War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0026 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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comprising 73 officers and men, to the town of Leeds, for the purpose of breaking up an illicit trade between Baltimore and Richmond, which it was known had been carried on for some time past, and in the prosecution of which the ferry at Leeds was made to play an important part.

The accompanying rough sketch indicates the position of Leeds, and the disposition Captain Wilson made of his troops on the occasion in


Diagram of position of party of Captain Wilson's Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, when captured by the rebels, December 2, 1862.

question. At the point A, a sentinel was posted; in the town of Leeds, 8 men; at the point C, about a quarter of a mile below the town, another sentinel, and at the point B, about one-half mile from the town, and some 30 yards from the river, was Captain Wilson, with his reserve, numbering 38. Two sentinels were posted in front of this latter position. The remainder of the detachment [25] was upon picket duty at the point C, or employed in searching for and destroying contraband goods. With one of the latter parties Lieutenant Baker was serving, near the point D.

On the morning of December 2, a party of the enemy, estimated to number from 50 to 100 men, crossed the river between the points E and F, above the town, and, making a detour by the way of the row of cedars indicated upon the sketch, captured the sentinel at the point A, and, successively, the party in the town, the sentinel at the point C, and, with the exception of a private who escaped, the main body at the point B. The attack was made between 2 and 3 a.m., just before the setting of the moon. The private who escaped was asleep at the time of the attack, and can give no satisfactory information as to the manner of the approach of the enemy. He says he was fired at, but got off in the