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LEE'S PLANS DISCOVERED.
leaving General Banks in command at the National capital, he hastened to the field, making his head-quarters that night with the Sixth Corps at Rock ville. His army, composed of his own and the forces of Pope and Burnside, numbered a little more than eighty-seven thousand effective men. li advanced slowly toward Frederick by five parallel roads, and was so disposed as to cover both Washington and Baltimore. The left rested on the Potomac, and the right on the Baltimore and Ohio railway.'
Great caution was necessary, for the real intentions of Lee were unknown. Fortunately, these were discovered on the 13th, when McClellan's advance entered Frederick, after a brisk skirmish with the Confederate rear-guard, and found there a copy of Lee's general order issued on the 9th. It revealed the fact that he was not to make a direct movement against Washington or Baltimore, so long as McClellan lay between him and the two cities; but so soon as he could draw him toward the Susquehanna by menacing Pennsylvania, and thus take him away from his supplies, he might attack and cripple him, and then march upon one or both of those cities. To accomplish this he designed to take possession of Harper's Ferry (which he believed would be evacuated on his crossing the Potomac) and establish communication with Richmond by way of the Shenandoah Valley; and then, marching up the Cumberland Valley, endeavor to draw McClellan toward the heart of Pennsylvania.
Lee's maneuvers for the end proposed were most hazardous in their character, under the circumstances. He ordered Jackson to go over the South Mountain' by way of Middletown, and then, passing by Sharpsburg to the Potomac, cross that river above Harper's Ferry, sever the Baltimore and Ohio railway, and intercept any troops that might attempt to escape from the Ferry. Longstreet was to follow the same road to Boonsborough, westward of the South Mountain; while McLaws, with his own and Anderson's division, was to march to Middletown, and then press on toward Harper's Ferry and possess himself of Maryland Heights, on the left bank of the Potomac, overlooking that post, and endeavor to capture it and its dependencies. General Walker was to cross the Potomac at Checks' ford, and, if practicable, take possession of Loudon Heights, on the right bank of the river, at the same time, and co-operate with Jackson and McLaws. D. H. Hill's division was to form the rear-guard of the main body, and Stuart's cavalry was to cover the whole. The troops ordered to Harper's Ferry were directed to join the main army at Hagerstown or Boonsborough after capturing that post.
· The right wing was composed of the First and Ninth Corps, under General Burnside; the center, of the Second and Twelfth Corps, under General Sumner, and the left, of the Sixth Corps, under General Franklin. The First Corps (McDowell's) was placed under General Hooker; the Ninth. of Burnside's command, was under General Reno; the Twelfth was Banks's, which was now under General Mansfield, who had not before taken the field. Porter's corps renaineil in Washington until the 12th, and did not join the army until it reached the vicinity of Sharpsburg. General Ilunt was made Chief of Artillery, and General Pleasanton commanded tho cavalry division.
? This is a continuation into Pennsylvania of the ranges of the Blue Ridge in Virginia, serered by the Potomac at Harper's Ferry and vicinity. A lower range, called the Catoctin or Kittoctan Mountains. pauses near Frederick, and is a continuation north of the l'otomac, of the Bull's Riin Mountains. See map on pige 356 Volume I. Several roads cross these ranges, the best being the old National road from Baltimore to Combet. land, passing through Frederick and Middletown, the latter being the most considerable village in the Kittocian Valley. The principal passes or gaps in the South Mountain range made memorable by this invasion were Crampton's and Turner's, the former five miles from Harper's Ferry.
MOVEMENTS OF THE NATIONAL ARMY.
This bold design of separating his army, then far away from his supplies, by a river liable to be made impassable in a few hours by a heavy rain, and with a pursuing force in superior numbers close behind, marked Lee as a blunderer, unless, as he “fully understood the character of his opponent,” as Magruder had lately said,' he counted upon his usual tardiness and indecision. McClellan's army had moved between six and seven miles a day since he entered Maryland, watching rather than pursuing, for reasons already alluded to, and Lee doubtless supposed that pace would be kept up. When Lee's plan was discovered, on the day after he moved westward
from Frederick,the National army was in the vicinity of that Sept, 13, city, excepting Franklin's corps of about seventeen thousand
men, which was several miles nearer Harper's Ferry. Between him and that post was only the division of McLaws, not more than twenty thousand strong, while at the Ferry was a garrison of nine thousand men strongly posted, but unfortunately under Colonel D. H. Miles, who behaved so badly on the day of the first battle of Bull's Run. There were twentyfive hundred troops under General White, engaged in outpost duty at Martinsburg and Winchester, and these, with the garrison at the Ferry, were under the direct control of General Halleck.
McClellan now possessed the rare advantage of knowing his opponent's plans, and a divided army to operate against, and it was believed that he would order Franklin to push vigorously forward, followed by heavy supports, to crush McLaws and save Harper's Ferry. But this was not a part of his plan. When Lee crossed into Maryland, McClellan, like the Confederate leader, considered Harper's Ferry to be untenable, and before he left Washington he advised its evacuation, and the employment of its garrison in co-operation with his army. As on the Peninsula, he seems now to have been haunted with the specter of an overwhelming force on his front, and began calling for re-enforcements. Four days after he took the field he again advised Halleck to order Miles to leave Harper's Ferry and join his army; and on the same day, in a long letter to the General-in-Chief, he counseled the abandonment of Washington City to the rebels, if that should be necessary to re-enforce his army in Maryland, and then trust to luck for the recapture of it."
The National army moved in pursuit, from Frederick, in two columns, the right and center toward Turner's Gap, in South Mountain, in front of Middletown, Burnside leading the advance; and the left, composed of Franklin's corps, toward Crampton's Gap, in the same range, in front of Burkittsville. Lee was so confident that McClellan would be tardy, that he ordered Longstreet to follow Jackson and take post at Hagerstown, with a great portion of his corps (leaving only D. II. Hill's division to guard Turner's Gap'), and
I See note 2, page 420.
? See page 606, volume I, * To this portion of his extraordinary letter Halleck replied:-“ You attach too little importance to the capital. I assure you that you are wrong. The capture of this place will throw us back six months, if it should pot destroy us. Beware of the evils I now point out to you. You saw them when here, but you seem to forget them in the distance."--Letter to McClellan, Septeinber 13, 1562.
• Turner's Gap is a deep and rugged pass, about 400 feet above the base of the mountain, with a crest on each side, one of them rising 600 feet higher. A gond turnpike crossed the mountain eastward of the pass or hollow, and a good road went over it just westward of the pass. Crampton's Gap was a similar pass, and opened into Pleasant Valley, back of Maryland Heights, a fow miles from Harper's Ferry.
ADVANCE UPON SOUTH MOUNTAIN.
to send six brigades to assist McLaws (who was guarding Crampton's Gap) in his operations for seizing Maryland Heights and Harper's Ferry.
Lee was mistaken. The discovery of his plan had led to more vigorous action in the National army, and on the following dayo a startling appari
1562. tion met the eyes of the Confederates on South Mountain. Stuart had reported the previous evening that only two brigades were in pursuit, and Hill felt quite sure that he could defend the Gap with his five thousand troops, notwithstanding they were somewhat scattered; but at an early hour in the morning Pleasanton's cavalry, with a battery, was seen moving along the pike toward the Gap, followed by Cox's Kanawha division of Reno’s command, while nearly the whole National army was streaming down the Kittoctan hills, and across that most lovely of all the valleys in Maryland in which Middletown is nestled.
Pleasanton followed the Hagerstown pike. The First Brigade of Cox's division, Colonel E. P. Scammon, composed of the Twelfth, Twenty-third, and Thirtieth Ohio, and McMullin's Ohio battery, marched along the Boonesborough road to reconnoiter the crest at the south of the Gap, followed by the Second Brigade, Colonel Crook, consisting of the Eleventh, Twentyeighth, and Thirty-sixth Ohio, Simmons's battery and Scambeck's cavalry in support. They soon ascertained that a considerable force held that part of the mountain, when Reno ordered an advance to an assault, promising the support of his whole corps. Wilcox, Rodman, and Sturgis were ordered forward, and at an early hour in the forenoon, after some skirmishing, Cox
reached the borders of the Pass. Under cover of a portion of the guns
of the two batteries, he pressed up the wooded and rocky acclivity. He was at first confronted by General Garland, whose division was soon so badly cut up, and so disheartened by the loss of its commander, who was killed early in the action, that it fell back in confusion, and its place was supplied by that of Anderson, supported by Rhodes and Ripley. These held the position firmly for a long time, but, finally, by hard and persistent fighting
1 This is a view of Wise's house when the writer sketched it, at the beginning of October, 1866. It is on the Sharpsburg road, about a mile and a half south from Keedy's tavern, on the pike at Turner's Gap.
BATTLE OF SOUTH MOUNTAIN.
Cox gained a foothold on the crest, not far from the house of Daniel Wise, an earnest Union man.
It was now noon, and up to this time only the divisions of Cox and Hill had been engaged. Very soon the battle assumed far greater proportions. Hill had sent for Longstreet to come to his help, and between two and three o'clock two of his brigades arrived. These were soon followed by Longstreet himself with seven more brigades, making the Confederate force defending the two crests and the Gap, nearly thirty thousand strong. Meanwhile, during a partial lull of two hours in the contest, the divisions of Wilcox, Rodman, and Sturgis arrived and took position. Then at about two o'clock Hooker's corps came up, and at once moved to the right along the old Hagerstown road, to crush the Confederate left at the higher crest. An hour later a general battle-line was formed with Ricketts' division on the right, King's, commanded by General Hatch, in the center, and resting on
the turnpike, and
command, his own BATTLE-FIELD ON BOUTI MOUNTAIN.!
passing to the care of Colonel Wainright, of the Seventy-sixth New York, who was soon disabled. Hooker had pressed steadily forward on the right, and at dusk had flanked and beaten the Confederate left.
The strife on the National left where Reno had gained a foot-hold on the mountain was very severe, and continued until dark. At about sunset the commanding general, who was at the head of his line, was killed in an open field in front of a thick wood while watching the movements of his foe. He died almost at the moment of victory, for at that time the position was fairly within the grasp of his friends. His command devolved on General Cox.
Meade had followed Hooker from the Kittoctan Creek, and went into
1 This little picture shows the appearance of that portion of the battle-field on South Mountain, where General Reno was killed, as it appeared when the writer visited it, early in October, 1566. The field was dotted with evergreen shrubs. The place where Reno fell is marked by a stone set up by Daniel Wise, whose son owned the land. It is seen near the two figures. Not far from the spot was a chestnut tree, that bore the scars of many wounds made during the battle.
STRUGGLE AT CRAMPTON'S GAP.
action with great gallantry on the right of Doubleday (Hatch’s division) and fought heavily, his brigades being skillfully managed by General Seymour and Colonels Magilton and Gallagher. General Duryée, with his fine brigade of Ricketts' division, which had performed signal service under its gallant commander during the later struggles of Pope with Lee, was just coming up to the support of Meade, when the contest of that point ceased. Meanwhile the brigade of Gibbons and Hartsuff had pushed steadily up the turnpike along the Gap, fighting bravely and winning steadily, until almost nine o'clock in the evening, when, having reached a point near the summit of the Pass, their ammunition was exhausted. But the victory was secure. Gibbons and Hartsuff were relieved at midnight by the arrival of the divisions of Gorman and Williams, of Sumner's corps. Richardson's division had taken position in the rear of Hooker's resting soldiers; and Sykes's regulars and the artillery reserve were at Middletown. McClellan's right column was ready to resume the action in the morning, but Lee, who was with his troops toward evening, withdrew his forces during the night. So ended THE BATTLE OF South MOUNTAIN.'.
While this contest was going on at Turner's Gap, Franklin was endeavor. ing to force his way over the mountain at Crampton's Gap, for the relief of Harper's Ferry. That pass was defended by three brigades of McLaws' force, who were commanded by the notorious Howell Cobb, Buchanan's treasonable Secretary of the Treasury.” In pursuance of McClellan's instructions, Franklin appeared at Burkittsville, before Crampton's Pass, at noon on the 14th,“ on the road leading to Rohersville in Pleasant Valley,
a back of Maryland Heights, with a fine body of troops from New • Sept. 1862 York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He formed a line of battle with Slocum's division on the right of the road running through the Gap, and
Reports of Generals McClellan and Lee, and their subordinate commanders. McClellan reported his loss at 812 killed, 1,234 wounded, and 22 missing; total, 1,569. The Confederate loss in killed and wounded was about the same, besides 1,500 prisoners, making the entire loss about 3,000.
: Seo page 44, volume I. Cobb was instructed to bolil Crampton's Pass until the capture of Maryland Heights and Harper's Ferry should be completed, “even if he lost his last man in doing it." See McLaws' Report, ii. 165 of the Reports of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Howell Cobb and Robert Toombs, two of the leading traitors of Georgia, were now general officers in Lee's army. They had been chiefly instrumental in bringing the people of their Stato under the galling yoke of the despotisin at Richmond, and were loud in their professions of willingness to “ die for the cause of Southern Independence." Their performances always fell short of their promises. They were ever ready " to spill the blood of all their relations," and to sacrifice the property of all their neighbors for the holy cause," but on all occasions they were careful not to expose their own blood and property to waste. In an address to the people of Georgia, issued a few months earlier than the time we are considering, Cobb and Toombs, Cobb's brother Thomas, and M. J. Crawford, held the following language :-" The foot of the oppressor is on the soil of Georgia. Ile comes with lust in his eye, poverty in his purse, and hell in his heart. llo comes a robber and a murderer. How shall you meet him! With the sword at the threshold ! With death for him or for yourself! But, more than this-let every woman have a torch, every child a firebrand-let the loved homes of youth be made ashes, and the fields of our heritage be made desolate. Let blackness and ruin mark your departing steps, is depart you must, and let a desert more terrible than Sahara welcome the Vandals. Let every city be leveler by the flames, and every village be lost in ashes. Let your faithful slaves share your fortnne and your crust. Trust wife and children to the sure refuge and protection of God, preferring even for thesu loved ones the charnel-house as a home, than loathsome vassalage to a nation already sunk below the contempt of the civilized world. This may be your terrible choice, and determine at once, without dissent, as honor and patriotism and duty to God require."
Most carefully did the demagogues who issued the grandiloquent manifesto, of which this is a fair specimen, avoid the funeral pile to which they invited their neighbors. With supreme contempt of the common sense of the people of their State, they attempted thus to "fire the Southern heari." It was a miserable failure, and those men who constituted themselves dictators of public opinion in Georgia, became objects of scorn and contempt. At the close of the war, Toombs, overrating his importance, fled in terror from the country. This act, and his boastings and cowardice throughout the war, won for him the just titlo given him by a distinguished rebel, of The Ilumbug of the Confederacy.