Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October12, 1862

October 12, 1862: Gen. Stuart’s Wild Ride, Day 3 – Riding through Hyattstown, Maryland, Stuart heads for the Potomac to cross back to safety in Virginia. But Gen. McClellan has ordered Gen. Stoneman with an entire division of cavalry, and Gen. Burnside, with two brigades of infantry, to guard all five fords and trap the Confederate horsemen. Stuart and his column dodge toward a little-used crossing called White’s Ford, where only one Union infantry regiment waits to block them. True to form, Stuart demands that they surrender or be utterly destroyed in 15 minutes. The Yankees hesitate---and then flee. The Rebels cross the river easily and arrive in Leesburg before dusk. Once again, Gen. Stuart has humiliated McClellan, captured over 1,500 horses and mounds of supplies, and obtained valuable intelligence and reconnaissance.

---Sergeant Alexander G. Downing, of the 11th Iowa Infantry, writes about his regiment passing through the Corinth battlefield:

We came into Corinth over the ground we had fought over in the battle of October 3d and 4th. This battlefield is a terrible sight and gives one a horrible picture of war. Our men having hurriedly gone in pursuit of the fleeing rebels, the burial of the dead was left to the convalescents, together with such negroes as could be found to do the job. Many of the dead bodies had become so decomposed that they could not be moved and were simply covered over with a little earth just where they lay.

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