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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
Page 144 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.


HEADQUARTERS, August 19, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to forward a report of the capture of Harper's Ferry and the operations of the army in Maryland (1862). The official reports of Lieutenant-General Jackson and the officers of his corps have only been recently received, which prevented its earlier transmittal. This finishes the reports of the operations of the campaign of 1862. They were designed to form a continuous narrative, though, for reasons given, were written at intervals. May I ask you to cause the several reports to be united, and to append the tabular statements accompanying each! Should this be inconvenient, if you could return the reports to me, I would have them properly arranged.

With great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE, General.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

CAPTURE OF HARPER'S FERRY AND OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND.

The enemy having retired to the protection of the fortifications around Washington and Alexandria, the army marched on September 3 toward Leesburg. The armies of Generals McClellan and Pope had now been brought back to the point from which they set out on the campaigns of the spring and summer. The objects of those campaigns had been frustrated and the designs of the enemy on the coast of North Carolina and in Western Virginia thwarted by the withdrawal of the main body of his forces from those regions. Northeastern Virginia was freed from the presence of Federal soldiers up to the intrenchment of Washington, and soon after the arrival of the army at Leesburg information was received that the troops which had occupied Winchester had retired to harper's Ferry and Martinsburg. The war was thus transferred from the interior to the frontier, and the supplies of rich and productive districts made accessible to our army. To prolong a state of affairs in every way desirable, and not to permit the season for active operations to pass without endeavoring to inflict further of the army into Maryland. Although not properly equipped for invasion, lacking much of the material of war, and feeble in transportation, the troops poorly provided with clothing, and thousands of them destitute of shoes, it was yet believed to be strong enough to detain the enemy upon the northern frontier until the approach of winter should render his advance into Virginia difficult, if not impracticable. The condition of maryland encouraged the belief that the presence of our army, however inferior to that of the enemy, would induce the Washington Government to retain all its available force of provide against contingencies, which its course toward the people of that State gave it reason to apprehend. At the same time it was hoped that military success might afford us an opportunity to aid the citizens of maryland in any efforts they might be disposed to make to recover their liberties. The difficulties that surrounded them were fully appreciated, and we expected to derive more assistance in the attainment of our object from the just fears of the Washington.

Government than from any active demonstration on the part of the people, unless success should enable us to give them assurance of continued protection.

Influenced by these considerations, the army was put in motion, D. H. Hill's


Page 144 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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