, on the 11th; and, perceiving at once that Maryland Heights
was the key of the position, had sent1 Kershaw
, with his own and Barksdale
's brigades, up a rugged mountain road, impracticable for artillery, to the crest of the Elk Mountains
, two or three miles northward of Maryland Heights
, with orders to follow along that crest, and so approach and carry our position; while Wright
's brigade, with 2 guns, was to take post on the southern face of South Mountain
, and so command all the approaches along the Potomac
, with the rest of his force, save the brigades holding Crampton's Gap, moved down Pleasant Valley
to the river.
advanced according to order, through dense woods and over very rough ground, until he encountered and worsted Ford
's command on the Heights
, as we have seen; while Wright
took, unopposed, the positions assigned them, and McLaws
advanced to Sandy Hook
, barring all egress from Harper's Ferry
down the Potomac
The morning of the 14th was spent by McLaws
in cutting a road practicable for artillery to the crest of Maryland Heights
, whence fire was opened from 4 guns at 2 P. M.; not only shelling our forces at the Ferry
, but commanding our position on Bolivar Heights, beyond it. Before night, Walker
's guns opened likewise from Loudon Heights, and Jackson
's batteries were playing from several points, some of them enfilading our batteries on Bolivar Heights; while shots from others reached our helpless and huddled men in their rear.
During the night, Col. Crutchfield
's chief of artillery, ferried 10 of Ewell
's guns across the Shenandoah
, and established them where they could take in reverse our best intrenchments on Bolivar Heights; soon compelling their evacuation and our retreat to an inferior position, considerably nearer the Ferry
, and of course more exposed to and commanded by McLaws
's guns on Maryland Heights
At 9 P. M.,2
our cavalry, some 2,000 strong, under Col. Davis
, 12th Illinois, made their escape from the Ferry
, across the pontoon-bridge, to the Maryland
bank; passing up the Potomac
unassailed, through a region swarming with enemies, to the mouth of the Antietam, thence striking northward across Maryland
, reaching Greencastle, Pa.
, next morning; having captured by the way the ammunition train of Gen. Longstreet
, consisting of 50 to 60 wagons.
Miles assented to this escape; but refused permission to infantry officers who asked leave to cut their way out: saying he was ordered to hold the Ferry
to the last extremity.
Next morning at daybreak,3
batteries reopened from seven commanding points, directing their fire principally at our batteries on Bolivar Heights.
At 7 A. M., Miles stated to Gen. White
that a surrender was inevitable, his artillery ammunition being all but exhausted; when the brigade commanders were called together and assented.
A white flag was thereupon raised; but the Rebels
, not perceiving it, continued their fire some 30 to 40 minutes, whereby Miles was mortally wounded.
was just impelling a general infantry attack, when informed that the