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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 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Page 361 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

On the night of the 4th, the troops were withdrawn from our line, and my command took up the line of march, following the corps of Lieutenant General A. P. Hill. Our march was much impeded by heavy rains and excessively bad roads. We succeeded, however, in reaching the top of the mountain early in the night of the 5th.

On the 6th, my command, passing to the front, marched for Hagerstown. As our exhausted men and animals were not in condition for rapid movement, I thought myself fortunate when I found that I could reach Hagerstown in time to relieve our trains at Williamsport, then seriously threatened. Reaching Hagerstown about 5 p. m., our column moved down the Sharpssburg turnpike, and encamped about 2 miles from Hagerstown.

The newt day, the command was put in camp on the best ground that could be found, and remained quiet until the 10th, when the enemy was reported to be advancing to meet us. It was supposed at first to be a cavalry force only, but I thought it prudent to move some of the infantry down on the Antietam, at Funkstown. After reaching the Antietam, General Stuart asked for infantry supports for his batteries, and two brigades {Semmes', under Colonel [Goode] Bryan, and Anderson's, under Colonel [W. W.] White
were sent across, as he desired. For the report of their service, I refer to the report of Major-General Stuart and the brigade commanders. A line of battle was selected, extending from a point on the Potomac near Downsville to the Hagerstown and Williamsport turnpike, my command on the right. The troops were put to work, and, in twenty-four hours, our line was comfortably intrenched. A few of the enemy's sharpshooters came up on the Boonsborough road, and to within long range of our picket line on the 12th.

On the evening of the same day, a light skirmish was brought on by an advance of a line of sharpshooters at the Saint James' College. That night our bridge was completed, and, the day after, I received orders to recross the Potomac after night, and the caissons of the batteries were started back about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The troops marched as soon as it was dark, my command leading. Having but a single road to travel upon, our trains soon came to a halt. I rode on to the bridge, to hasten the movements as much as possible, and sent my staff officers to different points along the line to keep everything in motion. Details were made to keep up fires to light the road at the worst points, and Captain [J. H.] Manning, with his signal torches, lighted us across the bridge.

The natural difficulties in making such movements were increased by the darkness of the night, a heavy rain storm, flooding the road with mud and water, and finally by one of our wagons, loaded with wounded, running off the bridge, breaking it down, and throwing our wounded headlong into the river. We were so fortunate, however, as to rescue them in a fex moments. They were made somewhatg comfortable in other vehicles, and sent forward. Major [John J.] Clarke and Captains [Henry T.] Douglas and [S. R.] Johnston, of the Corps of Engineers, applied themselves diligently to the work of repairing the bridge, and, in two hours, our line was again in motion.

When the accident occurred at the bridge, I sent back orders for one of my divisions to occupy the redoubts that had been thrown up to protect the bridge, and also directed Colonel Alexander to place his batteries in position on the same line. As soon as the bridge was repaired, I rode back to this line, but finding that the enemy was not pursuing, the troops were again put in motion. The rear of my


Page 361 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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