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 Federal garrison and the vast store of war material at this place, made famous a few years before by old John Brown. To conceal his purpose from the inhabitants he inquired along the route about the roads leading into Pennsylvania. It was from his march through Frederick that the Barbara Frietchie story took its rise. But there is every reason to believe that General Jackson never saw the good old lady, that the story is a myth, and that Mr. Whittier, who has given us the popular poem under the title of her name, was misinformed. However, Colonel H. K. Douglas, who was a member of Jackson's staff, relates, in “Battles and leaders of the Civil War,” an interesting incident where his commander on entering Middletown was greeted by two young girls waving a Union flag. The general bowed to the young women, raised his hat, and remarked to some of his officers, “We evidently have no friends in this town.” Colonel Douglas concludes, “This is about the way he would have treated Barbara Frietchie.” On the day after Jackson left Frederick he crossed the Potomac by means of a ford near Williamsport and on the 13th he reached Bolivar Heights. Harper's Ferry lies in a deep basin formed by Maryland Heights on the north bank of the Potomac, Loudon Heights on the south bank, and Bolivar Heights on the west. The Shenandoah River breaks through the pass between Loudon and Bolivar Heights and the village lies between the two at the apex formed by the junction of the two rivers. As Jackson approached the place by way of Bolivar Heights, Walker occupied Loudon Heights and McLaws invested Maryland Heights. All were unopposed except McLaws, who encountered Colonel Ford with a force to dispute his ascent. Ford, however, after some resistance, spiked his guns and retired to the Ferry, where Colonel Miles had remained with the greater portion of the Federal troops. Had Miles led his entire force to Maryland Heights he could no doubt have held his ground until McClellan came to his relief.
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