Camp Chase Gazette

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Battle of Antietam   

Other Names: Sharpsburg

Location: Washington County

Date(s): September 16-18, 1862

Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Armies

Estimated Casualties: 23,100 total

Description: On September 16, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan confronted Lees Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn September 17, Hookers corps mounted a powerful assault on Lees left flank that began the single bloodiest day in American military history. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Millers cornfield and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. Late in the day, Burnsides corps finally got into action, crossing the stone bridge over Antietam Creek and rolling up the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, A.P. Hills division arrived from Harpers Ferry and counterattacked, driving back Burnside and saving the day. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout the 18th, while removing his wounded south of the river. McClellan did not renew the assaults. After dark, Lee ordered the battered Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw across the Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley.

Result(s): Inconclusive (Union strategic victory.)

Battle of Boonsboro   

Other Names: None

Location: Washington County

Date(s): July 8, 1863

Commanders: Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton [US]; Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 100 total

Description: On July 8, the Confederate cavalry, holding the South Mountain passes, fought a rearguard action against elements of the Union 1st and 3rd Cavalry Divisions and infantry. This action was one of a series of cavalry combats fought around Boonsboro, Hagerstown, and Williamsport.

Result(s): Inconclusive

Battle of Folck’s Mill   

Other Names: Cumberland

Location: Allegany County

Date(s): August 1, 1864

Commanders: Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Kelly [US]; Brig. Gen. John McCausland [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 38 total

Description: After burning Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on July 30, Johnsons and McCauslands cavalry brigades rode towards Cumberland, Maryland, to disrupt the B&O Railroad. Brig. Gen. Benjamin Kelly organized a small force of soldiers and citizens to meet the Confederate advance. On August 1, Kelly ambushed Rebel cavalrymen near Cumberland at Folcks Mill, and skirmishing continued for several hours. Eventually the Confederates withdrew.

Result(s): Inconclusive

Battle of Hancock   

Other Names: Romney Campaign

Location: Washington County, Maryland; Morgan County, West Virginia

Date(s): January 5-6, 1862

Commanders: Brig. Gen. F.W. Lander [US]; Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Brigades

Estimated Casualties: 25 total

Description: On January 1, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson marched north in bitter cold from Winchester to Bath with the objective of disrupting traffic on the B&O Railroad and C&O Canal. On January 5, after skirmishing with the retiring Federals, Jacksons force reached the Potomac River opposite the garrisoned town of Hancock, Maryland. His artillery fired on the town from Orricks Hill but did little damage. Union garrison commander Brig. Gen. F.W. Lander refused Jacksons demands for surrender. Jackson continued the bombardment for two days while unsuccessfully searching for a safe river crossing. The Confederates withdrew and marched on Romney, in western Virginia, on January 7.

Result(s): Inconclusive

Battle of Monocacy  

Other Names: Battle that Saved Washington

Location: Frederick County

Date(s): July 9, 1864

Commanders: Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace [US]; Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps

Estimated Casualties: 2,359 total

Description: After marching north through the Shenandoah Valley from Lynchburg, the Confederate army of Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early side-stepped the Federal garrison at Harpers Ferry and crossed the Potomac River at Shepherdstown into Maryland on July 5-6. On July 9, 1864, a makeshift Union force under Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace attempted to arrest Earlys invading Confederate divisions along the Monocacy River, just east of Frederick. Wallace, joined by Rickettss Division of the VI Corps that had been rushed from the Petersburg lines, was outflanked by Gordons Division and defeated after putting up a stiff resistance. Hearing of Earlys incursion into Maryland, Grant embarked the rest of the VI Corps on transports at City Point, sending it with all dispatch to Washington. Wallaces defeat at Monocacy bought time for these veteran troops to arrive to bolster the defenses of Washington. Earlys advance reached the outskirts of Washington on the afternoon of July 11, and the remaining divisions of the VI Corps began disembarking that evening. Monocacy was called the Battle that Saved Washington.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of South Mountain  

Other Names: Cramptons, Turners, and Foxs Gaps

Location: Frederick County and Washington County

Date(s): September 14, 1862

Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps

Estimated Casualties: 4,500 total

Description: After invading Maryland in September 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee divided his army to march on and invest Harpers Ferry. The Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan pursued the Confederates to Frederick, Maryland, then advanced on South Mountain. On September 14, pitched battles were fought for possession of the South Mountain passes: Cramptons, Turners, and Foxs Gaps. By dusk the Confederate defenders were driven back, suffering severe casualties, and McClellan was in position to destroy Lees army before it could reconcentrate. McClellans limited activity on September 15 after his victory at South Mountain, however, condemned the garrison at Harpers Ferry to capture and gave Lee time to unite his scattered divisions at Sharpsburg. Union general Jesse Reno and Confederate general Samuel Garland, Jr., were killed at South Mountain.

Result(s): Union victory

Battle of Williamsport   

Other Names: Hagerstown, Falling Waters

Location: Washington County

Date(s): July 6-16, 1863

Commanders: Maj. Gen. George G. Meade [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 1,730 total

Description: During the night of July 4-5, Lee’s battered army began its retreat from Gettysburg, moving southwest on the Fairfield Road toward Hagerstown and Williamsport, screened by Stuarts cavalry. The Union infantry followed cautiously the next day, converging on Middletown, Maryland. On July 7, Imboden (CS) stopped Bufords Union cavalry from occupying Williamsport and destroying Confederate trains. Kilpatricks cavalry division drove two Confederate cavalry brigades through Hagerstown before being forced to retire by the arrival of the rest of Stuarts command. Lees infantry reached the rain-swollen Potomac River but could not cross, the pontoon bridge having been destroyed by a cavalry raid. On July 11, Lee entrenched a line, protecting the river crossings at Williamsport and waited for Meades army to advance. July 12, Meade reached the vicinity and probed the Confederate line. July 13, skirmishing was heavy along the lines as Meade positioned his forces for an attack. In the meantime, the river fell enough to allow the construction of a new bridge, and Lees army began crossing the river after dark on the 13th. On the morning of the 14th, Kilpatricks and Bufords cavalry divisions attacked the rearguard division of Henry Heth still on the north bank, taking more than 500 prisoners. Confederate Brig. Gen. James Pettigrew was mortally wounded in the fight. On July 16, David McM. Greggs cavalry approached Shepherdstown where Fitzhugh Lees and J.R. Chamblisss brigades, supported by M.J. Fergusons, held the Potomac River fords against the Union infantry. Fitzhugh Lee and Chambliss attacked Gregg, who held out against several attacks and sorties, fighting sporadically until nightfall when he withdrew.

Result(s): Inconclusive