War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0111 Chapter IX. ROCKVILLE EXPEDITION.

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than an attempt to amuse us, to allow a large force to cross somewhere above and attack our flank and rear, of the purpose of cutting us off from Washington and marching in that direction. My dispositions were made accordingly.

The New York Ninth was ordered to the entrance of the Darnestown road, the Pennsylvania regiment and half of the New Hampshire, with one piece of artillery, disposed here for approach of the enemy from the north, and I strengthened Conrad's Ferry only by twenty marksmen from the Pennsylvania First Regiment. The New Hampshire troops have the old musket,which has not power enough to do mischief across the river. A chance ball from one of the Pennsylvania muskets is said to have disabled a man at the enemy's gun this morning.

While writing this I hear the firing recommended by the enemy.

I have no reliable news from General Patterson's command. Rumor here says Harper's Ferry is occupied by U. S. troops.

Two companies are detached from the Ninth Regiment to strengthen the force on the river near the mouth of the Seneca, where Colonel Everett and Major Jewell are stationed.

As your messengers do not seem to understand the roads near this point, and have letters from you to deliver at Seneca Falls, I send this to Captain Mead, at Rockville, with orders to send it forward immediately. I write also to Colonel Townsend by same route. All your kind hints will be carefully remembered.

I remain, dear general, very respectfully, and truly, yours,


Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier-General MANSFIELD,

Commanding Department of Washington.


June 17-6.40 p.m.

GENERAL: Your letter of this date has just been handed me.* As I have conflicting reports about the strength of the enemy now firing on the front of my position, and no positive assurance that there is not a force above. I do not feel authorized to weaken the force here by a withdrawal of a regiment as I might thereby expose Washington to an attack from this direction, and at the same time put my command in a desperate condition.

I hope to have reliable information by morning, and, if favorable, will send down the nearest regiment-the Ninth New York or the First Pennsylvania.

Very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,


Colonel Fourteenth Infantry, Commanding.

Brigadier-General MANSFIELD,

Commanding Department of Washington.

POOLESVILLE, June 18, 1861-9 p.m.

COLONEL: The enemy attempted to make a crossing of the Goose Creek this afternoon, having arrived opposite Edwards Ferry in force,


*Not found.