Numbers 18. Report of Brigadier General Wade Hampton, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.
MARTINSBURG, W. VA., October 25, 1862.
MAJOR: In obedience to orders from Major-General Stuart, I proceeded, on October 9, with 175 men from the Second Regiment South Carolina Cavalry, under command of Colonel M. C. Butler; the same number from the First North Carolina Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel [J. B.] Gordon; 150 from the Tenth Virginia Regiment, under Major [J. T.] Rosses, and 150 from the Phillips
Legion, under Captain Dunlap-in all, 650 men-to the neighborhood of McCoy's Ferry, on the Potomac, where I halted the command soon after nightfall.
Having received orders to cross the river at day light the next morning. I detailed 25 dismounted men, placing them under the command of Lieutenant [H. R.] Phillips, Tenth Virginia, and stationed then on the bank of the river above the ferry at a point I had selected for this squad to cross over. At 3 a. m. Lieutenant
Phillips took his men over, wading the river. His orders were to attack any force he might find on picket, and Colonel Butler, with his command, was to dash across the river as soon as the attack was made on the opposite side. This plan was most successfully carried out, Lieutenant Phillips attacking the pickets of the enemy, driving them in after wounding 1, and capturing several horses. As soon as possession of the ford was obtained, my brigade, accompanied by a section of the Washington Horse Artillery, under command of Captain Hart, passed over the river and stuck out for the National
turnpike. As my advance guard reached this road, they fell in with a few of the enemy, who belonged to a large column of infantry which had recently passed up the pike. Capturing these (about 10), I sent a party to endeavor to take the signal offices who were near that point. The officers escaped, leaving their flags, glasses, and tents, which were taken by my men. The brigade then moved on through the narrow strip of Maryland into Pennsylvania, and made direct for Marcersburg. This we entered without opposition, and, passing through continued our march toward chambersburg, taking in our route the villages of Bridgeport, Clay Lick, and Saint Thomas. At the latter a few shots were fired by some of the Home Guard, who were taken prisoners. Leaving this place about 5 p. m., we pushed on toward Chambersburg, in the hope of reaching that city before dark; but this could not be accomplished, and when we discovered the lights of the town it was so dark that no reconnaissance could be made. Not being able to ascertain if there were any troops in the place, and having heard that some were there, I deemed it prudent to demand the surrender of the town before taking my command into in. Placing the guns then in position to command the place, I dispatched Lieutenant [T. C.] Lee, Second South Carolina Cavalry Regiment, with an escort of 25 men, to demand that the town should be given up. In reply to this summons three citizens, on the part of the citizens at large, came forward to ask the terms proposed. I demanded the unconditional surrender of the town, assuring them at the same time that private persons should be protected and private property unmolested, except such as should be needed for the use of our army. These terms being agreed on, I moved the brigade into the city about 8 p. m., and immediately made dispositions to establish a rigid provost guard. This guard was placed under the command of Captain [J. P.] MacFie, Second South Carolina Cavalry Regiment, and I am happy to say that good order was maintained during the whole of our stay in the city.