eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

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

You are currently in Volume XIX | Pages range from 1 to 1108

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
Page 870 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXI.


Numbers 222. Report of Brigadier General Howell Cobb, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of the battle of Crampton's Pass.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Opeqwon Crossing, September 22, 1862.

GENERAL: On the 13th instant I was ordered by you to take and hold possession of Sandy Hook, near Harper's Ferry; which was done, without serious opposition. On the 14th my command was ordered by you to return to our former camp, at Brownsville. This order was received about 1 o'clock p. m., and the brigade was immediately marched to that point, reaching there about 4 p. m. I had been in camp about an hour when I received a message from Colonel Munford, at Crampton's Gap, distant about 2 miles, recommending the removal of my command to that point, as the enemy were pressing the small force at the gap. I immediately ordered my two strongest regiments to march to their support. Before, however, the head of the column had filed into the road I received a message from Colonel Parham, who was in command of Mahone's brigade at the gap, to the effect that the enemy was pressing him hard with overwhelming numbers, and appealing for all the support I could bring to him. I immediately ordered the remaining two regiments to march, and accompanied the command in person. As I was marching the last of the column, I received a message from you, through your assistant adjutant-general (Major McIntosh) that I must hold the gap if it cost the life of every man in my command. Thus impressed with the importance of the position, I went forward with the utmost dispatch. When I reached the top of the mountain, I found that the enemy had been repulsed and driven back in the center and had been pursued down the other side of the mountain by Mahone's brigade. I soon discovered, however, that the enemy, by their greatly superior numbers, were flanking us both upon the right and left. Two of my regiments were sent to the right and two to the left to meet these movements of the enemy. In this we were successful, until the center gave way, pressed by fresh troops of the enemy and increased numbers. Up to this time the troops had fought well, and maintained their ground against greatly superior forces. The Tenth Georgia Regiment, of General Semmes' brigade, had been ordered to the gap from their position at the foot of the mountain, and participated in the battle with great courage and energy. After the line were broken, all my efforts to rally the troops were unsuccessful. I was enabled to check their advance by momentary rallies, and, the night coming on, I made a successful stand near the foot of the mountain, which position we held during the night, and until a new position was taken about day-dawn the next morning, in the rear of Brownsville, which position was held until the surrender of Harper's Ferry. General Semmes' brigade and Wilcox's brigade, under the command of Colonel Cumming, of the Tenth Georgia Regiment, had been ordered, the former by General Semmes, the latter by yourself, to my support. They came up to the position I occupied during the night; they could not have reached me sooner. The whole number of troops engaged on our side did not exceed 2,200, whilst the force of the enemy was variously estimated from 10,000 to 20,000 men. It could not have been less than 10,000 and probably reached 15,000.

It is impossible for me to report the casualties, as the fate of only a few of the large number missing is certainly known. On the number who went into the battle there are now missing and unaccounted for


Page 870 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon