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[281] held it in check for five hours. Several attacks on the centre were gallantly repulsed by Colquitt's brigade, and Rodes maintained his position against heavy odds with the utmost tenacity. Longstreet, leaving one brigade at Hagerstown, had hurried to the assistance of Hill, and reached the scene of action between three and four P. M. His troops, much exhausted by a long, rapid march and the heat of the day, were disposed on both sides of the turnpike.

General D. R. Jones, with three of his brigades, those of Pickett, (under General Garnett,) Kemper, and Jenkins, (under Colonel Walker,) together with Evans's brigade, was posted along the mountain on the left; General Hood, with his own and Whiting's brigade, under Colonel Law, Drayton's, and D. R. Jones's, under Colonel G. T. Anderson, on the right. Batteries had been placed by General Hill in such positions as could be found, but the ground was unfavorable for the use of artillery. The battle continued with great animation until night. On the south of the turnpike the enemy was driven back some distance, and his attack on the centre repulsed with loss.

His great superiority of numbers enabled him to extend beyond both of our flanks. By this means he succeeded in reaching the summit of the mountain, beyond our left, and pressing upon us heavily from that direction, gradually forced our troops back after an obstinate resistance. Darkness put an end to the contest. The effort to force the passage of the mountains had failed, but it was manifest that, without reenforcements, we could not hazard a renewal of the engagement, as the enemy could easily turn either flank. Information was also received that another large body of Federal troops had, during the afternoon, forced their way through Crampton's Gap, only five miles in rear of McLaws. Under these circumstances, it was determined to retire to Sharpsburgh, where we would be upon the flank and rear of the enemy should he move against McLaws, and where we could more readily unite with the rest of the army.

This movement was skilfully and efficiently covered by the cavalry brigade of Fitz Lee, and was accomplished without interruption by the enemy, who did not appear on the west side of the pass at Boonesboro until about eight A. M. on the following morning.

The resistance that had been offered to the enemy at Boonesboro secured sufficient time to enable General Jackson to complete the reduction of Harper's Ferry.

On the afternoon of the fourteenth, when he found that the troops of Walker and McLaws were in position to cooperate in the attack, he ordered General A. P. Hill to turn the enemy's left flank and enter Harper's Ferry. Ewell's division, under General Lawton, was ordered to support Hill, while Winder's brigade of Jackson's division, under Colonel Grigsby, with a battery of artillery, made a demonstration on the enemy's right near the Potomac. The rest of the division was held in reserve. The cavalry, under Major Massie, was placed on the extreme left to prevent the escape of the enemy. Colonel Grigsby succeeded in getting possession of an eminence on the left, upon which two batteries were advantageously posted. General A. P. Hill observing a hill on the enemy's extreme left, occupied by infantry without artillery, and protected only by abattis of felled timber, directed General Pender, with his own brigade and those of Archer and Colonel Brockenbrough, to seize the crest, which was done with slight resistance. At the same time, he ordered Generals Branch and Gregg to march along the Shenandoah, and taking advantage of the ravines intersecting its steep banks, to establish themselves on the plain to the left and rear of the enemy's works. This was accomplished during the night. Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, chief of artillery of A. P. Hill's division, placed several batteries on the eminence taken by General Pender, and under the direction of Colonel Crutchfield, General Jackson's chief of artillery, ten guns, belonging to Ewell's division, were posted on the east side of the Shenandoah, so as to enfilade the enemy's intrenchments on Bolivar Heights, and to take his nearest and most formidable works in reverse. General McLaws, in the mean time, made his preparations to prevent the force which had penetrated at Crampton's Gap from coming to the relief of the garrison.

This pass had been defended by the brigade of General Cobb, supported by those of Semmes and Mahone, but unable to oppose successfully the superior numbers brought against them, they had been compelled to retire with loss. The enemy halted at the gap, and, during the night, General McLaws formed his command in line of battle across Pleasant Valley, about a mile and a half below Crampton's, leaving one regiment to support the artillery on Maryland Heights, and two brigades on each of the roads from Harper's Ferry.

The attack on the garrison began at dawn. A rapid and vigorous fire was opened from the batteries of General Jackson and those on Maryland and Loudon Heights. In about two hours the garrison, consisting of more than eleven thousand men, surrendered. Seventy-three pieces of artillery, about thirteen thousand small-arms, and a large quantity of military stores fell into our hands.

Leaving General A. P. Hill to receive the surrender of the Federal troops and secure the captured property, General Jackson, with his two other divisions, set out at once for Sharpsburgh, ordering Generals McLaws and Walker to follow without delay.

Official information of the fall of Harper's Ferry and the approach of General Jackson was received soon after the commands of Longstreet and D. H. Hill reached Sharpsburgh, on the morning of the fifteenth, and reanimated the courage of the troops. General Jackson arrived early on the sixteenth, and General Walker came up in the afternoon.

The presence of the enemy at Crampton's Gap

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