As Confederate General Robert E Lee’s army waited near Williamsport to cross the Potomac River and complete their retreat into Virginia following the Battle of Gettysburg, he posted Major General JEB Stuart’s cavalry at Funkstown, Maryland. Stuart was determined to hold up the Union troops so Lee would have time to fortify and protect his line of retreat.
On the morning of July 10th 1863 Union Brigadier General John Buford’s Cavalry moved down the National Road approaching Funkstown. They ran up against Stuart’s three mile long line. The high ground on Stuart’s right was covered by artillery, and a stone barn with stonewall proved cover for the 34th Virginia Cavalry who were fighting dismounted. Union Colonel Thomas C Devin’s brigade attacked this line about 8 am.
The fight continued through early afternoon. Buford’s men were about out of ammo, and had not moved the Confederates. About this time the First Vermont Brigade a part of the VI Corps under the command of Union Colonel Lewis A Grant, came up and found themselves facing a brigade Georgians commanded by Confederate General George T Anderson. With both sides evenly matched, in the evening the Union troops began drawing off, moving south toward Beaver Creek.
The battle caused about 480 casualties, and most importantly it bought Lee another day to dig in while he waited for the water to recede in the Potomac so it could be crossed.
For more about this battle, check out The Second Battle of Funkstown, Maryland