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Doc. 29.-the affair at Harper's Ferry, Va. Sandy Hook, Md., February 8, 1862. About seven yesterday morning a flag of truce was displayed in a landing-arch in the railroad wall, just above the recent Harper's Ferry bridge, where an angular flight of steps led from the town side of the stone embankment under the railroad track, to the river. The person waving the flag and calling for a boat to come over, was the only one in sight, and he was colored. A boat, with the ferryman, and aage, in daylight, from any clandestine occupancy by the enemy's forces, as well as give them a warm reception if they should at tempt to advance in force by their favorite and hitherto protected and concealed route. The once populous town of Harper's Ferry now contains but seven families, all good Unionists, numbering perhaps forty souls, all told. During the shelling, these, as has long been customary, hung out white flags, and their domiciles were accordingly respected by our cannoniers.
pass through my line of pickets. The brigade came half an hour later, headed by the General himself, in the following order: Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, Twenty-third Massachusetts, Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, Fifth battalion Rhode Island, and Tenth Connecticut, and immediately upon your arrival we followed them, following your order to defile through swamp and water to the rear and to the left of the Twenty-fifth, and then halting, I took the two flank companies, D and G, armed with Harper's Ferry rifles and sabre-bayonets, and after having assured myself of the position of the battery of the enemy, and, by the different shots of their guns, of the extension of the ground which they could sweep on our left, (their right,) I ordered the two companies to jump into a deep swamp, and commanded them to open fire by file, marching slowly to the front and left. I forbade those two companies to waste any ammunition, and fire only when perfectly sure of their aim. We had soon in front
ow, and the memories, perchance, of repeated degradation. One could see by her unstudied grace of attitude and statuesque air that in her blood coursed some of the best white blood in the State; yet she was only a slave — a mere chattel. At Harper's Ferry, the once famous engine-house in which the old man defied all Virginia, there are now some thirty secession prisoners — a curious change to those who once howled at the Union, because one old man made a mad stroke for the freedom of the slave — horse, foot, and artillery — had passed over in perfect safety. The old bridge will be finished next week, and by the first of April the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad will be running again. The numerous graves on the crest of the hill at Harper's Ferry, show how busy death has been in the confederate ranks during the winter. Around are seen the lofty ridges of the Blue Mountains, pierced at one bold point by the Potomac and Shenandoah. Nature has lavished a wild beauty over the whole sce
He entered upon his retreat in very good order, considering what he had suffered. Gen. Banks, hearing of our engagement on his way to Washington, halted at Harper's Ferry, and with remarkable promptitude and sagacity ordered back Williams's whole division, so that my express found the rear brigade already en route to join us. Tnaged to carry off their artillery in the darkness. We opened upon them by early light next morning, and they commenced to retreat. Gen. Banks returned from Harper's Ferry between nine and ten o'clock A. M., and placed himself, at my request, at the head of the command, ten miles from the battle-field, pursuing the enemy. Reinfnemy. He entered upon his retreat in good order, considering what he had suffered. Gen. Banks, hearing of the engagement on his way to Washington, halted at Harper's Ferry, and ordered back a part of Williams's division. Gen. Banks himself returned, and after making a hasty visit to Gen. Shields, who was confined to his bed wit