Union Captain Samuel C Means commanding the Loudoun Rangers; an independent force, moved on August 26th 1862 into Waterford, Loudoun, Virginia to prepare a movement against Confederates in the area. He stationed pickets on the six roads leading into town, placed Lieutenant Luther Slater in command before retiring. Confederate Captain Elijah V White leading about 100 cavalry under supervision of Confederate General Richard S Ewell moved into the Loudoun County, Virginia area. They learned of Means’ presence in the area.
With the help of locals in the early morning hours of August 27th 1862 White’s men approached Waterford. White split his force sending 30 men on horses down the road to draw the Union troops out, while another 20 on foot waited nearby to fire on Means’ soldiers if they took the bait. White’s men opened fire early sending the Rangers into the Baptist Church, losing 1 killed and 2 wounded including Slater. The Confederates laid a fire into the church, while some of the men went looking for Means, who had already escaped with some of the pickets.
After several hours of fighting and almost out of ammunition the Rangers in the church finally agreed to surrender as long as all the men would be paroled. White who was also running short of ammo took the Union horses and paroled 19 of Means men found in the church. It was during the surrender that William Snoot a member of White’s cavalry ran into church planning to kill his brother Charles Snoot who was fighting with the Loudoun Rangers. He was disarmed before reaching his brother.
If you are interested in reading more, please look at The Fight at the Baptist Church, Waterford, 1862