Union General William Smith in Washington Township

WFSmith_MGENOFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign) Page 225-226
No. 407. Report of Brig. General William F. Smith, U. S. Army, commanding First Division (New York Militia)

Sunday, July 5. – The troops were moved from Pine Grove at 8 a. m. over the mountain, on the Bendersville road, General Knipe’s brigade, with one section of artillery, being placed at the intersection of this road with the road from Holly Springs to Shippensburg, and Colonel Brisbane’s brigade on a wood road leading into the Shippensburg road. Ewen’s brigade moved from Laurel Forge in the morning, by a road across the mountain, to a point where the road from Holly Springs to Shippensburg is crossed by the road from Laurel Forge to Bendersville. The Thirty-seventh New York was ordered to move to the fork of the road, 2 miles below Mount Holly, where the Gettysburg road comes into the Pine Grove road. Owing to the movements of the enemy, this regiment was afterward withdrawn, and rejoined the main body.

Monday, July 6. – All the troops moved by different roads to Newmans’ Cut, on the turnpike between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, 4 miles east of Cashtown, where they were concentrated during the evening .

Tuesday, July 7. – Orders were received from General Meade to move the command to Gettysburg, but just as the troops were about starting, the order was changed, and the head of the column left Newman’s Cut at 11 a. m. for Alto Furnace, where the whole force arrived, from 5 to 7 o’clock. Lieutenant Stanwood, with 100 cavalry, crossed to the same point by the way of Caledonia Springs. A scout sent out reported at 8. 30 p.m. that the Twelfth Corps occupied Waynesborough.

Wednesday, July 8. – Moved from Aldodale at 11 a. m.; reached Waynesborough in the afternoon. Two regiments, under Colonel Frick, arrived after dark. The whole force was encamped in line of battle on the right (Colonel Bisbane) and left (New York troops) of the road to Hagerstown, a mile and a half out of Waynesborough. The force at Waynesborough was found to be not the Twelfth Corps, but a small force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, under General Milroy.

Thursday, July 9. – Was sent in Waynesborough. Two regiments of Colonel Frick’s were sent to Ringgold, in Maryland.

Friday, July 10. – A reconnaissance by General Neill’s cavalry found the enemy in force on the right bank of the Antietam, below Leiterburg. An examination of the country from Franklin Cliff, Md., informed us that a large force of the enemy was encamped on high ground, 2 and 1/2 miles from Hagerstown, on the Waynesborough road, and a smaller force on the Boonsborough road, near Hagerstown. No earthworks could be discovered, nor any earthworks on the ridge toward Williamsport. No movements were visible on the Williamsport road. The supply train arrived in the evening. The short marches and the delay at Waynesborough were caused by the want of provisions and the impossibility of bringing up the supply trains with sufficient celerity. Every effort was made to supply the command with rations from the country people, but with little success, the rebels having cleaned out the region. Orders had been issued to the command to be in readiness to move, but a dispatch was received on the evening of the 10th, from General Meade, ordering that the commands of General Milroy and General Smith should remain at Waynesborough, to occupy the enemy or to join General Meade or General Couch, as the movements of the enemy might permit to require. According to this dispatch, General Meade’s right wing was to be on the Boonsborough and Hagerstown turnpike, between Antietam and Beaver Creek, and his left at Bakersville, on the evening of the 10th.

Saturday, July 11. – Colonel Brisbane with the Gray reserves and Twenty-eight Pennsylvania, supported by the Sixty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, of General Neill’s command, made a reconnaissance to Marsh Mill, within the enemy’s lines of the day before, about 4, miles from camp. He destroyed 24 barrels of flour which had been ground for the rebels, and all the grain (100 bushels) in the mill. The patrol returned about dark. The whole command, excepting these troops engaged under Colonel Brisbane, moved at dusk to Leitersburg, and encamped there for the night.

Sunday, July 12. -The command (excepting Colonel Brisbane’s) left Leitersburg at 6 a. m., and reached Cavetown at noon. Colonel Brisbane moved from Waynesborough. Colonel Frick moved to Chewsville.

Monday, 13th. – The force at Cavetown, under the temporary command of General Knipe for the march, moved to a point near Smoketown. The orders were to go to Benevola, where Beaver Creek crosses the Boonsborough and Hagerstown turnpike, but they were not understood. The Blue Reserves took part in a skirmish under General Kilpatrick, near Hagerstown, with a loss of 1 killed and 9.

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