Numbers 212. Report of Lieutenant General James Longstreet, C. S. Army, commanding Army Corps, of operations September 2-18.
Near Winchester, Va., October 10, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command in the late campaign:*
* * * * * *
On September 2 the command marched, via Dranesville, Leesburg, and across the Potomac at White's Ford, to Frederick City, Md., arriving there on the 7th.
I moved from Frederick for Hagerstown on the 10th, and reached there with part of my command on the 11th, sending six brigades under Major-General Anderson to co-operate with Major-General McLaws in the assault upon Maryland Heights and Harper's Ferry. During the operations against this garrison the approach of a large army from Washington City for its relief was reported. We were obliged to make a forced march, in order to reach Boonsborough Pass, to assist Major General D. H. Hill's division in holding this army in check, so as to give time for the reduction of Harper's Ferry.
I reached Boonsborough about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and, upon ascending the mountain, found General Hill heavily engaged. My troops were hurried to his assistance as rapidly as their exhausted condition would admit of. The brigades of Brigadier-Generals Evans, Pickett (under Colonel Walker) were extended along the mountain to our left; Brigadier-General Hood, with his own, and Whiting's brigade (under Colonel Law), Drayton's and D. R. Jones' (under Colonel G. T. Anderson), were extended to the right. Major-General Hill had already placed such batteries in position as he could find ground for, except one position on the extreme left. It was my intention to have placed a battery in this position, but I was so much occupied in front that I could find no time to do so before nightfall. We succeeded in repulsing the repeated and powerful attacks of the enemy and in holding our position until night put an end to the battle. It was short, but very fierce. Some of our most gallant officers and men fell in this struggle; among them the brave Colonel J. B. Strange, of the Nineteenth Virginia Regiment. Had the command reached the mountain pass in time to have gotten into position before the attack was made, I believe that the direct assault of the enemy could have been repulsed with comparative ease. Hurried into action, however, we arrived at our positions more exhausted than the enemy. It became manifest that our forces were not sufficient to resist the renewed attacks of the entire army of General McClellan. He would require but little time to turn either flank, and our command must then be at his mercy. In view of this, the commanding general ordered the withdrawal of our troops to the village of Sharpsburg. This position was regarded as a strong, defensive one, besides being one from which we could threaten the enemy's flank or rear in case he should attempt to relieve the garrison at Harper's Ferry.
Crossing the Antietam on the morning of the 15th, Major General D. H. Hill's division and my own command were placed in line of battle between the stream and the village of Sharpsburg. Soon after getting
*Portion of report here omitted appears in Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, pp. 563-566.