Numbers 6. Reports of Major General Lewis Wallace, U. S. Army, commanding Middle Department, of operations July 1-10, including battle of the Monocacy.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS, July 12, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,
Chief of Staff, &c., Department of Washington:
I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the report* of Major General Lew. Wallace, commanding U. S. forces, presenting the part taken by the Third Division of this corps at the late battle near the Monocacy. The terms in which General Wallace commands the conduct of general Ricketts' division is no more than I expected, but is so complimentary that I take pleasure in bringing it to the notice of the military authorities. And in this connection I would ask that the division of Ricketts' be returned to this command with the least delay compatible with the public interests, in order that the corps may take the field in full force.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,
Major-General, Commanding Sixth Corps.
Ellicott's Mills, July 10, 1864-2.05 p. m.
I have the honor to report that I have reached this point with my column.
As I telegraphed you on the evening of the 8th, instant, I left Frederick, and by a night march took position on the left bank of the Monocacy, with my left on the south side of the Washington pike, and my right covering the bridge on the Baltimore pike, about two miles and a half from Frederick City.
Early in the morning of the 9th instant the enemy moved out of Frederick City, and in skirmish order began the fight. About 9 o'clock he opened upon me with artillery, his guns being Napoleons, or 12-pounder howitzers, and mine one 6-gun battery 3-inch rifled guns, with one 24-pounder howitzer. His column of cavalry and artillery worked rapidly round to my left and crossed the river in face of my guard, and charged confidently upon Brigadier-General Ricketts, Third Division, Sixth Army Corps. The general charged front and repulsed them, and charged in turn and drove them gallantly. The enemy then advanced a second line. This the general also repulsed and drove. Mean time the enemy placed at least two batteries in position, so that when he made his final charge with four lines of infantry, about 3.30 p. m., the resistance of Ricketts' division was under an enfilading fire of shell really terrific. The moment I saw the third rebel line advance I ordered the general to make such preparations as he could and retire his command by a county road up the river to the Baltimore pike. This was accomplished with an extraordinary steadiness. The men of the Third Division were not whipped, but retired reluctantly, under my orders. They bore the battle with a coolness and steadiness which I venture to say has not been exceeded in any battle during the war. Too much credit cannot be given General Ricketts for his skill and courage.
*The original report telegraphed by General Wallace was received by General Halleck July 10, at 7 p. m., and copy was then forwarded to General Grant.