War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0053 Chapter XXXI. STUART'S EXPEDITION INTO MD AND PA.

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assortment of army clothing. The extensive machine-shops and depot buildings of the railroad and several trains of loaded cars were entirely destroyed. From Chambersburg, I decided, after mature consideration, to strike for the vicinity of Leesburg as the best route of return, particularly as Cox's command would have rendered the direction of Cumberland, full of mountain gorges, particularly hazardous. The route selected was through an open country. Of course I left nothing undone to prevent the inhabitants from detecting my real route and object. I started directly toward Gettysburg, but, having passed the Blue Ridge, turned back toward Hagerstown for 6 or 8 miles, and then crossed to Maryland, by Emmittsburg, where, as we passed, we were hailed by the inhabitants with the most enthusiastic demonstrations of joy. A scouting party of 150 lancers had just passed toward Gettysburg, and I regretted exceedingly that my march did not admit of the delay necessary to catch them. Taking the road toward Frederick, we intercepted dispatches from Colonel Rush (lancers) to the commander of the scout, which satisfied me that our whereabouts was still a problem to the enemy. Before reaching Frederick I crossed the Monocacy, continued the march through the night, via Liberty, New Market, Monrovia, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where we cut the telegraph wires and obstructed the railroad. We reached, at daylight, Hyattstown, on McClellan's line of wagon communication with Washington, but we found only a few wagons to capture, and pushed on to Barnesville, which we found just vacated by a company of the enemy's cavalry. We had here corroborated what we had heard before, that Stoneman had between 4,000 and 5,000 troops about Poolesville and guarding the river fords. I started directly for Poolesville, but, instead of marching upon that point, avoided it by a march through the woods, leaving it 2 or 3 miles to my left, and getting into the road from Poolesville to the mouth of the Monocacy. Guarding well my flanks and rear, I pushed boldly forward,meeting the head of the enemy's column going toward Poolesville. I ordered the charge, which was responded to in handsome style by the advance squadron (Irving's), of Lee's brigade, which drove back the enemy's cavalry upon the column of infantry advancing to occupy the crest from which the cavalry were driven. Quick as thought, Lee's sharpshooters sprung to the ground, and, engaging the infantry skirmishers, held them in check until the artillery in advance came up, which, under the gallant Pelham, drove back the enemy's force to his batteries beyond the Monocacy, between which and our solitary gun quite a spirited fire continued for some time. This answered, in confection with the high crest occupied by our piece, to screen entirely my real movemontquickly to the left, making a bold and rapid strike for White's Ford, to force my way across before the enemy at Poolesville and Monocacy could be aware of my design. Although delayed somewhat by about 200 infantry strongly posted in the cliffs over the ford, yet they yielded to the moral effect of a few shells before engaging our sharpshooters, and the crossing of the canal (now dry) and river was effected with all the precision of passing a defile on drill, a section of artillery being sent with the advance, and placed in position on the Loudoun side, another piece on the Maryland height, while Pelham continued to occupy the attention of the enemy with the other, withdrawing from position to position until his piece was ordered to cross. The enemy was marching from Poolesville, in the mean time, but came up in line of battle on the Maryland bank only to receive a thundering salutation, with evident effect, from our guns on this side.

I lost not a man killed on the expedition, and only a few slight wounds.