hausted every round of ammunition and retired) formed his command and moved down the mountain on the Boonsborough road to the point where the horses of the dismounted sharpshooters were stationed. The enemy were at the forks of the Harper's Ferry and Boonsborough road before many of the cavalry reach it, the infantry having retired in great disorder, and the cavalry were the last to give up their position.
In this hot engagement the Second and Twelfth Virginia Cavalry behaved with commendable coolness and gallantry, inflicting great injury with their long-range guns upon the enemy, and their exertions were ably seconded by the troops under Colonel Parham, who held his position, most gallantly, until overpowered.
Hearing of the attack at Crampton's Gap, I rode at full speed to reach that point, and met General Cobb's command just after dark, retreating in disorder down Pleasant Valley. He represented the enemy as only 200 yards behind, and in overwhelming force. I immediately halted his command, and disposed men upon each side of the road to meet the enemy, and a battery, which I had accidentally met with, was placed in position commanding the road. The enemy not advancing, I sent out parties to reconnoiter, who found no enemy within a mile. Pickets were thrown out, and the command was left in partial repose for the night.
The next morning, more infantry and a portion of the cavalry having been brought up to this point, preparations were made to repulse any attack, Major General R. H. Anderson being now in immediate command at this point. The battle of Boonsborough, or South Mountain, having taken place the evening previous, resulted unfavorably to us, and the troops occupying that line were on the march to Sharpsburg. The garrison at Harper's Ferry surrendered during the forenoon. Late on the afternoon previous, Brigadier General Fitz. Lee arrived at Boonsborough and reported to the commanding general, having been unable to accomplish the object of his mission, which his report will more fully explain. His command was assigned to the important and difficult duty of occupying the line of battle of the infantry, to enable it to withdraw during the night; and early next morning his command was charged with bringing up the rear of that column to Sharpsburg, while Hampton accomplished the same for McLaws' command, moving out of Pleasant Valley to Harper's Ferry.
I reported, in person, to General Jackson at Harper's Ferry, and thence rode, at his request, to communicate to him General Jackson's news and information. Our army being in line of battle on the heights overlooking the Antietam, I was assigned to the left, where Brigadier General Fitz. Lee's brigade took position after his severe engagement near Boonsborough between the enemy and his rear guard, Munford's small command being on the right.
On the afternoon of the 16th the enemy was discovered moving a column across the Antietam to the pike, with the view of turning our left beyond the Dunkard church. This was duly reported and the movement watched. A little skirmishing took place before night. I moved the cavalry still farther to the left, making way for our infantry, and crowned a commanding hill with artillery, ready for the attack in the morning. General Jackson had arrived in time from Harper's Ferry, with a part of his command, on the night before, to take position on this line, and the attack began very early next morning. The cavalry was held as a support for the artillery, which was very advantageously posted so as to bring an enfilading fire upon the enemy's right.
About this time Lieutenant Colonel John T. Thornton, of the Third Virginia