War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0549 Chapter XIV. OCCUPATION OF LEESBURG, VA.

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to know that he was informed that the duty had been successfully performed.

I am, your friend,


Colonel Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

MARCH 8, 1862.-Occupation of Leesburg, Va., by Union forces.

Report of Colonel John W. Geary, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.


Leesburg, Va., March 9, 1862.

SIR: On the morning of the 7th I learned there were about 1,000 infantry, some artillery, and between 200 and 300 cavalry at Waterford, who had determined to make an attempt to destroy the railroad during the day, then burn Wheatland and Waterford, after which they, with General Hill's command, would fall back, thinking that re-enforcements would arrive, which, in conjunction with my command, would move on Leesburg. In full expectation of our advance, General Hill sent his stores and baggage to Middleburg, and commenced burning hay and grain stacks, to prevent their falling into our hands.

To intercept their various works of destruction, about noon I put my main body, with cavalry and artillery, in motion, leaving instructions for the balance to follow the night. I entered Wheatland in time to prevent the incendiary designs of White's cavalry, who would have burned it. The rebels who left there upon my approach created a panic among the troops at Waterford, who fled precipitately to Leesburg, without applying the torch. We entered Waterford at 11 o'clock at night, where I rested the command three hours. We found some Union feeling existing there, and proclaimed our intention of protecting the people from the enemy. By a forced march we reached Leesburg shortly after sunrise and took possession of Fort Johnston, where we planted the Stars and Stripes and then entered the city. The rear of General Hill's retreating forces could be seen in the distance. They retired to Middleburg, where the bulk of their baggage and stores is concentrated. General Hill and staff retired at full gallop. My other detachment joined me during the day.

I at once took possession of the court-house, post-office, bank, and all public buildings, and Forts Beauregard and Evans. I find considerable secession proclivity here, but we have made an impression upon them by a respect for property and proper exhibition of decorum, which they have been educated to suppose was foreign to us, as we were designated as ruthless pillagers. Fort Johnston is occupied by a portion of my troops, with two guns commanding the city. I have declared martial law and have an active provost-marshalship in operation. Middleburg is now the last link in Loudoun County. When that place is rid of the presence of the enemy, Loudoun County is free of rebel rule and the presence of rebel soldierly.

The prisoners whom I have sent you are of note. I have administered the oath of allegiance to many willing residents.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Twenty-eighth Reg't Pa. Vols., Commanding Brigade.

Major R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.