Eliakim P. Scammon

Eliakim Parker Scammon (December 27, 1816 – December 7, 1894) was a career officer in the United States Army, serving as a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Eliakim P. Scammon
BornDecember 27, 1816
Whitefield, Maine
DiedDecember 7, 1894 (aged 77)
New York City, New York
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1837–1856, 1861–1865
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Commands heldKanawha Division
Battles/warsSeminole Wars
Mexican–American War
American Civil War
Other workProfessor

Early life and career

Scammon, a native of Whitefield, Maine, was appointed from his district to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, graduating 9th in the Class of 1837. He remained at West Point after graduation, serving as Assistant Professor of Mathematics from August 1837 to September 1838. Due to his ranking and abilities, he was selected as one of the original officers in the newly created U.S. Army Corps of Topographic Engineers in 1838. He served in the Seminole Wars and the Mexican–American War, serving under Winfield Scott in the Army of Occupation. He was elevated to captain in 1853 and assigned to various surveying assignments, but was dismissed from the service on June 4, 1856.

He moved to Ohio and became Professor of Mathematics at Mount Saint Mary's College, and then was President and Professor of Mathematics, Polytechnic College of the Catholic Institute in Cincinnati. He had converted to Catholicism in 1846.[1]

Civil War service

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Scammon offered his services to William Dennison, the Governor of Ohio in June 1861 and was appointed as Colonel of the 23rd Ohio Infantry, commanding two men who would later become Presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley. The regiment saw action in western Virginia and then in the northern part of the state.

Assigned to what became the IX Corps in the Army of the Potomac, Scammon then commanded the 1st Brigade, Kanawha Division. During the Maryland Campaign, he led his men in an attack up the slopes of South Mountain. When Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox briefly assumed command of the IX Corps, Scammon temporarily commanded the Kanawha Division, while Col. Hugh Ewing commanded Scammon's brigade. He fought well at the Battle of Antietam, where his men were counterattacked by late-arriving Confederate reinforcements under A.P. Hill.

Scammon was appointed brigadier general of volunteers in October 1862, and fought in the major actions of the Kanawha Division. He often clashed with his subordinate, Rutherford B. Hayes.[2] Scammon, by then a division commander, was captured by partisan guerrillas from the 16th Virginia Cavalry on February 3, 1864, when they raided a steamboat carrying General Scammon on the Kanawha River. He returned to duty in South Carolina after being exchanged. He was again captured along the South Carolina coast, but exchanged and when he returned to duty, was placed in command of a brigade in the Department of Florida. He was honorably mustered out in August 1865.

Postbellum career

Following the war, he was the U.S. Consul to Prince Edward Island and then Professor of Mathematics at Seton Hall College in New Jersey. Bowdoin College in Maine conferred the honorary Degree of A. M. on Scammon.

Scammon died in New York City. He was buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Long Island City, New York.

His brother, J. Young Scammon, became one of the wealthiest men in America as a Chicago attorney, newspaper owner, philanthropist and businessman. Another brother, Charles Melville Scammon is a famous whaleman, naturalist and author of Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North America (1874).

See also


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ellakim Parker Scammon" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Peter Cozzens speech at the Hayes Presidential Center Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine


  • Heitman, Francis, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1903.

Further reading

  • Arney, Chris, West Point's Scientific 200: Celebration of the Bicentennial: Biographies of 200 of West Point's Most Successful and Influential Mathematicians, Scientists, Engineers, and Technologists, 2002.
23rd Ohio Infantry

The 23rd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry (or 23rd OVI) was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during much of the American Civil War. It served in the Eastern Theater in a variety of campaigns and battles, and is remembered with a stone memorial on the Antietam National Battlefield not far from Burnside's Bridge.

The regiment later became noted for its many postbellum politicians. Future Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley served in this unit, as did future U.S. Senator and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Thomas Stanley Matthews and Robert P. Kennedy, a future U.S. Congressman. Other notable officers included James M. Comly and Eliakim P. Scammon, both of whom became influential nationally after the war. Harrison Gray Otis, the famed owner and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, also fought with the 23rd Ohio during the war.

2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment

The 2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was organized in Parkersburg, Virginia (now West Virginia) during September 1861. Most of the original members of this regiment were from southeastern Ohio, and planners thought that this regiment would become the 4th Ohio Cavalry. Their application was rejected by the governor of Ohio, so the unit became the 2nd Regiment of Loyal Virginia Volunteer Cavalry. The "Loyal Virginia" part of the name was replaced with "West Virginia" after the state of West Virginia was created in 1863. Today, the National Park Service lists them as 2nd Regiment, West Virginia Cavalry under a heading of Union West Virginia Volunteers.

The regiment's first full–fledged war experience happened in early January 1862 in northeastern Kentucky, where they assisted the command of Colonel James A. Garfield. For the next two years, most of the regiment's fighting was in the mountainous backwoods of what later became the southern portion of West Virginia, especially the Kanawha River Valley. During the Kanawha Campaign in September 1862, the 2nd Regiment of Loyal Virginia Volunteer Cavalry cleared away Confederate cavalry that intended to prevent a retreating Union Army from reaching the safety of Ohio. By 1864, the regiment was part of the Army of West Virginia, and spent much of its time fighting in the western portion of today's state of Virginia. It participated in General David Hunter's unsuccessful raid on Lynchburg. It also participated in Union General Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign, playing an important part in the Third Battle of Winchester.

On November 28, 1864, about 240 members of the regiment completed their 3-year enlistment and mustered out. The regiment was then reorganized into five companies. By the end of 1864, the regiment was part of General George Armstrong Custer's 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps—which, along with another division, remained under the command of General Sheridan. Sheridan's two cavalry divisions continued to fight in the Shenandoah Valley, and were responsible for eliminating Confederate General Jubal Early's Army of the Valley from the war. During March 1865, Sheridan moved his two divisions eastward toward Petersburg, Virginia. The regiment, as part of Capehart's Fighting Brigade in Custer's division, was part of a crucial cavalry charge in the Union victory at the Battle of Sailor's Creek. The regiment was also present during the Appomattox Campaign and the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. After the war, the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry participated in the Grand Review of the Armies, and was mustered out on June 30, 1865. Four men from the regiment received the United States of America's highest military award, the Medal of Honor.

Antietam Union order of battle

The following Union Army units and commanders fought in the Battle of Antietam of the American Civil War. The Confederate order of battle is listed separately. Order of battle compiled from the army organization during the Maryland Campaign, the casualty returns and the reports.

Battle of Antietam

The Battle of Antietam , also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War, fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It was the bloodiest day in United States history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.After pursuing the Confederate general Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan of the Union Army launched attacks against Lee's army, in defensive positions behind Antietam Creek. At dawn on September 17, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee's left flank. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller's Cornfield, and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. In the afternoon, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's corps entered the action, capturing a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and advancing against the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, Confederate Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill's division arrived from Harpers Ferry and launched a surprise counterattack, driving back Burnside and ending the battle. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout September 18, while removing his battered army south of the Potomac River.Despite having superiority of numbers, McClellan's attacks failed to achieve force concentration, which allowed Lee to counter by shifting forces and moving along interior lines to meet each challenge. Therefore, despite ample reserve forces that could have been deployed to exploit localized successes, McClellan failed to destroy Lee's army. McClellan's persistent but erroneous belief that he was outnumbered contributed to his cautiousness throughout the campaign.

McClellan had halted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but Lee was able to withdraw his army back to Virginia without interference from the cautious McClellan. McClellan's refusal to pursue Lee's army led to his removal from command by President Abraham Lincoln in November. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, the Confederate troops had withdrawn first from the battlefield, and abandoned their invasion, making it a Union strategic victory. It was a sufficiently significant victory to give Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from pursuing any potential plans to recognize the Confederacy.

Calvary Cemetery (Queens, New York)

Calvary Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery in Maspeth and Woodside, Queens, in New York City, New York, United States. With about 3 million burials, it has the largest number of interments of any cemetery in the United States; it is also one of the oldest cemeteries in the United States. It covers 365 acres and is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and managed by the Trustees of St. Patrick's Cathedral.Calvary Cemetery is divided into four sections, spread across the neighborhoods of Maspeth and Woodside. The oldest, First Calvary, is also called "Old Calvary." The Second, Third and Fourth sections are all considered part of "New Calvary."

First Calvary Cemetery is located between the Long Island Expressway and Review Avenue. The cemetery's offices are located here, at 49–02 Laurel Hill Boulevard.

Second Calvary Cemetery is located on the west side of 58th Street between Queens Boulevard and the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway.

Third Calvary Cemetery is located on the west side of 58th Street between the Long Island Expressway and the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway.

Fourth Calvary Cemetery is located on the west side of 58th Street between the Long Island Expressway and 55th Avenue.

Carr B. White

Carr Baily White (1823–1871) was a physician, an officer during the Mexican War and a general during the American Civil War. His Civil War service was entirely in western Virginia and Maryland.

White was born in Mason County, Kentucky, but moved to Ohio at a young age. where he attended Jefferson Medical College. During the Mexican War he enlisted as a private in the 1st Ohio Infantry. On February 1, 1847 he was promoted to captain in his regiment, and was mustered out of the volunteer service on June 14, 1847. When White was promoted to captain, it enraged 1st Lieutenant James P. Fyffe, who was passed over. Fyffe challenged White to a duel. Since General Zachary Taylor frowned upon dueling, they waited until the regiment was mustered out. White chose Ferdinand Van Derveer as his second. White and Fyffe met on an island while their transport refueled and fought with pistols. Both missed and the matter was then settled peacefully. White returned home to serve as a physician.

When the Civil War began, White enlisted in the 12th Ohio Infantry, being chosen its lieutenant colonel. The regiment saw action its first at the battle of Carnifex Ferry in western Virginia. The colonel, John W. Lowe, was killed, and on June 28, 1861 White was made its colonel. The 12th Ohio was attached to Jacob D. Cox's Kanawha Division at the Second Battle of Bull Run and during the Maryland Campaign. The regiment saw heavy fighting at Fox's Gap and fought again in the vicinity of Burnside's Bridge during the Battle of Antietam.

White and the Kanawha Division then returned to western Virginia, and the following spring White was given command of a brigade in the VIII Corps. From June to December, 1863 he commanded a brigade under Eliakim P. Scammon in the Department of West Virginia. During this time White helped organize a unit known as "Spencer's Scouts", after its first commander. White and Spencer's Scouts operated against Confederate partisan and guerrilla leaders in western Virginia, especially those under John S. Mosby.

In April 1864, White took command of the 2nd Brigade in George Crook's division of the Department of West Virginia. He fought at the battle of Cloyd's Mountain. White's brigade was made up of green regiments and sustained heavy casualties in their first and only battle. White led the brigade during the following Lynchburg Campaign, though they saw no combat.

White was mustered on July 11, 1864 and received a brevet promotion to Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers for his services at Cloyd's Mountain, dated March 13, 1865.White returned to Ohio, settling in Georgetown. He died there in 1871 at the age of 48.

Charles Melville Scammon

Charles Melville Scammon (1825-1911) was a 19th-century whaleman, naturalist, and author. He was the first to hunt the gray whales of both Laguna Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio Lagoon, the former once being called "Scammon's Lagoon" after him. In 1874 he wrote the book The Marine Mammals of the North-western Coast of North America, which was a financial failure. It is now considered a classic.Scammon was born in Pittston, Maine, on May 28, 1825. In 1850 he sailed for California. On April 1, 1852 he left San Francisco in command of the brig Mary Helen (160 tons) on a combined sealing and whaling voyage. He returned on August 26 with 350 barrels of oil obtained from elephant seals. During the winter of 1855-56 he was among the vessels hunting gray whales in Magdalena Bay, when he was commanding the ship Leonore. In December 1857, commanding the brig Boston, with the schooner-tender Marin, he first hunted the gray whales of Laguna Ojo de Liebre, catching twenty. The following winter (1858–59), commanding the bark Ocean Bird and accompanied by the schooner tenders A.M. Simpson and Kate, he returned to the lagoon, catching forty-seven cows. In the winter of 1859-60 he first exploited another lagoon to the south, San Ignacio. Within a few seasons it had been swept clean of whales.In 1860-61 he returned to Laguna Ojo de Liebre in the bark Ocean Bird, taking a paltry 245 barrels of oil – about seven whales. In the summer of 1862 he sailed to the Sea of Okhotsk in the San Francisco ship William C. Nye. He cruised around Iony Island and Shantar Bay until September, catching only three bowhead whales. In the winter of 1862-63 he hunted gray whales in Magdalena Bay, his last whaling cruise. He spent the following three decades in the Revenue Service, before retiring from disability in 1895.

In October 1870, Scammon collected the 27-foot-long type specimen of the Davidson piked whale (Balaenoptera davidsoni, Scammon, 1872); it had been found dead on the shores of Admiralty Inlet by Italian fishermen, who towed it to Port Townsend Bay, where they flensed it.He is the brother of J. Young Scammon and Eliakim P. Scammon.

Hugh Boyle Ewing

Hugh Boyle Ewing, (October 31, 1826 – June 30, 1905), was a diplomat, author, attorney, and Union Army general during the American Civil War. He was a member of the prestigious Ewing family, son of Thomas Ewing, the eldest brother of Thomas Ewing, Jr. and Charles Ewing, and the foster brother and brother-in-law of William T. Sherman. General Ewing was an ambitious, literate, and erudite officer who held a strong sense of responsibility for the men under his command. He combined his West Point experience with the Civil War system of officer election.Ewing's wartime service was characterized by several incidents which would have a unique impact on history. In 1861, his political connections helped save the reputation of his brother-in-law, William T. Sherman, who went on to become one of the north's most successful generals. Ewing himself went on to become Sherman's most trusted subordinate. His campaigning eventually led to the near-banishment of Lorenzo Thomas, a high-ranking regular army officer who had intrigued against Sherman. He was present at the Battle of Antietam, where his brigade saved the flank of the Union Army late in the day. During the Vicksburg campaign, Ewing accidentally came across personal correspondence from Confederate President Jefferson F. Davis to former President Franklin Pierce which eventually ruined the reputation of the latter. Ewing was also present in Kentucky during Major General Stephen G. Burbridge's "reign of terror", where he worked to oppose Burbridge's harsh policies against civilians, but was hampered by debilitating rheumatism. He ended the war with an independent command, a sign he held the confidence of his superiors, acting in concert with Sherman to trap Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina.After the war, Ewing spent time as Ambassador to the Netherlands and became a noted author. He died in 1905 on his family farm.

J. Young Scammon

Jonathan Young Scammon (July 27, 1812 – March 17, 1890) was an early settler in Chicago, Illinois, arriving in the city in 1835. He went on to become politically important as a lawyer, banker, and newspaper publisher. His first wife was Mary Ann Haven Dearborn, a niece of General Dearborn, with whom he had 3 children. His second wife was Maria Gardner Wright.

Kanawha Division

The Kanawha Division was a Union Army division which could trace its origins back to a brigade originally commanded by Jacob D. Cox. This division served in western Virginia and Maryland and was at times led by such famous personalities as George Crook and Rutherford B. Hayes.

List of Ohio's American Civil War generals

See also Ohio in the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, Ohio contributed a large number of officers, politicians, and troops to the Union war effort.

The following is a partial list of generals or rear admirals either born in Ohio or living in Ohio when they joined the Army or Navy (or in a few cases, men who were buried in Ohio following the war, although they did not directly serve in Ohio units). There were 134 men given the temporary rank of brevet brigadier general, a few of whom are also included in this listing.

In addition, the following Ohioans served as generals in the Confederate States Army:

Charles Clark

Robert H. Hatton

Bushrod Johnson

Philip N. Luckett

Roswell S. Ripley

Otho F. Strahl

List of Seton Hall University people

The following is a list of notable people associated with Seton Hall University, located in the American city of South Orange, New Jersey.

List of shipwrecks in February 1864

The list of shipwrecks in February 1864 includes all ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during February 1864.

Sinking Creek Raid

The Sinking Creek Raid took place in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) during the American Civil War. On November 26, 1862, an entire Confederate army camp was captured by 22 men from a Union cavalry during a winter snow storm. The 22 men were the advance guard for the 2nd Loyal Virginia Volunteer Cavalry, which was several miles behind. This cavalry unit was renamed 2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry in 1863, after West Virginia became a state.

The Confederates, who were the rebels in the American Civil War, had an army camp near the foot of a mountain in Sinking Creek Valley. Their camp contained about 500 soldiers, who were surprised by the small group of Union cavalry men. Many of the rebels did not have their weapons loaded. The Union cavalry raced into the camp with sabers drawn, and quickly convinced the rebels to surrender in exchange for their lives. Over 100 rebel soldiers were taken prisoner. More than 100 horses and about 200 rifles were also captured, in addition to supplies and tents.

The leaders of the raid, Major William H. Powell and 2nd Lieutenant Jeremiah Davidson, both received promotions shortly afterwards. Powell was later awarded the Medal of Honor for this action. General George R. Crook said the Sinking Creek Raid was "one of the most daring, brilliant and successful of the whole war". Powell would eventually become a general. Davidson would rise to the rank of captain in the cavalry, and major in the infantry.

William Henry Powell (soldier)

William Henry Powell (May 10, 1825 – December 26, 1904) was an American soldier who fought for the Union in the American Civil War. He was a leader in the iron and nail business before the war, and his leadership abilities proved useful in the military. Powell began as a captain, and quickly ascended to higher roles in the cavalry, including commanding a regiment, a brigade, and then a division. Powell was awarded his country's highest award for bravery during combat, the Medal of Honor, for heroism at Sinking Creek, Virginia, when, as leader of a group of 22 men, he captured an enemy camp and took over 100 prisoners. This was accomplished without the loss of any of his men on November 26, 1862. He was honored with the award on July 22, 1890.

In July 1863, Powell was shot while leading cavalry in Wytheville, Virginia. Although surgeons on both sides of the conflict believed his wound was fatal, Powell survived—and became a prisoner of war. He was later exchanged, and returned to his command of the 2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. In 1864, Powell commanded brigades while fighting mostly in the Shenandoah Valley under the direct supervision of General William W. Averell in an army commanded by General Philip Sheridan. Eventually, Powell replaced Averell as division commander. Powell led cavalry in numerous battles, including Moorefield, Opequon, and Fisher's Hill. He resigned as a brigadier general in January 1865 to tend to family health issues. He was later brevetted to major general. Powell returned to his original profession working in the iron making industry, and was active in the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Union veterans of the American Civil War.

In a letter sent to headquarters in 1864, General George Crook said "Colonel Powell has served with me often since the commencement of the war. He has distinguished himself in every battle he was engaged in under me. He has been recommended by me on several occasions, for promotion. I regard him as one of the best cavalry officers I have ever seen in the service."

William McKinley

William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry and kept the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy).

McKinley was the last president to have served in the American Civil War and the only one to have started the war as an enlisted soldier, beginning as a private in the Union Army and ending as a brevet major. After the war, he settled in Canton, Ohio, where he practiced law and married Ida Saxton. In 1876, he was elected to Congress, where he became the Republican Party's expert on the protective tariff, which he promised would bring prosperity. His 1890 McKinley Tariff was highly controversial, which together with a Democratic redistricting aimed at gerrymandering him out of office led to his defeat in the Democratic landslide of 1890. He was elected governor of Ohio in 1891 and 1893, steering a moderate course between capital and labor interests. With the aid of his close adviser Mark Hanna, he secured the Republican nomination for president in 1896 amid a deep economic depression. He defeated his Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan after a front porch campaign in which he advocated "sound money" (the gold standard unless altered by international agreement) and promised that high tariffs would restore prosperity.

Rapid economic growth marked McKinley's presidency. He promoted the 1897 Dingley Tariff to protect manufacturers and factory workers from foreign competition and in 1900 secured the passage of the Gold Standard Act. McKinley hoped to persuade Spain to grant independence to rebellious Cuba without conflict, but when negotiation failed he led the nation into the Spanish–American War of 1898—the United States victory was quick and decisive. As part of the peace settlement, Spain turned over to the United States its main overseas colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines while Cuba was promised independence, but at that time remained under the control of the United States Army. The United States annexed the independent Republic of Hawaii in 1898 and it became a United States territory.

Historians regard McKinley's 1896 victory as a realigning election in which the political stalemate of the post-Civil War era gave way to the Republican-dominated Fourth Party System, which began with the Progressive Era. McKinley defeated Bryan again in the 1900 presidential election in a campaign focused on imperialism, protectionism and free silver. His legacy was suddenly cut short when he was shot on September 6, 1901 by Leon Czolgosz, a second-generation Polish-American with anarchist leanings. McKinley died eight days later and was succeeded by his Vice President Theodore Roosevelt. As an innovator of American interventionism and pro-business sentiment, McKinley's presidency is generally considered above average, though his highly positive public perception was soon overshadowed by Roosevelt.

Wytheville Raid

The Wytheville Raid or Toland's Raid (July 18, 1863) was an attack by an undersized Union brigade on a Confederate town during the American Civil War. Union Colonel John Toland led a brigade of over 800 men against a Confederate force of about 130 soldiers and 120 civilians. The location of Wytheville, the county seat of Wythe County in southwestern Virginia, had strategic importance because of a nearby lead mine and the railroad that served it. This mine supplied lead for about one third of the Confederate Army's munitions, while the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad transported Confederate troops and supplies; plus telegraph wires along the railroad line were vital for communications. In addition to logistics of moving the lead to bullet manufacturing facilities, this rail line also connected an important salt works of an adjacent county with the wider Confederacy.

Toland's entire brigade was mounted, and consisted of a mounted infantry regiment plus eight companies of cavalry. It approached the small town of Wytheville on the evening of July 18. The community had been warned that a large force of Union horsemen was heading in its direction, and hastily made preparations before the brigade's arrival. While many in the community fled south or hid in their homes, a force of about 120 civilians (including home guard) volunteered to defend their town. The Union cavalry entered the town first, charging in column down the main road that led into town. The men from the cavalry were ambushed by Confederate soldiers, Home Guard, and local citizens. Most of the local men, and women, fired their one–shot muskets from inside their homes and businesses. This type of warfare was considered unconventional at the time. One Union soldier described the road as an "avenue of death".The Union force suffered significant losses. The Union commander, Colonel Toland, was killed. The severely wounded cavalry commander, Colonel William H. Powell, was left to die and became a prisoner of the Confederates. (Powell was also second in command of the entire brigade.) Additional officers and enlisted men were killed, wounded, or missing. The Union after action report listed a total of 86 men killed, wounded, missing, or taken prisoner during the entire expedition—although Confederate leadership believed the Union casualties were much higher. (The entire expedition includes the trips to and from Wytheville.) Approximately 300 horses were lost (killed, wounded, or injured) by the brigade during the raid and retreat—including an estimated 80 killed on the streets of Wytheville. Despite significant losses, the Union brigade was eventually able to secure the town. However, the victory was costly, and the northerners retreated less than 24 hours after entering the small community. A group of soldiers and civilians, less than one third the size of the Union force they opposed, prevented a brigade from destroying vital assets of the Confederacy—a railroad line, telegraph line along the railroad, a lead mine, and possibly a salt mine. After the conflict, Union infantry leaders were critical of the Union cavalry's performance, and men from the cavalry were critical of the infantry leadership's tactics.

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