Early’s Washington Raid 27 June–4 August 1864


Map Code: Ax02038

While battle broke out at Cold Harbor near Richmond in June 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early was sent north to Maryland to draw Union forces away from the main Confederate army, and to proceed on Washington DC. Early crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown on 5 July and marched through Harpers Ferry, Hagerstown and Frederick, intending to threaten Washington DC and free 17,000 Confederates from its prison-camp. After being delayed on 9 July by the Battle of Monocacy he reached within 6 miles (10 km) of the capital, and skirmished with the defenders before withdrawing, with the words “We haven’t taken Washington, but we’ve scared Abe Lincoln like hell!” As Early moved through Maryland, Union General Lew Wallace formed battle lines along the Monocacy River to delay Early’s advance. After a skirmish, Early withdrew back into Virginia where, on 18 July, he was defeated at Cool Springs. On a march northward back into Maryland, he defeated the Union (Federal) army at the Second battle of Kernstown (23 July), destroyed Martinsburg railroad and burned Chambersburg. Between 31 July–3 August, he withdrew his cavalry southwestwards back to Virginia.

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