A Short History of Jenkins’ Brigade during the Gettysburg
By John A. Miller
General Jenkins is a very impressive man to read about during
the war years in West Virginia. Jenkins’ Brigade was raised for
the defense of their homes and serve as protection from Union
raiders. The men suffered a lack of equipment and tactical
training that would ensure them to be a fighting cavalry unit.
Instead they were more or less considered mounted infantry. This
article is not to fault the performance during the Gettysburg
Campaign. However, it seems that many historians today are too
quick to judge these men on why they were not as efficient on
the battlefield in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. But
statistically, they were a fighting machine in the region of
their home defense. Keeping in mind their background, their
fighting tactics could not be matched by the Army of Northern
Virginia, but rather they accomplished much more than what has
been given credit to them.
Albert Gallatin Jenkins was born on November 10, 1830 in
Cabell County of modern West Virginia. As a young man he was
educated at the Virginia Military Institute and a graduate of
the class of 1848 from the Jefferson College located in
Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania. He took up Law at Harvard College and
by 1850 was admitted to the Charleston Bar, but never practiced.
Instead Jenkins took up agriculture on his plantation.
Jenkins was very active in public affairs and became a
delegate in the Democratic Convention that was held in 1856. He
served as a delegate from 1857 to 1861 when Virginia seceded
from the Union. As a military soldier, he felt his duties were
for the protection of his home state. He raised a company of
mounted men called the Border Rangers and they drilled on the
grounds of Jenkins’ Plantation. Upon entering into the service
of the Confederate States, he was commissioned Captain and his
company of Border Rangers would soon become the nucleus of the 8th
Virginia Cavalry where the Border Rangers were designated as
Captain Jenkins and his men would see their first baptism of
fire during the April - July Military Operations of the Kanawha
Valley of modern day West Virginia. During the Battle of Scary
Creek on July 18, 1861, Captain Jenkins would prove himself by
winning the first Confederate Victory in the Kanawha Valley
Captain George Smith Patton of the
1st Kanawha Regiment fell wounded upon the
Soon after the battle of Scary Creek, Captain Jenkins was
promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 8th Virginia
Cavalry. As a military soldier Jenkins had proved himself loyal
to the Confederate Cause. Keeping a hand in politics, he was
elected to serve in the First Confederate Congress in 1862. On
August 5, 1862, Colonel Jenkins was promoted to Brigadier
General and was considered by many brilliant, daring and very
successful at conducting raids and foraging for supplies. He was
the first to plant the Confederate battle flag in Union
Territory in Ohio.
Besides conducting brilliant raids, Jenkins and his brigade
of Cavalry were the protectors of Western Virginia until his
Cavalry brigade was ordered to the Shenandoah Valley by General
Robert E. Lee on April 30, 1863. By May 15, General Jenkins’ men
had made their way into the Shenandoah Valley to Staunton,
Virginia. Here they awaited horses that would come in by rail
from North Carolina.
During the Gettysburg Campaign, General Jenkins’ Brigade
consisted of the 14th, 16th, 17th
and the 36th Virginia Cavalry along with Jackson’s
Kanawha Artillery. The 34th Virginia was also placed
in General Jenkins’ Brigade. The 8th Virginia Cavalry
was not among the cavalry regiments to participate in the
Gettysburg Campaign. They would stay behind and defend their
homes while General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia prepared to
take the war northward. General Jenkins’ Brigade was assigned to
Major General R. E. Rodes Division. Jenkins' Brigade was ordered
to attack Winchester and Berryville. The 17th
Virginia Cavalry was assigned to General Jubal Early’s Division.
General Jenkins’ men started up the Shenandoah Valley. Near
Front Royal, Virginia the 34th Virginia Battalion
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Witcher met up
with Generals Jenkins’ and Richard Ewell. The march northward
continued with a portion of Jenkins’ Brigade skirmishing with
Federal troops at Middletown. At Berryville, Jenkins drove the
Federal Cavalry back. However, the Federal Artillery kept
Jenkins' men from accomplishing their objective. He skirmished
with Union troops at Winchester and Bunker Hill.
At Bunker Hill on June 14th, the 34th
Virginia Cavalry assaulted a few houses, skirmishing in the
streets and capturing 75 to 100 prisoners. The 34th
Virginia Cavalry had only one casualty. The advance of Jenkins’
Brigade defeated Union General Milroy and proceed to northward
to Martinsburg. General Jenkins demanded the surrender of
Martinsburg. After several hours of skirmishing, the Federal
soldiers withdrew and this cleared the way of into Maryland.
On June 15, when Brigadier General A. G. Jenkins, with 1,600
cavalry entered Pennsylvania and advanced on Greencastle,
Jenkins divided his cavalry force into two where they destroyed
railroad bridges and cut telegraph wires. Arriving at
Greencastle, General Jenkins’ took up headquarters briefly at
the home of the editor of the Repository. Jenkins then moved on
to Chambersburg arriving at 11 o’clock at night.
During the early morning hours, the citizens of Chambersburg
were ordered to surrender all arms and according to the members
of 36th Virginia Cavalry, they were also ordered to
feed the men of Jenkins’ Brigade. Many supplies were gathered
while members of the 14th Virginia Cavalry destroyed
the railroad bridge at Scotland. During the day, a small
detachment of Union Cavalry attacked Jenkins’ pickets, but were
forced to retire, as their efforts proved futile.
On June 17, General Jenkins ordered the withdraw of his
cavalry after hearing the sound of a bugle coming toward
Chambersburg. Fearing he was not strong enough to hold his
position and believing that the Federal Cavalry was larger than
his own force, General Jenkins withdrew from Chambersburg
backtracking to Hagerstown after learning General Rhode’s
Division had crossed the Potomac. General Jenkins sent foraging
parties in all directions, with one group reaching
McConnellsburg. Jenkins’ men assisted in helping the Confederate
quartermasters and commissaries by obtaining supplies. Although
General Jenkins had been carefully instructed about transacting
this business by regular purchases, Jenkins did not require his
men to account for the large number of horses which they seized.
Upon hearing about Jenkins’ withdraw from Chambersburg,
General Rodes became furious. Knowing that General Jenkins' men
took most of the goods in Chambersburg that would have been of
any service to the Confederate troops, such as boots, hats and
clothing. When Jenkins' Cavalry left Chambersburg all of these
supplies were removed before the Confederates had the chance to
reoccupy Chambersburg. General Richard Ewell, seeing the strain
that General Jenkins was putting on General Rodes, agreed to
give orders personally to General Jenkins himself.
On June 19th, Company D was ordered to Waynesboro to capture
horses and cattle for the army. A powerful thunderstorm
surprised them during the night, and they were forced to take
refuge on a large farm. While they took up refuge on the farm,
the farmer was obligated to furnish them with rations.
The next day the men were foraging and around noon Company D
came upon a farm of an old Pennsylvania German. According to
Lieutenant Herman Schuricht; "He was scared to death at catching
sight of us, and shouted "O mein Gott, die rebels!" I soon
reassured him, telling him that no harm should result to him if
he furnished us with a dinner and rations for our horses, and we
were well cared for. A Federal cavalry regiment passed in sight
of the place, fortunately not discovering our presence, and I
concluded to march with my company to Lesterburg, Md., where the
citizens furnished us with supper. We camped for the night in an
open field, midway between Lesterburg and Hagerstown."
On June 21st, General Jenkins started out for
Chambersburg again after hearing reports that no Federal
soldiers had occupied the city. General Jenkins’ took two
companies of the 14th Virginia Cavalry and charged
into Chambersburg at night. Captain Moorman's Company of the
14th Virginia Cavalry was ordered to proceed to the South
Mountain and capture horses, then pass through Lesterburg and
then entered the mountain region. At 11 o'clock at night the
company came to Use's Iron-Works. Mr. Use, upon demand furnished
provisions to the troopers. Unfortunately, Mr. Use secretly
informed the farmers of the area and warned the federal troops
of their approach.
On June 22nd a skirmish erupted along a mountain pass called
Monterey near present day Blue Ridge Summit. A portion of
General Jenkins’s Cavalry ran into an armed militia of
Captain Robert Bell’s
21st Pennsylvania, Captain David Conaughy’s
Home Guard and a detachment of 1st Troop Philadelphia
City Cavalry under Captain Samuel Randall. The foraging party
was Company D, of the 14th Virginia Cavalry commanded
by Captain Robert Moorman. Union Major General Alfred Pleasonton
wrote this in his official report during the Gettysburg Campaign
"On Saturday night Jenkins' Cavalry, numbering 2,000 were
encamped a short distance beyond Waynesboro, and moved up the
South Mountain. Jenkins’ skirmishers scoured the woods on foot
on each side of the
Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike. When the Federal
Cavalry detail left, Jenkins’ men reached Monterey Springs and
continued firing at several bodies on horseback. Near dusk a
body of Jenkins’ cavalry entered Fairfield, eight miles from
Gettysburg. This detachment of Jenkins’ men numbered from fifty
to one hundred."
On June 23rd the members of the 14th
Virginia Cavalry started out by dawn. Capturing several horses
in the Cashtown area. By 2 P.M. in the afternoon, a detachment
of the 14th Virginia Cavalry headed to Caledonia Iron
Works, west of Gettysburg. They were pursuing a small detachment
Union troops. Roughly two miles past Caledonia, the detachment
of Confederate Cavalry saw that the Federal troops detachment
had blockaded the road.
Lieutenant Herman Schuricht of Company D noted that he was
ordered by Major Bryan to approach the barricade with nine men.
Lieutenant Schuricht directed four men to approach the barricade
to the right of the road, while Lieutenant Schuricht and the
rest of men took to the left of the road. About 25 Union men
were waiting in ambush and disappeared as Lt. Schuricht drew
nearer. The barricade was quickly removed while Captain Moorman
charged, with 25 men in pursuit of the Yankees. Lieutenant
Schuricht soon followed in the chase.
The Federal detail took refuge behind a company of Union
Cavalry that was in the woods. The Federal Cavalry turned their
horses heads as the 14th Virginia Cavalry came upon
them. Shots rang out striking Private Eli Amick. Soon
afterwards, Major Bryan called of the pursuit and returned to
Caledonia Iron Works. The 14th Virginia Cavalry
traveled back to Greenwood where their rear guard was located.
During the latter part of June, Jackson’s Kanawha Artillery
made it’s way up the Shenandoah Valley and joined General Lee’s
Army of Northern Virginia as it crossed the Potomac River.
Jackson’s Horse Artillery united with General Albert Jenkins’
Brigade prior to June 24th. The artillery consisted
of four Napoleons and two six inch rifled cannon.
The 17th Virginia Cavalry with
General Early entered
Pennsylvania marching toward Waynesboro on June 23rd.
Once at Waynesboro, General Early marched north on Black Gap
Road. Early’s Division traveled pass the little towns of Quincy,
Mont Alto, and arrived at Black Gap on or near June 25 (near the
present day intersection of Route 30.) General Early and his
Division changed direction heading East on the Chambersburg
On the same day, General Jenkins’ Brigade marched though
Shippensburg as they traveled to Carlisle. Lieutenant Schuricht
took command of Company D of the 14th Virginia
Cavalry when Captain Moorman was reported sick. Lieutenant
Schuricht was ordered to Shippensburg skirmishing with Federal
troops along the way and encamped for the night several miles
On June 26th, east of Black Gap, General Early’s
troops burned the ironworks at Caledonia. The 17th
Virginia passed through the mountain pass of Cashtown. Marching
onward, the larger part of Early’s forces passed northwest of
Brigadier General John B. Gordon’s brigade of 2,800 men
advanced through the town of Gettysburg on June 26 where they
repulsed a detachment of the 26th Pennsylvania Militia at Rock
Creek. After General Gordon’s men routed the 26th
Pennsylvania, General Early ordered the 17th Virginia
to march through Gettysburg and pursue the retreating Federal.
Company A known as French’s Cavalry led the way through
Gettysburg and captured a few prisoners. Colonel William French
was ordered to pursue the Pennsylvania Militia, and did so,
capturing several men. General Early sent two additional
regiments to reinforce Colonel French, however, the two other
regiments were unable to provide much help. Robert Gore of
Company D recorded that about 100 soldiers were taken prisoner.
By the morning of June 27th, Jenkins’ Brigade
moved on to Carlisle. Skirmishing broke out with Federal troops
when they neared the town of Carlisle. By 10 o’clock Jenkins’
men occupied the town. Lieutenant Schuricht recalled passing the
obstructions and fortifications as they entered the town. There
at Carlisle Jenkins’ Brigade received about 1500 rations from
At 3 o’clock General Ewell’s Corps entered Carlisle. Later
that day, General Jenkins received an order to advance to the
Susquehanna River and scout the approaches and defenses of
Harrisburg. Jenkins’ Brigade sat off for Mechanicsburg.
Lieutenant Schuricht recalled encamping for the night about 5
miles from Mechanicsburg and his pickets were attacked several
times throughout the night.
While General Jenkins was busy near Carlisle moving toward
Mechanicsburg, the 17th Virginia Cavalry with General
Gordon of Early’s Division advanced directly on York. The 35th
Virginia Cavalry battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Eleigh V.
White followed the railroad to Hanover Junction and destroyed a
bridge there. Fearing Union opposition, White then fell back and
marched north to rejoin General Gordon. General Gordon received
the surrender of York, which he entered and passed through on
the following day. General Early, after having detached the 17th
Virginia Cavalry under Colonel William H. French to destroy the
Susquehanna Bridge at York Haven, entered York and sat up his
Early’s division moved eastward to cut the railroad between
Baltimore and Harrisburg at York and to seize the bridge over
the Susquehanna River between Wrightsville and Columbia. In an
attempt to destroy a vital bridge at Wrightsville, Pennsylvania,
General Gordon failed to seize the bridge, when Union troops set
fire to it on June 28. The flames spread into the town, and
Gordon’s men helped to extinguish them. His troops returned to
York the following day.
On June 28th, General Jenkins marched into the town of
Mechanicsburg. After skirmishing with Federal Cavalry, Jenkins'
Brigade occupied Mechanicsburg. General Jenkins divided his
brigade into two columns. He sent Colonel Milton Ferguson with
the 16th Virginia, the 36th Virginia and Jackson's Artillery
along the Carlisle Pike. The rest of the Brigade moved along
Trindle Spring Road and advanced toward the Susquehanna River,
about four miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Jackson's Artillery began shelling the defenses of Harrisburg
that was manned by Federal Militia under General William Smith.
Lieutenant Schuricht noted his company of the 14th Virginia
Cavalry took position on a dominating hill. They were ordered to
support Jackson's Battery. General Jenkins took position on
Silver Springs Turnpike. This road was parallel to the
Carlisle-Harrisburg Turnpike, and Company D of the 14th Virginia
Cavalry was ordered to select a place of concealment east of
Mechanicsburg, in order to protect their connection with
According to Lieutenant Micajah Woods of Jackson's Artillery
they sent the Federals fleeing from Oyster Point and they left
behind guns, clothing, hats and anything else that slowed them
down. Colonel Ferguson's column in pursuit of the retreating
Federal soldiers, moved up to the next line of defenses about 5
miles from Harrisburg. Captain Jackson repositioned his guns at
Stone Church that was a half mile from the village of
Shiremanstown. Jackson's Battery kept up the Artillery fire
On June 29th, a portion of Jenkins' Brigade engaged the
Federal troops from Oyster Point. General Jenkins ordered a
concentration of rifle and artillery fire to cover his
reconnaissance of the Union defenses of Harrisburg. The
entrenchment consisted of Fort Washington and Fort Couch that
were located on Hummel Heights. While General Jenkins' men were
engaged at Oyster Point, General Richard S. Ewell ordered
General Rodes to move his infantry east for an attack on
Harrisburg. During the night General Robert E. Lee learned of
the advancing Union Army and sent orders to concentrate in the
Cashtown area west of Gettysburg.
After receiving General Lee's orders, General Jenkins started
to withdrew from Mechanicsburg on the morning of June 30th,
leaving behind a rearguard with orders to rip up the railroad
tracks before withdrawing. Lieutenant Schuricht was ordered to
report with his company at Jenkins' headquarters. He was then
directed to proceed with his company and one cannon of Jackson's
Battery to Mechanicsburg and hold the town until ordered
otherwise, and to destroy the railroad track as far as possible.
Colonel Ferguson withdrew his command from Orr's Bridge, west
along the Carlisle Pike to Sporting Hill.
Captain Jackson had two cannon, located in Gleim's Woods and
opened fire on the Federal line. As a precaution, Colonel
Ferguson deployed the 16th Virginia Cavalry and 36th Virginia
Cavalry Battalion to protect Captain Jackson's guns. Soon after
the last of Jenkins' men had left, Union Cavalry scouts
discovered that Jenkins' men had withdrew. General William F.
Smith sent out a reconnaissance to determine where Jenkins' men
At sunset a courier was sent from Jenkins’ headquarters
ordering Lieutenant Schuricht’s Company to leave Mechanicsburg
after dark and fall back to Carlisle. There he would meet up
with Jenkins' Brigade. On the journey back, Captain Moorman
rejoined Company D and took command. The entire command
continued its march to Petersburg, Pennsylvania where it arrived
around 2 o'clock in the morning. They encamped there and were
ready for any Union attack as the men slept with their arms
ready in their hand.
At day break on July 1st, Jenkins' men were in the saddle
moving toward Gettysburg. By noon the men heard the cannonading
ahead of them. It was then the men learned that the two armies
had met one another in Pennsylvania. If was an act of
forgetfulness or not, General Ewell forgot to notify General
Jenkins about his movements. As a result General Jenkins'
Brigade brought up the rear. Around 5 o'clock in the evening.
Jenkins crossed Rock Creek and surveyed the debris of the
battlefield north of town. Shortly afterwards Jenkins order his
men to dismount.
The 17th Virginia Cavalry under Colonel French was one of the
only units from Jenkins' Brigade to participate in the first
days' battle at Gettysburg. They fell in as part of General
Early's Division. Taking up a battle during the early afternoon,
the 17th Virginia was on the line of battle north of Gettysburg
near Rock Creek on the Harrisburg Road. Eventually parts of the
17th Virginia Cavalry supported Jones's Artillery Battalion.
Members of the 17th Virginia Cavalry and portions of Jenkins'
Brigade were ordered to guard the Federal prisoners taken at
During the morning of July 2nd, General Jenkins
was summoned to Lee's tent on Seminary Ridge. He was tasked with
guarding General Ewell's left flank. Jenkins' Brigade was posted
in a piece of woodland near Rock Creek. Jenkins and his men
waited for the attack. For some reason General Jenkins never
received the order that the battle was postponed, even though
Jenkins was miles away from General Ewell's left flank. After
waiting for the attack that never came, General Jenkins wanted
to see what was going on. Arriving on top of a hill they
attracted the enemy's attention, who fired a cannon shot upon
Jenkins' party. The shell exploded wounding General Jenkins and
killing his horse. Jenkins was carried from the field. Colonel
M. J. Ferguson of the 16th Virginia Cavalry took over as acting
commander of Jenkins' Brigade. Later that night Jenkins' Brigade
met General Stuart.
With Colonel M. J. Ferguson, leading the men, their
performance immediately began to improve. On July 4th, at 4
o'clock in the morning Jenkins' Brigade mounted their horses and
advanced to the extreme left of their lines. This flanking
movement was to cut of any Federal retreat and to attack the
Federal rear. General Jeb Stuart and Colonel Witcher rode ahead
of the column and observed the area. Cress Ridge was completely
wide open. Stuart's Cavalry passed Stallsmith's farm where the
two officers talked about plans of attack.
Shortly after arriving, General Stuart ordered one of
Griffin's guns to fire in each direction. This may have been
done to draw out the Federal Cavalry that might be in the area
or to signal to General Lee that Stuart was ready to make an
attack. Lt. Colonel Witcher was then ordered by Stuart to take
his battalion forward toward the left of Rummel’s Barn and
dismount at 8 o’clock and then again at 10 o’clock in that
Only a portion of Jenkins’ Brigade was deployed during the
Cavalry Battle east of Gettysburg. Jenkins’ Brigade was deployed
as follows 34th Virginia Cavalry (5 companies) 16th
Virginia Cavalry (4 companies), 14th Virginia Cavalry
(4 companies) and Jackson’s Kanawha Artillery would engage the
Federal Cavalry at East Cavalry Field. The remainder of the 16th
Virginia Cavalry were stationed on the Fairfield Road with
Colonel Ferguson. A portion of the 14th Virginia and
17th Virginia Cavaliers were guarding prisoners. This
left the rest of the 36th Virginia Cavalry picketing
the flanks of the 34th Virginia Cavalry.
During the battle many men of Jenkins’ Brigade were armed
with Enfield rifles and were used as sharpshooters due to only
being issued 10 rounds of ammunition. The exception was the 34th
Virginia who stood up to General Gregg’s Division during the
battle. Another test of courage came when the 5th
Michigan charged upon the men of the 34th and Lt.
Colonel Witcher noted that their Major Ferry and their colors
were lost in the fight. Soon the 34th was reinforced
by Colonel Chambliss.
After the thick of the fight had died down, the Federal
Artillery still fired upon Stuart’s Horse Batteries. Lt. Colonel
Witcher requested General Stuart to allow his cavalry to take
the Federal guns, but Stuart declined. During the night General
Stuart withdrew the main body to the ridges west of Gettysburg.
The Confederate Army had lost the battle of Gettysburg after
Longstreet’s assault had failed.
During the morning hours
of July 4th, General Lee's mangled
army began it’s withdrawal from Gettysburg. Jenkins’ Brigade was
split sending the 14th Virginia with General Imboden
through Cashtown. The 36th Virginia would go through
Monterey Pass and guard
General Ewell’s wagon trains near Waterloo, Pennsylvania.
The rest of the Jenkins’ Brigade would patrol around the wagon
train that was in Fairfield or ride with General Stuart’s
Sometime during the morning a portion of
came into Emmitsburg. While watering their horses,
Emmitsburg residents who were curious of the out come of the
battle of Gettysburg asked the troopers who won, their reply was
that the Confederates had won.
The Confederate riders soon became paranoid by some of the
Emmitsburg residents. On one occasion some rebels detected two
gentlemen watching every move they had made, when suddenly the
rebels raised their pistols. These rebels thought that the
gentlemen were Union spies or were part of the Signal Corp. Once
the two gentlemen explained that they were villagers of the town
and were curious as to what all the bedlam was about, the rebels
placed their guns back into their holsters. Jenkins’ men mounted
up and headed toward Monterey Pass.
During a blinding rainstorm a
battle erupted at
Monterey Pass when General Judson Kilpatrick’s Cavalry
Division attacked a small force of Confederate Cavalry. Stalling
Kilpatrick for more than 5 hours, Kilpatrick gained the mountain
summit and continued to Waynesboro on the dawn hours of July 5th.
While charging down the mountain, Kilpatrick’s men ran into more
resistance and captured more prisoners. At Waterloo, the 36th
lost at least six men captured as a result from the Battle of
Monterey that started the evening before.
General Stuart came through the town of Emmitsburg during the
dawn hours, the 34th Virginia Cavalry led the advance
into Emmitsburg. A sharp skirmish erupted at the western
entrance. Once the resistance was stopped, General Stuart
learned that a large Union Cavalry under the command of General
Kilpatrick had just left the town only hours before his arrival.
The Union Cavalry was headed toward the rebel wagon train at
Monterey Pass. After leaving Emmitsburg, Stuart’s Cavalry
traveled to Cooperstown, Mechanicstown and back to Emmitsburg
where it crossed the mountains heading to Smithsburg and also
During the morning of the 5th, the 14th Virginia Cavalry rode
to Cashtown where it met up with General Fitzhugh Lee and moved
to Greencastle guarding prisoners. At 12 o'clock that night,
they met up with General Imboden's Brigade who was in charge of
a wagon train full of wounded soldiers. At Greenwood and
Greencastle the train was attacked by Federal Cavalry, but they
were repulsed without being able to do much harm.
While the majority of Jenkins' Brigade was marching to
Hagerstown with General Stuart or protecting what was left of
General Ewell's wagon train, members of the 14th Virginia were
moving to Hagerstown via Greencastle. By the 6th of July members
of the 14th Virginia Cavalry were at Hagerstown. As Union
Cavalry was already skirmishing in the streets, a regiment of
Confederate Infantry entered the city and proceeded to drive the
Yankees out. As skirmishing kept up until 5:30 P.M., Jenkins'
Brigade arrived and forced the Union Cavalry to retreat. They
encamped near Hagerstown that night.
On July 7th, the 14th marched to Sharpsburg and then moved
toward Boonsboro and encamped. By July 8th, a portion of the
14th Virginia Cavalry reported to General Lee's headquarters.
Their orders were to attack the enemy's outposts in their
travels. Around 9 o'clock in the morning General Stuart attacked
the Federal left flank near Boonsboro, Maryland. General
Fitzhugh Lee attacked the left wing of the Federals, General
Jones their center, and Jenkins' Brigade was to fight the right
flank. By the next morning more skirmishing occurred near
At three o'clock in the afternoon on July 12th, Jenkins'
Brigade received orders from General Fitzhugh Lee. Jenkins'
Brigade was to proceed between Hagerstown and Williamsport ready
for action in case of a Federal attack. No attack came and they
encamped for the night.
At five o'clock in the morning on July 14th, Jenkins' Brigade
was to report to Williamsport to ford the Potomac River. At
Williamsport, Jenkins' Brigade tried attacking the Federal
troops but found the ground littered with many rocks and fences.
Because of this they were forced to dismount and attack the
Federal soldiers. The Federal soldiers then fell back, but not
before several men from Jenkins' Brigade were captured. By July
21st, the 17th Virginia Cavalry was
encamped at Shepherdstown where it protected General Early’s
Division and would continue to Orange Court House in Virginia.
Jenkins' men had seen the last of their service in Maryland
during the Gettysburg Campaign. They were among the last to
cross the Potomac River and return to Virginia. From there they
marched to Martinsburg. During the retreat from Williamsport,
desertion became a problem for Jenkins' men. Many of them tired
of their service with the Army of Northern Virginia simply fell
out from their ranks and headed for home. Many of them were
captured and returned to their units, but a good many of them
enlisted with other cavalry units in West Virginia. By
September, the main portion of Jenkins' Brigade had returned to
the Kanawha Valley in West Virginia.
- Explore Pennsylvania History - Makers and the Gettysburg
Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. 24, pages 339-351
onfederate Military History of Maryland and West Virginia
- Robert White
War Diary of Lieutenant Herman Schuricht Co. D 14th Virginia
Amick's Rangers - Rick Emmick
Virginia Regimental Series Published by H.E. Howard:
- J. L. Scott - 36th and 37th Battalions Virginia Cavalry,
- Nelson Harris - 17th Virginia Cavalry, 1994
- Robert Moore, II - Graham’s Petersburg, Jackson’s Kanawha
and Lutry’s Roanoke Horse Artillery, 1996
- Scott C. Cole - 34th Virginia Cavalry
- Robert Driver, Jr. - 14th Virginia Cavalry,
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