American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Monocacy
Pushing back Union skirmishers, the Confederates advanced from the David Best plantation north of the river. Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace, now joined by the VI Corps division of Brig. Gen. James B. Ricketts from the Petersburg siege lines, ordered the Georgetown Turnpike bridge burned to prevent the Rebels from crossing. Early, seeking to flank the Yankees, sought out a river crossing on the Federal left near the John Worthington home. Confederate cavalry and Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon’s infantry division crossed the river and forced the Union line back to the farm of Christian Thomas, which changed hands three times. Wallace’s line held but heavy Confederate artillery fire from the Best farm finally dislodged his position. Wallace fell back toward Baltimore and the road to Washington was open to Early’s men.