War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0695 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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Brigadier General Fitz. Lee reached railroad soon after daylight, the march having continued all night. The bridge at Sykesville was burned, and the track torn up at Hood's Mills, where the main body crossed it. Measures were taken to intercept trains, but trains ran to the vicinity of the obstruction, took the alarm, and ran back. The various telegraph lines were likewise cut, and communications of the enemy with Washington City thus cut off at every point, and Baltimore threatened. We remained in possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad nearly all day. The enemy was ascertained to be moving through Frederick City northward, and it was important for me to reach our column with as little delay as possible, to acquaint the commanding general with the nature of the enemy's movements, as well as to place with his column my cavalry force. The head of the column, following a ridge road, reached Westminster about 5 p. m. At this place, our advance was obstinately disputed for a short time by a squadron of the First Delaware Cavalry, but what were not killed were either captured or saved themselves by precipitate flight. In this brief engagement, 2 officers of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry (Lieutenants Pierre Gibson and [John W.] Murray) were killed. Gallant and meritorious, they were noble sacrifices to the cause. The ladies of the place begged to be allowed to superintend their interment, and, in accordance with their wishes, the bodies of these young heroes were left in their charge. * The fugitives were pursued a long distance on the Baltimore road, and I afterward heard created a great panic in that city, impressing the authorities with the belief that we were just at their heels. Here, for the first time since leaving Rector's Cross-Roads, we obtained a full supply of forage, but the delay and difficulty of procuring it kept many of the men up all night. Several flags and one piece of artillery without a carriage were captured here. The latter was spiked and left behind. We encamped for the night a few miles beyond the town (Fitz. Lee's brigade in advance), halting the head of the column at Union Mills, midway between Westminster and Littlestown, on the Gettysburg road. It was ascertained here that night by scouts that the enemy's cavalry had reached Littlestown during the night, and encamped. Early next morning (June 30), we resumed the march direct by a cross route for Hanover, Pa., W. H. F. Lee's brigade in advance, Hampton in rear of the wagon train, and Fitz. Lee's brigade moving on the left flank, between Littlestown and our road. About 10 a. m. the head of the column reached Hanover, and found a large column of cavalry passing through, going toward the gap of the mountains which I intended using. The enemy soon discovered our approach, and made a demonstration toward attacking us, which was promptly met by a gallant charge by Chambliss' leading regiment, which not only repulsed the enemy, but drove him pell-mell through the town with half his numbers, capturing his ambulances and a large number of prisoners, all of which were brought safely through to our train, but were closely followed by the enemy's fresh troops. If my command had been well closed now, this cavalry column, which we had struck near its rear, would have been at our mercy; but, owing to the great elongation of the column by reason of the 200 wagons and hilly roads, Hampton was a long way behind, and Lee was not yet heard from on the left.

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*On original report, the sentence in italics is inclosed in brackets by General Lee, with the note, "Omit, if published. "

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