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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Review of Bates' battle of Gettysburg. (search)
rned to duty. It was undoubtedly this state of facts which prevented General Meade from attacking General Lee at Gettysburg, and induced the Federal council of war to vote with only two dissenting voices, on July 12th, against attacking him at Hagerstown, where he had an impassable river behind him. But if Dr. Bates has dealt unfairly with the Federal reports of strength and losess at Gettysburg, he has hardly deigned to notice the Confederate sources of information at all. His estimate of Gral Lee's force is derived entirely from the guesses of Generals Hooker and Meade. General Hooker says, according to Dr. Bates: With regard to the enemy's force, I had reliable information. Two Union men had counted them as they passed through Hagerstown, and in order that there might be no mistake, they compared notes every night, and if their counts differed, they were satisfactorily adjusted by compromise. In round numbers, Lee had 91,000 infantry and 280 pieces of artillery; marching with
rred there. This was positive proof that McClellan was advancing, and far more rapidly than we had expected. On the eleventh, our line from Frederick to the Potomac was suddenly broken up, and Jackson's corps proceeded very rapidly towards Hagerstown, as if intending to penetrate into Pennsylvania. Ambrose Hill moved his division towards Jefferson, as if going in the direction of Harper's Ferry. The whole army, indeed, was leaving the open country, and taking up positions on the west sideing Hill was deceiving McClellan's advance, Jackson and others were busily availing themselves of the precious time thus gained to achieve success at the Ferry. Having started from Frederick on the eleventh, Jackson rapidly pushed ahead on the Hagerstown road, as if intending to occupy that place, but immediately branched off to the left towards the Potomac, and crossed it the same night at Williamsport. No opposition was met with, and the column still proceeded onwards, our cavalry advance ha
at Reedysville, but a few miles east of the river, and was reported to be slowly approaching. The Antietam River strikes the Potomac almost at right angles, and is spanned by three bridges; the centre one being on the direct road to Sharpsburgh, not more than three quarters of a mile beyond; the second was about two miles lower down, and commanded a road which swept towards the Potomac; and the third was at least two miles above the central one, and conducted a road which led direct to Hagerstown. Beyond this upper bridge the stream is fordable in many places. The river runs through a small valley, and parallel with it the land gradually rises, but on the west bank is far more hilly and broken than on the east; while at the bridge leading direct to Sharpsburgh, and at the lower one, all approach is commanded by bluffs or hillocks, so that a defending force could be well screened behind them, and any troops attacking be exposed to great loss in attempting to force a passage. At
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., McDowell's advance to Bull Run. (search)
l. After the firing of the first gun upon Sumter, the two sides were equally active in marshaling their forces on a line along the border States from the Atlantic coast of Virginia in the east to Kansas in the west. Many of the earlier collisions along this line were due rather to special causes or local feeling than to general military considerations. The prompt advance of the Union forces under McClellan to West Virginia was to protect that new-born free State. Patterson's movement to Hagerstown and thence to Harper's Ferry was to prevent Maryland from joining or aiding the rebellion, to re-open the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and prevent invasion from the Shenandoah Valley. The Southerners having left the Union and set up the Confederacy upon the principle of State rights, in violation of that principle invaded the State of Kentucky in opposition to her apparent purpose of armed neutrality. That made Kentucky a field of early hostilities and helped to anchor her to the Union.
osite Williamsport, forded the river, and drove a squadron of Federal cavalry stationed there out of the place towards Hagerstown, a village some six miles distant. A mile beyond Williamsport we halted, throwing out our pickets and videttes. It wasduced by volley-firing. Two companies of one of our infantry regiments which were stationed on the turnpike running to Hagerstown, and had hastily thrown up a small intrenchment across the road, were charged in a very dashing manner by some squadronto make a reconnaissance with two squadrons of the Georgia regiment of Hampton's brigade, along the turnpike leading to Hagerstown, and ran against a strong body of the Federal cavalry, whom we at once attacked and chased into the suburbs of the town it would be practicable for his command to move forward under cover of the darkness of the night, make a circuit round Hagerstown, operate in the enemy's rear, and recross some ten miles higher up the Potomac. General Hampton, whose patrols had mad
had camped the night before at Clear Spring, and were supposed to be en route for Cumberland. We proceeded northward until we reached the turnpike leading from Hagerstown to Hancock (known as the National Road). Here a signal station on the mountain and most of the party, with their flags and apparatus, were surprised and capture across the National Road, I proceeded in the direction of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, which point was reached about 12 o'clock. I was extremely anxious to reach Hagerstown, where large supplies were stored, but was satisfied from reliable information that the notice the enemy had of my approach, and the proximity of his forces, wo prevent the inhabitants from detecting my real route and object. I started directly towards Gettysburg, but, having passed the Blue Ridge, turned back towards Hagerstown for six or eight miles, and then crossed to Maryland by Emmettsburg, where, as we passed, we were hailed by the inhabitants with the most enthusiastic demonstr
war too; among which I recall the obliging manner in which Major P , of the United States cavalry, enabled me to gratify some lady friends in Virginia. The Major was brought in to the headquarters-or bivouac, rather — in a grassy yard near Hagerstown, during the absence of General Stuart, and whilst the present writer was in command. I found him very much of a gentleman; laughed at his description of the manner in which he was captured-Your men snapped a carbine at me, and then halted me! not to attempt escape, after which we lay down and slept on the grass, the major sharing my blankets. On the next morning we were perfectly intimate; and hearing me express a wish to secure some greenbacks for the purchase of small articles in Hagerstown, where Confederate money would not pass, the major politely pulled out his purse, declaring that he would exchange dollar for dollar as he only wished to have enough of money to buy cigars in Richmond. The comedy of the scene which ensued lay
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The battle of fleet Wood. (search)
d by at least seven regiments of infantry. I would remind General Gregg that the last charge in the cavalry battle at Gettysburg was made by the Southern cavalry; that by this charge his division was swept behind the protection of his artillery, and that the field remained in the undisputed possession of Stuart, save that from the opposite hills a fierce artillery duel was maintained until night. I would remind him how the Federal cavalry was handled after Gettysburg, on the road between Hagerstown and Williamsport, when this limping cavalry giant raised the siege of our wagon trains which were huddled together on the bank of the Potomac. I would remind him of The Buckland races, on the 19th of October, 1863, when Kilpatrick's Division was chased, with horses at full gallop, from within three miles of Warrenton to Buckland Mills, and only by this rapid flight escaped being crushed between Hampton's and Fitz Lee's Brigades. Nor must the battle near Trevillian's Station, in June, 186
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Life in Pennsylvania. (search)
erve the movements of the enemy, who he was instructed to harass and impede as much as possible, should he attempt to cross the Potomac. In that event, General Stuart was directed to move into Maryland, crossing the Potomac on the east or west of the Blue Ridge, as in his judgment should be best, and take position on the right of our column as it advanced. My corps crossed the Potomac at Williamsport, and General A. P. Hill crossed at Shepherdstown. Our columns were joined together at Hagerstown, and we marched thence into Pennsylvania, reaching Chambersburg on the evening of the 27th. At this point, on the night of the 29th, information was received by which the whole plan of the campaign was changed. We had not heard from the enemy for several days, and General Lee was in doubt as to where he was; indeed, we did not know that he had yet left Virginia. At about ten o'clock that night, Colonel Sorrell, my chief-of-staff, was waked by an orderly, who reported that a suspicious p
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The burning of Chambersburg. (search)
brigades that were to make the dash into Pennsylvania, by turning the right of Hunter's army, were assembled at or near Hammond's mill, in Berkeley county, West Virginia. During the night the Federal pickets on the northern side of the Potomac were captured, and the troops crossed just at daylight on the morning of the 30th, and moved out and formed the line of march on the National road. Major Gilmer drove the Federal cavalry from the small village of Clear Spring, and pushed on toward Hagerstown to create the impression that the rest of the troops were following. At Clear Spring we left the National road and turned north on the Mercersburg road. We reached Mercersburg about dark, and stopped to feed our horses, and to give time for the stragglers to come up. After this stop the march was continued all night, notwithstanding the opposition made at every available point by a regiment of Federal cavalry. Major Sweeney, with his cavalry battalion, kept the roads clear, and we reach
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