War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0257 Chapter XLIX. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

of the extreme right toward Baltimore turnpike and railroad. He sent me information on the afternoon of the 12th that his force had been driven in by a strong body of cavalry and artillery, which interrupted the travel for a time and injured the railroad to a small extent. The day was hot and dusty, and the movements of the cavalry could be traced from the forts by the columns of dust which they raised. The enemy came as far as the Maryland Agricultural College, and when they retired were pursued by our cavalry, who being in inferior force and without artillery, appeared to be repulsed in their attack. After relinquishing the command of the division to General Paine, I spent some hours in riding over the scene of the conflict and visiting the bivouacs and line of battle of the enemy in front of Fort Stevens. From the extent of ground occupied by them they appeared to have a strong force within supporting distance of the skirmishers, which alone seemed to be engaged. The three companies of the quartermaster's men, organized under Lieutenant Colonel E. M. Greene, chief quartermaster, Department of Washington, who were on duty during the affair of the morning of the 12th in the trenches between Forts Stevens and Slocum with General Paine's brigade, were ordered on the afternoon of that day to report to General Rucker. Through some misunderstanding two companies, B and C, marched to General Rucker's office in Washington. Company A reported at his headquarters in the field and remained on duty until the brigade was relieved.

The quartermaster's men of the Department of Washington, south of the Potomac, were organized into five companies, making a force of about 400 men. Companies E and F were, at the request of Brigadier-General Slough, commanding at Alexandria, detailed and placed on picket duty around that city. The other companies were placed in reserve at the wood-yard, drilling constantly, and held in readiness to defend the public property. The employees of Captain J. G. C. Lee, assistant quartermaster, at Alexandria, were also organized and placed on duty. The whole civil force of the quartermaster's department on military duty on this occasion was about 2,700 men.

I have to express my satisfaction with the conduct of both the soldiers and civilians who were under my command. Though hastily organized and equipped they moved promptly at the call of danger. I had on no occasion to inflict punishment or administer reproof during the time they were under my observation, and their services were useful and important in the defense of the capital, seriously threatened by a considerable rebel army under skillful and experienced leaders. Those who were on duty in the city relieved at least an equal number of trained soldiers and enabled them to go to the front, while those who were placed in the intrenchments extended the line of battle fully a mile to the right of the center of attack, and by their presence and bearing, standing upon the parapets and exposing themselves, perhaps, more than more experienced soldiers would have done, they convinced the enemy that the fortifications of Washington were not unmanned.

I inclose such reports as I have received from subordinate commanders, and remain, very respectfully,

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General, Brevet Major-General.

Lieutenant Colonel JOSEPH H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.

17 R--VOL XXXVII, PT I