Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/225
Johnson's Ride Around Baltimore in 1864- 217
Causland to make a junction at Hainesville, behind Martinsburg, and thus cut off the retreat of Sigel, who was at that place. I struck Leetown just after daylight, and found it held by General Mulligan with two thousand or three thousand infantry, five hundred cavalry and four guns, and just as the sun rose on the 3d of July I fired the first gun. Mulligan had a good position on a range of hills. The infantry of Breckinridge was half a day's march behind, and I had about eight hundred half-armed and badly disciplined mountaineers from Southwest Virginia, who would fight like veterans when they pleased, but had no idea of permitting their own sweet wills to be controlled by any orders, no matter from whom emanating. They were as brave, and as fearless, and as undisciplined as the High- landers who followed Charles Edward to Culloden. However, after several hours fighting, Mulligan withdrew, and the junction at Mar- tinsburg being then unnecessary, by reason of the escape of Sigel, we moved towards Shepherdstown. Early on the 5th of July I crossed the Potomac with my command, and that night camped two and a half miles from Boonsboro. On the 6th I moved to Middle- town, and on the yth drove a small force that showed itself on the mountain between Middletown and Frederick, back to Frederick, and, pressing after it, arrived in front of the town about midday.
I knew every foot of the country having been born and bred there and I had the advantage, also, of an accurate knowledge of the condition of affairs in the town. I proposed to send one regi- ment down the Georgetown pike, into the south end of the town, another by the Reservoir road, into the north end, and press on in front from the Hagerstown road on the west side. This would have given me about one thousand prisoners and much baggage, wagons and artillery. But my commanding officer, General Ransom, thought I was over sanguine because it was my own place, and re- fused to allow the movement to be executed. He directed me to withdraw, under cover of night, to the top of the mountain, until the infantry got up. Accordingly we lay all day, the 8th, in a driz- zling rain on the mountain. At night I was directed to report in person to General Early, and found him on the roadside just south of Middletown, and he then informed me that he had received an order from General Lee by a special officer, Captain R. E. Lee, dis- patched to him for the purpose. I was directed to march at day- light of the gth to get a position to the north of Frederick and watch Early 's left until I was satisfied that he was getting on all right in the battle about to take place that day below Frederick, and then