War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0047 Chapter XXXI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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On the night of the 14th the following dispatch was sent to General Franklin:

BOLIVAR, September 15-1 a. m.


GENERAL: * * * The commanding general directs than you occupy with your command the road from Rohrersville to Harper's Ferry, placing a sufficient force at Rohrersville to hold that position in case it should be attacked by the enemy from Boonsborough. Endeavor to open communication with Colonel Miles at Harper's Ferry, attacking and destroying such of the ;enemy as you may find in Pleasant Valley. Should you succeed in opening communication with Colonel Miles, direct him to join you with his whole command, with all the guns and public property that he can carry with him. The remainder of the guns will be spiked or destroyed; the rest of the public property will also be destroyed. You will then proceed to Boonsborough, which place the commanding general intends to attack to-morrow, and join the main body of the army at that place; should you find, however, that the enemy have retreated form Boonsborough toward Sharpsburg, you will endeavor to fall upon him and cut off his retreat.

By command of Major-General McClellan:


Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.

On the 15th the following were received from General Franklin:


In Pleasant Valley, 3 miles from Rohrersville, September 15-8.50 a. m.


GENERAL: My command started at daylight this morning, and I am waiting to have it closed up here. General Couch arrived about 10 o'clock last night. I have ordered one of his brigades and one battery to Rohrersville or to the strongest point in its vicinity. The enemy is drawn up in line of battle about 2 miles to our front, one brigade in sight. As soon as I am sure that Rohrersville is occupied, I shall move forward to attack the enemy. This may be two hours form now. If Harper's Ferry has fallen-and the cessation of firing makes me fear that it has-it is my opinion that I should be strongly re-enforced.

* * * * * * * W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding Corps.

September 15-11 a. m.

General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Commanding:

GENERAL: I have received your dispatch by Captain O'Keeffe. The enemy is in large force in my front, in two lines of battle stretching across the valley, and a large column of artillery and infantry on the right of the valley looking toward Harper's Ferry. They outnumber me two to one. It will, of course, not answer to pursue the enemy under these circumstance. I shall communicate with Burnside as soon as possible. In the mean time I shall wait here until I learn what is the prospect of re-enforcement. I have not the force to justify an attack on the force I see in front. I have had a very close view of it, and its position is very strong.




Colonel Miles surrendered Harper's Ferry at 8 a. m. on the 15th, as the cessation of the firing indicated, and General Franklin was ordered to remain where he was, to watch the large force in front of him, and protect our left and rear until the night of the 16th, when he was ordered to join the main body of the army at Keedysville, after sending Couch's division to Maryland Heights.

While the events which have just been described were taking place at Crampton's Gap, the troops of the ;center and right wing, which had united at Frederick on the 13th, were engaged in the contest for the possession of Turner's Gap.

On the morning of the 13th General Pleasonton was ordered to send McReynolds' brigade and a section of artillery in the direction of Gettysburg, and Rush's regiment toward Jefferson to communicate with Frank-