melvin's Hill, about one and one quarter miles east of Duffields, between three rebs and three yanks, in July '83. The three rebs had been sent to establish a picket post on Engle's Hill, not knowing that the Federals were advancing. After crossing the Halltown and Shepherdstown road, a citizen informed them that the Federals were advancing, and that a company had just passed. The Confederates wheeled about to investigate. The Federal company had sent three scouts up the road towards Duffields, and the Confederates, being informed of that fact, prepared for it. The yanks saw the rebs coming, raised their carbines, and waited until the rebs were within seventy-five yards, and fired, but missed. Both sides used their revolvers. The rebs drove the yanks back to the stone house, killing one, wounding one, and liberating one prisoner they had captured. In the melee, a horse of one of the rebs fell, and disabled its rider.

The Federal cavalry, hearing the firing, wheeled and came back at full tilt. Reb No. 2, getting too close with an empty revolver, was taken in. Reb No. 3, with two loads in his second revolver, could not shoot, for fear of killing his comrade; and the company, almost on him, he gave the spur to his horse, jumped the cap fence, and reported to his company.

<a name="#7.0">Marker Number Ten</a>

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Engagement On And Near the Leetown Road

On the 21st of August 1864 General Early had formed his line of battle in front of Charles Town, W. Va., with General Rhodes on his left. General Lomax , with his division of cavalry, protected their left flank. Harry Gilmore with the two Maryland battalions and the 19th and 20th Virginia regiments of Jackson's brigade were on the extreme left, and were ordered to hold the Leetown road.

Gilmore dismounted the 19th regiment near the house then owned by Mrs. Daniel and now the property of James E. Watson . They were at once charged by a regiment of cavalry. Awaiting until they approached very near, the 19th opened a steady fire upon them, which threw them into confusion, when Gilmore ordered Captain Welsh to charge them with the First Maryland. They retreated, the regiment driving them back to their reserves, taking some prisoners, and killing and wounding a small number.

A brigade of cavalry attempted to move around the left of Gilmore's line, there they found the 19th and 20th in the woods near the house. This line was attacked by Duffie's brigade, led by the 12th Pennsylvania, commanded by Colonel Bell . Gilmore ordered his men to withhold their fire until the enemy got within a hundred yards. When the word to fire was given, a good many saddles were emptied. Among those who were shot was Colonel Bell, who fell mortally wounded.

The enemy retreated then to their reserves. The artillery kept up a furious and incessant fire on the woods. Later in the afternoon a desperate charge was made on the two Virginia regiments. The men had thrown up a barricade of rails, and gallantly held their position. About 50 Federals cut their way through and were captured by a squadron from the 1st Maryland under Lieutenant Dorsey and Gilmore . Colonel Bell's adjutant, a son of Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania, mounted on Col. Bell's horse was captured. Gilmore presented the horse to General Lomax . This ended the fight and the enemy, during the night retreated in the direction of Harpers Ferry.

The enemy's loss was heavy, in killed, wounded and prisoners.

<a name="#8.0">Marker Number Eleven</a>

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Fighting at Wageley's Shop and in Woods near Leetown

General Early leaving Anderson in front of Charles Town marched on the 25th of August 1864 towards Leetown, intending to go to Shepherdstown. Wharton's division was in front and encountered a small force of cavalry near Wageley's Shop, which was quickly disposed of with a loss to the enemy of both men and horses. Marching by way of Leetown he encountered unexpectedly two divisions of Federal cavalry, Wilson's and Merrit's, which were started on a reconnaissance up the valley, and had halted in a piece of woods a short distance from Leetown to feed and rest.

The enemy at first gained some advantage but Early quickly formed a line of battle, and advancing boldly, forced the enemy back. Early was not, however, met with any serious opposition until he reached Kearneysville, where the enemy made a determined stand, a part of their force fighting on foot and some mounted. Being unable to dislodge the enemy from the railroad embankment by frontal attack, Gordon's division was sent around to the Federal flank, where this gallant fighter and his worthy men made advantageous charges, finally driving them from their strong position and pursuing them through Kearneysville and on towards Shepherdstown.

In one of the two charges made by Gordon and his men that General was wounded in the face by a sabre slash. General Early continued the pursuit until he reached Shepherdstown. The enemy escaped and a part crossed the Potomac and the balance in the direction of Harpers Ferry.

<a name="#9.0">Marker Number Twelve</a>

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Successful Exploits of Confederate Forces about Smithfield

In August 1862 Lieutenant Rouss with Lieutenant Baylor , Lieutenant Rowland , and thirty men marched down the valley intending to attack the train between Summit Point and Wade's Depot. In each of these places the enemy had stationed eighty infantry and five cavalry. The distance between the depots was four miles. At four o'clock in the afternoon the road was reached, and after the whistle of the engine was heard. Obstructions were placed across the track to bring the train to a standstill. This proved effectual and when the engine struck the obstruction, the train was halted. It was then boarded by our men and eight yankee soldiers were captured. The express car was opened, where they found baskets of champagne and boxes of fruit. It is needless to say, as the men were thirsty and hungry, they proceeded to partake of these good things.

The express safe was opened and $4,000 in U.S. money was taken out. Nothing remained to be done but burn the car. This was done effectually and a full head of steam was put on the engine and it was started in the direction of Winchester. The telegraph wire was cut for two hundred yards.

Lieutenant Rowland with thirteen men took charge of the prisoners, and started back over the route they came, while Lieutenant Rouss and Baylor , with seventeen men remaining, determined to penetrate further into Jefferson County.

Lieutenant Rouss with these men moved in the direction of Smithfield, five miles distant. When they arrived within half a mile of the town the blue uniforms of the Yankee pickets were discovered.

Thinking we were a scouting party of their own men, Rouss and his party approached within twenty yards of them before they discovered who they were. The command was given to charge, and before they could fire a shot, our men were upon them and captured all three with their arms and equipment.

These pickets informed our men that there were fourteen of their companions in town. A charge was made and the fourteen yankees were captured, being taken completely by surprise. The spoils amounted to 17 horses, 20 revolvers, 5 Sharpe's carbines, saddles, bridles and other trappings.

After the capture Lieut. Rouss led his men safely back into our lines.

February, 1863 , Rouss with Lieut. Baylor , John Chew , Billie Manning , Charlie Henderson , John Yates , John Coleman , George Crayton , Billie Gibson , Up Manning , Joe Crane and Duck English , marched to Summit Point where information was received that a small scouting party of about 21 men has passed that place in the direction of Smithfield.

Rouss immediately started in pursuit of this party. Just before entering the town of Smithfield there is a long straight stretch of road, probably a mile long. There our party came in full view of the foe.

The Confederates approached the enemy, who were entirely unmindful of our presence, and dashed into their rear and shot down some of their party before they were aware of any danger. No resistance was made, but pell-mell down through the town they ran, with Confederates behind them, yelling like hyenas.

Summing up the result of the fight, four were found killed, three wounded, 7 men and 11 horses captured, without a casualty on our side.

A negro man by the name of Redmond , a resident of Jefferson county, who had guided the yankees to people's homes was shot by Lieut. Rouss and died in a stable north of the town.

The party with their prisoners and horses, returned to Summit Point and from there to Locke's shop, where a stop was made to have a horse shod. The smith had hardly completed the job when the yankees were seen approaching from Charles Town, and a handful of our men were sent to make a dash on the head of the column. This charge was led by John Chew and Charles Crane and was so successful that the head of the column was broken and thrown into confusion. The balance of the party retreated down Locke's lane.

The enemy pursued rapidly and captured Frank Manning , John Coleman , and Lieut. Baylor . The rest of the party made their escape.


On the 28th of August, 1864 , Early's cavalry that had been located near Charles Town, was driven back through Middleway and compelled to cross the Opequon, Fitz Lee retreating towards Brucetown and Lomax towards Bunker Hill.

The enemy occupied Middleway, where they burned several barns and houses. To put a stop to this fiendish work Ramsey crossed the Opequon and drove back the Federal cavalry. General Early also recrossed the Opequon with infantry and artillery and drove the Federals from some rude works they had constructed in front of the town.

He then returned to camp over the Opequon leaving the cavalry behind. The enemy attacked this later in the afternoon and drove them back across the stream. There was considerable loss in these actions.

In February, 1864 , General Rosser , with all his command except a small portion which were picketing the outposts down the valley, was west of the mountains on his celebrated cattle raid.

Captain Kearney , with a part of his company engaged in picket duty at the time, and being relieved too late to join Rosser , asked permission to make a scout to Jefferson. The request was granted. He got together nineteen of his company and started, early on the 4th of February, 1864 , from New Market; and by 2 a.m. of the fifth , eighteen of his men were hidden in the pines and cedars along the pike, a short distance north of Smithfield.

A picket was placed on the Charles Town Pike, and one on the Shepherdstown Pike, with instructions to report in haste, the approach of the enemy, and count the number, if possible. It was known that every day a squad came from Shepherdstown or Kearneysville on that pike to Smithfield, and a battalion came from Charles Town three times each week. About sunrise, both pickets came at a gallop, and reported that 22 federals were advancing from Kearneysville. Kearney kept nine of his men to charge down Main Street, and sent nine in charge of a sergeant, down a back street, to meet in the center of the town; and he started these nine a moment ahead to allow for distance. Just at this stage, with the nine gone on their mission, some one exclaimed, "Look there on the Charles Town Pike, there comes the battalion," which unfortunately, was true. Kearney , equal to the emergency, said, "boys, we will charge through the yanks in the town, but don't stop." Forward and away we went. We were on them so suddenly, and the surprise was so great, that nearly all surrendered without a shot, not knowing that several hundred of their own men were at hand. We had not time to disarm them. A few took our direction ahead of us; and as soon as we passed those in the street, they, seeing the situation, with the whole battalion, gave chase, and began firing with their carbines, killing one of our best men, David Hoffman . The squad that tried to escape ahead of us on Main street had one killed and several wounded. Two of our squad, wanting a remount, stopped long enough to disarm and dismount two yanks, and, taking as they thought, a near cut to overtake the company, were captured. The horses would not jump fences.

We were thirty-five miles outside our lines. A ruse saved the rest of the company. The Major inquired, "How many men had you in that command?" The reb thought quickly, "The truth will be the best answer," and replied, "eighteen." "You are lying," he said, "eighteen men would not come so far out of their lines" ; and he would not follow.

Our horses were nearly worn out from hard service and the long ride from New Market the day and night before, they could have easily overtaken, at least, some of the men.

Our scout was a failure, as was Captain Baylor's the year previous.

February 12th, 1863 , 21 men of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry were scouting in that section, and so was Baylor with 13 of his company. Baylor completely surprised and routed them, killing four, wounding three, and capturing seven men and eleven horses. But on their return south of Charles Town, they encountered a large body of Federal cavalry, and lost all they had captured, and Baylor and two of his men were made prisoners.

In August, 1862 , Lieutenant Rouss and Baylor ; with seventeen men, captured seventeen yankees with their horses and equipment complete in the Main street of Smithfield, not losing a man.

<a name="#9b.0">Marker Number Thirteen</a>

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An Account by Col. Harry Gilmore of His Fight with Somers Near Summit Point

About the close of September, 1863 , I took 50 men from my camp at Mt. Jackson with the intention of crossing the Potomac to capture a lot of government horses and mules which my scouts reported to be grazing in the neighborhood of Hagerstown. Their picket lines extended to and beyond Charles Town, where a regiment of infantry and two companies of cavalry were stationed. Captain Somers commanded the cavalry, and Col. Benjamin Simpson the 9th Maryland. I crossed the line without being detected, but when I reached the river I found it passed fording, and had to return.

I camped in the woods on William Washington's place, and, being determined not to go back without some game, sent scouts to watch the road leading out of Charles Town. I had not slept more than two hours when I learned that 25 cavalry had gone up the road leading to Smithfield. The men were soon mounted, and, striking out across the country, we got into the road in the rear of this squad, and followed on their trail to Smithfield. Soon after reaching the turnpike we met a man whom I knew to be a Unionist, but, expecting to capture the party ahead of me before they could reach Charles Town in my rear, I let him pass. What a change it would have made in subsequent events had I taken him along with us! We continued at a trot until we gained the hill immediately above Smithfield, when I closed up the column, drawing sabres, charged into the town, expecting to find the enemy there; but to my chagrin, learned that they had passed through without halting, taking the road to Summit Point, and were now a considerable distance ahead. I followed on at a good swinging trot, with four of five well mounted men in advance, until we got nearly to Summit Point, when my scouts returned, saying the enemy had passed through that place also a short time previous, and were now on the road back to Charles Town.

My horses were by this time much jaded, and some hardly able to keep up; still, determined not to abandon the enterprise, I struck across the fields, hoping to cut them off before they could reach Charles Town. In this I did not succeed; but three of my men ran into their rear guard just as they were entering the place. One of them, Charles Foreman, was captured. I dismounted half my men, put them in position, and tried to draw out the enemy, but they had their own plan in view, and refused to follow. This made me rather suspicious, so putting twelve men under Captain Blackford as a rear guard, I started for Summit Point and camp.

I had reached the White House, owned by Mr. Morrow , two miles from Summit Point, had halted to let the men dismount and get water from the large spring about fifty yards off, and was the only mounted man left in the road. I had ridden up to the yard fence, and was talking to the ladies, when I heard a voice exclaim, "Here are the boys by God, we've got them now!" All the same instant a bullet whistled through a lilac bush between the ladies and myself. I wheeled around and saw the head of a cavalry column on the rocky hill above, and between me and Summit Point.

Here was a perilous position. Seeing only the first section of fours, I knew not how many were behind them. I could not retreat, and therefore determined to make the best fight possible under the circumstances. I ordered ten of my men who had carbines to get behind the ruins of an old stone stable, and fight them to the last. Seeing my horses without their riders, the others thought we were apprized of their coming, and had prepared an ambuscade; and though Captain Somers , whom I recognized, begged, implored, and cursed them, they would not charge, but stood still on the hill, popping away at us with their carbines.

One of my men " Ford , from Baltimore " came up with a rifle and putting his hand on my thigh, asked what he should do. I told him to get behind the stone wall, and take a good aim every time he fired. "All right, Major." Just as he spoke the word a ball pierced his head, killing him instantly.

At that moment Captain Somers , whom I must say was a brave man, spurred his horse down the hill, and engaged me with his pistol, firing wildly, for I saw he was much excited. I reserved my fire until he came within twenty paces, steadied my horse with the bit, took a long sure aim, and Somers fell from his horse . The ball entered the side of his nose, and came out the back of his head.

By this time nine of my men had mounted, and, as the sharpshooters had been doing good work, I thought I could risk a charge, but it was unnecessary to give the order, for I heard Read or Bosley say, "Come, boys it's a shame to leave the major there by himself"; and by the time I had returned the pistol and drawn my sabre, the boys were at my side, so on we went.

When we gained the hill top, I saw, to my amazement, that there were about sixty before me, but, as there was a good post and rail fence on either side, they could show no more front than my ten men. To whip the foremost was to whip all. As I passed by the stone stable I ordered the rest to mount and follow. Captain Somers was lying across the road. I was obliged to jump my horse over his dead body; four others lying near were either dead or wounded.

Settling myself in the saddle, I dashed in among the blue jackets, cutting and thrusting right and left, and parrying a blow when necessary. They were from Michigan and Maryland, and for a while fought well. Observing an officer fighting like a Turk and cheering his men on, I made for him. He was a man of my own size, wore a very heavy beard, and looked, I thought very savage as he yelled out, "Come on you damned rebel, I'll soon fix your flint." This promised good sport. I closed with him, making a powerful front cut, which he parried, and at the same time made a right cut at my neck. By bringing the sabre down in time, my side caught the blow. Now I had the advantage. Quick as a flash I cut him across the cheek, inflicting a large gash, and he fell to the ground. I gave him in charge of one of my men, and then followed after my first ten, who had pushed the column back two hundred yards while the lieutenant and I were busy with our affair. The latter soon after escaped by jumping a stone wall and running into a thick woods. We soon got them on the run, nor did we give them time to stop and reform until they had passed through and beyond Summit Point.

We had taken eighteen prisoners, and were unable to pursue them farther until my men had come up, for the Federals had formed and turned upon the two or three men who were still in pursuit, but by the time they had pushed these back again to Summit Point I had dismounted ten or fifteen men, who easily checked them. We charged again, took five more prisoners, and the rest made their escape.

After collecting my prisoners and men, I left by a private route for the Upper Valley, with twenty-three prisoners and twenty-nine horses, leaving four of their dead and three wounded on the field. My loss was one man killed, three wounded, and one taken prisoner. I reached camp safely with every thing I had captured.

It seems the Unionist went immediately to Charles Town and gave information of what he had seen, and Somers followed me all the way round. A sad affair it turned out for him, but "such are the fortunes of war." Captain Somers was highly esteemed by his commanding officers, as shown by a long article, highly complimentary to him, that appeared a few days after. The same paper also alleged that I had murdered him! Indeed! Then not a few were murdered on both sides.

<a name="#12.0">Marker Number Fourteen</a>

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Repulse of Federals by Imboden at Rippon -- The Retreat.

On the 18th of October, 1863 , General Imboden after capturing Charles Town, retreated along the Berryville Pike. He was hotly pursued by a large force of the enemy, and at Rippon was compelled to form a line of battle to protect his captures.

He had with him as prisoners the Ninth Maryland Infantry, eight or nine hundred.

The enemy advanced and commenced a serious attack. They were after a sharp engagement, repulsed by General Imboden and his command, and retreated towards Charles Town. There were a number of killed and wounded on each side in this action.

Imboden then continued his retreat and made good his escape with his captures.

<a name="#13.0">Marker Number Fifteen</a>

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Slaughter and Capture of Blazer's Men at Myerstown

Richards started on November 17, 1864 , with 100 Rangers to look for Blazer . Most of his men were especially anxious to set eyes on the Northerner. They were not picked men, however, but just plain, ordinary, every-day guerrillas.

When Richards reached Castleman's Ferry he heard that Blazer was on a raid looking for Mosby , having fully made up his mind to finish the contract about which Sheridan had wired Augur? nearly three months before. We located him in camp near Kabletown, in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Richards preferring a daylight fight, camped near him. In the morning our men were so anxious for a settlement with Blazer's command that they did not wait for breakfast, but at sunrise galloped into Kabletown, only to find that Blazer had left but a few moments before, "looking for them."

It didn't take very long to find the blue column, which presently appeared across a field. Richards turned his men from the road to draw Blazer on, but Blazer was busy taking down a fence and dismounting his cavalry, so as to use his Spencers at long range. Richards instantly divided his command and started with half his men, as though retreating. Blazer bit and ordered a charge. When his men got clear of the woods and into the open, where there was no furniture in the way of our little game of tag, Richards turned on him and our two divisions charged simultaneously.

Blazer's men used their Spencers until we got close up to them, when they dropped their rifles and drew revolvers. Richard's attack was very much in the nature of a dynamite explosion at close range, and while there is no doubt that Blazer counted on a fight and really wanted one, he had made no preparations for a massacre. His "picked 100 men" broke before our onslaught, defying all their commanders efforts to rally them, and the flight became a panic and a rout.

Captain Blazer was overtaken by Syd Furguson, who rode one of the best mares in our command. Blazer was knocked from his horse with the butt of a pistol and picked up blind and bleeding from the ground. He came to the scratch cheerfully even in defeat, and took his medicine like a man. His loss was more than 20 men killed, many more wounded, most of them mortally, and about 30 of his command taken prisoners. General Stevenson dispatched on November 19, "two of Captain Blazer's men came in this morning -- Privates Harris and Johnson . They report that Mosby attacked Blazer near Kabletown yesterday about 11 o'clock. They say the entire command, with the exception of themselves, was either captured or killed."

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Engagement at Myers Ford, Sunday, Sept. 5, 1864 -- Blazer's and Mosby's Men

Early Sunday morning, Sept. 5, 1864 , Col. John S. Mosby , with Companies A and B, of his command, broke camp in Loudon County, near Hillsboro, and started for the Shenandoah Valley to reconnoiter in the vicinity of Charles Town. They passed through the Blue Ridge at Lewis' Gap. On reaching the river at Myers Ford, Mosby with six of his men crossed the river to ascertain the strength of the enemy in and about Charles Town, leaving the remainder of the rangers in camp at the ford under Lieutenant Joseph Nelson. The men unsaddled their horses, and made themselves comfortable until they should have a report from Col. Mosby.

Capt. Richard Blazer , of the 91st Ohio Infantry, temporarily in command of a company of picked men armed with long range seven shooters, pistols, and sabers, the men being designated in the War Records, as Independent Scouts, on the morning of the same day, going from the direction of Charles Town, in search for Mosby's men, crossed the river at Backus' Ford, above Shannondale, and proceeded over the mountain. They found the deserted camp of Mosby's men near Hillsboro, where they were informed that Mosby had started with his men to the Valley. By a forced march, Blazer's men followed the route taken by Mosby's command, and surprised the camp at Myer's Ford. The men in camp being totally unprepared for an attack, scattered when the attack was made in all directions, the most having no time to saddle and mount their horses. Blazer's report of the engagement that ensued states that one commissioned officer and four privates of the Confederate force were killed; one officer and six privates captured, and four wounded. In a later report he made the statement that 13 Confederates were killed; six wounded, five captured. Col. Mosby's report showed that he lost one man killed, three wounded and three captured, while of Blazer's command, one man was killed, three wounded and three were captured. Among the wounded Confederates was Lieut. Joseph Nelson , who was temporarily in command. After the fight Mosby's command retreated into Loudoun County, and Blazer's withdrew to the west side of the river.

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General Bradley T. Johnson Repulses The Enemy Near Kabletown

In the latter part of August, 1861 , General Bradley T. Johnson, with a brigade of cavalry and a force of infantry, moved to Kabletown and encountered a large force of infantry of the enemy. An engagement followed, in which, after a good deal of severe fighting, a charge was made by Johnson, and the enemy, were driven down the Shenandoah River. The result of this engagement was considerable killed and wounded.

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Charles Town The Scene of Many Engagements

After Gen. William E. Jones had left New Market on his West Virginia raid in May, 1863 , Lieutenant G.B. Philpott and Captain R.P. Chew gathered together about 45 men of Company Q, and crossing the mountains, went down the Luray Valley through Front Royal, crossing the Shenandoah River at Myers Ford about 11 o'clock at night, May 15th .

They pursued their way to Tate's Woods, about three quarters of a mile from Charles Town. They dismounted here and tied their horses, and marched behind the house of Andrew Hunter , down the back street. Thence in front of Hawk's Factory to George and turning moved in the direction of the Court House. Philpott and Chew reached the old cattle scales when a sentinel challenged them and raised his gun. They both fired on him and he fled into the Court House yard and fell.

Summers' Company was quartered in the Court House and the Carter House. They numbered about ninety men. A lieutenant and ten men stationed in the parlor of the Carter House opened fire upon us as soon as Philpott and Chew fired upon the sentry. They kept up a constant fusillade.

It had been arranged that Lieutenant J.W. Carter of Chew's Battery should attack and capture the soldiers in the Carter House. He was assigned six men for this purpose. When the company reached the corner of the Court House yard, Carter with his men moved swiftly up the walk in front of the Court House, and crossing the street opposite the Carter House threw open the hall door and entered the parlor.

Striking the lieutenant over the head with the butt of his pistol, he demanded a surrender. The guard threw down their arms and were taken prisoners.

In the meantime Philpott and Chew , with the remaining men, had entered the Court House and captured, without trouble, the balance of the company of Capt. Summers .

Summers, who happened to be out at the time of the attack, hid in the wood pile of Major Hawks , whose house was nearby.

The horses in the hotel stable were captured, and the men were mounted with the prisoners behind them.

Summers company numbered about ninety men, sixty of whom were captured with their arms, and about seventy-five horses.

Returning through Tate's Woods the prisoners were mounted on broken down horses, and at daylight the whole party recrossed the river at Myer's Ford.

This capture was made without a single man being killed or wounded on either side. The Federals seemed dazed by the night attack and offered but feeble resistance.

On October 18, 1863 , Gen. John D. Imboden marched to the vicinity of Charles Town for the purpose of capturing the enemy, who were posted there in large force. The 9th Maryland Regiment of Infantry and Capt. Summers' Cavalry Company were quartered, the first in the Court House, and the latter in the Jail.

Imboden formed a line of battle on the Ranson farm west of the town, and extending his line to the east to the Kabletown Road. He located a battery near the house of Robert Brown but found, after firing a few shots, he could not reach the Court House. He then extended his line across the Harpers Ferry Road to the farm of James M. Ranson , and placing his gun on the hill north of town fired several shots through the Court House.

The enemy immediately evacuated the Court House and attempted a retreat toward Harpers Ferry but were intercepted by the Confederates and the entire command captured, excepting Summers' company which effected its escape towards Leetown.

He then commenced to retreat by the pike to Berryville. He was pursued by a large force of the enemy and a serious engagement took place in which a number of men on both sides were killed and wounded.

The enemy discontinued their pursuit at that point and Imboden retreated unmolested with his prisoners and captures.

An Account of the Fight of Baylor's Company at Charles Town, November 29, 1864

By Captain George Baylor

On the night of the 29th of November, 1864 , with 30 men of Company B, we attacked the camp of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry at Charles Town. Passing through the enemy's picket line, through a hollow just east of town, under cover of a fog such as usually hangs on autumn nights over the little valleys near the river and north side of the town and the rear of the enemy's camp, and rode quietly to a point near the block house, about twenty yards from the camp. Here the men dismounted, leaving the horses in charge of the fourth man in each file of fours, and noiselessly gained the block house.

Stealthily moving on, the sleeping camp was entered, and the confusion and scampering among the enemy. Some twenty of their number, lodged in a stone house nearby, opened fire on us. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, we rushed upon the house, and, seizing the doors and windows, poured several volleys into the building. Just as George Crayton , my brother Robert W. Baylor, Jr. (a boy of seventeen) and myself entered the door, several shots were fired by the inmates, one mortally injuring my brother and another severely injuring Crayton. After a few minutes a cry of surrender came from the group huddled together in the building, and the firing ceased. My brother and Crayton were removed to the house of Dr. Mason , who had been for years our family physician, and where I knew they would be well cared for. My brother died in a few hours, but Crayton rallied for a while and died soon after the close of the war. The loss of these two gallant soldiers was deeply deplored by their comrades, and especially by myself. In this engagement we killed and wounded 11 of the enemy, captured 27 prisoners and 37 horses and equipments.

It seems a little strange in the light of recent publication of the War Records that success attended us in the attack, for we find that as early as November 23rd, the day after the attack at Keyes' Ford, General Sheridan dispatched General Stevenson at Harpers Ferry as follows:

Kernstown, Va., November 23, 1864 .

General: It is reported that Major Congdon , of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry, reports the enemy in force at or near Charles Town. Find out if he has made this untruthful report. If the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry cannot keep that country clear of guerillas, I will take the shoulder straps off every officer belonging to the regiment and dismount the regiment in disgrace.

P.H. Sheridan, Major-General

And of the 28th of the same month he wires the commanding officer at Charles Town:

Kernstown, Va., November 28, 1864 .

Commanding Officer, Charlestown, Va.

Lookout for Mosby tonight.

P.H. Sheridan, Major-General

And Captain Paine , commanding the Twelfth Pennsylvania on the night of the attack in his report, says I have the honor to report that in accordance with the information of yesterday, our reserve post was attacked by the rebels last night between the hours of 11 and 12 o'clock, killing two men, wounding one, and capturing five of our men and 19 hoses. The enemy lost in killed, one man (a young Baylor) and three wounded. They were about 200 strong, and attacked the post from different directions, dismounted. They were commanded by a Major. Lieutenant Baylor was also with them, as his name was frequently mentioned at the time of the attack.

Nathaniel Payne , Captain Commanding.

Lieutenant S.F. Adams ,

Acting Assistant Adjutant General,

Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

The eyes of the Captain on that night evidently had large magnifying powers when viewing our little band of 30 men, and corresponding minimizing powers when recounting his loss on that occasion. He was afraid of General Sheridan's threat.

After the fight at Charles Town, we retired to the neighborhood of Milldale, and got rid of our prisoners and booty. The enemy, it seems, took a scout around, as usual after a fight, and reported as follows:

Headquarters Second Cavalry Division,

December 1, 1864 .

Major William Russell, Jr. ,

Assistant Adjutant General Cavalry:

Major: The reconnaissance sent out yesterday under Major T. Gibson , Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, had returned, having thoroughly scouted the country between Milldale and Summit Point to near Charles Town. No enemy was seen. Mosby was reported to have been in Berryville on the 29th . Baylor, who commanded the party of rebels which fought the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry at Charles Town, was killed, with one man. The party dispersed after the fight.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Wm. B. Tibbitts ,

Brevet Brigadier General Commanding.

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General Winder's Repulse of Federals at Cooke's Hill

After defeating Banks at Winchester, Winder with the Stonewall Brigade and some artillery was ordered to Charles Town. The enemy had formed a line of battle on Potato Hill in Charles Town.

General Winder planted his artillery near Cooke's house, and deploying his infantry commenced an attack at once. The enemy soon gave way and retreated in great confusion through the town.

The Market House and the Railroad Station had been destroyed by the enemy the day before.

General Winder pursued to the vicinity of Harpers Ferry, but was ordered back on the 30th, and made his wonderful march to Strasburg.

On the 7th of September, 1862 , Baylor's Company took a position near Charles Town on Cooke's Hill, and remained there until the morning of the 13th .

The four companies of the First New York Cavalry attacked it, and a very sharp encounter took place in which Lieutenant Rouss and Cary Seldon were wounded.

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Engagement Between Early and Sheridan at Packett's Farm On August 21, 1864 , Gen. Early marched from the vicinity of Bunker Hill toward Charles Town, driving the Federal Cavalry before him until he reached Cameron's Station on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, where he encountered the infantry. He engaged them about 9 o'clock in the morning, and drove them toward Charles Town. The Federals threw up fortifications in front of his line and prepared to resist his advance. The cavalry under Vaughn , Johnson , and Jackson advanced by way of Leetown and joined Early in front of Charles Town. McCausland marched by way of Leetown and joined Early in front of Charles Town. McCausland marched by way of Summit Point and Fitz Lee by way of Berryville and engaged the enemy on that road. Early planted his canon on the hill around the house of John R. Flagg , and formed this line of battle north and south of this point, while Sheridan formed his line a short distance east, the center being around the house of John B. Packett . Severe skirmishing and cannonading took place at this point, and quite a number of Federals were killed and wounded in and around Mr. Packette's house. The house was occupied at the time by Mr. Packett and his family and quite a number of visitors, among them several of the Misses Washington, whose home was about two miles distant. The Federals declined to allow them to leave until the shelling became too serious, with Lieutenant H.G. Nickols , they made their escape, under fire, across the fields towards the Federal lines and in the direction of Charles Town. Fortunately they all escaped without injury. The house of Mr. Packett to this day bears the evidence of the cannonading and musketry firing, a number of shells being lodged in the walls. It was expected a large engagement would take place here but the Federals, although largely outnumbering Early's army, declined to attack. On the night of the 21st, Sheridan withdrew and retired to Harpers Ferry, pursued by Early's army. While Sheridan occupied Charles Town he had his famous conference with Gen. Grant at the house of Thos. Rutherford and the destruction of the resources of the Shenandoah Valley was agreed upon.

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Artillery Duel at Old Fair Grounds Near Charles Town

After the battle of Sharpsburg, McClellan remained north of the Potomac for about thirty days, when he crossed below Harpers Ferry with his artillery on October 16, 1863 . To screen that movement he sent Hancock with a large force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery to make a reconnaissance in the direction of Charles Town. Our cavalry under the direction of General T.T. Munford retired before this force until they reached a point about half a mile below Charles Town, known as the Old Fair Grounds. Here a section of Chew's Battery under Lieutenant J.W. Carter and two guns of the Richmond Howitzers, third company under Captain B. H. Smith were placed in position, and opened on the enemy, who had planted their batteries on the hill about thr ee quarters of a mile below, known as Butler's Hill.

A severe engagement between the artillery on either side took place at this point, although the enemy were greatly superior in number and guns. The Confederate guns soon got the range and inflicted serious damage upon the enemy. The resistance on their part was so bold and determined that the Federals were delayed for several hours, and after the retirement of the guns they occupied Charles Town until the next day when they retired to Harpers Ferry.

Lieutenant J. W. Carter , who was greatly distinguished as an artillery officer and a man of superb courage and daring, was noticed in Official Report by General Munford , and recommended for promotion. Our forces retired towards Berryville undisturbed by the enemy.

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Stonewall Jackson's Capture of Federal Army at Harpers Ferry

On the 14th of September 1862 , General Stonewall Jackson invested Harpers Ferry. Genl. McLaws occupied the Maryland Heights, Genl. Walker on the Loudoun Heights, and the School House Hill was lined with artillery.

Genl. A.P. Hill in command was formed on the right of our line extending to the Shenandoah River, prepared to charge. These batteries opened on the night of the 14th and the blaze of the artillery fires lighting up the heavens in every direction made a beautiful sight. The next morning the infantry advanced and the artillery resumed their fire.

About 10 o'clock Col. Miles commanding the Federals concluded to surrender and the capture amounted to 11,000 prisoners, 13,000 small arms, 73 pieces of artillery, and a numerous amount of stores of all kinds.

Genl. Jackson left A.P. Hill to parole the prisoners, and to gather up the spoils and hurried away to the battlefield of Sharpsburg.

This wonderful soldier, in two short years had advanced from the position of a plain professor at the Virginia Military Institute to the exalted standing of the greatest Lieut. Genl. of all time. Col. Henderson , who wrote his life said that he was superior to Ney, Napoleon's right arm, because while he was as grand on the battle field as Ney, he was superior to him in this; that he could plan a brilliant campaign which was beyond the capacity of the great Marshall. He was master of all that was skillful in war and his splendid genius enabled him to "easily climb the step whence fame's proud temple shines afar."

School House Hill Near Halltown

This point was the scene of frequent action through the war. It was here that Ashby formed his line of battle when he fought Geary in '61 and on this hill Jackson planted his artillery. These guns did effective work and the cannonades from this point and the mountains secured the surrender of Miles .

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Col. Ashby's Brilliant Exploit at Bolivar Heights

The following is a report by Col. Turner Ashby of the fight of the 16th of October, 1861 with Federals on Bolivar Heights.

Camp Evans, Halltown, Va., Oct. 17, 1861 .

My Dear Sir:

I herewith submit the result of an engagement had with the enemy on the 16th at Bolivar Hill. The enemy occupying that position for several days, had been committing depredations in the vicinity of the camp. Having at my disposal three hundred militia armed with flint lock muskets and two companies of cavalry, Turner's and Mason's of Colonel McDonald's regiment. I wrote of Genl. Evans to cooperate with me, taking position on Loudon Heights and thereby prevent reenforcements from below, and at the same time to drive them out of the Ferry where they were under cover in the buildings. On the evening of the 15th I was reenforced by two companies of Colonel McDonald's regiment (Captain Wingfield ), fully armed with minie rifles and mounted. Captain Miller's about 30 men mounted, the balance on foot and with flint lock guns. I had one rifled four-pound gun and one 24-pound gun badly mounted which I broke the axle in Bolivar, and I had to spike it. My force on the morning of the attack consisted of 300 militia, part of two regiments commanded by Colonel McDonald's cavalry (Captain Henderson's men) under command of Lieut. Glenn, Capt. Baylor's mounted militia, Capt. Hess about 25 men.

The rifled gun was under command of Captain Averitt , the 24-pound gun under the command of Capt. Canfield . I made the attack in three divisions and drove the enemy from their breast works without the loss of a man, and took the position upon the hill, driving the enemy as far as lower Bolivar. The large gun broke down and this materially affected the result. The detachment from the large gun was transferred to the rifled piece, and Captain Averitt was sent to Loudoun Heights with a message to Colonel Griffin . The enemy now formed and charged with shouts and yells, which the militia met like veterans. At this moment I ordered a charge of cavalry, which was handsomely done, Captain Turner's in the lead. In this charge five of the enemy were killed. After holding this position for four hours the enemy were reenforced by infantry and artillery, and we fell back in order to the position their pickets occupied in the morning. The position Colonel Griffin held upon Loudoun Heights was such as to be of very little assistance to us, being so elevated as to prevent them from controlling the crossing. My main force is at Camp Evans while I hold all of the intermediate ground. The enemy left the ferry last night and encamped on the first plateau on Maryland Heights. My loss was one killed and nine wounded. Report from the Ferry states the loss of the enemy at 25 killed and a number wounded. We have two Yankee prisoners and eight Union men co-operating with them. We took a large number of blankets, overcoats, and about a dozen guns. I cannot compliment my officers too highly for their gallant bearing during the whole fight, considering the bad arms with which they were supplied and their inexperience.

I cannot impress too forcibly the necessity of the perfect organization of my artillery and the forwarding at a very early day of the other guns promised. These guns are drawn by horses obtained for the occasion, and are worked by volunteers. We are in want of cavalry arms and long range guns, and would be glad to have an arrangement made to mount my men. I herewith submit Surgeon N.G. West's report, and cannot compliment him too highly, and respectfully submit his name as one worthy of an appointment. He is temporarily employed by me as a surgeon. Casualties, wounded 13.

Your obedient servant,

Turner Ashby .

Lieut. Col. C.S. Army, Com'd'g. in Jefferson County.

Hon. Mr. Benjamin , Acting Sec'y of War.

P.S. I am without ammunition for rifled canon (4-pounders rifled to Parrott), also without friction primers. I am without a regular quartermaster, and consequently have my movements greatly embarrassed. If I am to continue with this command I would be glad to have the privilege to recommend for appointments, so that I can organize according to what I believe most efficient conditions.

<a name="#22.0">Marker Number Twenty-Four</a>

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The Point Where Federals Surrendered at Harpers Ferry This stone was planted opposite the field in which the surrender of Miles took place. Miles was shot and killed opposite this stone near the summit of Bolivar Heights. He was struck just before the surrender and the command turned over to Genl. White . The surrender was remarkable because of the fact that Miles then had about 14,000 men. This great force capitulated almost without a struggle. Perhaps it was just as well for Miles that he met his death rather than have to be branded with the disgrace of having made such poor resistance.

<a name="#23.0">Marker Number Twenty-Five</a>

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Surprise for Loudoun Rangers at Key's Switch

On April 5th, 1865 , Col. John S. Mosby organized Company H with George Baylor as Captain; E.F. Thompson , 1st Lieutenant; J.G. Wiltshire , 2nd Lieutenant; Jas. B. Carter , 3rd Lieutenant. On the day following, Baylor with his company crossed the Shenandoah River at Snickers Ferry and marched in the direction of Charles Town. In his report of the expedition he says:

On the way I learned that the Loudoun Rangers were camped near Millville (Keye's Switch, as it was then called), and that most of the Federal cavalry had gone up the Valley. The Loudoun Rangers were two companies of men from Loudoun County and the neighboring country, and Mosby's men had long been desirous of capturing them. Here was the opportunity: a regiment of infantry was camped just east of Halltown, picketing down to the river, and it was necessary to pass through this line of infantry pickets to reach the Ranger's Camp. The infantry picket was approached about 10 a.m., saluted, and passed without molestation, our men keeping perfectly in rank, and making no effort to capture or disturb them. This picket very politely gave us the usual military salute "present arms" -- but some of our boys who took a sly glance at them, say it was the most tremulous salute they ever witnessed. Having safely passed the infantry picket line, we rode quietly to within fifty yards of the Ranger's Camp, and seeing them in their cavalry tents, horses tied to stakes and engaged in various diversions, ordered a charge. They outnumbered our force two to one, but we were playing a bold game, and the bold game generally wins in war as well as in cards. With two jacks and the poker in our hands, our opponents must yield. A general flurry and commotion followed our charge. A few seemed disposed to fight, but some to surrender. A few shots soon quieted the more pugilistic. Some ran for the bushes and made good their escape, but the greater part were made prisoners. The loss of the enemy was 2 killed, 4 wounded, 65 prisoners, 81 horses equipments; our loss, one wounded, Frank Helm of Warrenton. This was a pretty good beginning for company H, yet scarce two days old, and it felt proud of its achievement. Gathering up the prisoners, horses and equipments, the tents and wagons were fired, and company H rode off, while the Federal infantry in full view were sounding the "long roll" and falling into line. The river was crossed at Keyes' Ford, and pursuit was not attemped by the enemy."

Keyes' Ford

On the night of March 22, 1864 , George Baylor with seven men passed unnoticed through the enemy's infantry picket at Halltown, and got in rear of cavalry force at Keyes' Ford, giving the Rebel yell they charged along the river road and dashed into the enemy's camp, where they found fifty horses and 13 men. The party consisted of 50 cavalry, the rest had taken to their heels and concealed themselves. Baylor and his party gathered up thirteen prisoners and 26 horses, leaving the other horses because they could not well manage them. Then they crossed the river and made their escape along the Blue Ridge Mountain road. This remarkable skirmish illustrates the terror troops feel when surprised and attacked in the night.

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