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Chapter 9: Fortifications of the enemy General Banks at Harper's Ferry cavalry raids and picket guard on the Upper Potomac the little town of Waterford our scouts in Maryland daring of Elijah White capture of McClellan's orderlies. It now appeared, from the presence of large bodies of the enemy at all the fordnted; and the clamors of the press seemed to indicate that public opinion would precipitate hostilities. A general of the ranting, raving type of Abolitionism (N. P. Banks, of Massachusetts) commanded Harper's Ferry and the whole line of the Upper Potomac, and it was confidently expected that he would succeed in breaking the backbmistaken. I shall just go out of town, and put up at P--‘s for the night; what say you, Smidt? said he to another aide. You are not going on with your papers to Banks to night, eh? They'll keep, man, they an't important, so let's make a night of it, and put in an excuse of lame horses! Both agreed to the plan, and about an hou
d were generally considered to be impregnable. Our pickets were at Fairfax Court-House, but the Yankees were in winter quarters to the front, and could not be coaxed to advance. Active movements were on foot, however, at Harper's Ferry, and General Banks had pushed his outposts several miles up the Valley. Ashby, with his cavalry, whose daring raids I have mentioned, grew bolder every day, and solicited reenforcements. These were not granted him, the authorities perhaps judging it prudent nat all was right. The enemy were not long in assembling, and could be seen swarming into their fieldworks and rifle-pits. Skirmishers were sent out by both parties, and little puffs of smoke and faint reports told that they were hotly engaged. Banks did not seem inclined to leave his fortifications, yet to draw Ashby forward sent out two regiments as decoys; they were saluted with round shot and shell, and, quickly turning, fled to the woods south-west of Bolivar, where again volleys saluted
Chapter 11: What the enemy did when our forces had left Leesburgh Plots of Union traitors during our absence threatened approach of the enemy from Drainsville upon our right flank we march out to the attack, Sunday, October twentieth capture of a Federal courier the ruse discovered plans of Stone, Baker, and Banks Countermarch to the Ferry road watching the river shell-firing by the enemy the enemy cross in force at Ball's Bluff on Sunday night, and at Edwards's Ferry, Goose Creek, and other Passages on Monday morning details of the battle of Leesburgh General Baker killed Colonel Coggswell, with eight hundred men taken prisoners great slaughter victory of the Confederate forces retreat of the enemy to Maryland our reenforcements arrive. While our brigade was away from Leesburgh, and pickets were no longer at the river, many negroes crossed the stream, and informed the Yankees of our whereabouts. Several Unionists, also, had conferred with their frien
is a true fire-eater and an invincible believer in our manifest destiny, poor Banks will find him a disagreeable opponent to confront in the mountain passes or at At this time the enemy were strongly posted at Romney and Bath southwards, and Banks, with his whole army being north of the Potomac, it was evident that some greatackson was too much of a fox for him, however, and when it became apparent that Banks and Shields were preparing to send heavy forces across into Virginia, StonewallS.-Before this arrives, you will have learned that Jackson has had a fight with Banks and Shields, at a place called Kearnstown, in which affair I received a shot in patiently. As we drew near a place called Kearnstown, it was ascertained that Banks and his second in command, Shields, were in strong force in and around Winchestng upon us with all his force; and we obtained information from a prisoner that Banks, considering the Valley cleared of Jackson, had gone to Washington, leaving Shi
a great. success over them; but the truth was all guns were quietly removed and the batteries abandoned long before the gunboats gave their final shellings. A great move was evidently preparing by both parties, but few could guess its object. Banks and others at Harper's Ferry were in great force, and were beginning to move up the Shenandoah slowly and cautiously. General ( Stonewall ) Jackson had been detached from Manassas before Christmas, with about three thousand men, which, together ot more. He was ably seconded by Generals Ewell and Ashby, and no three men in the Confederacy knew the country better. Although their force was small, and that of the enemy large, they unexpectedly appeared and disappeared like phantoms before Banks and Shields, acting like Jack-o‘--lanterns to draw them on to destruction. Our position on the Upper Potomac at Leesburgh was also threatened at not less than four points, namely, westward, from Lovettsville and Harper's Ferry; northward, fro
proceeded to the various cotton-presses, rolled out thousands of bales, and applied the torch; countless cotton ships were also sunk or fired, steamboats by the dozen similarly destroyed. As the roar of cannon drew nearer, the heat of the sun, and conflagrations in every direction, made the atmosphere oppressively hot, while dense columns of smoke darkened the air. The scene was one of terrible grandeur, the effect of which was much heightened by the tolling of alarm bells in the city. Banks, and all who had any thing to save, were busy sending away their valuables; and their having done so in good time prevented several millions of specie from falling into the hands of the enemy. Long lines of army wagons, carriages, pedestrians, and horsemen, left the town by every avenue; the wildest consternation and dejection seemed to have seized all; the revulsion of feeling was awful. Having narrowly escaped capture in the naval engagement, Lovell rode rapidly by the Levee road, and ar
ce the on to Richmond movement from the west. Banks also had the same destination, having his forcot, before they could turn and flee, and — as Banks would be obliged to pass through that town — ttores that they had to be destroyed. Judge of Banks's astonishment when informed of this! Never dods of attack along their line of retreat, for Banks had a very large army, and could not well be aorning, (twenty-fourth,) word was brought that Banks's whole command was racing up the Pike towardsad not been able to get into Winchester before Banks arrived; and as the place was strongly fortifit the morrow might bring forth. We had beaten Banks — that was an all-sufficing fact; and Jackson,, riot, confusion, loss in men and materiel as Banks suffered on that eventful day are totally beyond journeys, it would have been impossible for Banks to have drawn off a single regiment; but, as wl not fail to observe from the above, that General Banks's body. guard is composed of negroes, and[14 more...
ur humanity to the wounded and the prisoners was the fit and crowning glory to your valor. Defenders of a just cause, may God have you in his keeping. Jefferson Davis. The General will cause the above to be read to the troops under his command. The following, printed in extremely large type, appeared, by General Butler's orders, in his organ, the New-Orleans Delta, June twelfth, 1862: On May thirty-first, Richmond was evacuated, and General McClellan took possession of the city! General Banks had driven Stonewall Jackson headlong to the foot of General McDowell, who before this had probably kicked him over the border. So end the drama!-it is enough (!) Comment is unnecessary. There was much inquiry among the soldiers at other parts of the line regarding the particulars of the engagement, but the victory was looked upon as a matter of course. Notwithstanding the vigilance of guards, many persons from Richmond rode out to see the field, but invariably brought something for t
e are thousands of plantations in the South at this moment with no white person to look after them, save our wives or grandmothers! Do you find darkeys shouldering muskets and going forth to fight for Lincoln? In all my observations I never knew of but three negroes who were found in arms for Lincoln, and they were in the Fifteenth Massachusetts, and pretended to be dead when our black boys found them on the battle-field. This was written before the negro regiments were raised under General Banks at New-Orleans. Do you think Nick out there considers a Northern darkey his equal? Tell him so — you could not insult him more grossly than to insinuate such a thing! There cannot be a doubt, said another, that blacks have occasionally been treated very barbarously by owners, but it is against all logic to suppose that any one, let him be ever so brutally inclined, would wilfully cut, maim, or habitually ill-treat, that or those which were to him a source of profit or income. It
ey campaign, and rout of the enemy. Charlottesville, June 20th, 1862. Dear friend: In my last I informed you that before Jackson left Page Valley to attack Banks's rear in the Shenandoah, Shields had already left, and gone eastwards across the Blue Ridge, towards Fredericksburgh; also, that Fremont was across the Alleghanies, with Milroy and Blenker, too distant to afford Banks any support, so that we were enabled to attack him with impunity. You will remember that Banks, after his route, crossed the Potomac, and that our army remained in possession of the immense booty we had taken. I will now relate the events that followed. Jackson was now aBanks, after his route, crossed the Potomac, and that our army remained in possession of the immense booty we had taken. I will now relate the events that followed. Jackson was now anxiously watching the movements of Shields and Fremont, who from the east and west might cross the mountains, re-enter the valley, and cut off his retreat. We had not lain idle more than a week, when it became known that both those commanders had turned the heads of their respective columns towards Strasburgh, fifty miles to our r
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