Letter of Tilghman, Williams and Ridgely, Sept 1814
From the National Intelligencer.
TO THE EDITORS.
It is hoped and requested, that the Editors of the National Intelligencer will, in justice to the character of those concerned, insert the enclosed in their paper.
GEORGETOWN Sept. 6, 1814
A report being industriously circulated by some characters destitute of honor or truth, that the cavalry under your command on the 24th ult. in the field of battle at Bladensburg, were ordered to charge on the enemy and refused to obey the order —We feel it a duty to ourselves, as well as those patriotic and brave citizens under our command, to request of you a short statement of the conduct of the cavalry on that day. We have no hesitation in stating that we informed you, the cavalry under our command were not sufficiently drilled to make a charge on a line of regular infantry without being ourselves thrown into confusion, whereby a considerable sacrifice of a valuable corps of men would ensue, without being able to gain any important advantage; but at the same time observed, that we would execute any order from you. That the order to us was, that the cavalry were not to charge the enemy in line, but to hold themselves in readiness to charge him, should he seem disposed to retire, or his line be broken by our infantry and thrown into confusion. No opportunity offered on that day, in our opinion, for the cavalry to act: our men were in fine spirits, ready at any moment to obey orders.
We are decidedly of opinion that the report has originated with some dastardly coward, who, in order to conceal his own cowardly conduct on that day, makes every base attempt to reflect on the honor and courage of our troops,
In addition, we beg leave to state, that a greater proportion of our cavalry have been, previous to the engagement on very arduous duty, having reconnoitered the enemy from his position at Nottingham until the night previous to his arrival at Bladensburg, and were brought into action without having any refreshment or rest for near 48 hours.
Respectfully we are, sir, your most obedient servants,
Lieut. Col. Maryland Cavalry.
O. H. WILLIAMS,
Major 1st Regt Md Cavalry.
CHS. STERETT RIDGELY,
Major 3d Regt. Md. Cavalry.
Brig. Gen. WM. H. WINDER
Maryland Herald and Hagerstown Weekly Advertiser
Open letter to Brigadier General Winder from Frisby Tilghman, O. H. Williams, Charles Ridgely of the Maryland Cavalry.
CHS. STERETT RIDGELY,
Washington County (Md.), History, War of 1812, Registers; Maryland, Militia
Sharpsburg (Md.), 1813