The Battle of Monocacy: Morning

Precursors MorningAfternoonRetreatAftermath

Lt. George Davis, 10th Vermont
July 9, 1864: 8:00 a.m. Confederate skirmishers from Major General Stephen Ramseur’s division engaged a Union detachment at Monocacy Junction. As the Confederates reconnoitered the area, command of the Union detachment at the junction fell to First Lieutenant George E. Davis, 10th Vermont Regiment. Davis commanded 200 men from the 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade as well as 75 men from his own unit. Support from two blockhouses and Union artillery on the east side of the river aided in the protection of the railroad and covered bridges.
Fording the Monocacy River

10:00 a.m. Confederate General John McCausland’s cavalry brigade began to cross the Monocacy River at the Worthington-McKinney ford (1). As they crossed, lead elements encountered a company of Union cavalry from the 8th Illinois. A small skirmish ensued (2) until the outnumbered Illinois men were forced to fall back to the Union line, where they warned of the Confederate advance (3).

Confederate 1st Attack at Thomas Farm

10:30 a.m. Alerted to the Confederate crossing, Union Brigadier General James Ricketts positioned a battle line behind a post and rail fence on the Thomas Farm to meet the advance. The hidden Union defenders waited as the unsuspecting Confederates advanced to within 125 yards (1), then opened fire and caught the Confederates off guard (2). Taking a number of casualties, the Confederates were pushed back to the Worthington House in disorder (3).

Covered Bridge over the Monocacy River

11:00 a.m. As Ricketts engaged McCausland on the Thomas Farm, a second Confederate attack was mounted on Davis’ position at the junction. The Confederates attempted to attack the Union right flank near the railroad and capture one of the blockhouses. Davis was warned by his pickets and repelled the attack. As both Ricketts and Davis were engaged, Wallace ordered the covered bridge burned. Davis’ detachment was not recalled and was left on the opposite side of the river for the remainder of the battle.


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