07/25/2009 14:36:00 2:36pm July 25th, 2009 By scottmingus
By the 25th of June the Rebels occupied the Cumberland Valley from Martinsburg, W. Va., to within sight of the spires of Harrisburg, Penna. Stuart's cavalry being licked at Brandy Station and Aldie was forced to ride around the right of the Union Army. Imboden’s brigade of cavalry and 150 of White's guerrillas were the only mounted troops with Lee. As the Rebels advanced the people fled with their movable property, horses, cattle, groceries, store goods, etc., after offering such resistance as was possible, each section furnishing scouts, bush-whackers, men with axes who felled trees across the roads, telegraphed information of the movements, strength, etc., of the enemy to Harrisburg and Washington
On June 23d Henry Honn drew a line across the Chambersburg pike 2 miles west of Cashtown, Adams county, Pa., and swore he would shoot the first rebel that crossed it. An hour afterwards White's guerrillas, 150 strong, rode over the line. Honn’s rifle cracked and a Johnnie rolled off in the dust. White’s guerrillas skedaddled. Honn took to the brush and his rifle cracked frequently during the invasion.
A day or two after this Maj. John Scott of Gettysburg with 22 men disputed the passage of Monterey Gap in the Blue Ridge with Early’s division of 10,000 men. White's guerrillas, 150 men, came up in Scott’s rear, having crossed the mountain by the Cold Springs road, and Scott would have been captured but Maj. Haller with the Philadelphia City Troop. 100 strong, retreated on the lope, (the dust was a foot deep) and they raised so much dust that when Maj. Bell with 60 men armed with single shot horse pistols, cap locked, and saber charged White he skedaddled so fast he hadn’t time to pick up Scott and his men. The only names of Scott’s men I remember are John Burns, hero of Gettysburg, John Roth, a lame printer, Chas. Wilson, who died at the Soldiers Home at Hampton, Va., and Hy Mickley, afterwards a soldier in the Union army.
Harvey Cobean, one of Bell’s scouts, was surprised by White’s men coming up behind him. He turned the blind eye of his horse to the enemy, slipped his horse pistols and sabre through the fence and coolly collided the enemy. When the road was clear he rode back and reported to Maj. Bell.
Cashtown sent a squad into the mountains who picked off many of the spies, videttes, scouts, stragglers, foragers, etc, of the enemy. Arendtsville and vicinity sent a squad of twenty-five men who bushwhacked the enemy as they came through the Blue Ridge.
Gettysburg, Gettysburg College, the Lutheran Seminary and the surrounding country raised a company of men 100 strong which was Co. A of the 26th Pa. militia, [more] of which hereafter. This section also organized Bell’s Cavalry, 60 strong. Capt. Bell captured 500 scouts, foragers, spies, etc., from the enemy and kept them west of the Blue Ridge for a couple weeks. He was greatly assisted by Dutch Charlie, a Milroy skedaddler.
On June 25th the 26th Pa. Militia under Col. Jennings arrived at Gettysburg. About 8 A. M. June 26th Maj. Haller ordered them out the Chambersburg pike against Early’s Division, Col.Jennings, the commander of the regiment, protesting, Bell having informed Haller and Jennings of the Rebel strength. Three miles out the pike the militia came upon the enemy. When they tried to load their guns they had to bite all the paper off the bullets to get them down. Alter being discharged a few times it was impossible to reload the guns. The militia were soon outflanked and forced to retreat to Harrisburg, during which retreat about two hundred of them were captured.
Among the captured were many college boys of Co. A. They were corralled on Christ Church steps. Jubal Early rode up and inspected them. He grinned all over his face and said: "Hi, you little hoys must have slipped out of your mothers’ band-boxes, you look so nice. Now be off home to your mothers. If I catch you again I'll spank you all." and they let them go.
White’s guerrillas and Early’s Div. pushed Bell and the City Troop out of Gettysburg June 26th, killing Private [George Washington] Sandoe of Bell’s men.
As Early’s Div. left the east end of Gettysburg Henry McNair, Geo. Gwynn and two other Adams county boys of Capt. Horner’s company, Cole’s Md. Battalion, dashed in and captured a dispatch bearer from Ewell to Early. The capture of that dispatch bearer caused Early to march to Wrightsville and back to Heidlersburg and probably saved the fall of Harrisburg, Pa. McNair took the dispatch bearer to Reynolds and became his guide during the campaign.
William A. Scott, The Battle of Gettysburg. (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: self published, 1905).
No comments | Leave a comment