CHAPTER 18 – 64 War Events in Jefferson County Oct. ’61-March ’64 Summarized by Jim Surkamp (3 parts). Part 2

6855 words.

CHAPTER OR STORY 18 (in three parts, part 2) Click Here and the link will take you to the beginning of this story at 55:40 within the longer video called “Jasper Thompson’s Destiny Day September6, 1906”

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With support from American Public University System ( The sentiments expressed do not in any way reflect modern-day policies of APUS, and are intended to encourage fact-based exchange for a better understanding of our nation’s foundational values.

Jefferson County, Virginia, becoming West Virginia after June, 1863, was witness to over 130 officially documented war events during the Civil War. These are events that took place between October, 1861 through the end of March, 1864 – the time period Jasper Thompson, we believe, was in the County tending to Washington lands or elsewhere accompanying a family member in Confederate uniform. Jasper enlisted in March, 1864 into the 23rd United States Colored Troops. Continued from Page 1 Click Here.

  1. 1863.February.12.Smithfield.Skirmish – ROADSIDE MARKER NUMBER TWELVE:
    Eyewitness and artilleryman Roger P. Chew described the February 12th event:
    February, 1863, Lieut. Rouss with Lieut. Baylor, John Chew, Billie Manning, Charlie Henderson, John Yates, John Coleman, George Crayton, Billie Gibson, Up Manning, Joe Crane and Duck English marched to Summit Point where information was received that a small scouting party of about 21 men had passed that place in the direction of Smithfield. Rouss immediately started in pursuit of this party. Just before entering the town of Smithfield there is a long straight stretch of road, probably a mile long. There our party came in full view of the foe. The Confederates approached the enemy, who were entirely unmindful of our presence, and dashed into their rear and shot down some of their party before they were aware of any danger. No resistance was made, but pell-mell down through the town they ran, with Confederates behind them, yelling like hyenas. Summing up the result of the fight, four were found killed, three wounded, 7 men and 11 horses captured, without a casualty on our side. A negro man by the name of Redmond, a resident of Jefferson county, who had guided the yankees to people’s homes was shot by Lieut. Rouss and died in a stable north of the town. The party with their prisoners and horses, returned to Summit Point and from there to Locke’s shop, where a stop was made to have a horse shod. The smith had hardly completed the job when the yankees were seen approaching from Charles Town, and a handful of our men were sent to make a dash on the head of the column. This charge was led by John Chew and Charles Crane and was so successful that the head of the column was broken and thrown into confusion. The balance of the party retreated down Locke’s lane. The enemy pursued rapidly and, captured Frank Manning, John Coleman, and Lieut. Baylor. The rest of the party made their escape. – Military operations in Jefferson County, Virginia (and West Va.) 1861-1865 (1911). published by authority of Jefferson County Camp, U.C.V. [by] Farmers Advocate Print written by Roger P. Chew pp. 20-21
  1. 1863.February.12.CharlesTown.Skirmish:
    R. P. Chew gives his account of the February 12th event in Charles Town:
    February 12th, 1863, 21 men of the Twelfth Pennsylvania cavalry were scouting in that section, and so was Baylor with 13 of his company. Baylor completely surprised and routed them, killing four, wounding three, and capturing seven men and eleven horses. But on their return south of Charles Town, they encountered a large body of federal cavalry, and lost all they had captured, and Baylor and two of his men were made prisoners. – Chew, p. 23 (top)

Federal General B. F. Kelley reported on both (Smithfield and Charles Town) events of February 12th:
Yesterday about 1 pm. a squad of {R. W.} Baylor’s rebel cavalry attacked a small scouting party of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry, from Kearneysville, of 12 men, near Smithfield, killing 1, wounding 2, and capturing 4 men and several horses. About 4 pm. my scouts from here fell in with the same party a few miles south of Charlestown, and, after a running fight of several miles, recaptured our men and horses, and captured Lieutenant [George] Baylor, two of his men, and several horses. – B. KELLEY, Chapter XXXVII, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 25. p. 15 (from The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. (multiple volumes) Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1901.

  1. 1863.Early.May.16.CharlesTown.Skirmish – ROADSIDE MARKER NUMBER EIGHTEEN:
    David Hunter Strother with the Federals, wrote of this second-hand report of the May 16th event:
    May 16, Saturday. Took the cars for Harpers Ferry, and arrived there at 12:30. A voice called my name from another car. I turned and saw young Tom Buchanan among a squad of Confederate prisoners. I went in and shook hands with him. He was a lieutenant in my cadet company and I paid a drill sergeant to teach him to drill. When the war broke out he and a number of others joined the Confederacy. He looked sunburned and dirty . . . Was told that Mosby had made a raid into Charles Town and had captured our troops. This, of course, changed my plans, and I determined to remain at the Ferry until the next train of cars going west . . . – Strother, p. 182. from Strother, David H. (1961). “A VIRGINIA YANKEE IN THE CIVIL WAR THE DEARIES OF DAVID HUNTER STROTHER.” edited by Cecil Eby. Chapel Hill, NC: THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS –

Confederate Participant Roger Preston Chew wrote of the May 16th event:
After Gen. William E. Jones had left New Market on his West Virginia raid in May, 1863, Lieutenant G. B. Phillpott and Captain R. P. Chew gathered together about 45 men of Company “Q”, and crossing the mountain, went down the Luray Valley through Front Royal, crossing the Shenandoah river at Myers Ford about 11 o’clock at night, May l5th. They pursued their way to Tate’s woods, about three quarters of a mile from Charles Town. They dismounted here and tied their horses, and marched behind the house of Andrew Hunter, down the back street. Thence in front of Hawks’ Factory to George (Street-JS) and turning moved in the direction of the Court House. Phillpott and Chew reached the old cattle scales where a sentinel challenged them and raised his gun. They both fired on him and he fled into the Court House yard and fell. Summers’ Company was quartered in the Court House and the Carter House. They numbered about ninety men. A lieutenant and ten men stationed in the parlor of the Carter House opened fire upon us as soon as Phillpott and Chew fired upon the sentry. They kept up a constant fusilade. It had been arranged that Lieutenant J. W. Carter of Chew’s Battery should attack and capture the soldiers in the Carter House. He was assigned six men for this purpose. When the Company reached the corner of the Court House yard, Carter with his men moved swiftly up the walk in front of the Court House, and crossing the street opposite the Carter House threw open the hall door and entered the parlor. Striking the lieutenant over the head with the butt of his pistol he demanded a surrender. The guard threw down their arms and were taken prisoners. In the meantime Phillpott and Chew, with the remaining men, had entered the Court House and captured, without trouble, the balance of the company of Capt. Summers. Summers, who happened to be out at the time of the attack, hid in the wood pile of Major Hawks, whose house was nearby. The horses in the hotel stable were captured, and the men were mounted with the prisoners behind them. Summers’ company numbered about ninety men, sixty of whom were captured with their arms, and about seventy-five horses. Returning through Tate’s woods the prisoners were mounted on the broken-down horses, and at daylight the whole party re-crossed the river at Myers’ Ford. This capture was made without a single man being killed or wounded on either side. The Federals seemed dazed by the night attack and offered but feeble resistance. – Chew, pp. 30-31.

  1. 1863.May.17.CharlesTown.Skirmish:
    David Hunter Strother with the Federals, wrote a second-hand, mention of this May 17th event:
    May 17, Sunday . . . We went to see General Morris . . . The General is a stout, easy-mannered man of thirty or thirty-five, not much of a soldier in appearance. He seemed to get all his orders from General [Robert C.] Schenck and declined doing anything on his own responsibility. He expressed great apprehension about the safety of the place, and about midday a train arrived from the west with a regiment aboard to reinforce Harper’s Ferry. At dinner came news that the Confederate raiders into Charles Town had been attacked by Union cavalry and beaten with the loss of spoils, prisoners, and a number of their own men killed and wounded (NOTE: This counter-attack occurred outside the County, at Piedmont, VA.-JS) . . . . Took a walk around the hills with Mrs. Strother. We remained out until sunset, and I never saw more beautiful natural pictures than those we enjoyed, looking up and down the two rivers. – Strother, p. 182.

Confederate Lt. Col. O. R. Funsten described both the May 16-17 events in his report:
On the night of May 16, a party of 45 men under Captain [R. Preston] Chew and Lieutenant {John W.} Carter oi Chew’s battery, and Lieutenant [G. B.] Philpot, of the Seventh Regiment, was sent down to attack a cavalry company which was stationed in Charlestown, Jefferson County, which numbered about 93 men. The expedition was entirely successful in the beginning. The enemy was surprised about 1 o’clock at night, and, besides several who were killed and wounded and left behind, Captain Chew brought out 56 prisoners and 75 horses. Unfortunately, they were attacked the next day at 2 pm, after having marched 85 miles on their return, at Piedmont, in Fauquier County, by about 120 of the enemy’s cavalry, and after a firm resistance (in which the captain commanding the enemy’s cavalry was killed, besides several of his command), they were obliged to abandon the prisoners and captured horses. Our loss in this whole affair was only 5 men wounded and 2 or 3 taken prisoners. – O. FUNSTEN, Chapter XXXVII, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 25, p. 145.

May 22, 1863:
The United States War Department issued General Order Number 143 on May 22, 1863, (establishing the Bureau of Colored Troops to facilitate the recruitment of African-American soldiers to fight for the Union Army.))[5] Regiments, including infantry, cavalry, engineers, light artillery, and heavy artillery units, were recruited from all states of the Union and became known as the United States Colored Troops (USCT).
  1. 1863.June.15.Harpers.Ferry.Evacuation:
    Federal officer Adams describes carrying out the order to evacuate:
    About 8 pm. an attempt was made to storm the main fort, occupied by General Milroy, but the storming party was promptly met and repulsed, General Milroy commanding in person. It was now quite dark, and the firing ceased on all sides. About 1 am. on Monday, 15th, I was informed by Colonel McReynolds that it was determined by a council of war to evacuate the forts and fall back on Harper’s Ferry, “taking nothing that goes on wheels,” and that to my regiment was assigned the post of honor that of bringing up and protecting the rear of our forces. At 2 o’clock, the main body of the division having reached the Winchester and Martinsburg turnpike, I marched with a strong rear guard in inverse order, expecting an attack in rear by the rebel cavalry, and never for one moment anticipating trouble in front. The wily enemy, however, by a rapid flank movement, had succeeded in throwing a heavy force of artillery and infantry in our front, at a point about 4 miles from Winchester, on the Martinsburg road, and opened a terrific fire upon our retreating forces. – A. ADAMS, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 2, Vol. 27, p. 85. from The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. (multiple volumes) Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1901.
  1. NOTE – June 30, 1863:
    WASHINGTON, GEORGE: b. 2/22/42. Student. enl. 4/18/61 at Charles Town in Co. G of 2nd Va. Inf. as Pvt. Elected Sgt., 6/10/61. Absent sick since 10/5/61. Discharged 8/31/62, reason not stated. Unofficial source (Virginia State Library) says he served in Co. B of 12th Va Cav. Virginia State Library also says KIA (location and date of battle not stated). d. 6/30/63. Frye, Dennis E. (1984). “The 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment.” H.E. Howard: Lynchburg, VA.
  1. 1863.July.Melvins.Hill.Skirmish:
    Roger P. Chew described a small skirmish at Melvins Hill, but with no exact date given:
    A sharp encounter occurred at Melvin’s Hill, about one and one quarter miles east of Duffields, between three rebs and three yanks, in July ’63. The three rebs had been sent to establish a picket post on Engle’s Hill, not knowing that the Federals were advancing. After crossing the Halltown and Shepherdstown road, a citizen informed them that the Federals were advancing, and that a company had just passed. The Confederates wheeled about to investigate. The Federal company had sent three scouts up the road towards Duffields, and the Confederates, being informed of that fact, prepared for it. The yanks saw the rebs coming, raised their carbines, and waited until the rebs were within seventy-five yards, and fired, but missed. Both sides used their revolvers. The rebs drove the yanks back to the stone house, killing one, wounding one, and liberating one prisoner they had captured. In the melee, a horse of one of the rebs fell, and disabled its rider. The Federal cavalry, hearing the firing, wheeled and come back at full tilt. Reb No. 2, getting too close with an empty revolver, was taken in. Reb No. 3, with two loads in his second revolver, could not shoot, for fear of killing his comrade; and the company, almost on him, he gave the spur to his horse, jumped the cap fence, and reported to his company. – Military operations in Jefferson County, Virginia (and West Va.) 1861-1865 (1911). published by authority of Jefferson County Camp, U.C.V. [by] Farmers Advocate Print written by Roger P.Chew pp.20-21 written by R. P. Chew, pp. 16-17.
  1. 1863.July.5-7.Harpers.Ferry.Bridge.Destruction.Skirmish:
    Southern troops from Gettysburg passed through town on July 5, 1863. They laid wood flooring across the spans for their troops and wagons to use, prompting Union cavalry under General Henry A. Cole to raid the town and burn the woodwork on the four Bollman spans. – p. 52 – Caplinger, Michael W. (1997). “Bridges Over Time: A Technological Context for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Main Stem at Harpers Ferry, west Virginia.” Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Institute for the History of Technology & Industrial Archaeology. Print.
  1. 1863.July.14.Harpers.Ferry.Skirmish:
    Federal Cavalry Commander Pleasonton described the July 14th skirmish:
    On July 14, General Gregg, with McIntosh’s and Gregg’s brigades, of his division, crossed the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry, and quickly drove a force of the enemy’s cavalry back upon Charlestown. The entire rebel army having effected a crossing of the Potomac on that day, Gregg was re-enforced by Huey’s brigade, and directed to gain the flank and rear of the rebels, and harass them as much as possible. He (Gregg) marched to Shepherdstown, found the roads to Martinsburg and Winchester strongly picketed, and Huey’s brigade not having joined him, he waited until the 16th, when the enemy attacked him in force. A spirited contest was maintained until some time after dark, when the enemy withdrew. A large quantity of bacon and flour was captured by our troops at Shepherdstown. General Gregg speaks of the high soldierly qualities exhibited by his officers and men on that occasion. – A. PLEASONTON, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, p. 917.

Union Losses July 14, 1863 near Harper’s Ferry: **1 officer and 24 enlisted men were captured or missing. – Return of Casualties in the Union Forces, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, p. 193.

Confederate Cavalryman Commander Stuart gave this report of the July 14th events in Harpers Ferry:
Harper’s Ferry was again in possession of the enemy, and Colonel Harman, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, had in an engagement with the enemy gained a decided success, but was himself captured by his horse falling. – J. E. B STUART, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 2, Vol. 27, pp. 705-706.

47. NOTE: July 14, Charles Armistead Alexander is POW, sent to three prisons.
  1. 1863.July.15.Halltown.Skirmish:
    Federal officer C. H. Smith described the skirmish in Halltown on July 15th:
    On the morning of July 15, when the column had reached Halltown; the colonel commanding the brigade ordered me to go forward with my regiment on the Charlestown pike, and directed that I should go into Charlestown or until I found the enemy in force. Having advanced nearly a mile, we surprised the pickets of the enemy, and drove them until we were met by a regular line of dismounted skirmishers; then the engagement became general. I deployed six companies, kept two companies on the pike to charge the center of the enemy from time to time after his flanks were sufficiently forced back, and kept but three small companies in reserve and to guard our flanks and rear. Thus, by a bold front and two hours severe skirmishing, we drove a very much larger number over a mile and from several good positions, when ordered to retire and join the column. The enemy opened upon us with two pieces of artillery. The officers and men of my regiment behaved with the utmost gallantry. All of which is respectfully submitted. – C. H. SMITH, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, p. 980.

More at J. GREGG, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, pp. 978-979.

  1. 1863.July.15. Shepherdstown.Skirmish:
    Leaving the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry and a detachment of Scott’s Nine Hundred on picket at Halltown, the brigade (Third Brigade, Second Div., Cavalry Corps) moved on the Shepherdstown Road, encountering and capturing a number of the enemy’s stragglers, and on arriving at that place, two squadrons of the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under command of Major Fry charged through the town. The Sixteenth lost 1 man wounded – J. GREGG, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, pp. 978
  1. 1863.July.16.Kearneysville.Pike.Butlers.Woods.Action – ROADSIDE MARKER NUMBER TWO – Butler’s Woods:
    Confederate Cavalry Commander J.E.B. Stuart described the conflicts of July 15-16th in his report:
    Upon my arrival at the Bower that afternoon (15th), I learned that a large force of the enemy’s cavalry was between Shepherdstown and Leetown, and determined at once to attack him in order to defeat any designs he might have in the direction of Martinsburg. I made disposition accordingly, concentrating cavalry in his front, and **early on the 16th moved Fitz Lee’s brigade down the turnpike, toward Shepherdstown, supported by Chambliss, who, though quite ill, with that commendable spirit which has always distinguished him, remained at the head of his brigade. Jenkins brigade was ordered to advance on the road from Martinsburg toward Shepherdstown, so as by this combination to expose one of the enemy’s flanks, while Jones, now near Charlestown, was notified of the attack, in order that he might co-operate. No positive orders were sent him, as his precise locality was not known. These dispositions having been arranged, I was about to attack when I received a very urgent message from the commanding general to repair at once to his headquarters. I therefore committed to Brig. Gen. Fitz. Lee the consummation of my plans, and reported at once to the commanding general, whom I found at Bunker Hill. Returning in the afternoon, I proceeded to the scene of conflict on the turnpike, and found that General Fitz. Lee had, with his own and Chambliss brigades, driven the enemy steadily to within a mile of Shepherdstown, Jenkin’s brigade not having yet appeared on the left. However, it (Jenkin’s brigade-JS) soon after arrived in Fitz. Lee’s rear, and moved up to his support. The ground was not practicable for cavalry, and the main body was dismounted, and advanced in line of battle. The enemy retired to a strong position behind stone fences and barricades, near Colonel [A. R.] Boteler’s residence, and it being nearly dark, obstinately maintained his ground at this last point until dark, to cover his withdrawal. Preparations were made to renew the attack vigorously next morning, but daybreak revealed that the enemy had retired toward Harpers Ferry. The enemy’s loss in killed and wounded was heavy. We had several killed and wounded, and among the latter Col. James H. Drake, First Virginia Cavalry, was mortally wounded, dying that night (16th), depriving his regiment of a brave and zealous leader, and his country of one of her most patriotic defenders. (NOTE: Reported Federal casualties: Union Losses July 15-16, 1863 Shepherdstown: 8 enlisted men killed; 8 officers and 64 enlisted men were wounded; 24 enlisted men were captured or missing. – Return of Casualties in the Union Forces, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, p. 193.

Stuart continues:
The enemy’s loss in killed and wounded was heavy. We had several killed and wounded, and among the latter Col. James H. Drake, First Virginia Cavalry, was mortally wounded, dying that night (16th), depriving his regiment of a brave and zealous leader, and his country of one of her most patriotic defenders. The commanding general was very desirous of my moving a large portion of my command at once into Loudoun, but the recent rains had so swollen the Shenandoah that it was impossible to ford it, and cavalry scouting parties had to swim their horses over. – J. E. B. STUART – Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 2, Vol. 27. p. 706.

Roger P. Chew described the two conflicts on July 15-16 near Shepherdstown and halfway between Shepherdstown and Kearneysville on the Kearneysville Pike:
After the Gettysburg Campaign, with Lee back in Virginia and Harper’s Ferry in the hands of the enemy, the situation in Jefferson County was about as follows: The enemy’s pickets extended about 2 miles out from Harper’s Ferry, with signal and spy stations on Maryland Heights. Any movement of troops in day time could be seen by them. Even many of the picket posts were under their observation. The Shenandoah River was high, hardly fordable. Lee’s army was in Jefferson and Berkeley Counties until after the middle of the month. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers were carefully picketed, and the army uncertain what the next move would be. On the Sixteenth, the Federals, crossing at Shepherdstown and driving in the pickets, advanced a large force of cavalry as far as Kearneysville. Here Fitz Lee and Chambliss’ brigades of cavalry confronted them and steadily drove them back. The federals were amply supplied with artillery, and at every favorable position, made stubborn resistance. Late in the evening, Stuart came on the field and took command, having ordered General Jenkins, with his brigade of cavalry from near Martinsburg to his assistance, who arrived later in the evening. The enemy, having fallen back to Butler’s woods, made a final stand. The cavalry could not well operate, and so both sides dismounted their men and fought until dark. The Confederates remained on the field, expecting to renew the engagement in the morning, but the enemy moved off in the night. . . . Colonel Drake, of the first Virginia Cavalry, was mortally wounded, and died that night at Mr. Marshall’s. About 40 feet from Marker No. 2, measuring west, is the place where he was shot. He was an able officer. This movement of the enemy had been made to ascertain Lee’s position, but failed. This force was to have been supported by a brigade from Harper’s Ferry, but they failed to arrive on time, as will be shown. Company I, of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, was picketing from near Shepherdstown to Engle’s Hill; and when the advance was made, they stayed within the enemy’s lines to operate. A courier was captured at Uvilla on the evening of the fifteenth, and sufficient information obtained to justify our watching this road. – Chew, p. 9.

Federal Eyewitness C. H. Smith of the First Maine Cavalry gave this report of the July 16th action on the Kearneysville Pike:
On July 16, about 12 in., I was ordered by the colonel commanding brigade to proceed from Shepherdstown with my regiment out about 4 miles on the Winchester pike for forage. Having advanced about a mile, I met a courier from the picket (a squadron of the Tenth New York Cavalry), who reported that the picket had been attacked, and were hotly pursued by the enemy. Looking forward, I observed that about half a mile ahead the pike crossed a ridge covered by a belt of timber, and, being desirous of obtaining that position, I ordered the gallop, and the regiment dashed forward. As we drew near the timber, we met the squadron on picket completely overwhelmed by a superior foe, making every effort to cover its led horses and wounded men. The advance of the enemy reached the crest of the ridge first, but, in spite of their steady firing, two companies from my regiment, commanded respectively by Lieutenants Coleman and Cole, when ordered to take the summit of the hill, charged with such impetuosity as to drive back the enemy, killing 1 and wounding 3. The enemy thus received a serious check, the position was gained, and the regiment was immediately disposed for still further defense. In that position we opposed the rapidly increasing number of the enemy for more than an hour, strengthening our line from time to time until the regiment was nearly all deployed and engaged in the front. Here it was that Major Boothby and Lieutenant Hunton were wounded, while engaged urging the men to still more gallant resistance. Subsequently the enemy massed in such numbers on our left flank as to make longer resistance impossible, and our line of skirmishers was driven back about 200 yards to a favorable position. Supported by a portion of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, the regiment defended this position against every effort of the enemy to rout it, even driving the gunners from a howitzer that the enemy had the rashness to bring within carbine range, until relieved by the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, when it retired from the front and took position as support. But a short time afterward, however, the enemy opened with several pieces of artillery, and simultaneously advanced with such overwhelming numbers as to peril the thin line of skirmishers of the Sixteenth. Observing this, I at once ordered four companies to the front just in season to render timely assistance, and shortly after the rest of the regiment became actively engaged again, and thus shared the fortunes of the rest of the day until withdrawn from the field at midnight. – C. H. SMITH, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27. pp. 980-981.

More at E. DOSTER, Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, pp. 983-985.

and M. HENRY AVERY Chapter XXXIX, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Vol. 27, pp. 982-983.

  1. 1863.July.16.Uvilla.Skirmish – ROADSIDE MARKER NUMBER SEVEN: Uvilla Store. (No report in Official Record.-JS)
    Roger P. Chew wrote of the July 16th event:
    (bottom) Early on the morning of the sixteenth, Captain Kearney took position in the timber adjoining the Uvilla store, put a picket in either direction, and awaited events. It was not long until a squad appeared. They were taken in. The company would divide, and charge front and rear. This was continued until thirty-three prisoners, their horses and equipments, and the General’s headquarter’s wagon with his extra clothing, camp fixtures, and bedding, and two fine horses and harness, and servant were captured. Several escaped and gave the alarm. Marker No. 7, on the hill north of the Uvilla store, is where most of the captures were made. – Chew, p. 10.
  1. 1863.July.16.Moler’s.Crossroads.Skirmish – ROADSIDE MARKER NUMBER FIVE:
    Roger P. Chew wrote of the Moler’s Crossroads event on July 16th:
    Major Knott, joining the company at this time, sent the prisoners back to safety, and moved the company to Moler’s Cross Roads, two and one-half miles east of Uvilla. When they neared the place, they saw the advance guard of some force. They charged and captured one. The others ran into their column, closely followed by our company. They were over the hill and could not be seen. The company wheeled about and exchanged some shots and retired. It was a brigade of cavalry with artillery on their way to reinforce their forces at Shepherdstown. They, supposing that a heavy force was in their front, placed their artillery in position, threw out skirmishers, put their squadrons in line of battle and awaited developments. Full three hours time was lost. Every citizen that happened along was held by them until near midnight. – Chew, p. 11.

53. August, 1863 – Federals confiscate 2000 bushels of wheat from Blakeley and Claymont run by Richard B. Washington. (Farm Records of Bushrod Corbin Washington – Perry Room, Charles Town Library).

  1. 1863.September.15-16.Smithfield.Affair:
    September 15, Captain (Abram) Jones, of the First New York Cavalry, with 100 men, attacked a party of rebels, 70 strong, at Smithfield, and captured 11 prisoners, with horses and full equipments. Captain Jones was slightly wounded in the hand. No other injury was sustained on our part. September 16 and 17, scouts were sent up the valley, but returned without discovering any enemy. – Extract from “Record of Events,” Chapter XLL, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Volume 29, p. 102.
  1. 1863.October.1.Harpers.Ferry.Skirmish:
    Chapter XLI, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Volume 29, p. 4.
  1. 1863.October.7.CharlesTown.Summit.Point.2.Skirmishes:
    Federal Colonel George Wells described the October 7th events in his report
    : (The skirmish ranged widely across the county including more than just this point Gilmor fought Summers near Summit Point)
    The affair at Charlestown would appear to be this: On the morning of October 7, before receiving my dispatch, Colonel Simpson sent out a scout of 20 cavalry on the Berryville road. Information was soon brought in that this force was cut off by the enemy. Captain Summers was immediately sent out to their relief, with 43 men, his entire available force. Some time after his departure the scout of 20 men came in on another road, closely followed within half a mile of the town by the enemy. Colonel Simpson immediately went out with his infantry and drove the enemy back, capturing 4 prisoners and 3 horses of Companies A and F, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry. As Captain Summers was on his return from his scout, when near Summit Point he fell in with this party. He was leading the advance, when, at a bend of the road, he came upon a portion of the enemy drawn up in the road. He instantly charged them, and as he did so received a volley from a squad which had dismounted and were concealed behind a stone fence skirting the road. Captain Summers fell at the first fire. His men, deprived of their leader, scattered and fell back. They were not followed. Cole’s cavalry, placed under my orders by the brigadier-general commanding, were sent to Charlestown that night, and the next morning scouted out the Summit Point and Smithfield road, bringing in the bodies of our killed. They report seeing no enemy. It would seem that the rebel force consisted of two companies (Captains Baylor aud Morrow) Twelfth Virginia Cavalry and Gilmor’s entire battalion . . . Our loss was: Capt. George D. Summers, Company F, Cavalry, Second Maryland Regiment, [Potomac Home Brigade,] killed [and 1 man killed and 4 wounded]. I think Colonel Simpson’s disposition and management of his small force very judicious. The loss of Captain Summers is greatly to be deplored. – G. WELLS, Chapter XLI, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Volume 29, pp. 210-211.

Confederate Cavalryman Col. Harry Gilmor described in his book his lead role in the skirmish on October 7th at Summit Point, leading to the skirmish at Charles Town – ROADSIDE MARKER NUMBER THIRTEEN:
About the close of September, 1863, I took 50 men from my camp at Mt. Jackson with the intention of crossing the Potomac to capture a lot of government horses and mules which my scouts had reported to be grazing in the neighborhood of Hagerstown. Their picket lines extended to and beyond Charles Town, where a regiment of infantry and two companies of cavalry were stationed. Captain Somers commanded the cavalry, and Col. Benjamin Simpson the 9th Maryland. I crossed the line without being detected, but when I reached the river I found it past fording, and had to return. I camped in the woods on William Washington’s place, and, being determined not to go back without some game, sent scouts to watch the road leading out of Charles Town. I had not slept more than two hours when I learned that 27th cavalry had gone up the road leading to Smithfield. The men were soon mounted, and, striking out across the country, we got into the road in the rear of this squad, and followed on their trail to Smithfield. Soon after reaching the turnpike we met a man whom I knew to be a Unionist, but, expecting to capture the party ahead of me before they could reach Charles Town in my rear, I let him pass. What a change it would have made in subsequent events had I taken him along with us! We continued at a trot until we gained the hill immediately above Smithfield, when I closed up the column, drawing sabres, charged into the town, expecting to find the enemy there; but to my chagrin, learned that they had passed through without halting, taking the road to Summit Point, and were now a considerable distance ahead. I followed on at a good swinging trot, with four or five well mounted men in advance, until we got nearly to Summit Point, when my scouts returned, saying the enemy had passed through that place also a short time previous, and were now on the road back to Charles Town.

My horses were by this time much jaded, and some hardly able to keep up; still, determined not to abandon the enterprise, I struck across the fields, hoping to cut them off before they could reach Charles Town. In this I did not succeed; but three of my men ran into their rear guard just as they were entering the place. One of them, Charles Forman, was captured. I dismounted half my men, put them in position, and tried to draw out the enemy, but they had their own plan in view, and refused to follow. This made me rather suspicious, so putting twelve men under Captain Blackford as a rear guard, I started for Summit Point and camp. I had reached the “White House,” owned by Mr. Morrow, two miles from Summit Point, had halted to let the men dismount and get water from the large spring about fifty yards off, and was the only mounted man left in the road. I had ridden up to the yard fence, and was talking to the ladies, when I heard a voice exclaim, “Here they are boys by God, we’ve got them now!” At the same instant a bullet whistled through a lilac bush between the ladies and myself. I wheeled around and saw the head of a cavalry column on the rocky hill above, and between me and Summit Point.

Here was a perilous position. Seeing only the first section of fours, I knew not how many were behind them. I could not retreat, and therefore determined to make the best light possible under the circumstances. I ordered ten of my men who had carbines to get behind the ruins of an old stone stable, and fight them to the last. Seeing my horses without their riders, the others thought we were apprized of their coming, and had prepared an ambuscade; and though Captain Somers, whom I recognized, begged, implored, and cursed them, they would not charge, but stood still on the hill, popping away at us with their carbines. One of my men Ford, from Baltimore came up with a rifle and putting his hand on my thigh, asked what he should do. I told him to get behind the stone wall, and take a good aim every time he fired, “all right, Major.” Just as he spoke the word a ball pierced his head, killing him instantly.

At that moment Captain Somers. who I must say was a brave man, spurred his horse down the hill, and engaged me with his pistol, firing wildly, for I saw he was much excited. I reserved my fire till he came within twenty paces, steadied my horse with the bit, took a long sure aim, and Somers fell from his horse. The ball entered the side of his nose, and came out back of his head. By this time nine of my men had mounted, and, as the sharpshooters had been doing good work. I thought I could risk a charge, but it was unnecessary to give the order, for I heard Read or Bosley say, “come, boys it’s a shame to leave the major there by himself;” and by the time I had returned the pistol and drawn my sabre, the boys were at my side, so on we went. When we gained the hill top, I saw, to my amazement, that there were about sixty before me, but, as there was a good post and rail fence on either side, they could show no more front than my ten men. To whip the foremost was to whip all. As I passed by the stone stable I ordered the rest to mount and follow. Captain Somers was lying across the road. I was obliged to jump my horse over his dead body; four others lying near were either dead or wounded.

Settling myself in the saddle, I dashed in among the blue jackets, cutting and thrusting right and left, and parrying a blow when necessary. They were from Michigan and Maryland, and for a while fought well. Observing an officer fighting like a Turk and cheering his men on, I made for him. He was a man of my own size, wore a very heavy beard, and looked, I thought very savage as he yelled out, “Come on you damned rebel, I’ll soon fix your flint.” This promised good sport. I closed with him, making a powerful front cut, which he parried, and at the same instant made a right cut at my neck. By bringing my sabre down in time, my side caught the blow. Now I had the advantage.

Quick as a flash I cut him across the cheek, inflicting a large gash, and he fell to the ground. I gave him in charge of one of my men, and then followed after my first ten, who had pushed the column back two hundred yards while the lieutenant and I were busy with our affair. The latter soon after escaped by jumping a stone wall and running into a thick woods. We soon got them on the run, nor did we give them time to stop and reform until they had passed through and beyond Summit Point. We had taken eighteen prisoners, and were unable to pursue them farther until my men had come up, for the federals had formed and turned upon the two or three men who were still in pursuit, but by the time they had pushed these back again to Summit Point I had dismounted ten or fifteen men, who easily checked them. We charged again, took five more prisoners, and the rest made their escape. After collecting my prisoners and men, I left by a private route for the Upper Valley, with twenty three prisoners and twenty nine horses, leaving four of their dead and three wounded on the field. My loss was one man killed, three wounded, and one taken prisoner. I reached camp safely with everything I had captured. It seems the Unionist went immediately to Charles Town and gave information of what he had seen, and Somers followed me all the way round. A sad affair it turned out for him, but “such are the fortunes of war”. Captain Somers was highly esteemed by his commanding officers, as shown by a long article, highly complimentary to him, that appeared a few days after. The same paper also alleged that I had murdered him! Indeed! Then not a few were murdered on both sides. – Gilmor, Harry. (1866). “Four years in the saddle.” New York, Harper & brothers pp. 107-111.

  1. 1863.October.18.CharlesTown.Capture:
    Telegram from Federal Gen. Jer. Sullivan, summarizing the events of October 18th:
    This a.m. at about 7 o’clock the forces of Imboden and White, numbering about 900 cavalry or mounted infantry and three pieces of artillery, surrounded the command of Colonel Simpson at Charlestown, and captured almost all his entire command, consisting of about 250 men. As soon as information reached me I sent out my cavalry under Major Cole, one battery of artillery, and two regiments, Thirty-fourth Massachusetts and Tenth Maryland, all under command of Colonel Wells. The cavalry came up with the enemy this side of Charlestown, and drove them through the town. Artillery coming up, drove them about 4 miles. A portion of infantry force, one regiment, reaching them, the enemy were driven from every position they took, to near Berryville. Night coming on, I ordered them to fall back. Our entire loss, irrespective of the force captured, will not exceed 25 killed and wounded. – J. SULLIVAN,
    Chapter XLI, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Volume 29. p. 485.

Local resident and Confederate Cavalryman Roger P. Chew described the event of October 18th:
(bottom) On October 18, 1863, Gen. John D. Imboden marched to the vicinity of Charles Town for the purpose of capturing the enemy, who were posted there in large force. The 9th Maryland Regiment of Infantry and Capt. Summer’s Cavalry Company were quartered, the first in the Court House, and the latter in the Jail. Imboden formed a line of battle on the Hanson farm west of the town, and extending his line to the east to the Kabletown road. He located a battery near the house of Robert Brown but found, after firing a few shots, he could not reach the Court House. He then extended his line across the Harpers Ferry road to the farm of James M. Ranson, and placing his gun on the hill north of town fired several shots through the Court House. The enemy immediately evacuated the Court House and attempted a retreat towards Harpers Ferry but were intercepted by the Confederates and the entire command captured, excepting Summers’ company which effected its escape towards Leetown. He (Imboden-JS) then commenced to retreat by the pike to Berryville. He was pursued by a large force of the enemy and had a number of engagements between that point and Rippon. Here he (Imboden-JS) formed in line to check the advance of the enemy and a serious engagement took place in which a number of men on both sides were killed and wounded. The enemy discontinued their pursuit at that point and Imboden retreated unmolested with his prisoners and captures. – Chew, pp. 31-32.

More reports about the October 18 conflict:
G. WELLS, Chapter XLI, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Volume 29. pp. 486-489

B. SIMPSON, Chapter XLI, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Volume 29, pp. 489-490.

J. IMBODEN (Commander of Confederate force), Chapter XLI, Official Record, Series I, Part 1, Volume 29, pp. 490-492

November, 1863 Federals confiscate most foods and livestock from Richard B. Washington’s managed farms, incl 2000 pounds of bacon and thirty head of cattle. (Farm Records of Bushrod Corbin Washington – Perry Room, Charles Town Library).