When Confederate General Jubal A. Early made a raid into Maryland in the summer of 1864, the U.S. Army authorized the creation of the 7th Regiment Delaware Volunteer Infantry to meet the threat. The 7th Delaware was organized in Wilmington in early July to serve for thirty days. Hugh Stirling was commissioned a captain and led a contingent of men to the "Gunpowder Bridge" over the Susquehanna River near Perryville, Maryland. On 10 July, Stirling's men repulsed an attack on the bridge by Confederate raiders. Military authorities praised the men for their gallantry and promoted Stirling to the rank of Major for personal valor. Shortly afterwards the 7th Delaware was reassigned to Baltimore to protect the city and nearby rail lines. Hugh Stirling received another promotion to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel before the 7th Delaware mustered out of service on 12 August 1864.
Stirling organized a company of infantry on 30 August 1864 to serve in the District of Delaware guarding rail lines and the DuPont powder works. This unit was called Stirling's Independent Company of Delaware Volunteer Infantry and consisted mostly of DuPont Company employees. Stirling's Independent Company carried out their duties until disbanded by order of the War Department on 17 July 1865.
Image: Telegram, Hugh Sterling to W. N. Chandler, September 29, 1864 (Hagley Digital Archives)