War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0032 Chapter XXXI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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necessary to mention that some officers and men skulked from their places in the ranks until after the battle was over. Death on the spot must be hereafter the fate of all such cowards, and the hands of the military commanders must be strengthened with all the power of the Government to inflict it summarily.

The early and disgraceful surrender of Harper's Ferry deprived my operations of results which would have formed a brilliant sequence to the substantial and gratifying successes already related. Had the garrison held out twenty-four hours longer, I should in all probability have captured that part of the enemy's force engaged in the attack on the Maryland Heights, while the whole garrison, some 12,000 strong, could have been drawn to re-enforce me on the day of the decisive battle-certainly on the morning of the 18th. I would thus have been in a position to have destroyed the rebel army. Under the same circumstances, had the besieging force on the Virginia side at Harper's Ferry not been withdrawn, I would have had 35,000 or 40,000 less men to encounter at the Antietam, and must have captured or destroyed all opposed to me. As it was, I had to engage an army fresh from a recent and to them a great victory, and to reap the disadvantages of their being freshly and plentifully supplied with ammunition and supplies.

The objects and results of this brief campaign may be summed up as follows: