which they were suddenly fired upon by a battery occupying a position on the verge of the woods to the left of the road. A body of cavalry and some infantry were seen stationed under cover of the woods in position to support the battery. Having accomplished their object, our cavalry returned. It became evident that the enemy were seeking, as on the preceeding day, to allure us from our strong defensive position to one of their own selection, where their greatly superior force could attack us with certain success.
Learning in the course of the evening from various reliable sources that the enemy, failing in this, contemplated a flank movement-crossing the Potomac with one division above and another occupying Loudoun Heights, so as to command our naval battery and cut off our communication below Harper's Ferry, while the remaining force menaced us in front-it was determined to withdraw our troops from Bolivar Heights and take up a second line of defense on the height know as Camp Hill, immediately above the town of Harper's Ferry. The occupation of this inner line presented a twofold advantage: First, that being much less extended it could be held by a smaller force, the enemy from the nature of the ground being unable to bring into action a larger force than our own; secondly, that it would enable us to bring our naval battery on the Maryland Heights to bear upon the enemy as they advanced down the declivity of Bolivar Heights into the valley which separates it from Camp Hill. They would thus be exposed for a considerable time to a heavy fire from this formidable battery, whose great elevation would enable it to throw shells directly over the heads of our own forces on Camp Hill into the faces of the advancing foe. With the force rendered by this contraction of our front available for other purposes it was deemed prudent to occupy the crest of the hill above the naval battery on the Maryland shore, to frustrate any attempt of the enemy to take this hill in the rear and turn out batteries against us.
The movement having been decided upon, orders were immediately given for its prompt execution. This was about midnight. General Cooper's brigade was at once set in motion, and by daylight had succeeded in crossing the river and occupying the heights on the Maryland side. General Slough's brigade at the same time fell back to the new position on Camp Hill, and when morning dawned our batteries (Companies K and L, of the First New York Artillery), supported by a heavy force of infantry, were in position to command all the approaches in our front and flanks, the remainder of the infantry being posted as reserves along the brow of the hill, under cover of the town and houses. The weak portions of this line were subsequently strengthened by breastworks hastily erected.
On Friday morning Major Gardner, with the Fifth New York Cavalry, was sent to the front to feel the enemy's position and watch his movements. He was later in the day re-enforced by a piece of artillery and 200 sharpshooters. The enemy opened upon him with a scattered fire of musketry along his whole front. The first of grape from our piece caused the enemy's skirmishers to fall back in disorder. He then brought six pieces of artillery into action. Major Gardner, having most gallantly accomplished the object of his expedition, retired. The enemy now advanced with his artillery and shelled our former position on Bolivar Heights. Having done this, he withdrew.
General Jackson, the commander of the rebel forces, having given the order to his army to storm our position, they advanced beyond Bolivar Heights in force to attack us. About dark on Friday evening, in the storm, General Slough opened upon the from Camp Hill Crounse's