War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0702 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

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forced to halt every two days to send for supplies. To remedy many inconveniences, and to reopen the line of communication, and to protect the channels of trade, I propose what I considered a military necessity- the rebuilding of Harper's Ferry Bridge, protected by a force from this side, and the reoccupation of Harper's Ferry. For this purpose, and to fortify the heights in its vicinity, I wish the artillery under Doubleday. I would approach from this side, and would not think of marching on the right bank to Harper's Ferry, exposed as my line would be for twenty miles to be cut at several points by the enemy; if not, to advance upon Winchester form this point or from Harper's Ferry. I recommend this course if for no other reason than to keep the volunteers employed and out of settlements. From Harper's Ferry at any time a force can be sent to you and to operate upon Winchester. I will remind the General-in-Chief that with the exception of one regiment (Connecticut) all this force will be entitled to discharge at the expiration of their three months, and I believe all but one regiment (the Wisconsin, an excellent one) will claim it. That force in Harper's Ferry, open to the rear and fortified towards Winchester, can maintain itself. The railroad and canal will be reopened, and the people on the line encouraged to defend them.

I respectfully present the above to the consideration of the General-in-Chief, submitting to his superior judgment whatever his decision may be.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

HAGERSTOWN, MD., June 18, 1861.


DEAR SIR: We are all here deeply disappointed. This entire command on Sunday was in admirable condition. It had dragoons, artillery, a good body of volunteer infantry, good spirit, plenty of provisions, and needing nothing but transportation, and this was being rapidly supplied. A large portion of General Cadwalader's division was across the river at Williamsport, and in two days would have been in a reasonably entrenched camp, occupying a bend on the Virginia side of the river, with a good ford well defended behind. The residue of this corps was within reach, and in a very short time would have occupied Sharpsburg, Maryland Heights, Harper's Ferry, Martinsburg, and would have been in good condition to strike at Winchester, or, by a temporary bridge at Harper's Ferry, to have advanced via Frederick or Leesburg to Washington. General Patterson had around him a corps of very superior Regular Army officers, and it was apparent that the proposed work of this corps was advancing with certainty and force. In this condition of affairs comes an order for Burnside's regiment with all the artillery in this army, laving General Patterson without a gun. Then comes an order for all the regular troops, leaving us without dragoons, or any regula infantry to give confidence to volunteers; and, what is worse than all, the regular officers, including Colonels Thomas and Miles, heads of brigades, and upon whom much reliance was placed, were taken away. This compelled a return to this side of the river and an abandonment of all aggressive plans. We had then a rumor that Johnston was again appearing in great force at Martinsburg. This led to a delay of Miles' and Thomas' movements, but as all General Patter-