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retired, passing through Rockville, and hastening his flight across the Potomac. For want of a sufficient cavalry force, little more was immediately accomplished in the way of pursuit than the capture of stragglers, and a small portion of the rear-guard. A considerable quantity of stock, plundered in Maryland, estimated at five thousand neat cattle, and fifteen hundred horses, was taken safely into Virginia. Early's line of retreat was through Loudon county, and by Snicker's Gap into the Shenandoah Valley. The Sixth Corps was promptly moved out to follow the retreating army.

During this time, Hunter's forces had not remained inactive, but, having been transferred as rapidly as possible, by rail, after reaching the Baltimore and Ohio road, were already in the lower part of the Valley, while General Couch, with a Part of the militia force chiefly, reoccupied Hagerstown. Rebel plunder was recaptured at Snickers' Gap, where a porEarly was tion of the enemy was encountered and beaten. again driven back from Winchester, on the 20th, by the forces The Rebels now appearing under Averill, with serious losses. to have withdrawn once more from the Valley, the Sixth Corps came back to the vicinity of Georgetown, with the apparent purpose of returning to the main army before Petersburg. Averill was now joined by the infantry of Crook, who had been worsted in a fight with Breckinridges' command, at Island Ford, two days before.

Pursuit of the Rebels was resumed, and on the 23d our cavalry was repulsed at Kemstown, four miles beyond WinOn the next chester, and fell back upon the main force. day, Early, having been now reënforced, sent his cavalry again to the attack, and drove the Union cavalry in confusion and rout through Winchester down the Valley. Crook had formed in line of battle, having about 10,000 men, consisting of the cavalry under Averill and Duffie, and the two divisions of infantry. The retreat of the cavalry left his wings exposed, and he was outflanked, right and left, and driven back from point to point by the superior numbers of the enemy. Such was the character of the fight, lasting from noon until night, along the pike to Bunker Hill, Early's main body rest

ing five miles north of Winchester, while his cavalry closely pursued our forces as far as Martinsburg. The Union losses were about 1,200 in the aggregate. Among the killed was Colonel Mulligan, in command of the rear brigade covering the retreat. Thus again our forces in that department passed through the "Valley of humiliation."

Some fighting occurred at Martinsburg on the 25th, the Union commander desiring to get off his trains, which he succeeded in doing, and crossed into Maryland on the following day, without interruption by the enemy. Excitement was now again prevalent in Maryland and over the Pennsylvania border, a more formidable invasion than the previous one being dreaded. The Rebels held the right bank of the Potomac, from Shepherdstown to Williamsport, during two or three succeeding days, without clearly developing their plan. On the morning of the 30th, a cavalry force under the Rebel Gen. McCausland, entered Chambersburg, and, after plundering the citizens, burned the town. About two hundred and fifty buildings were destroyed, at an estimated loss exceeding one million of dollars. McCausland had just withdrawn from Chambersburg, about 11 o'clock in the forenoon, when Averill entered the town, passing directly on in pursuit toward the west. It was near night when he overtook the enemy's rear, eight miles beyond McConnellsburgh. McCausland continued his flight on the following day, and withdrew toward Cumberland, the men and the horses of Averill's command being jaded by long marches, in addition to their severe labors during the earlier part of the campaign, and gained no immediate material advantages over the enemy. Early still retained possession of fords across the Potomac, and particularly at Duffield, within six miles of Harper's Ferry, while inferior cavalry squadrons made incursions into Maryland, spreading a general panic. There was no little excitement also in Pennsylvania, and a special session of the State Legislature was called by Gov. Curtin, to meet on the 9th of August, to take such action as the occasion might seem to require. A movement westward toward Pittsburgh was at one time thought imminent, and Gen. Couch made dispositions of the militia forces accordingly.

The Sixth Corps was permitted little rest in its camp near Georgetown. They set forward for the Valley once more, on the 26th of July, after receiving news of Crook's disaster, marching by way of Rockville, Monocacy and Frederick, to Halltown, near Harper's Ferry, arriving on the 6th of August. A portion of the Nineteenth Corps, returned from the Department of the Gulf, was advanced to the same vicinity, meeting there, also, the infantry of Hunter's command, under Crook. This was the day before the burning of Chambersburg. The combined force was ordered out to meet a reported advance of Early into Pennsylvania, but the falsity of the rumor was speedily disproved and the movement recalled. The reported occupation of Hagerstown by a Rebel infantry force proved to be unfounded, and our cavalry occupied the place on the 7th. In fact, no Rebel infantry crossed the Potomac on this second "invasion." On the same day, Averill gained a victory over the Rebel cavalry at Moorfield, capturing all the enemy's artillery, five hundred prisoners, and many wagons and small arms, and driving the remainder of his force to the mountains.

A new era in the affairs of the Valley dates from the 7th day of August, when Maj.-Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, pursuant to orders of the War Department (after a conference with Gen. Grant, in Washington, on the 5th), assumed command of the Middle Military Division, comprising the Middle Department, Department of the Susquehanna, and Department of West Virginia, with headquarters, at first, at Harper's Ferry. In addition to the troops already operating in his district, large reënforcements of cavalry (Torbert's division, and later, Wilson's) were brought up from before Petersburg and Richmond. Lowell's brigade of cavalry was also added, from the Department of Washington, and Devin's brigade. The infantry force consisted of the former Army of the Kanawha, under Crook, the Sixth, the Eighth, and part of the Nineteenth Corps.

Before Petersburg, the army remained comparatively quiet, during the period that had now elapsed since the occupation of the Weldon railroad. The heat and dust were patiently endured by the soldiers, and there was no unusual degree of sickness in camp. The hostile lines nearly approached each

other, both sides having fortified their positions in the strongest manner. More or less skirmishing and artillery firing was kept up, without material results. A movement was made across the James on the 27th and 28th of July, by the divisions of Barlow and Abott, of the Second Corps-a battery of the enemy being captured by the former division, nearly opposite Jones' Neck. The whole force soon returned to its former position. The movement was occasioned by an advance of the enemy to meet an anticipated attack on Richmond by way of Malvern Hill.

For some time past, a mining operation had been silently going on, with the purpose of blowing up a formidable Rebel fort in front of the Second Division of the Ninth Corps. This work had been continued, and its execution conducted by Lieut.-Col. Henry Pleasants, of the 48th regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. The skill displayed in laying out and constructing this work, and the severe labors of the officers and men of the regiment in its execution, were specially commended in an order of Gen. Meade. The explosion of this mine took place on the 30th of July, when it was intended to pierce the enemy's lines through the breach thus made, and to carry his position by an assault in force.

The mine itself was an entire success. The fort was blown up, with the South Carolina troops manning it, and wide consternation was produced among the forces of the enemy, of which proper advantage was not taken. The tardy assault of Seddie's division, insufficiently sustained, resulted in an ultimate repulse, a destructive fire having been opened on hist column from adjoining Rebel works. Our losses were severe, amounting in the aggregate to about 5,000. The Rebel loss is stated at 1,200. No substantial benefit was gained. The disheartening effect of this failure-at a moment when the capture of Petersburg was apparently within our power-was manifest through the country. Most of the losses fell upon the Ninth Corps, and were fully shared by the colored regiments. The Second and Fifth Corps took little part in either of the two unsuccessful assaults. Evidently, some one had blundered." and the responsibility appears to have been

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divided to some extent between subordinate generals. Gen. Burnside was soon after relieved from his command of the Ninth Corps, being temporarily succeeded by Gen. Wilcox, and more permanently, at a later day, by Gen Parke.

On the 9th of August, Gen. Butler commenced the construction of a canal across the peninsula at Dutch Gap, a work which occupied a large number of men for several months, without any definite advantage to strictly military or naval operations. If completed, it would have made the distance to Richmond a few miles shorter for the fleet, and enabled it to avoid certain Rebel defenses; but no positive purpose of attempting to pass Fort Darling, a short distance above, had yet been manifested by Admiral Lee, to whom the numerous obstructions no doubt appeared too formidable to be encountered.

The fleet under Rear-Admiral Farragut, which had some time earlier sailed for the Gulf, appeared, in due course of events, off the entrance to the Bay of Mobile. On the 5th of August, Farragut compelled the evacuation of Fort Powell by the Rebel garrison, its commander blowing up the fort. On the morning of that day, seventeen of our vessels passed Fort Morgan, the Tecumseh, a Union monitor, having been sunk by the guns of that fort. The Rebel vessel, the Tennessee, was surrendered, after a sharp engagement, by its commander, Buchanan, who was severely wounded. The Selma was captured from the enemy; and the Gaines, another Rebel vessel, was beached. Fort Powell had been attacked during nearly the entire day, before it was abandoned by the Rebel officer in command.

On the 7th, Farragut opened heavily on Fort Gaines, a strong work which had been provisioned for six months, and had a garrison of six hundred men. On the morning of the 8th the fort was surrendered by Col. Anderson, against the wishes of Gen. Page, the Rebel commander of the defenses of Mobile, who soon saw, to his chagrin, the stars and stripes waving over this stronghold, gallantly conquered and "repossessed" by rightful authority. These brilliant successes were hailed with universal joy, reanimating the popular heart, which

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