offensive, we awaited without apprehension a renewal of the attack. The day passed without any demonstration on the part of the enemy, who, from the reports received, was expecting the arrival of reenforcements. As we could not look for a material increase of strength, and the enemy's force could be largely and rapidly augmented, it was not thought prudent to wait until he should be ready again to offer battle. During the night of the eighteenth, the army was accordingly withdrawn to the south side of the Potomac, crossing near Shepherdstown, without loss or molestation. The enemy advanced the next morning, but was held in check by General Fitz-Hugh Lee with his cavalry, who covered our movement with boldness and success. General Stuart, with the main body, crossed the Potomac above Shepherdstown and moved up the river. The next day he recrossed at Williamsport, and took position to operate upon the right and rear of the enemy, should he attempt to follow us. After the army had safely reached the Virginia are, with such of the wounded as could be removed and all its trains, General Porter's corps, with a number of batteries and some cavalry, appeared on the opposite side. General Pendleton was left to guard the ford with the reserve artillery and about six hundred infantry. That night the enemy crossed the river above General Pendleton's position, and his infantry support giving way, four of his guns were taken. A considerable force took position on the right bank under cover of their artillery, on the commanding hills on the opposite side. The next morning General A. P. Hill was ordered to return with his division and dislodge them. Advancing under a heavy fire of artillery, the three brigades of Gregg, Pender, and Archer attacked the enemy vigorously and drove him over the river with heavy loss. The condition of our troops now demanded repose, and the army marched to the Opequan, near Martinsburgh, where it remained several days, and then moved to the vicinity of Bunker Hill and Winchester. The enemy seemed to be concentrating in and near Harper's Ferry, but made no forward movement. During this time the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was destroyed for several miles, and that from Winchester to Harper's Ferry broken up, to within a short distance of the latter place, in order to render the occupation of the Valley by the enemy after our withdrawal more difficult. On the eighteenth October, General Stuart was ordered to cross the Potomac above Williamsport, with twelve or fifteen hundred cavalry, and endeavor to ascertain the position and designs of the enemy. He was directed, if practicable, to enter Pennsylvania and do all in his power to impede and embarrass the military operations of the enemy. This order was executed with skill, address, and courage. General Stuart passed through Maryland, occupied Chambersburgh, and destroyed a large amount of public property, making the entire circuit of General McClellan's army; he recrossed the Potomac below Harper's Ferry without loss. The enemy soon afterward crossed the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge, and advanced southward, seizing the passes of the mountains as he progressed. General Jackson's corps was ordered to take position on the road between Berryville and Charlestown, to be prepared to oppose an advance from Harper's Ferry, or a movement into the Shenandoah Valley from the east side of the mountains, while at the same time he would threaten the flank of the enemy should he continue his march along the eastern base of the Blue Ridge. One division of Longstreet's corps was sent to the vicinity of Upperville to observe the enemy's movements in front. About the last of October the Federal army began to incline eastwardly from the mountains, moving in the direction of Warrenton. As soon as this intention developed itself, Longstreet's corps was moved across the Blue Ridge, and, about the third of November, took position at Culpeper Court-House, while Jackson advanced one of his divisions to the east side of the Blue Ridge. The enemy gradually concentrated about Warrenton, his cavalry being thrown forward beyond the Rappahannock, in the direction of Culpeper Court-House, and occasionally skirmishing with our own, which was closely observing his movements. This situation of affairs continued without material change until about the middle of November, when the movements began, which resulted in the winter campaign on the lower Rappahannock. The accompanying return of the Medical Director will show the extent of our losses in the engagements mentioned. The reports of the different commanding officers must of necessity be referred to for the details of these operations. I desire to call the attention of the department to the names of those brave officers and men, who are particularly mentioned for courage and good conduct by their commanders. The limit of this report will not permit me to do more than renew the expression of my admiration for the valor that shrunk from no peril and the fortitude that endured every privation without a murmur. I must also refer to the report of General Stuart for the particulars of the services rendered by the cavalry, besides those to which I have alluded. Its vigilance, activity, and courage were conspicuous, and to its assistance is due, in a great measure, the success of some of the most important and delicate operations of the campaign.
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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