War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0701 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

accompanied them, and other facts I heard led me to believe the success was far overrated. About this time, Captain [G. M.] Emack, Maryland cavalry, with his arm in a sling, came to us, and reported that he had been in the fight of the night before, and partially confirmed the statement of the citizen, and informed me, to my surprise, that a large portion of Ewell's corps trains had preceded the army through the mountains. It was nearly night, and I felt it of the first importance to open communication with the main army, particularly as I was led to believe that a portion of this force might still be hovering on its flanks. I sent a trusty and intelligent soldier [Private Robert W. Goode, First Virginia Cavalry] to reach the commanding general by a route across the country, and relate to him what I knew, as well as what he might discover en route, and moved toward Lietersburg as soon as Colonel Ferguson came up, who, although his advance had forced the passage of the gap, upon the receipt of my dispatch turned back and came by the same route I had taken, thus making an unnecessary circuit of several miles, and not reaching me till after dark. Having heard from the commanding general at Leitersburg about daylight [6 o'clock] next morning, and being satisfied that all of Kilpatrick's force had gone toward Boonsborough, I immediately, notwithstanding the march of greater portion of both the preceding nights, set out toward Boonsborough. Jones' brigade had now arrived by the route from Fairfield. Soon after night, Brigadier-General Jones, whose capture had been reported by Captain Emack, came from the direction of Williamsport, whither he had gone with the portion of the train which escaped. The enemy's movements had separated him from his command, and he had made a very narrow escape. He informed me of Imboden's arrival at Williamsport. Having reached Cavetown, I directed General Jones to proceed on the Boonsborough road a few miles, and thence proceed to Funkstown, which point I desired him to hold, covering the eastern front of Hagerstown. Chambliss' brigade proceeded direct from Leitersburg to Hagerstown, and Robertson's took the same route, both together a very small command. Diverging from Jones' line of march at Cavetown, I proceeded with Jenkins' brigade, by way of Chewsville, toward Hagerstown. Upon arriving at the former place, it was ascertained that the enemy was nearing Hagerstown with a large force of cavalry from the direction of Boonsborough and that Colonel Chambliss needed re-enforcements. Jenkins' brigade was pushed forward, and, arriving before Hagerstown, found the enemy in possession, and made an attack in flank by this road, Jones coming up farther to the left, and opening with a few shots of artillery. A small body of infantry, under Brigadier-General Iverson, also held the north edge of the town, aided by the cavalry of Roberston and Chambliss. Our operations were here much embarrassed by our great difficulty in preventing this latter force from mistaking us for the enemy, several shots striking very near our column. I felt sure that the enemy's designs were directed against Williamsport, where, I was informed by General Jones, our wagons were congregated in a narrow space at the foot of the hill, near the river, which was too much swollen to admit their passage to the south bank. I therefore urged on all sides the most vigorous attack to save our trains at Williamsport. Our force was very perceptibly much smaller than the enemy's, but by a bold front and determined attack, with a reliance on that help which