War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0017 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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town. In the meantime General French had reoccupied Harper`s Ferry, destroyed the enemy`s pontoon train at Williamsport and captured its guards. Halting a day at Middletown, General Meade crossed South Mountain, and on the 12th found the enemy occupying a strong position on the heights of Marsh Run, in front of Williamsport. Not being attacked in this position, with the swollen waters of the Potomac in his rear, without any means of crossing his artillery, and where a defeat must have caused the surrender of his entire army, Lee had time to construct a pontoon bridge with lumber collected from canal-boats and the ruins of wooden houses, and on the morning of the 14th his army had crossed to the south side of the river. His rear guard, however, was attacked by our cavalry and suffered considerable loss. Thus ended the rebel campaign north of the Potomac, from which important political and military results had been expected. Our own loss in this short campaign had been very severe, viz: Killed, 2, 834; wounded, 13, 709; missing, 6, 643; total, 23, 186. * We captured 3 guns, 41 standards, 13, 621 prisoners, and 28, 178 small arms. The entire loss by enemy is not known, but judging from the numbers of his dead and wounded left on the field, it must have been much greater than ours. After crossing the Potomac, Lee continued his retreat up the Valley of the Shenandoah and through the gaps of the Blue Ridge until he reached the south bank of the Rapidan, near Orange Court-House, where he took a defensive position to dispute the crossing of the river. General Meade continued his Flank pursuit by Harper`s Ferry, Berlin, and Warrenton, until he reached Culpeper Court-House, where he halted his army, not deeming it prudent to cross the river and attack the enemy, who was now intrenched on the south bank, which completely commanded the approaches on the north side. During this advance, several cavalry skirmishes took place, but without serious loss on either side. The operations of our troops in West Virginia are referred to here as being intimately connected with those of the Army of the Potomac. The force, being too small to attempt any important campaign by itself, has acted mostly upon the defensive, in repelling raids and breaking up guerrilla bands. When Lee`s army retreated across the Potomac in July last, Brigadier-General Kelley concentrated all his available force on the enemy`s flank, near Clear Spring, ready to co-operate in the proposed attack by General Meade. They [the troops in West Virginia] also rendered valuable services in the pursuit. After Lee had effected his passage of the river. When the rebel army was moving north upon Maryland and Pennsylvania, General Dix sent all his available force from Norfolk and Fort Monroe up the York River, for the purpose of cutting off Lee`s communications with Richmond, and of attacking that place, which was then defended by only a handful of militia. The expedition, however, failed to accomplish a single object for which it had been fitted out, the failure resulting, it was alleged, from the inefficiency


*But see revised statement, p. 187,