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Rescue of Virginia from the Invader.-Gen. Loring's Campaign in the Kanawha Valley. A Novel Theatre of the War.-Gen. Lee's Passage of the Potomac.-His Plans.-Disposition of our Forces.-McClellan again at the Head of the Yankee Army.-THE BATTLE OF BOONSBORO'.-THE CAPTURE OF HARPER'S FERRY.-Its Fruits -THE BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG.-Great Superiority of the Enemy's Numbers.-Fury of the Battle.-The Bridge of Antietam.-A Drawn Battle.-Spectacles of Carnage.— The Unburied Dead.- Gen. Lee retires into Virginia.-McClellan's Pretence of Victory. The Affair of Shepherdstown.-Charges against McClellan.-His Disgrace. -Review of the Maryland Campaign.-Misrepresentations of Gen. Lee's Objects.His Retreat.-Comment of the New York "Tribune."-The Cold Reception of the Confederates in Maryland.-Excuses for the Timidity of the Marylanders.-What was accomplished by the Summer Campaign of 1862.-The Outburst of Applause in Europe.-Tribute from the London "Times."-Public Opinion in England.-Distinction between the People and the Government.-The Mask of England.—OUR FOREIGN RELATIONS IN THE WAR.-An Historical Parallel of Secession.-Two Remarks on the "Neutrality" of Europe.-The Yankee Blockade and the Treaty of Paris.-The Confederate Privateers.-Temper of the South.-Fruits of the Blockade.
THE close of the summer found the long-harassed soil of Virginia cleared of the footsteps of the invader. The glorious victory of Manassas was followed by other propitious events in this State of lesser importance, but which went to complete the general result of her freedom from the thraldom of the Yankee.
In the early part of September the campaign of Gen. Loring in the valley of the Kanawha was consummated by a vigorous attack on the enemy at Fayette Court-house, and the occupation of Charlestown by our troops. On the 10th of that month we advanced upon the enemy's front at Fayette Court-house, while a portion of our forces made a detour over the mountain so as to attack him in the rear. The fighting continued from noon until night, our artillery attacking desperately in front; and the enemy took advantage of the darkness to effect his escape, not, however, without leaving his trains in our hands.
The Yankees made a stand at Cotton Hill, seven miles further on. A few hours' fighting dislodged them, and we pursued on to Kanawha Falls, where they again made a stand; but a few hours' contest made us again masters of the field, with more than a million dollars' worth of stores and some prisoners.
The advance of our troops to Charlestown was the signal to the enemy for an inhuman attempt to burn the town, the women being driven from their homes on fifteen minutes' notice. As our troops approached the town, dense clouds of black smoke were seen to hang over it, mingled with the lurid glare of burning buildings, while the shrieks of frightened women and children filled the air. The sight stung to madness our 'troops. Two regiments of Kanawha valley men, beholding in plain view the homes of their childhood blazing, and catching the cries of distress of their mothers, wives, and sisters, rushed, furious and headlong, to the rescue. Happily they were not too late to arrest the conflagration, and a few public buildings and some private residences were all that fell under the enemy's torch.
The campaign of the Kanawha was accomplished by us with a loss of not more than a hundred men.
The results were apparently of great importance, as we had secured the great salines of Virginia,* driven the enemy from the valley of the Kanawha, and put our forces in position to threaten his towns on the bank of the Ohio. But unhappily we shall have occasion hereafter to see that these results were ephemeral, and that this unfortunate part of Virginia was destined to other experiences of the rigor of the enemy.
For the present the progress of events takes us from the old battle-fields of the South and introduces us to a novel theatre of the war-that theatre being located for the first time on the soil and within the recognized dominions of the enemy.
On the fourth day of September, Gen. Lee, leaving to his right Arlington Heights, to which had retreated the shattered army of Pope, crossed the Potomac into Maryland.
The immediate designs of this movement of the Confederate commander were to seize Harper's Ferry and to test the spirit of the Marylanders; but in order to be unmolested in his plans, he threatened Pennsylvania from Hagerstown, throwing Gov. Cartin almost into hysterics, and animating Baltimore with the hope that he would emancipate her from the iron tyranny of Gen. Wool.
* But few persons, even in the South, bave adequate ideas of the resources and facilities for the production of salt in the Kanawha valley, and of the value of that small strip of Confederate territory. In Kanawha county alone forty fur. naces were in operation ; some operated by gas and some by coal. Salt by the million of bushels had been sold here from year to year at twelve cents and twenty cents per bushel, filling the markets of the West and South. Ships for Liverpool had formerly taken out salt as ballast ; and yet, at one time in the war, owing to the practical cutting off of the saline supplies in Virginia, this article, formerly of such cheap bulk, bad been sold in Richmond at a dollar and a half a pound.
After the advance of our army to Frederick, the Northern journals were filled with anxious reports of a movement of our troops in the direction of Pennsylvania. While the people of the North were agitated by these reports, the important movement undertaken for the present by Gen. Lee was in the direction of Virginia. It appears that for this purpose our forces in Maryland were divided into three corps, commanded by Generals Jackson, Longstreet, and Hill. The forces under Jackson having recrossed the Potomac at Williamsport and taken possession of Martinsburg, had then passed rapidly behind Harper's Ferry, that a capture might be effected of the garrison and stores known to be there. In the mean time, the corps of Longstreet and Hill were put in position to cover the operations of Jackson, and to hold back McClellan's forces, which were advancing to the relief of Harper's Ferry.
Gen. McClellan had resumed the chief command of the Federal armies on the second day of September. On the fourteenth of that month, he fought his first battle in Mary. land, called the battle of Boonesboro', or of South Mountain.
THE BATTLE OF BOONESBORO'.
When Jackson had diverged to the left from the line of march pursued by the main body of the Confederates, recrossing the Potomac and moving rapidly upon Harper's Ferry, Gen. Longstreet had meanwhile continued his march to Hagerstown, and there awaited the result. To frustrate this de. sign, and relieve Gen. Miles and the ten or twelve thousand men who occupied Harper's Ferry, the enemy moved their entire force upon the Gap in the mountains, to which we have alluded, and there sought to break through the barrier we were bu jealously guarding, divide our lines, and defeat our armies in detail. Foreseeing this intention on the part of the Federals, Gen. Lee had posted the division of Gen. D. H. Hill in
and around the Gap, on the opposite side and summit, with instructions to hold the position at every hazard, until he was notified of the success of the movement of Jackson and his co-operates. It was certainly no part of the original plan to tight a pitched battle here, except to secure this one desirable result.
The pass is known as Boonesboro' Gap, being a continuation over the broad back of the mountain of the national turnpike. The road is winding, narrow, rocky, and rugged, with either a deep ravine on one side and the steep sides of the mountain on the other, or like a huge channel cut through a solid rock. Near the crest are two or three houses, which, to some extent, overlook the adjacent valleys, but elsewhere the face of the mountain is unbroken by a solitary vestige of the handiwork of man.
The battle commenced soon after daylight, by a vigorous cannonade, under cover of which, two or three hours later, first the skirmishers and then the main bodies became engaged. A regular line of battle on our part, either as regards numbers or regularity, was impossible, and the theatre of the fight was therefore limited. The fortunes of the day, which were desperate enough in the face of the most overwhelming numbers, were stubbornly contested by the Confederates. The brigade of Gen. Garland of Virginia, the first engaged, lost its brave commander. While endeavoring to rally his men, he fell, pierced in the breast by a musket ball, and died upon the field.
While our lines were giving way under the pressure of the enemy's numbers, the welcome sounds of reinforcements were borne on the air. The corps of Gen. Longstreet was at Hagerstown, fourteen miles distant, and at daylight commenced its march towards the scene of action. Hurrying forward with all speed, stopping neither to rest nor eat, the advance arrived at the pass about four o'clock, and were at once sent into the mountain. Brigade after brigade, as rapidly as it came up, followed, until by five o'clock nearly the entire command, with the exception of the brigade of Gen. Toombo, which had been left at Hagerstown, was in position, and a por tion of it already engaged. Evans was assigned to the extreme left, Drayton to the right, and Hood, with his "ragged Texans," occupied the centre.
The accession of fresh numbers at once changed the tone and temper of the combat. The ominous volleys of musketry rolled down the mountain in almost deafening succession. But advance we could not. The enemy in numbers were like a solid wall. Their bayonets gleamed from behind every rock and bush. Retreat we would not, and thus we fought, doggedly giving and taking the fearful blows of battle, until long after nightfall.
The cessation of firing left the respective forces, with some exceptions, in nearly the same relative situation as at the commencement of the battle. The enemy gained nothing and we lost nothing. On the contrary, our object had been obtained. We had encountered a force of the enemy near fivefold our own, and after a bloody day, in which our killed and wounded were quite twenty-five hundred and those of the enemy probably more, we had held him in check until Gen. Jackson was heard from and the success of his enterprise rendered certain.
THE CAPTURE OF HARPER'S FERRY.
While the action of Boonesboro' was in progress, and the enemy attempting to force his way through the main pass on the Frederick and Hagerstown road, the capture of Harper's Ferry was accomplished by the army corps of Gen. Jackson.
During the night of the 14th of September, Gen. Jacksou planted his guns, and in the morning opened in all directions on the Federal forces drawn up in line of battle on Bolivar Heights. The white flag was raised at twenty minutes past
At the moment of surrender, Col. Miles, the Federal commander, was struck by a piece of shell, which carried away his left thigh. “My God, I am hit,” he exclaimed, and fell into the arms of his aid-de-camp.
The extent of the conquest is determined by the fact that we took eleven thousand troops, an equal number of small-arms, seventy-three pieces of artillery, and about two hundred wagons. The force of the enemy which surrendered consisted of twelve regiments of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and six companies of artillery. The scene of the surrender was one of deep humiliation to the North. It was indeed a repetition of
. the revolutionary glories of Yorktown, to see here the proud,