Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 25, 1861 (Sunday): Cannons Across the Potomac

Conrad's Ferry

                                                HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION,
                                                                                    Poolesville, August 25, 1861.
Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS, U. S. Army,
                                                Hyattstown, Md.:
   GENERAL:  The enemy opened a fire of cannon from three pieces yesterday morning on our outpost at Conrad’s Ferry, and uselessly expended about seventy-five rounds.  Their position is such that I cannot command it within the range of my smooth-bore 6-pounders, while it would be easy to dislodge and annoy them with a rifled gun.  If convenient to you, it would be a favor to me to lend me for a day or two a section of rifled guns with which to punish them.  I do not think that the enemy’s force is largely increased opposite my positions.
   Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
                                                                        CHAS. P. STONE,

Official Records, Series I., Vol 51., Part 1, Page 456

Stone and his force were beginning an uneventful period of watching along the Potomac which would culminate in October with the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.  The Potomac, along Stone’s line, is a formidable obstacle, and the Union did not possess the means or motivation to force a crossing.

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