proached from the east-first, by the railroad, turnpike, and canal, at the south end of Blue Ridge; second, by a road over the ridge passing Burkittsville, a small town about a mile or less from the foot of the Blue Ridge, over Brownsville Gap, and by another through a gap to the north of the last-named road, known as Crampton's Gap. The two last were about 1 mile apart. The second road was distant from the one along the south end of the ridge 4 miles. Thus Crampton's Gap was 5 miles from the first road along the Potomac. Passing from the valley going west were two roads-one along the south end of Maryland Heights, already mentioned, and another through Solomon's Gap, a slight depression in Elk Ridge, about 5 miles north of the first. At the south end of Blue Ridge, and just at the commencement of the pass, coming from the east, is the small town of Weverton. About half-way between that place and Harper's Ferry, along the turnpike, is another small place called Sandy Hook. The road from Sandy Hook ran about the middle of the valley, and joined the main road along the foot of the Blue Ridge 2 miles from the Potomac. Understanding that there was a road running from the top of Solomon's Gap along the ridge to the heights commanding Harper's Ferry, I directed General Kershaw, with his brigade and that of General Barksdale, to proceed along that road and carry the heights, using infantry alone, as the character of the country forbade the use of any other arm.
On the 12th he proceeded to carry out the order. I then directed a brigade of General Anderson's division (General Wright's) to ascend the Blue Ridge with two pieces of artillery, and, proceeding down it to the point overlooking Weverton, to command the approaches to the pass there, along the turnpike, railroad, and canal. General Semmes was left opposite the gap the troops had passed over into the valley (the one next south of Crampton's Gap), with his own and General Mahone's brigade, commanded by Colonel Parham, with orders to send a brigade to the top of Solomon's Gap, to protect the rear of General Kershaw and also to the precautions to guard the passes over the Blue Ridge. General Cobb's brigade was directed to cross the valley, and, marching along its base, to keep in communication with General Kershaw above and up to his advance, so as to give support, if possible, if it was needed, and to serve as rallying force should any disaster render such necessary. I then moved down the valley toward the river with the rest of the command, the inhabitants generally impressing it upon me that Maryland Heights was lined with cannon for a mile and a half. The main force was kept with the advance of General Kershaw, of which I was constantly informed by signal parties stationed on the heights moving with General Kershaw. General Kershaw soon encountered the skirmishers of the enemy, and drove them before him until darkness put an end to the conflict. General Wright gained his position without opposition, and at sundown General Anderson pushed forward a brigade (General Pryor's), as I directed, and took possession of Weverton, and disposed the troops to effectually defend the pass. The brigades of Generals Armistead and Cobb were moved up, forming a line across the valley from the right, commanding the road from Sandy Hook.
On the 13th, General Kershaw-after a very sharp and spirited engagement through the dense woods and over a very broken surface, there being no road from the point he had ceased operations the night previous, and across two abatis, the last quite a formidable work, the east and west sides being precipices of 30 or 40 feet, and across the ridge were breastworks of heavy logs and large rocks-succeeded in carrying the main ridge, where the enemy had a telegraph station, and by