William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

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Headquarters First Separate Brigade,Eighth Army Corps Relay HouseJuly 12th 1864My Darling wife

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Since we arrived in Maryland last Thursday evening I can tell you we have had quite an exciting time of it, and it is somewhat exciting about here yet but I am very well satisfied that the worst of the trouble up this way is over and the “Johnnies” will be in big luck if they get back over the river again with their ill got gains. My loss in the fight of last Saturday will not be as large as I expected at first as quite a number that I supposed were prisoners have come in since. Major Dillingham and myself came very near being taken prisioners – we had to retreat over quite a large hill and had to do it very quick to. After getting over the hill on the Rail Road we found two old lame horses – (I had sent mine to the rear by Johnnie in the first of the fight) which

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very easily caught, and taking off their Gun slings for bridles and putting on blankets for saddles, we mounted and made our way out and found the main column again about 14 miles off. My position was the extreme right left of the [line] and it was the right of our line which gave away first and I was cut off from the main line of retreat. I had the 87th Penn. Infantry with me and when we got in all right there was great rejoicing (for they thought we were all prisoners) and I was complimented by Genl’s Wallace and Ricketts for holding my line so long as I did and then saving my men on the retreat.

I held my line and fired three rounds after the right gave way which enabled them to get out of the way before the Rebs could cut them off. The rebs have just made their appearance within two miles of here and I must hold on here for a few minutes to go and see what it means.