Page images



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

meantime been all but lost; its gun only Reno's division on our side, and
ners having been shot down or dri- Hill's on that of the Rebels, had
ven off, and its guns saved from cap- been engaged. But, at 2 P. M., Hook-
ture only by a determined charge of er's corps came up on our side, and
the 23d Ohio, 100th Pennsylvania, took the old Hagerstown road, lead-
and 45th New York.

ing away from the turnpike on our
right, with intent to flank and crush
the Rebel left. At 3 P. M., our line
of battle was formed, with Ricketts's

division on the right; King's, comTURNER'S GAPVT

manded by Hatch, in the center,

with its right resting on the turnOPHELPS CHRISTIAN

pike, and Reno's on the left; and a
1 Wilcox STURGIS

general advance commenced, under
a heavy fire of artillery.

Meantime, Hill had sent pressing
messages to Longstreet, at Hagers-
town, for help; and two brigades
had already arrived; as Longstreet
himself, with seven more brigades,
did very soon afterward; raising the
Rebel force in action thereafter to
some 25,000 or 30,000 men. Long-
street, ranking Hill, of course took
command; little to the satisfaction
of Hill, who evidently thinks he could

have done much better.

The enemy's advantage in position

was still very great, every movement

on our part being plainly visible to
them; while we could know nothing
of their positions nor their strength,
except from their fire and its effect..
Our men were constantly struggling
up rocky steeps, mainly wooded,
where every wall, or fence, or in-

equality of ground, favors the comThe rattle of musketry ceased at batants who stand on the defensive. noon, and for two hours only the The disparity in numbers between roar of cannon was heard; the com- those actually engaged was not very batants on either side awaiting the great-possibly three to two-but arrival of rëenforcements. Hitherto, then, our men were inspirited by the 10 Hill, in his official report, says:

points; and, had these troops reported to me, "Maj.-Gen. Longstreet came up about 4 the result might have been different. As it o'clock, with the commands of Brig.-Gens. was, they took wrong positions; and, in their Evans and D. R. Jones. I had now become fa- exhausted condition after a long march, they miliar with the ground, and knew all the vital were broken and scattered."



[ocr errors]


consciousness that a great army stood | ness arrested the conflict. Gen. behind them.

Duryea's brigade of Ricketts's diviStill, the ground was stubbornly sion, which had been ordered to its contested, foot by foot; Gen. Hatch, support, was just then coming into commanding the 1st division, being action. disabled by a wound, and succeeded Our advance up the turnpike in by Gen. A. Doubleday. Col. Wain- the center, being contingent on sucwright, 76th New York, who now cess at either side, was made last, by took command of Doubleday's brig-Gibbon's brigade of Hatch's, and ade, was likewise wounded. But Hartsuft"s of Ricketts's division ; Hooker steadily advanced; and had the artillery fighting its way up the fairly flanked and worsted the Rebel road, with the infantry supporting left, when darkness put an end to the on either side. The struggle here fray.

was obstinate, and protracted till 9 The struggle on our left com- o'clock, when Gibbon's brigade had menced later, and was signalized by nearly reached the top of the pass, similar gallantry on both sides; but and had exhausted every cartridge ; numbers prevailed over desperation, suffering, of course, severely. At and the Rebels were steadily forced midnight, it was relieved by Gorback until the crest of the mountain man's brigade of Sumner's corps,

Flere fell, about sunset, which, with Williams's, had reached Maj.-Gen. Jesse L. Reno, mortally the foot of the mountain a little after wounded by a musket-ball, while, at dark. Richardson's division had also the head of his division, he was arrived, and taken position in the watching through a glass the enemy's rear of Hooker; while Sykes's divi

sion of regulars and the artillery reGen. Meade, with the Pennsyl- serve had halted for the night at Midvania Reserves, had followed Hooker dletown; so that McClellan had most from Catoctin creek up the old of his army in hand, ready to renew Hagerstown road, so far as Mount the action next morning. Tabor church. He went into action But Lee, who was also present, and on the right of Hatch's division, and whose end had been secured by the "was soon heavily engaged; his brig- precious hours here gained for his ades being admirably handled by Harper's Ferry operations, withdrew Gen. Seymour and Cols. Magilton his forces during the night; so that, and Gallagher, the last of whom was when our skirmishers advanced next wounded. It had not fully reached morning, they enccuntered only the the summit in its front, when dark- dead and the desperately wounded."

was won.


erroneous :

11 Gen. McClellan sent four successive dis- ) and Garland killed. Gen. Hooker alone has patches to Gen. Halleck concerning this affair;

over a thousand more prisoners; 700 having

been sent to Frederick. It is stated that Lee whereof the following is the latest and most

gives his loss as fifteen thousand. We are follow

ing as rapidly as the men can move. “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Major-Gen." “BOLIVAR. Sept. 15—10 A. M.

McClellan seems here to suppose that he had TO IL W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

"Information this moment received completely fought and beaten the main body of the Rebel oonfirms the rout and demoralization of the army; yet how could he think so with Lee's Rebel army. Gen. Lee is reported wounded l order of the 9th before him?




McClellan states his losses in this of course, had orders to hold on at any affair at 312 killed, 1,23+ wounded, cost—was finally driven out, after a and 22 missing: total, 1,568; claims smart contest of four or five hours, about 1,500 prisoners—no guns—and wherein his force was badly cut up. says: “The loss to the enemy in Our loss here was 115 killed and 418 killed was much greater than our wounded ; our trophies, 400 prisonown, and probably also in wounded." ers, one gun, and 700 small arms. This is hardly credible; since the Could Franklin but have realized Rebels fought with every advantage how precious were the moments, he of position and shelter, and were was still in time to have relieved nowhere so driven as to lose heavily Harper's Ferry; whence, following by a fire upon huddled, disorganized up his advantage with moderate vigmasses, when retreating in disorder." or, he was but six miles distant when

it surrendered at 8 next morning. Maj. Gen. Franklin, with the 6th corps, composed of his own, Couch's, Stonewall Jackson, leaving Fredand Sykes's divisions, forming the erick on the 10th, had pushed swiftly left wing of McClellan's army, had through Middletown and Boonsboadvanced cautiously up the north rough to Williaınsport, where he rebank of the Potomac, through Tenal- crossed the Potomac next day; striklytown, Darnestown, and Poolesville ing thence at Martinsburg, which -his right passing through Rock- was held by Gen. Julius White, with ville—until McClellan's discovery some 2,000 Unionists. But White, that Lee had divided his army in warned of Jackson's approach in order to clutch Harper's Ferry in- overwhelming strength, fled during duced a general quickening of move- the night of the 11th to Harper's ment on our side. Still advancing, Ferry; where he found Col. D. S. he approached, at noon on the 14th, Miles, of Bull Run dishonor, in comthe pass through CRAMPTON's Gap in mand of some 10,000 men, partly the South Mountain, just beyond withdrawn from Winchester and Burkettsville, several miles south- other points up the Valley, but in westward of that at which Burnside, good part composed of green regileading our main advance, had, some ments, hastily levied on tidings of hours earlier, found his march ob- the Chickahominy disasters, and offistructed by Hill. Before him was cered by local politicians, who had Howell Cobb, with two or three brig- never yet seen a shot fired at a line ades of McLaws's division, whereof of armed men. White ranked Miles, the larger portion was some miles and should have taken command; but farther on, operating against Mary- he waived his right in deference to land Heights and Harper's Ferry. Miles's experience as an old army The Gap afforded good positions for officer, and offered to serve under defense; but the disparity of num- him; which was accepted. bers was decisive; and Cobb-who, Jackson, who had cheaply acquired

12 Hill says that Gen. Rhodes, commanding Alabama, was among his killed; and Col. one of his brigades, estimates his loss at 422 O'Neal, 24th, and Lt.-Col. Pickens, 12th Alaout of 1,200 taken into action. Col. Gayle, 12th | bama, were severely wounded.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


a good supply of provisions and muni- | breastwork of trees near the crest, tions at Martinsburg, did not allow with an abatis in its front; where Mchimself to be detained by them; but, Laws's advance appeared and comhurrying on, was before Harper's Fer- menced skirmishing the same day. ry at 11 A, M. of the 13th. Waiting only to ascertain that McLaws, who was to cooperate on the other side of the Potomac, and Walker, who was dispatched simultaneously from

BALTIMORE Frederick, with orders to cross the Potomac at Point of Rocks and come up on the south, so as to shut in and assail our garrison from that side of the Shenandoah, were already in position, he ordered A. P. Hill, with his division, to move down the north bank of the Shenandoah into Harper's An attack in force was made, early Ferry; while Lawton, with Ewell's, next morning, and was repulsed; and J. R. Jones, with Jackson's own but was followed at 9 o'clock by andivision, were to advance upon and other and more determined, when threaten the beleaguered Unionists Col. E. Sherrill, 126th New York, farther and farther to their right. being severely wounded—his regi

Harper's Ferry is little more than ment broke and fled in utter rout, a deep ravine or gorge, commanded and the remaining regiments soon on three sides by steep mountains, followed the example, alleging an and of course defensible only from order to retreat from Maj. Hewitt, one or more of these. A commander who denied having given it. Our who was neither a fool nor a traitor, men were rallied after running a seeing enemies swarming against him short distance, and rëoccupied part from every side, would either have of the ground they had so culpably evacuated in haste, and tried to make abandoned, but did not regain their his

way out of the trap, or concentra- | breastwork; and of course left the ted his force on one of the adjacent enemy in a commanding position. heights, and here held out, until time At 2 o'clock next morning," Ford, had been afforded for his relief. without being further assailed, abanMiles did neither. He posted" the doned the Heights, so far as we still 32d Ohio, Col. T. H. Ford, on Mary- retained them, spiking his guns: 4 of land Heights; where they were rëen- which, at a later hour in the mornforced” by the 39th and 126th New ing, were brought off by four comYork, and next day by the 115th panies, under Maj. Wood, who went New York and part of a Maryland over on a reconnoissance and encounregiment. Ford's requisition for axes tered no opposition. and spades was not filled; and the McLaws, with his own and Anderonly 10 axes that could be obtained son's divisions, leaving Frederick on were used in constructing a slight the 10th, had entered Pleasant Valley, Sept. 5. 14 Sept. 12.

Sept. 12.
Sept. 13.

Sept. 14.








At 9 P. M.,


via Burkettsville, on the 11th; and, Col. Crutchfield, Jackson's chief of perceiving at once that Maryland artillery, ferried 10 of Ewell's guns Heights was the key of the position, across the Shenandoah, and estabhad sent Kershaw, with his own lished them where they could take and Barksdale's brigades, up a rug- in reverse our best intrenchments on ged mountain road, impracticable Bolivar Heights; soon compelling for artillery, to the crest of the Elk their evacuation and our retreat to an Mountains, two or three miles north- inferior position, considerably nearer ward of Maryland Heights, with or- the Ferry, and of course more exders to follow along that crest, and posed to and commanded by Mcso approach and carry our position; Laws's guns on Maryland Heights. while Wright's brigade, with 2 guns,

our cavalry, some was to take post on the southern face 2,000 strong, under Col. Davis, 12th of South Mountain, and so command Illinois, made their escape from the all the approaches along the Poto- Ferry, across the pontoon-bridge, to mac. Meanwhile, McLaws, with the the Maryland bank; passing up the rest of his force, save the brigades Potomac unassailed, through a reholding Crampton's Gap, moved down gion swarming with enemies, to the Pleasant Valley to the river.

mouth of the Antietam, thence striKershaw advanced according to or- king northward across Maryland, der, through dense woods and over reaching Greencastle, Pa., next mornvery rough ground, until he encoun- ing; having captured by the way the tered and worsted Ford's command on ammunition train of Gen. Longstreet, the Heights, as we have seen; while consisting of 50 to 60 wagons. Miles Wright and Anderson took, unop- assented to this escape; but refused posed, the positions assigned them, permission to infantry officers who and McLaws advanced to Sandy asked leave to cut their way out: sayHook, barring all egress from Har- ing he was ordered to hold the Ferry per's Ferry down the Potomac. to the last extremity.

The morning of the 14th was spent Next morning at daybreak,o the by McLaws in cutting a road practi- Rebel batteries röopened from seven cable for artillery to the crest of commanding points, directing their Maryland Heights, whence fire was fire principally at our batteries on opened from 4 guns at 2 P. M.; not Bolivar Heights. At 7 A. M., Miles only shelling our forces at the Ferry, stated to Gen. White that a surrender but commanding our position on was inevitable, his artillery ammuBolivar Heights, beyond it. Before nition being all but exhausted; when night, Walker's guns opened like the brigade commanders were called wise from Loudon Heights, and together and assented. A white flag Jackson's batteries were playing was thereupon raised; but the Rebels, from several points, some of them not perceiving it, continued their enfilading our batteries on Bolivar fire some 30 to 40 minutes, whereby Heights; while shots from others Miles was mortally wounded. Jackreached our helpless and huddled son was just impelling a general inmen in their rear. During the night, fantry attack, when informed that the Sept. 12. Sept. 14.

Sept. 15.

[ocr errors]



« PreviousContinue »