previous next

[342] for our retreat. The orders for preparation were given, and the work was begun before daylight on the 4th. On the night of the 4th the troops were withdrawn from our line, and my command took up the line of march, following the corps of Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill. Our march was much impeded by heavy rains and excessively bad roads. We succeeded, however, in reaching the top of the mountain early in the night of the 5th. On the 6th, my command, passing to the front, marched for Hagerstown. As our exhausted men and animals were not in condition for rapid movements, I thought myself fortunate when I found that I could reach Hagerstown in time to relieve our trains at Williamsport, then seriously threatened.

Reaching Hagerstown about 5 o'clock P. M., our column moved down the Sharpsburg turnpike, and encamped about two miles from Hagerstown. The next day the command was put in camp on the best ground that could be found, and remained quiet until the 10th, when the enemy was reported to be advancing to meet us. It was supposed at first to be a cavalry force only, but I thought it prudent to move some of the infantry down on the Antietam at Funkstown. After reaching the Antietam, General Stuart asked for infantry supports for his batteries; and two brigades, Semmes', under Colonel Bryan, and Anderson's, under Colonel White, were sent across as he desired. For the report of their services I refer to the report of Major-General Stuart and the brigade commanders.

A line of battle was selected, extending from a point on the Potomac near Downsville to the Hagerstown and Williamsport turnpike, my command on the right. The troops were put to work, and in twenty-four hours our line was comfortably entrenched. A few of the enemy's sharpshooters came up on the Boonsboroa road and to within long range of our picket-line on the 12th. On the evening of the same day a light skirmish was brought on by an advance of a line of sharp-shooters at the St. James College.

That night our bridge was completed, and the day after I received orders to recross the Potomac after night. My trains were sent over before night, and the caissons of the batteries were started back about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The troops marched as soon as it was dark, my command leading. Having but a single road to travel upon, our trains soon came to a halt. I rode on to the bridge to hasten the movements as much as possible, and sent my staff-officers to different points along the line to keep everything in motion. Details were made to keep up fires to light the road at the worst points, and Captain Manning with his signal-torches lighted us across the bridge.

The natural difficulties in making such movements were increased

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. E. B. Stuart (2)
Elijah V. White (1)
Thomas J. Semmes (1)
Manning (1)
Ambrose P. Hill (1)
James A. Bryan (1)
G. T. Anderson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
12th (1)
6th (1)
4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: