Friday, January 6, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, July 8, 1864

Two boat-loads of our Division landed last night at 11 o'clock. We took the cars at once for Frederick, Md., and arrived there at 10 o'clock a. m. to-day, finding the city nearly deserted by its inhabitants, and only a small force of hundred days' men, etc., to defend it having skirmished yesterday with the enemy's advanced guard and kept it from entering the town. The place is full of rumors, but it's impossible to get any reliable information. We were followed this afternoon by more of our Division, and all have been kept busy by General Lew Wallace who is in command, marching about the city, forming lines of battle to the north of it, etc., presumably to try and deceive the enemy as to our strength.

There were in Frederick on our arrival here together with such troops as have arrived since, not including our Division, twenty-five hundred green troops under Brigadier-General E. B. Tyler, which have never been under fire to any extent, as follows: Five companies of the First Regiment Maryland Home Brigade, Captain Chas. J. Brown commanding; the Third Regiment Maryland Home Brigade, Colonel Chas. Gilpin commanding; the Eleventh Regiment Maryland Infantry, Colonel Wm. T. Landstreet commanding; three companies of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment Ohio National Guard, Colonel Allison L. Brown commanding; seven companies of the One Hundred and Forty-ninth Regiment Ohio National Guard, Colonel A. L. Brown commanding; and Captain F. W. Alexander's Baltimore (Md.) Battery of six three-inch guns; Lieut. Colonel David R. Clendenin's squadron of Mounted Infantry from the Eighth Illinois National Guard; a detachment of mounted infantry — probably two companies — from the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Ohio National Guard, Captains E. H. Lieb and H. S. Allen commanding, respectively; the Loudoun (Va.) Rangers, and a detachment of mixed cavalry, Major Charles A. Wells commanding. The Eleventh Maryland and all the Ohio troops are hundred days' men.

The Third Division, Major General James B. Ricketts commanding, of the Sixth Corps, consists of two brigades and now has here nine of its twelve regiments or a force of three thousand three hundred and fifty men as follows: The First Brigade is commanded by Colonel W. S. Truex of the Fourteenth Regiment New Jersey Infantry, and is composed of the One Hundred and Sixth Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry, Captain E. M. Paine commanding; the Tenth Regiment Vermont Volunteer Infantry, Colonel W. W. Henry commanding; the One Hundred and Fifty-first Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry, Colonel William Emerson commanding; the Eighty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Stahel commanding, and the Fourteenth Regiment New Jersey Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel C. K. Hall commanding. The Second Brigade, Colonel Matthews R. McClennan commanding is composed of the Ninth Regiment New York Heavy Artillery, Colonel Wm. H. Seward, Jr. commanding; the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment Ohio National Guard, Lieutenant-Colonel Aaron W. Ebright commanding; the One Hundred and Tenth Regiment Ohio National Guard, Lieutenant-Colonel Otho H. Binkley commanding; the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry, Major Lewis A. May commanding; and a detachment of the One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio Infantry commanded by Lieutenant C. J. Gibson. The Sixth Regiment Maryland Infantry, Sixty-second Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry and most of the One Hundred and Twenty-second Regiment of Ohio National Guard of the Second Brigade have not yet arrived.

With the Georgetown or Washington and Baltimore turnpikes both passing through Frederick, it is easy to see why this is an important point as viewed from a military standpoint. The latter runs in a westerly direction from Baltimore, crosses the Monocacy river over a stone bridge about three miles from, and on through, Frederick centrally, and thence on to Harper's Ferry, Frederick being about thirty-five miles from Baltimore. The Georgetown turnpike runs northwesterly crossing the Monocacy river on a covered wooden bridge at Frederick Junction, about three miles from Frederick, on through the city which is also about thirty-five miles from Washington, and thence northwesterly to Sharpsburg, the two pikes crossing each other centrally in Frederick at right angles. The Georgetown wooden and railroad steel bridges across the Monocacy at Frederick Junction are about one-fourth of a mile apart, and the distance between the Georgetown pike wooden bridge and Baltimore turnpike stone bridge is about three miles with Crum's Ford about midway between. There are also several fords within two miles or so below the Georgetown pike wooden bridge where it crosses the Monocacy at Frederick Junction.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 94-8

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