of infantry, which was the only force we were yet able to discover, so well did he keep his troops concealed. About 2 p.m. we were obliged to abandon the crest, and withdrew to a position near Middletown. All this was duly reported, in writing, by me, through General D. H. Hill, to the commanding general.
In the engagements at the gap in the Catoctin and near Middletown the Jeff. Davis Legion and First North Carolina Cavalry, respectively under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Martin and Colonel L. S. Baker, conducted themselves with the utmost gallantry, and sustained a hot fire of artillery and musketry without flinching or confusion in the ranks. Captain T. P. Siler, a gallant officer of the first North Carolina Cavalry, had has leg broken during the engagement.
The enemy soon appeared in force crossing the mountain, and a spirited engagement took place, both of artillery and sharpshooters, the First North Carolina, Colonel Baker, holding the rear and acting with conspicuous gallantry. This lasted for some time, when, having held the enemy in check sufficiently long to accomplish my object, I withdrew slowly toward the gap in the South Mountain, having given General D. H. Hill ample time to occupy that gap with his troops, and still believing that the capture of Harper's Ferry had been effected. On reaching the vicinity of the gap near Boonsborough, finding General Hill's troops occupying the gap, I turned off General Hampton, with all his cavalry except the Jeff. Davis Legion, to re-enforce Munford, at Crampton's Gap, which was now the weakest point of the line. I remained myself at the gap near Boonsborough until night, but the enemy did not attack the position. This was obviously no place for cavalry operations, a single horseman passing from point to point on the mountain with difficulty. Leaving the Jeff. Davis Legion here, therefore, and directing Colonel Rosser, with a detachment of cavalry and the Stuart Horse Artillery, to occupy Braddock's Gap, I started on my way to join the main portion of my command at Crampton's Gap, stopping for the night near Boonsborough. I had not, up to this time, seen General D. H. Hill, but about midnight he sent General Ripley to me to get information concerning roads and gaps in a locality where General Hill had been lying for two days with his command. All the information I had was cheerfully given, and the situation of the gaps explained by map. I confidently hoped by this time to have received the information which was expected from Brigadier General Fitz. Lee. All the information I possessed or had the means of possessing had been laid before General D. H. Hill and the commanding general. His troops were duly notified of the advance of the enemy, and I saw them in line of battle awaiting his approach, and, myself, gave some general directions concerning the location of his lines during the afternoon, in his absence.
Early, next morning I repaired to Crampton's Gap, which I had reason to believe was as much threatened as any other. Brigadier-General Hampton proceeded, as directed, toward Burkittsville. As General Jackson was then in front of Harper's Ferry, and General McLaws, with his division, occupied Maryland Heights, to prevent the escape of the Federal garrison, it was believed that the enemy's efforts, would be against McLaws, probably by the route of Crampton's Gap. On this way to the gap, Brigadier-General Hampton encountered a regiment of the enemy's cavalry on a road parallel to the one which he was pursuing, and, taking the Cobb Legion, Lieutenant-Colonel P. M. B. Young, at once charged them, dispersing them, killing or wounding 30 and taking 5 prisoners. Our loss was 4 killed and 9 wounded, among the former Lieutenant J. F. Marshall and Sergeant Barksdale, and among
52 R R-VOL XIX, PT I