While the President
was pouring troops from Arkansas
, from Mississippi
, from Alabama
, from South Carolina
, into Harper's Ferry
knew that it was a trap, a deadfall, for the soldier who attempted to hold it. It was commanded on the east by the Maryland heights
beyond the Potomac
, and on the south by heights on the other side of the Shenandoah
The Confederate States
government was then offering every inducement for Maryland
to join it. It exempted Maryland
from its declaration of war against the United States
, and it was tender of her territory and her feelings.
When, therefore, Johnston
saw the absolute necessity of holding Maryland heights
, he saved the invasion of Maryland
by sending Marylanders to occupy the position.
He ordered Captain Johnson
with his eight companies, and Col. Blanton Duncan
with his First Kentucky regiment, to take the Maryland heights
, fortify and hold them.
They did so while Johnston
strained every nerve to strip Harper's Ferry
of everything that could be made of use to the Confederacy
By June 15th he had cleared out the place, brought the Marylanders and the Kentuckians from the mountains and evacuated Harper's Ferry
A large Federal army had been collected at Chambersburg, Pa.
, thirty miles to the north of Johnston
, under command of Major-General Patterson
For several days Patterson
had given signs of restlessness unmistakable to an old soldier of Johnston
's caliber, and the very day Johnston
moved out of Harper's Ferry
marched south from Chambersburg
The former moved to Charlestown, Va.
, the latter to Hagerstown, Md.
On June 17th, Patterson
crossed the Potomac
went into line of battle at Bunker Hill
, a place halfway between Martinsburg
The Confederates were delighted at the prospects of another battle of Bunker Hill
on the 17th of June.
But a large portion of Patterson
's army were sixty-day men, and when their