War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0526 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

companies of the First Maryland Cavalry, together with Captain McGrath's battery of two 9-inch columbiads and one 50-pounder rifled gun.

The other troops were places upon Camp Hill, in the town of Harper's Ferry, and upon Bolivar Heights, their left resting upon the Charlestown turnpike, and protected by the woods and ravines between it and the Shenandoah.

The enemy, who had closely followed us form Martinsburg, had taken position along our front, on the north, was, and south, across the base of the peninsula between the Potomac and the Shenandoah.

No forces of ours whatever were places upon Loudoun Heights. The enemy has a signal station there, and men were to be observed at work, apparently planting a battery. They were dislodged by our shells, thrown from Camp Hill.

At night Captain Russell, of the First maryland Cavalry, with 6 men, was dispatched to make his way to our forces in maryland, if possible, and inform them of our condition.

On the morning of the 13th fighting recommenced upon maryland Heights, by the enemy advancing upon the northern and eastern slope sand attempting to dislodge our forces there stationed. It continued, with varying success, until 3.30 o'clock p. m., when the enemy advanced in overwhelming force, and the position was abandoned, first spiking the heavy guns and rolling them down the crag. The battery of four brass pieces was also spiked and abandoned. Being upon duty on the extreme left of our line, I was nor cognizant of the abandonment at the time, and I attach hereto the report of Colonel Ford, giving full particulars of the occurrence.

It will be noticed that Colonel Ford claims to have been ordered by Colonel Miles to evacuate the heights. Colonel Miles, however, denied to me ever having giver such an order, but said he gave orders that if it became necessary to abandon the heights, the guns were to be spiked and dismounted. Upon the abandonment of the Maryland Heights, the troops crossed the Potomac upon the pontoon bridge and took position upon Bolivar Heights, as assigned them. The enemy took possession of the summit above maryland Heights, and now opened two batteries from the summit of Loudoun Heights, their fire being mostly directed upon Camp Hill. They were replied to by the guns upon Camp Hill and Captain Von Sehlen's battery, upon Bolivar Heights.

Two guns of Captain Rigby's battery were advanced upon the Charlestown turnpike, and shelled the woods, where the enemy was establishing himself. In the evening the entire cavalry force, consisting of the Twelfth Illinois, the Eighth New York, the Seventh Squardon Rhode Island, and two companies of the First maryland, were ordered to cross direction of Sharpsburg, to cut their way out if possible, there being no forage and they being useless in the defense of the place. Under an experienced guide, they succeeded in so doing, and captured a portion of General Longstreet's ammunition train and some prisoners on the way.

On the morning of the 14th our troops held the bridges across the Potomac, Camp Hill, and the line of Bolivar Heights, together with the ridge on the prolongation of the heights between the turnpike and the shenandoah. The bridges were defended by eight companies of the Shenandoah. The bridges were defended by eight companies of the First Maryland potomac Home Brigade, the Eighty-seventh Ohio, and one section of Captain Potts' battery, all under the command of Colonel Maulsby, of the first named regiment.

Camp Hill was occupied by Captain Graham's battery; four guns of Captain Potts' battery, two 24-pounder howitzers and two 20-pounder