War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0822 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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Numbers 207. Reports of Brigadier General Wade Hampton, C. S. Army, commanding cavalry brigade, of operations September 2-20.


October 25, 1862.

MAJOR: In accordance with the orders of Major-General Stuart that I should give a report of the operations of my brigade since it joined the division in September, I beg to forward the accompanying reports: I shall confine myself in these papers to such matters as I deem of sufficient importance to deserve mention.

On the morning of----I reported to General Stuart, and was at once taken by him to Flint Hill, near Fairfax Court-House, which was found to be in the possession of the enemy. After some firing of artillery and sharpshooters the enemy retired, and were followed by my brigade with two pieces belonging to Stuart's Horse Artillery. The enemy were soon overtaken, when the rifle piece of Captain Pelham opened on them with effect, scattering them in every direction. As soon as the cavalry could be brought forward, I pursued them, taking a few prisoners; but, owing to the darkness, my pursuit had to be very slow and cautious. The enemy placed some guns and infantry so as to command the road, and opened fire from the woods as I advanced. Having no artillery then with me, I withdrew the brigade, having lost one man so severely wounded that he died the next day.

Early the next morning we moved on toward Dranesvillee, taking a few prisoners along the road. From this point we were ordered to Leesburg, where, after halting a few hours, we proceeded to the Potomac, which we crossed on the afternoon of September 5, and marched to Poolesville, where we halted for the night.

The next day we moved to Urbana, in which neighborhood the brigade remained for several days, having various little skirmishes with the enemy near Hyattstown, driving them back on every occasion. Leaving Urbana, the brigade followed the main army to Fredericktown, which place I was directed to hold after our army passed through. My pickets were thrown out on the various roads leading to the city, and I was notified about midday on September 12 that the enemy in heavy force was advancing on the National Road. Having two squadrons on picket at the bridge over the Monocacy (on the road from Urbana) and near that point, it was of the utmost consequence that I should hold the approaches to the city by the National road until these squadrons could be withdrawn. With this object in view, I took one rifled gun to the assistance of the two guns which were on the pike, and place a squadron of the Second South Carolina Regiment to support the battery. This squadron was under command of Lieutenant Meighan, who had been skirmishing with the enemy since he had crossed the Monocacy. The enemy opened fire on this squadron, killing 2 of the men. Finding that my other squadrons were coming in, I withdrew slowly to the city, sending my guns to occupy a position which would command the road from the city to the foot of the mountain.

In the mean time the enemy had planted a gun in the suburbs of the city, and, with unparalleled atrocity, fired into the city along its crowded streets. This gun was supported by a regiment and a half of infantry and a part of a regiment of cavalry. To secure a safe retreat for my brigade, it was necessary to dislodge this force. I therefore ordered Lieutenant Meighan to charge with his squadron, while I brought the brigade to his support. This order was most gallantly carried out, the