War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0700 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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very dense woods, taking by-roads, it soon became so dark that it was impossible to proceed. We were in danger of losing the command as well as the road. It was raining, also. We halted for several hours, when, having received a good guide, and it becoming more light, the march was resumed, and just at dawn we entered Emmitsburg. We there learned that a large body of the enemy's cavalry (the citizens said 15, 000, which I knew, of course, was exaggerated) had passed through that point the afternoon previous, going toward Monterey, one of the passes designated in my instructions to Brigadier-General Robertson. I halted for a short time to procure some rations, and, examining my map, I saw that this force could either attempt to force one of those gaps, or, foiled in that (as I supposed they would be), it would either turn to the right and bear off toward Fairfield, where it would meet with like repulse from Hill's or Longstreet's corps, or, turning to the left before reaching Monterey, would strike across by Eyler's Gap, toward Hagerstown, and thus seriously threaten that portion of our trains which, under Imboden, would be be passing down the Greencastle pike the next day, and interpose itself between the main body and its baggage. I did not consider that this force could seriously annoy any other portion of the command under the order of march prescribed, particularly as it was believed that those gaps would be held by General Robertson till he could be re-enforced by the main body. I therefore determined to adhere to my instructions, and proceed by way of Cavotown, by which I might intercept the enemy should he pass through Eyler's Gap. In and around Emmitsburg we captured 60 or 70 prisoners of war, and some valuable hospital stores en route from Frederick to the army. The march was resumed on the road to Frederick till we reached a small village called Cooperstown, where our route turned short to the right. Here I halted the column to feed, as the horses were much fatigued and famished. The column, after an hour's halt, continued through Harbaugh's Valley, by Zion Church, to pass the Catoctin Mountain. The road separated before debouching from the mountain, one fork leading to the left by Smithtown, and the other to the right, bearing more toward Leiterburg. I divided my command, in order to make the passage more certain, Colonel Ferguson, commanding Jenkins' brigade, taking the left road, and Chambliss' brigade, which I accompanied, the other. Before reaching the western entrance to this pass, I found it held by the enemy, and had to dismount a large portion of the command, and fight from crag to crag of the mountains to dislodge the enemy, already posted. Our passage was finally forced, and, as my column emerged from the mountain, it received the fire of the enemy's battery, posted to the left, on the road to Boonsborough. I ascertained, too, about this time by the firing that the party on the other route had met with resistance, and sent at once to apprise Colonel Ferguson of our passage, and directed him, if not already through, to withdraw, and come by the same route I had followed. Our artillery was soon in position, and a few fires drove the enemy from his position. I was told by a citizen that the party I had just attacked was the cavalry of Kilpatrick, who had claimed to have captured several thousand prisoners and 400 or 500 wagons from our forces near Monterey; but I was further informed that not more than 40 wagons