War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0962 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Numbers 268. Reports of Colonel S. Crutchfield, C. S. Army, Chief of Artillery, of operations September 13-19.


April 16, 1863

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the artillery of this army corps in the capture of Harper's Ferry, and battle of Sharpsburg, in September, 1862:

On Saturday, September 13, the command of Lieutenant-General Jackson appeared before Harper's Ferry on the southern side, having approached it from Martinsburg. That day was spent in reconnaissances.

On Sunday a cannonade was opened on the enemy from the batteries of Brigadier General John G. Walker, from the Loudoun Heights, and from those of Major-General McLaws, from Maryland Heights. The enemy were strongly intrenched on Bolivar Heights and just around the former house of the superintendent of the armory. At the latter place his fire was pretty well silenced late in the day. Toward the close of the afternoon a general advance was made on the place. Major General A. P. Hill's division moved along the west bank of the Shenandoah; that of Major-General Ewell, commanded by Brigadier-General Lawton, was on the left of General Hill's, while Jackson's division, commanded by Colonel Grigsby, approached on the road from Harper's Ferry to Shepherdstown. The early approach of night prevented any serious engagement.

During the night, ten guns from the batteries of Captains Dement, Brown, [Lieutenant] Garber, and Latimer were moved up the Shenandoah, and, crossing at Kelly's Ford, moved down on the other side until opposite, the left of the enemy's line of intrenchments. This position, although commanded perfectly by Bolivar Heights, yet secured a fire into the rear of the enemy's works on his left, where he had a work with an embrasure battery of four guns, but open in the rear, and the first point of his work to be encountered by Major General A. P. Hill. This work gained, his other works were untenable. A road having to be cut for these ten guns prevented their opening at daybreak, as General Jackson had ordered. The attack was begun by a battery of eight guns in front and rather to the right of this work, from the batteries of Captains Pegram, McIntosh, Davidson, and Braxton, of Major General A. P. Hill's division. In a short time the guns of Captains Brown, [Lieutenant] Garber, Latimer, and Dement, being in position, their fire was directed against this work from the rear. Its battery was quickly silenced, the men running from their guns, but returning to them in a short time after the guns directed on the work were brought to bear on the enemy's infantry in his intrenchments. These pieces were, therefore, again directed on the work, and in something less than an hour its fire was completely silenced, and our guns being again turned on the enemy's infantry, they soon began to fall back from their intrenchments in great confusion, and the white flag was raised over their works.

The captured guns being turned over to the quartermaster for removal, I can make no exact return of the number. We had none disabled, and, of course, lost none.

On reaching Shepherdstown late next evening, I met Brigadier General W. N. Pendleton, who desired me to return to Harper's Ferry and endeavor to get together batteries of the captured guns and such ammunition as I could and send it to Shepherdstown or the battle-field of Sharpsburg, as our ordnance supplies were getting short and our batteries in an inefficient condition from hard marching and previous fighting. I