Early’s Rebels Arrive before Washington

July 11, 1864 (Monday) Washington was ringed to the north by a dozen or more forts, linked by embrasures, batteries, and trenches. These covered the approaches along the Georgetown Pike, running northwest out of the city toward Rockville, the Seventh Street Road, running north toward Silver Spring, and the Bladensburg Road, running northeast in theRead More

Washington Prepares for a Southern Visitor

July 10, 1864 (Sunday) As Lew Wallace’s Federals retreated from the battlefield along the Monocacy River, President Lincoln ordered him to fall back not to Washington, but toward Baltimore. It was still mostly unknown whether the Rebels under Jubal Early would strike for Washington, now to their southeast, or would move, instead, upon Baltimore. GeneralRead More

‘The Firing Became an Unbroken Roll’ – The Battle of Monocacy

July 9, 1864 (Saturday) Jubal Early, commanding the Rebel column that had marched down the Shenandoah Valley and crossed the Potomac River into Maryland was about to make its move on Washington. The Georgetown Pike, leading to the northern capital, crossed the Monocacy River just south of Frederick. Six miles upriver, the National Road crossed,Read More

We Must Have More Forces Here

July 7, 1864 (Thursday) Lt. Col. David Clendenin left Frederick, Maryland with the sunrise. Leading a column of 230 mounted men, and accompanied by two pieces of artillery, they rode northwest toward Middleton, along the National Road. The day previous, rumors held that Confederate cavalry had occupied the town. Clendenin had been sent by GeneralRead More

Jubal Early’s Raid Splinters into Absurdity

July 6, 1864 (Wednesday) Jubal Early had given up the idea that he could capture Harpers Ferry, and had begun to file troops across the Potomac River into Maryland. Using the crossing at Shepherdstown and a pontoon bridge at Antietam Ford, three full divisions, save one brigade, were across by the end of this day.Read More

The Damn Town is Full of Rebels! – Harpers Ferry Falls Again

July 5, 1864 (Tuesday) “The damned town is full of Rebels!” exclaimed Major Gustavus Merriam of the artillery. His battery was positioned on Maryland Heights, overlooking Harpers Ferry. The only Union troops occupying the town were cavalry under Max Weber. General Franz Sigel’s force, 5,000-strong, were still en route, but it appeared they would notRead More

A General Abandonment of the Road

July 3, 1864 (Sunday) By July 2nd, Jubal Early and his Army of the Valley had reached Winchester, Virginia. There, he received further orders from General Lee, whose own army was now besieged at Petersburg. Early was to remain in the lower (northern portion) of the Shenandoah Valley “until everything was in readiness to crossRead More