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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 152 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

site side. The next morning General A. P. Hill was ordered to return with his division and dislodge them. Advancing under a heavy fire of artillery, the three brigades of Gregg, Pender, and Archer attacked the enemy vigorously, and drove him over the river with heavy loss.

The condition of our troops now demanded repose, and the army marched to the Opequon, near Martinsburg, where it remained several days, and then moved to the vicinity of Bunker Hill and Winchester. The enemy seemed to be concentrating in and near Harper's Ferry, but made no forward movement. During this time the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was destroyed for several miles, and that from Winchester to Harper's Ferry broken up to within a short distance of the latter place, in order to render the occupation of the Valley by the enemy after our withdrawal more difficult.

On October 8 General Stuart was ordered to cross the Potomac above Williamsport with 1,200 or 1,500 cavalry, and endeavor to ascertain the position and designs of the enemy. He was directed, if practicable, to enter Pennsylvania, and do all in his power to impede and embarrass the military operations of the enemy. This order was executed with skill, address, and courage. General Stuart passed through Maryland, occupied Chambersburg, and destroyed a large amount of public property, making the entire circuit of General McClellan's army. He recrossed the Potomac below Harper's Ferry without loss.

The enemy soon after crossed the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge, and advanced southward, seizing the passes of the mountains as he progressed. General Jackson's corps was ordered to take position on the road between Berryville and Charlestown, to be prepared to oppose an advance from Harper's Ferry or a movement into the Shenandoah Valley from the east side of the mountains, while at the same time he would threaten the flank of the enemy should he continue his march along the eastern base of the Blue Ridge. On division of Longstreet's corps was sent to the vicinity of Upperville to observe the enemy's movements in front.

About the last of October the federal army began to incline eastwardly from the mountains, moving in the direction of Warrenton. As soon as this intention developed itself, Longstreet's corps was moved across the Blue Ridge, and about November 3 took position at Culpeper Court-House, while Jackson advanced one of his divisions to the east side of the blue Ridge. The enemy gradually concentrated about Warrenton, his cavalry being thrown forward beyond the Rappahannock in the direction of Culpeper Court-House, and occasionally skirmishing with our own, which was closely observing his movements. This situation of affairs continued without material change until about the middle of November, when the movements began which resulted in the winter campaign on the Lower Rappahannock.

The accompanying return of the medical director will show the extent of our losses in the engagements mentioned. The reports of the different commanding officers must, of necessity, be referred to for the details of these operations.

I desire to call the attention of the Department to the names of those brave officers and men who are particularly mentioned for courage and good conduct by their commanders. The limits of this report will not permit me to do more than renew the expression of my admiration for the valor that shrunk from no peril and the fortitude that endured every privation without a murmur. I must

also refer to the report of General Stuart for the particulars of the services rendered by the cavalry besides those to which I have alluded. Its vigilance, activity, and


Page 152 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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