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[211] to cover his crossing, Gen. Porter, at dark,1 sent across Gen. Griffin, with his own and Barnes's brigades, to carry them. This was gallantly done, under the fire of those batteries, and 4 guns taken; but a reconnoissance in force, made by part of Porter's division next morning2 was ambushed by A. P. Hill, a mile from the ford, and driven pell-mell into the river, with considerable loss, after a brief struggle; the Rebels taking 200 prisoners. They held that bank thenceforth unmolested until next day, and then quietly disappeared.

Lee moved westward, with the bulk of his army, to the Opequan creek, near Martinsburg; his cavalry, under Stuart, recrossing the Potomac to Williamsport, whence he escaped on the approach of Gen. Couch's division. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was now pretty thoroughly destroyed for some distance by the Rebels--neither for the first nor the last time. Gen. McClellan sent forward Gen. Williams on his left to retake Maryland Heights, which he did3 without opposition; as Gen. Sumner, two days later, occupied Harper's Ferry.

Lee soon retired to the vicinity of Bunker Hill and Winchester; whence, seeing that he was not pursued nor imperiled by McClellan, he dispatched4 Stuart, with 1,800 cavalry, on a bold raid into Pennsylvania. Crossing the Potomac above Williamsport, Stuart pushed on rapidly to Chambersburg, where he destroyed a large amount of supplies; and, retiring as hurriedly as he came, he made a second circuit of McClellan's army, recrossing without loss into Virginia at White's Ford, below Harper's Ferry. McClellan, hearing he had gone on this raid, felt entirely confident that he could not escape destruction, and made extensive preparations to insure it; but his plans were foiled by lack of energy and zeal. Stuart paroled at Chambersburg 275 sick and wounded, whom he found there in hospital; burned the railroad depot, machineshops, and several trains of loaded cars, destroying 5,000 muskets and large amounts of army clothing. Perhaps these paid the Rebels for their inevitable waste of horse-flesh, and perhaps not.

Here ensued a renewal of the old game of cross-purposes — McClellan calling loudly and frequently for reenforcemenets, horses, clothing, shoes, and supplies of all kinds, which were readily promised, but not always so promptly supplied ; Halleck sending orders to advance, which were not obeyed with alacrity, if at all. A distemper among the horses throw 4,000 out of service, in addition to the heavy losses by Rebel bullets and by over-work. Halleck states that McClellan's army had 31,000 horses on the 14th of October; McClellan responds that 10,980 were required to move ten days provisions for that army, now swelled to 110,000 men, beside 12,000 teamsters, &c.; and that, after picketing the line of the Potomac, he had not 1,000 desirable cavalry. His entire cavalry force was 5,046; his artillery horses, 6,836; he needed 17,832 animals to draw his forage; so that he was still 10,000 short of the number actually required for an advance.

At length, Gen. McClellan crossed

1 Sept. 19.

2 Sept. 20.

3 Sept. 20.

4 Oct. 10.

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George B. McClellan (8)
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