's attack on Crampton's Pass as a part of one general and concerted plan — responded exactly to General McClellan
's hopes and wishes; and the close of the action, on the evening of the 14th, found General Franklin
's advance within six miles of Harper's Ferry
A despatch was sent to him from Headquarters during the night of the 14th, containing instructions as to his movements in case he should succeed in opening communication with Colonel Miles
; and this would have been done had the place held out for twenty-four hours longer.
But the surrender was made at eight A. M. on the 15th.
Upon a fair examination of the case, it cannot be maintained that General McClellan
is guilty of the charge made by the general-in-chief
, and sanctioned by the Committee of Inquiry, that he failed to relieve and protect Harper's Ferry
, having the power to do so.
The battle of Antietam.
The pursuit of the enemy followed immediately after the battle of South Mountain
, and on the 15th they were found strongly posted behind Antietam Creek
, near Sharpsburg
Our troops were not up in sufficient force to begin the attack on that day. The ground occupied by the Confederates
was a rugged and wooded plateau, descending to the banks of the Antietam, which is here a deep stream, with few fords, and crossed by three stone bridges.
On all favorable points the enemy's artillery