from The Worcester Spy, October 23, 1861 , (Volume 90 # 42), 
General Stone Crossing The Potomac

Colonel’s Devens’ Regiment Near Leesburg.

Fighting Near Edwards Ferry


Washington, October 21, 1861--- The following is from Gen. Stone to headquarters today.

Edwards Ferry, Oct. 21---This morning at one o’clock five companies of the Massachusetts fifteenth, under Col. Devens’ crossed the river at Harrisons Island. At daybreak they had proceeded to within a mile and a half of Leesburg without meeting the enemy. They still hold on supported by the remainder of their regiment and a part of the twentieth, Col. Lee.

A gallant reconnoissance was made early this morning by Major Alixis’s cavalry, Capt Stewart, from Edwards Ferry toward Leesburg, with thirty cavalry. They came upon the fourteenth Mississippi regiment, received their fire at thirty yards, returned it with their pistols, and fell back in order, bringing in one prisoner. We have possession of the Virginia side of Edwards Ferry.”

Additional accounts say that up to three o’clock today Gen. Stone had held his own satisfactorily there, though his comparatively small force upon the island are engaged with some four thousand rebels. A subsequent dispatch, received late this afternoon, says the rebel gen. Evans has four field and three masked pieces, and about four thousand men. A prisoner states that he has four thousand rebel troops and expects reinforcements. Gen Stone at that time believed he could occupy Leesburg today and hold it. The dispatch is dated at Edwards Ferry.

Washington, Oct. 21.---Gen Stone crossed the Potomac, this morning, with one portion of his command at Edwards Ferry, and an other at Harrison’s Island. Skirmishing began, between the enemy in uncertain numbers and a part of Stones command, as early as nine o’clock in the morning, and continued without much effect until about five o’clock in the afternoon, when large reinforcements of the enemy appeared upon our right, which was commanded by Col. Baker.

The Union forces engaged were about eighteen hundred, and were attacked by a force supposed to be from five to ten thousand. At this juncture Col. Baker fell at the head of his brigade, gallantly cheering on his men to the conflict. Immediately before he fell he dispatched Major Young to General Stone to apprise him of the condition of affairs, and Gen. Stone immediately proceeded in person toward the right to take command., but in the confusion created by the fall of Col. Baker, the right wing sustained a repulse of considerable loss.,

Gen. Stone reports that the left wing retired in good order. He will hold possession of Harrison Island and the approaches thereto. Strong reinforcements will be sent forward to Gen Stone during the night.

The remains of Col Baker were removed to Poolesville, and will be brought to this city on Wednesday.



15th Massachusetts VI