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[202] acted with energy but not with the impetuosity called for. If he had thrown forward his army with the vigor used by Jackson in his advance on Harper's Ferry, the passes of South Mountain would have been carried before the evening of the 13th, at which time they were very feebly guarded, and then debouching into Pleasant Valley, the Union commander might next morning have fallen upon the rear of McLaws at Maryland Heights, and relieved Harper's Ferry, which did not surrender till the morning of the 15th. But he did not arrive at South Mountain until the morning of the 14th; and by that time the Confederates, forewarned of his approach, had recalled a considerable force to dispute the passage.

The line of advance of the Union right and centre conducted across South Mountain by Turner's Gap, that of the left by Crampton's Gap, six miles to the southward. Franklin's corps was moving towards the latter; and Burnside's command (the corps of Reno and Hooker) had the advance by the former. The Confederate defence of Crampton's Pass was left to McLaws, who was engaged in the investment of Harper's Ferry from the side of Maryland Heights; but Turner's Pass, as commanding the debouche of the main highway from Frederick westward, was committed to the combined commands of Hill and Longstreet. This pass is a deep gorge in the mountains, the crests of which on each side rise to the height of one thousand feet. The gap itself is unassailable; but there is a practicable road over the crest to the right of the pass, and another to the left. The key-point of the whole position is a rocky and precipitous peak which dominates the ridge to the right of the pass. With a considerable force this position is very defensible; but when the advance of the Union force reached the mountain, on the morning of the 14th, it was guarded only by D. H. Hill's division of five thousand men. Reno's corps arrived near the pass early in the forenoon; but that officer directed all his efforts to the assault of the crest on the left—the key-point being overlooked. After a sharp fight Reno succeeded in dislodging

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