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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 953 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Jones (Colonel Bradley T. Johnson commanding), which was posted in the city as a provost guard. Ewell's and Hill's divisions occupied positions near the railroad bridge over the Monocacy, guarding the approaches from Washington City.

In obedience to instructions from the commanding general, and for the purpose of capturing the Federal forces and stores then at Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry, my command left the vicinity of Frederick City on the 10th, and, passing rapidly through Middletown, Boonsborough, and Williamsport, recrossed the Potomac into Virginia, at Light's Ford, on the 11th. General Hill moved with his division on the turnpike direct from Williamsport to Martinsburg. The divisions of Jackson and Ewell proceeded toward the North Mountain Depot, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, about 7 miles northwest of Martinsburg. They bivouacked that night in the vicinity of the depot. In order to prevent the Federal forces then at Martinsburg from escaping westward unobserved, Major Myers, commanding the cavalry, sent part of his troops as far south as the Berkeley and Hampshire turnpike. Brigadier-General White, who was in command of the Federal forces at Martinsburg, becoming advised of our approach, evacuated the place on the night of the 11th and retreated to Harper's Ferry.

On the morning of the 12th our cavalry entered the town, as, in the course of the day, did the main body of my command. At this point, abandoned quartermaster's, commissary, and ordnance stores fell into our hands.

Proceeding thence toward Harper's Ferry, about 11 o'clock on the following morning (13th), the head of our column came in view of the enemy drawn up in force upon Bolivar Heights. General Hill, who was in the advance, went into camp near Halltown, about 2 miles from the enemy's position. The two other divisions encamped near by.

The commanding general having directed Major-General McLaws to move, with his own and General R. H. Anderson's divisions, to take possession of the Maryland Heights, overlooking Harper's Ferry, and Brigadier General J. G. Walker, pursuing a different route, to cross the Potomac and move up that river on the Virginia side and occupy the Loudoun Heights, both for the purpose of co-operating with me, it became necessary, before making the attack, to ascertain whether they were in position. Failing to learn the fact by signals, a courier was dispatched to each of those points for the required information. During the night the courier to the Loudoun Heights returned with a message from General Walker that he as in position. In the mean time General McLaws had attacked the Federal force posted to defend the Maryland Heights; had routed it and taken possession of that commanding position. The Potomac River flowed between the positions respectively occupied by General McLaws and myself, and the Shenandoah separated me from General Walker, and it became advisable, as the speediest mode of communication, to resort to signals. Before the necessary orders were thus transmitted the day was far advanced. The enemy had, by fortifications, strengthened the naturally strong position which he occupied along Bolivar Heights, extending from near the Shenandoah to the Potomac. McLaws and Walker, being thus separated from the enemy by intervening rivers, could afford no assistance beyond the fire of their artillery and guarding certain avenues of escape to the enemy, and, from the reports received from them by signals, in consequence of the distance and range of their guns, not much could be expected from their artillery so long as the enemy retained his advanced position on Bolivar Heights.


Page 953 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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