War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0914 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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Owing to a heavy mist, which concealed Harper's Ferry from view, we did not open our fire until after 8 o'clock in the morning of the 15th, the enemy replying very feebly at first, and, finally, about 9 o'clock, ceased firing altogether.

About 9.30 o'clock we observed a white flag displayed from a large brick building in the upper town, when our batteries immediately ceased their fire, although I was not satisfied that it indicated a capitulation. It soon became apparent that such was the case, and after a short time we had the extreme satisfaction to see the head of Major General A. P. Hill's column approaching the town along the Charlestown turnpike.

My division that evening crossed the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah River, and by daylight on the 16th reached Shepherdstown, and early in the day crossed the Potomac and reported to General Lee near Sharpsburg, Md.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Major E. F. PAXTON,

Asst. Adjut. and Insp. General, Jackson's Corps, Army of N. Va.


Camp near Winchester, Va., October 14, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part borne by the division under my command in the battle of Sharpsburg, Md., September 17, last:

The division, composed of Ransom's and Walker's brigades (the latter commanded by Colonel Van H. Manning, to which was attached French's and Branch's light batteries), after participating in the capture of the Federal forces at Harper's Ferry, crossed the Blue Ridge, the Shenandoah, and the Potomac, the latter at Shepherdstown, and reached the neighborhood of Sharpsburg, Md., on the 16th ultimo, where I reported to General Lee.

In accordance with his instructions, at daylight the next morning I placed the division on the extreme right of our position and about 1 1/2 miles south of Sharpsburg, my line of battle extending from a wood on the right to a group of barns, stables, and outhouses on the left, in such way as to cover the ford over the Antietam Creek and to be within supporting distance of the command of Brigadier-General Toombs, which lay in front of the bridge across the same stream. My batteries were placed on commanding heights in such way as to command the roads leading from the east, while a battalion of sharpshooters was posted along the wooded banks of the Antietam, to hold the enemy in check should he attempt to cross the stream at that point. While we were in this position, the enemy made no attempt to cross the stream, and the only evidence of his being in our front was his artillery fire at long range and the reply of General Toombs' batteries, about half a mile to my left.

Soon after 9 a. m., I received orders from General Lee, through Colonel [A. L.] Long, of his staff, to hasten to the extreme left, to the support of Major-General Jackson. Hastening forward, as rapidly as possible, along the rear of our entire line of battle, we arrived, soon after 10 o'clock near, the woods which the commands of Generals Hood and Early were struggling heroically to hold but gradually and sullenly yielding to the irresistible weight of overwhelming numbers. Here we at once formed line of battle, under a sharp artillery fire, and, leaving the Twenty-seventh