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History of Cambria County, V.2

Headquarters First Brigade,
Cumberland, Md., February 24, 1864.
Lieut. M. J. Russell, Acting Assistant Adjutant General:
    Lieutenant: In obedience to your letter of the 23d inst., directing me to report “what damage was done to the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, or any part thereof; when the troops of your (my) brigade were stationed; what bridges in said road were destroyed or injured; whether such bridges were protected by blockhouses or otherwise, and through whose fault, if any, the injury occurred; also what, if any, losses of men, animals, transportation, ordnance, quartermaster's and commissary stores, in the last two movements of the rebel force in West Virginia, and also, as far as you have the means of knowing, the captures from and losses to the enemy in these operation,” I have the honor to report as follows:
    At the time of the first rebel raid – January 4, 1864 – I was stationed at Springfield, W. Va., with the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, and Battery E. First West Virginia Volunteer Artillery. At 6 p. m. on that day I received orders from Brig. General B. F. Kelley, commanding the Department of West Virginia, to move to Cumberland, Md., by way of Patterson's Creek, but which was afterward changed, directing me to move by way of Green Spring at once. This last dispatch was received at 8 p. m. My orders were to reach Cumberland by daylight. I immediately began the movement. My supply train had that evening arrived from Green Spring with a load of supplies. This materially reduced my means of transportation, and I had no time to send out to press teams, if indeed I could have found any in the neighborhood. Yet I took off all my stores except a few sacks of grain and some other stores of but little value, which were concealed in the night and afterward recovered by a scouting party sent out for that purpose. I arrived at Cumberland about daylight, January 5, having neither lost men, animals, or stores.
    At the time of the second raid – February 2, 1864 – I was stationed at Cumberland, Md. On that day Company F, Captain John W. Hibler, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers with 57 men of my brigade, was stationed at Patterson's Creek bridge, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and a detachment of the company at the North Branch bridge as pickets. I had warned Capt. Hibler to be on the alert and to keep scouts well out, but it seems that General Rosser (rebel), with from 400 to 500 cavalry, succeeded in penetrating to Patterson's Creek bridge on the 2d of February. His advance guard were dressed in Federal uniforms, and succeeded in getting up to Captain Hibler's by representing themselves as part of the Ringgold Cavalry (Union) and thus successively captured all the pickets in the Patterson's Creek road, and then rapidly dashed into camp while the men were at dinner. A slight skir-

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Created: 19 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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