Notes on Evitt's Creek

Reference in C&O Canal Companion: Mile 180.7

Map detail from The Atlas to Accompany the Official Records
of the Union and Confederate Armies -- Battle of Pleasant Mills,
(Plate VII) Bureau of Topographical Engineers, August 1, 1862


B.F. Kelley's Official Report on the Battle of Folck's Mill
(also referred to as "Falck's Mill" or "Pleasant Mill":

Cumberland, Md., , September 17, 1864.

I have the honor to submit the following report of operations in my command at Cumberland, Md., and New Creek, W. Va., and vicinity from the 27th of July to the 8th of August, 1864:

On the 28th of July I received intelligence that a force of rebels, variously estimated at from 2,500 to 4,500 strong, consisting of the brigades of Generals McCausland and Bradley T. Johnson, the former in chief command, was moving from Hancock toward Cumberland via Baltimore pike. In obedience to a telegram from Major-General Halleck I at once sent out details to blockade the roads leading from Hancock to this city, and placed my command in the best possible condition for defense. My command at this place then consisted of three regiments of Ohio National Guards, four companies Eleventh West Virginia Infantry, one company Sixth West Virginia Infantry, two sections Battery L, First Illinois Light Artillery, one section Battery B, Maryland Light Artillery, and several hundred stragglers, mostly unarmed, who had stampeded from the front after the battle near Winchester, July 24. The One hundred and fifty-third Ohio National Guards, Col. I. Stough, was at once sent to Old Town, Md., to blockade the road and to dispute the passage of the river in case the enemy should attempt to move into Virginia by that route before attacking Cumberland, or in case of a failure before the city, should endeavor to effect a retreat in that direction.

On the 1st of August my scouts reported the enemy advancing on the Baltimore pike. I sent Lieut. T. W. Kelley, with a squad of volunteer cavalry, to watch the movements and retard the progress of the enemy until I could place my command in position. At 12 m. Lieutenant Kelley reported the enemy about twelve miles distant moving toward the city. I immediately posted the One hundred and fifty-sixth Ohio National Guards, Col. C. Marker; detachment Eleventh West Virginia Infantry, Maj. J. L. Simpson; one section Battery L, First Illinois Light Artillery, Lieutenant J. McAfee, in position about two miles east of this place on the heights west of Falck?s Mills, overlooking the valley of Evett?s Creek, under cover of timber, completely hid from view of the enemy, and held the fortifications in the vicinity with the balance of my command and awaited the approach of the enemy. His advance appeared about 3 p.m., composed of a squadron of cavalry, near Falck?s Mills, a portion of them crossing the bridge at that place and coming within range of our muskets. At this juncture my guns on the heights opened fire upon them, which was the first intimation they had of the presence of my command. After their recovery from this surprise they took shelter behind the bridge, Falck?s Mills, house, barn, &c., and from this cover their sharpshooters opened a galling fire upon my artillery, which was replied to and rendered ineffectual by our skirmishers. They then rapidly deployed a line of skirmishers, placed four pieces of artillery in position, and brought up the main part of their command. A sharp engagement ensued, lasting for several hours, until darkness ended the combat, both lines maintaining nearly the original position of the day, my command resting on their arms.

A reconnaissance on the following morning developed the fact that the enemy had beat a precipitate retreat from my front during the night, taking an obscure road across the mountain toward Old Town, abandoning in his march his dead, 8 in number; his wounded, some 30-odd; 2 caissons, several carriages, and a large quantity of ammunition. About 5 a.m. August 2 he attacked Colonel Stough near Old Town, Md., who with his regiment defended the crossing until the enemy succeeded in flanking him, when he recrossed the river. By the time he had reached the Virginia side, his men had become so demoralized that all but five officers and seventy-seven enlisted men took the cars which had carried them down and moved out of reach of the enemy. Colonel Stough, with the small command now left him, assisted by the iron-clad cars, commanded by Captain Petrie, Second Regiment Potomac Home Brigade, Maryland Volunteer Infantry, continued to defend the crossing until the enemy succeeded in disabling the iron-clads, by a shot through the boilers of the engine, when Captain Petrie?s command was compelled to take shelter in the woods, leaving Colonel Stough in the blockhouse, where he remained until the enemy?s guns were brought to bear upon it, when the following demand for his surrender was received:

AUGUST 2, 1864.

You will surrender the block-house and your force at once. If you do not you will not receive any terms.

Brigadier-General, Confederate Forces.

Colonel Stough returned the following answer as the terms upon which he would surrender his command, deeming it useless to longer attempt a defense: First, that his men should be immediately paroled; second, that private property should be respected; third, that the men should retain canteens, haversacks, blankets, and rations; fourth, that he should have a hand-car with which to transport his wounded men to Cumberland. The propositions made by Colonel Stough were accepted and his command at once paroled.

The enemy lost from 20 to 25 killed in the engagement and from 40 to 50 wounded; our loss, 2 killed and 3 wounded. After destroying the block-house and iron-clad cars, the enemy moved south toward Romney. On the 3d instant a detachment of the enemy, McNeill?s guerrillas, crossed the Potomac at Brady?s Mills, six miles west of Cumberland, and destroyed several culverts, &c., indicating clearly that the enemy meditated an attack on New Creek and to prevent the sending of re-enforcements to that place. In anticipation of their probable movements I at once, on the night of the 3d, had the road repaired and put in running order. On the same day a scout discovered a camp of the enemy at or near the Wire Bridge in Hampshire County.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brevet Major- General.



  • General Kelley's report, Official Records, Series 1 - Volume 37 (Part I), page 188. [The Creek name is spelled "Evett's" and the mill "Falck's" in the print copy of the Official Records.]
  • Communications of Generals Kelley, Averell, and Halleck, Official Records, Series 1 - Volume 37 (Part II), pages 533ff and page 588
  • Also see Confederate Colonel Harry Gilmor's account of the Chambersburg Raid.



| Home | C&O Canal | Historical Sketch | Falls Region | Piedmont and the Sugar Lands | Blue Ridge & Great Valley | The Endless Mountains |