After Union General Wallace ordered the covered bridge burned, the railroad bridge became the only route of escape for Lieutenant Davis and his men, who were seperated from the rest of the Union forces by the river. His troops fought bravely all morning and afternoon, but by 4:00 p.m. the situation grew critical—the Confederates attacked with great force. Davis wrote, "It seemed we should be swept into the river." Overwhelmed, Davis ordered a retreat across the railroad bridge. Some of his men were shot before reaching the bridge, some fell through the bridge ties, but most escaped with Davis unharmed.
I knew nothing of the situation, or plan of battle, except as apparent to the eye...I received no orders from any source after the first gun was fired in the morning.
First Lieutenant George E. Davis, 10th Vermont Infantry
(top right) On May 27, 1892, George E. Davis received the Medal of Honor for holding "two bridges against repeated assaults of superior numbers... delaying Early's advance on Washington."