If it is not too much trouble, this would be of great help. Can you
please also include the page numbers and complete info about the book
so I can cite it (author, publisher, date/location published). If it
is a reprint, I would need this info for both the original printing
and the reprint.
Thank you very much!
I apologize for the length of this post but I though you might like to see a couple other accounts of the same fight. I think Von Borcke's will be of interest because he does mention being fired on by some of the citizens of Middleton. The "D.B. Rea" cited in the last account was Pvt. David B. Rea, Co. C, 1st NC Cavalry. Rea wrote a small book (72 pages) whose title is almost as long as the book: Sketches of Hampton's Cavalry In the Summer, Fall and Winter Campaigns of '62, Including Stuart's Raid into Pennsylvania, and Also, in Burnside's Rear. Raleigh, NC: Strother and Company, Steam Book and Job Printers. 1863. The book is scarce as hen's teeth but there is a copy in the Rare Books section of Wilson Library, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC.
(pg. 84) Jackson's forces were now sweeping around and environing Harper's Ferry, and the enemy with anxious tread was bending on to the relief of that beleaguered place. Stuart's cavalry had (pg.85) for several days past been hangin in his front, impeding his progress at every step. All the rest of our army lay beyond the mountain passes, up in the direction of Hagerstown; and so the enemy had to be held in this vallety that day, till our infantry could get back and take position in these passes to meet the advancing host of McClellan. About 4 o'clock in the evening the enemy came teeming through the pass we had just evacuated, and with exulting shouts came pouring down the slopes. The North Carolina cavalry, under Colonel Baker, was posted on the eastern skirts of the village to oppose them; the other regiments of Hampton's cavalry being withdrawn across Catoctin Creek and drawn up on the other side, with the artillery. The enemy's cavalry advanced down upon us with files of infantry sharpshooters an each side; they were met by a squadron of mounted and dismounted men under Captain Siler, a brave and daring officer of the North Carolina cavalry, who gallantly fought and repulsed the advance. The whole regiment was exposed to a most murderous fire of the enemy's artillery from the mountain sides above. Our brave boys were falling, and the enemy were attempting to flank the body from above and below, and to hodl the place any longer was impracticable; and by the brave and admirable conduct of Captain Siler, who formed the rear guard, notwithstanding his thigh had been shattered by a ball, he stood firm against the overwhelming odds, and held the enemy in check in front, while Colonel Baker, with the remaining squadrons, with great coolness and decision successfully repelled the enemy's movements to intercept him at the creek, and safely withdrew the regiment across Catoctin Creek under a most terrible coverging artillery fire from the mountain slopes above, while Captain Hart dashed with his Horse Artillery to an immediate hill that commanded the pike on the Middleton side, and worked his favorite Blakeleys with powerful energy and effect upon the enemy's advancing columns, holding them in check until ordered to retire. Our loss in these engagements was mostly in wounded, while the enemy's loss muct have been considerable, from the visisble effect of our sharpshooters and artillery on his ranks."
Brooks, Ulysses Robert, Butler and His Cavalry in the War of Secession 1861-1865. original date of publication 1909, republished, 1991 J.J. Fox, Camden, South Carolina: South Carolina Regimentals Series, by Guild Bindery Press, Oxford Miss. 84-85.
From Von Borcke's Memoirs:
(209) Near Middletown we took up a new position. The 1st North Carolina regiment, under Colonel Baker, and two pieces of artillery, were placed in front of the village, the other regiments and guns on the opposite side, behind a little stream known as Kittochtan Creek. The covered wooden bridge which spanned the stream was prepared with combustibles for destruction. General Stuart and my self rode forward a short distance in the direction of the enemy, whom we saw winding down from the mountain and stretching out over the plain in a mighty moving mass of blue. The fight was soon recommenced. The thundr of cannon rorared incessantly, (210) and as the enemy's guns had now the advantage of more favorable positions, which admitted of their being effectively employed in yet greater number, we suffered severely from their fire. At the same time the wings of the Yankee army, thrown rapidly forward, overlapped us on either flank, and our brave North Carolinians were thus subject to a most destructive cross-fire before General Stuart gave the order for retreat, which, in consequence of the murderous tempest of shot and shell that rage around them, was not conducted in a very orderly manner. In my judgement our admirable General here betrayed a faul which was one of the few he had as a cavarly leader; and the repetition of the error on several occasions, at later periods of the war, did us material damage. His own personal gallantry would not permit him to abandon the field and retreat, even when sound military prudence made this clearly advisable. There was no necessity whatever, her for the safety of the main body, to sacrifice a smaller command, for we might have withdrawn with honour long before the enemy's fire had so cruelly thinned our ranks.
I was one of the last horsemen that galloped through the town, and had a painfully accurate sight of the confusion and destruction that attended the retreat. The Yankee artillery threw a withering (211) hail of shells along the main street of Middletown from every by-street whistled the bullets of the sharpshooters, in our rear thundered the attack of the pursing cavalry, while from the houses the Unionists fired at us with buck-shot and small-shot, and many falllen horses and riders impeded the road. The panic reached its height when we arrived at the bridge and found it blazing, through the premature executionn of his orders by the officer in charge. Many of our horsemen leaped into the rapid stream and gained the opposite bank by swimming. For myself, with many of my companions-in-arms, I forced my horse through fire and smoke across the burning bridge, which, very soon after we had passed over it, fell with a loud crash into the water.
Reprint: Heros Von Borcke, Memoirs Of The Confederate War For Independence, Morningside House Inc. Dayton, Ohio, Vol. I, 209-211.
From Stuart's TarHeels: (132) A contingent of skirmishers remained on the mountain as a rear guard, abandoning the crest only grudingly to buy more time for D.H. Hill. As for the overall picture, Stuart's officers decided that the Federals were pushing the cavalry "for the purpose of releiving the garrison of Harper's Ferry. [footnote 47: Rea, Sketches, 25; Channing Price to Mrs. Thomas R. Price, September 18, 1862, Price Papers, SHC.] As a result, Stuart was not quite ready to relingquish the whole area. He readied a delaying action on the backside of Catoctin Mountain near Middletown. The 1st North Carolina Cavalry, supported by two pieces of artillery, was called on to fill this need. It took position in front of Middletown, directly in the path of the enemy. The other regiments and guns fell back to the other side of the village behind Kitochtan Creek. [footnote 48: Von Borcke, Memoirs, 1: 209; Rea Sketches,25.
At 4:00 p.m. the Yankees "came teeming through the pass we had just evacuated and with exulting shouts, came pouring down the slopes." The squadron commanded by Captain P. Siler bore the brunt of the (133) assault, while BAker and Gordon managed the regiment against the heavy odds. Through the smoke and dust of the battle, and the thunder of cannon, the Federals avoided a frontal assault and began to work around Baker's flanks. Soon a fierce cross-fire raked the North Carolinians's flanks. [footnote 49:Rea,Sketches 25; Von Borcke, Memoirs, 1:210.] From the pass above, heavy artillery fire pounded Baker's position. Many Tarheels fell wounded, including Captain Siler, whose thigh was shattered by a ball. [footnote 50: Rea,Sketches 25. With nothing else to gain, Stuart finally decided to pull back. He later cite Baker and the regiment for bravery: ....A spirited engagement took place, both of artillery and sharpshooters, the first North Carolina, Colonel Baker, holding the rear and acting with conspicuous gallantry. This lasted for some time, when, having the enemy in check sufficiently long to accomplish my object, I withdrew slowly toward the gap in the South Mountain, having given General D.H. Hill ample time to occupy that gap with his troops...[footnote 51: OR, vol. 19, pt. 1, 817.
Withdrawing from Middletown, Hampton sped his forces to the South Mountain gaps. Gordon probably breathed a sigh of relief because it had been a near thing. He had escaped the withering enemy fire unscathed.
Hartley, Chris J., Stuart's Tarheels: James B. Gordon and His North Carolina Cavalry, Butternut and Blue, Baltimore, 1996, 132-133.
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