“  left flank, and enter Harper's Ferry.” The enemy occupied a ridge of hills known as Bolivar Heights, extending from the Potomac to the Shenandoah, naturally strong, but rendered very formidable by extensive earthworks. Having first shelled the woods over which my route lay, I moved obliquely to my right until I struck the Shenandoah. Moving down the Shenandoah, I discovered an eminence crowning the extreme left of the enemy's line, bare of all earthworks, the only obstacles being abatis of fallen timber. The enemy occupied this hill with infantry, but no artillery. Branch and Gregg were ordered to continue the march along the river, and during the night to take advantage of the ravines cutting the precipitous banks of the river, and establish themselves on the plain to the left and rear of the enemy's works. Pender, Archer, and Brockenbrough were directed to gain the crest of the hill before mentioned; Thomas followed as a reserve. The execution of this movement was intrusted to General Pender, his own brigade being commanded by Colonel Brewer. This was acomplished with but slight resistance, and the fate of Harper's Ferry was sealed. Lieutenant-Colonel Walker was directed to bring up his guns, and establish them in the position thus gained. This was done during the night, by the indomitable resolution and energy of Colonel Walker and his Adjutant, Lieutenant Chamberlaine, ably seconded by the Captains of batteries. Generals Branch and Gregg had also gained the position desired, and daybreak found them in rear of the enemy's line of defense. General Pender, with Thomas in support, moved his brigades to within one hundred and fifty yards of the works, and were sheltered as much as possible from the fire of the enemy. At dawn, Lieutenant-Colonel Walker opened a rapid enfilade fire from all his batteries, at about one thousand yards range. The enemy replied vigorously. In an hour, the enemy's fire seeming to be pretty well silenced, the batteries were ordered to cease, and this was the signal for storming the works. General Pender had commenced his advance, when the enemy again opening, Pegram and Crenshaw were run forward to within four hundred yards, and quickly coming into battery, poured in a damaging fire. The enemy now displayed the white flag, and Lieutenant Chamberlaine was sent in to know if they surrendered. This was soon ascertained to be the fact, and the garrison, &c., was surrendered by General White, Colonel D. S. Miles, the commanding officer, having been mortally wounded. By direction of General Jackson, I granted General White the most liberal terms, and regret to report that this magnanimity was not appreciated by the enemy, as the wagons which were loaded to carry off the private baggage of officers were not returned for nearly two months, and not until repeated calls had been made for them. When I entered the works of the enemy, which was only a few moments after the white flag had been shown, there was apparently no organization of any kind — that had ceased to exist. The fruits of this victory were eleven thousand prisoners, about twelve thousand stand of arms, seventy pieces of artillery, harness and horses, a large number of wagons, commissary, quartermaster, and ordnance stores. My loss was three killed and sixty-six wounded. Sharpsburg. By direction of General Jackson, I remained at Harper's Ferry until the morning of the seventeenth, when at half past 6 A. M., I received an order from General Lee to move to Sharpsburg. Leaving Thomas with his brigade to complete the removal of the captured property, my division was put in motion half past 7 A. M. The head of my column arrived upon the battle-field of Sharpsburg, a distance of seventeen miles, at half past 2, and, reporting in person to General Lee, he directed me to take position on our right. Brigadier-General D. R. Jones, commanding on our right, gave me such information as my ignorance of the ground made necessary. My troops were rapidly thrown into position — Pender and Brockenbrough on the extreme right, looking to a road which crossed the Antietam, near its mouth, and Branch, Gregg, and Archer extending to the left and connecting with D. R. Jones's division. McIntosh's battery had been sent forward to strengthen Jones's right, weakened by troops withdrawn to our left and centre. Braxton's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Marye, (Captain Braxton acting as chief of artillery,) was placed upon a commanding point on Gregg's right, and Crenshaw and Pegram on a hill to my left, which gave them a wide field of fire. My troops were not in a moment too soon. The enemy had already advanced in three lines, had broken through Jones's division, captured, McIntosh's battery, and were in the full tide of success. With a yell of defiance, Archer charged them, retook McIntosh's guns, and drove them back pell-mell. Branch and Gregg, with their old veterans, sternly held their ground, and pouring in destructive volleys, the tide of the enemy surged back, and breaking in confusion, passed out of sight. During this attack, Pender's brigade was moved from my right to the centre, but the enemy were driven back without actively engaging his brigade. The three brigades of my division actively engaged did not number over two thousand men; and these, with the help of my splend batteries, drove back Burnside's corps of fifteen thousand men. The Confederacy has to mourn the loss of a gallant soldier and accomplished gentleman, who fell in this battle, at the head of his brigade--Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch, of North Carolina. He was my senior Brigadier, and one to whom I could have intrusted the command of the division with all confidence. General Gregg, of South Carolina, was wounded, and the brave Colonel Barnes mortally so. My gallant Captain Pegram, of the artillery, was also wounded for the first time. My loss was sixty-three killed and two hundred and eighty-three wounded. Total, three hundred and forty-six. We lay upon the field of battle that night, and until the next night at one o'clock, when my
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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