Walker,) and Lawton, (Colonel Douglas,) with the artillery, under Major Courtnay; and Jackson's division, under Brigadier-General Starke, consisting of the brigades of Winder, (Colonel Grigsby,) Jones, (Colonel B. T. Johnson,) Taliaferro, (Colonel Warren,) and Starke, (Colonel Stafford,) with the artillery, under Major Shumaker, chief of artillery. On the fifth of September, my command crossed the Potomac at White's Ford, and bivouacked that night near the Three Springs, in the State of Maryland. Not having any cavalry with me, except the Black Horse, under Captain Randolph, I directed him, after crossing the Potomac, to take part of his company and scout to the right, in order to avoid a surprise of the column from that direction. For the thorough and efficient manner in which this duty was discharged, and for the valuable service rendered generally, whilst attached to my headquarters, I desire to make special mention of this company and its officers, Captain Randolph and Lieutenants Paine, Tyler, and Smith, who frequently transmitted orders in the absence of staff officers. The next day we arrived in the vicinity of Frederick City. Jackson's division encamped near its suburbs, except the brigade of General Jones, (Colonel Bradley T. Johnson commanding,) which was posted in the city as a provost guard. Ewell's and Hill's divisions occupied positions near the railroad bridge, over the Monocacy, guarding the approaches from Washington City. In obedience to instructions from the commanding General, and for the purpose of capturing the Federal forces and stores then at Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry, my command left the vicinity of Frederick City on the tenth, and passing rapidly through Middletown, Boonsborough, and Williamsport, recrossed the Potomac into Virginia, at Light's Ford, on the eleventh. General Hill moved with his division on the turnpike, direct from Williamsport to Martinsburg. The divisions of Jackson and Ewell proceeded toward the North Mountain depot, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, about seven miles northwest of Martinsburg. They bivouacked that night in the vicinity of the depot in order to prevent the Federal forces, then at Martinsburg, from escaping westward unobserved. Major Myers, commanding the cavalry, sent part of his troops as far south as the Berkeley and Hampshire turnpike. Brigadier-General White, who was in command of the Federal forces at Martinsburg, becoming advised of our approach, evacuated the place on the night of the eleventh, and retreated to Harper's Ferry. On the morning of the twelfth, our cavalry entered the town, as, in the course of the day, did the main body of my command. At this point, abandoned quartermaster, commissary, and ordnance stores fell into our hands. Proceeding thence toward Harper's Ferry, about eleven o'clock A. M., on the following morning, (thirteenth,) the head of our column came in view of the enemy, drawn up in force upon Bolivar Heights. General Hill, who was in the advance, went into camp near Hulltown, about two miles from the enemy's position. The two other divisions encamped near by. The commanding General having directed Major-General McLaws to move with his own and General R. H. Anderson's divisions, to take possession of the Maryland Heights overlooking Harper's Ferry, and Brigadier-General J. G. Walker, pursuing a different route, to cross the Potomac, and move up that river on the Virginia side, and occupy the Loudon Heights, both for the purpose of cooperating with me, it became necessary, before making the attack, to ascertain whether they were in position. Failing to learn the fact by signals, a courier was despatched to each of these points for the required information. During the night the courier to the Loudon Heights returned with a message from General Walker that he was in position. In the mean time, General McLaws had attacked the Federal force posted to defend the Maryland Heights, had routed it, and taken possession of that commanding position. The Potomac River flowed between the positions respectively occupied by General McLaws and myself, and the Shenandoah separated me from General Walker, and it became advisable, as the speediest mode of communication, to resort to signals. Before the necessary orders were thus transmitted, the day was far advanced. The enemy had, by fortifications, strengthened the naturally strong position he occupied along Bolivar Heights, extending from near the Shenandoah to the Potomac. McLaws and Walker, being thus separated from the enemy by intervening rivers, would afford no assistance beyond the fire of their artillery, and guarding certain avenues of escape to the enemy. And from the reports received from them, by signals, in consequence of the distance and range of their guns, not much could be expected from their artillery, so long as the enemy retained his advanced position on Bolivar Heights. In the afternoon, General Hill was ordered to move along the left bank of the Shenandoah, turn the enemy's left, and enter Harper's Ferry. General Lawton, commanding Ewell's division, was directed to move along the turnpike for the purpose of supporting General Hill, and of otherwise operating against the enemy to his left. General J. R. Jones, commanding Jackson's division, was directed, with one of his brigades and a battery of artillery, to make a demonstration against the enemy's right, whilst the remaining part of his command, as a reserve, moved along the turnpike. Major Massie, commanding the cavalry, was directed to keep upon our left flank for the purpose of preventing the enemy from escaping. Brigadier-General Walker guarded against an escape across the Shenandoah River. Fearing lest the enemy should attempt to escape across the Potomac, by means of signals I called the attention of Major-General McLaws, commanding on the Maryland Heights, to the propriety of guarding against such an attempt. The demonstration on the left against the enemy's
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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