Numbers 276. Report of Brigadier General Samuel McGowan, C. S. Army, of operations of Gregg's brigade, September 3-December 3.
HDQRS. 2nd Brigadier, A. P. HILL'S LIGHT DIV., 2nd A. C.,
Camp Gregg, Va., February 9, 1863.
MAJOR: In compliance with the request of Major-General Hill, to send in a report of all military operations in which this brigade was engaged from the time when General Lee took command at Gordonsville to the time when we left the valley, I have the honor to submit the following general statement, which has been delayed on account of the absence of two regiments on fatigue duty:
Not having been in command of the brigade, but only of one of its regiments (the Fourteenth South Carolina Volunteers) during these operations, I have not been able to make such a detailed report of particular events as the subject deserved, but am obliged to content myself with a mere outline of operations the most important. Would that the lamented General Gregg, lately in command of the brigade, was here to make out the report of achievements in which he performed so large a part himself and which he could have recorded better than any one else. I understand that the call does not include the Cedar Run (or Slaughter Mountain) campaign, which this brigade, as part of your division, made under Major-General (now Lieutenant-General) Jackson.*
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CAPTURE OF HARPER'S FERRY.
The brigade left Ox Hill on September 3, and, marching through Dranesville and Leesburg, crossed the Potomac into Maryland at White's Ford on the 5th. The rested at Monocacy Junction, near Frederick City, until the 10th, when, in order to perform their part in the investment and capture of Harper's Ferry, they commenced a force march, and making a large circuit by way of Boonsborough, Williamsport, and Martinsburg, reached the vicinity of Harper's Ferry from the Virginia side on the 13th.
Sunday, the 14th, the brigade moved down the Winchester Railroad, on the left bank of the Shenandoah, and were engaged during the night until 2 o'clock the next morning in getting into position on the plateau between the Shenandoah and Bolivar Heights, the latter place being held by a strong force of the enemy. Here morning dawned upon the command ready to storm the heights. The view was magnificent, presenting such a spectacle as is rarely seen. At early dawn the batteries of McIntosh and Davidson opened upon the left of our position, and soon after other batteries commenced firing upon the enemy from the Loudoun Heights beyond the Shenandoah. When everything was ready for the assault, a white flag was seen displayed by the enemy as evidence of surrender, and at 7.30 o'clock on the morning of September 15 Major General A. P. Hill entered the captured works. At 9 o'clock the brigade was marched up to the heights and employed in guarding prisoners, arms, &c. We sustained no loss in these brilliant operations.
At Harper's Ferry, during the 16th, heavy cannonading on the Maryland side was distinctly heard, and on Wednesday we made a forced
*Portion here omitted is printed in Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, pp. 678-683.