Causland with my command, and was by him ordered to cross the Potomac at daylight at McCoy's Ferry. This I did, and marched after crossing the river on Clear Spring. Here there was a small force some 300 or 400 strong of Federal cavalry, which Major Gilmor, with the First [Regiment] and Second [Battalion] Maryland Cavalry, promptly drove five miles toward Hagerstown. Thence we moved on Mercersburg, which place we reached at 5 p. m., Major Sweeney, Thirty-sixth Battalion Virginia Cavalry, driving a small force of the enemy's cavalry before him out of the town. The command here fed, and at 9 p. m. we moved on Chambersburg, which place we reached just before day. My advance had skirmished all night with a party in front and on the outskirts of the town, being fired into with canister from a field piece. Our further progress was delayed until broad day disclosed the weakness of the enemy. Brigadier-General McCausland ordered me to send in the Twenty-first Virginia, Colonel Peters, to occupy the town, the Thirty-sixth [Battalion], Major Sweenny, having preceded it as skirmishers on foot. After remaining in the town some three hours, he ordered it to be fired, which was done quickly and in many places. As soon as it was fairly burning we moved on McConnellsburg, which place we reached at 5p. m., this brigade in advance, and went into camp.
At sunrise next morning, Sunday, July 31, we moved on Hancock, we in rear. Brigadier-General McCausland then directed me to send Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn, Thirty-seventh Virginia [Battalion] Cavalry, by way of Bedford toward Cumberland, to arrest hostages. I ordered Colonel Dunn to make the movement, but returning to McConnellsburg he found it occupied by three regiments of Federal cavalry, and properly returned to his command. I then directed him to remain with me, reporting the facts to Brigadier-General McCausland. Reached Hancock about 1 p. m. and stopped to feed, while Brigadier-General McCausland demanded of the town authorities a ransom of $30,000 and 5,000 cooked rations. At the request of the authorities, who were known to me to be Southern men, I explained to him that the whole population of the town was only 700 and without moneyed resources, which made that amount absolutely impossible to be collected. At the same time I advised them to get every dollar they could raise and pay it. This, I believe, they proceeded to do, but the enemy coming on us before anything was completed, I was unable to receive the money, as he had directed me to do when he moved off his command on the approach of the enemy. The latter gave us but little trouble and was easily checked. At 3 a. m. we stopped at Bevansville, where we unsaddled and fed, and at sunrise moved on Cumberland, Brigadier-General McCausland in advance. He engaged the enemy about 3.30 p. m. Monday, August, 1 two miles and a half southeast of Cumberland,and my opinion being asked I agreed with him that the force displayed, with the position and unknown country, made it inexpedient to attack. We withdrew, and this brigade in advance moved on the Potomac at Old Town. We reached this point about daylight Tuesday morning, August 2, and found the enemy, after burning the canal bridges, had posted himself on a hill between the canal and the Potomac. I immediately attacked in front with the Twenty-seventh [Battalion] Virginia, Captain Gibson's, and Eighth Virginia, Colonel Corns, while I threw the Twenty-first, Colonel Peters; Thirty-sixth [Battalion], Major Sweeney, and Thirty-seventh [Battalion], Lieutenant-