of his fears,’ therefore, early on the morning of the 28th he dispatched Winder
with four regiments and two batteries toward Charlestown
by the direct road.
and learning that the enemy held that place in force, he notified Jackson
, who promptly ordered Ewell
to move in the same direction.
A small Federal force had been holding Harper's Ferry
, but when the defeat of Banks
became known, troops were hurried by rail to that point from all directions, and by the morning of the 28th, 7,000 men and 18 cannon had been collected there, under the command of General Saxton
, who at once occupied the commanding plateau of Bolivar heights, in front of that place, and located a formidable battery on Maryland heights
, across the Potomac
in its rear, which, from its still more commanding position, dominated nearly all the approaches from the Virginia
way to Bolivar heights and Harper's Ferry
Finding that it was only a reconnoissance that had advanced to Charlestown
pressed forward and drove the enemy back to Bolivar heights, where Saxton
had drawn up his main body in line of battle.
Seeing-he could accomplish nothing more, Winder
fell back to Charlestown
and went into camp, having marched 21 miles and had an engagement with the enemy during the day. There Ewell
joined him after dark and Jackson
in person, with the main body of his army, during the next day, when he made a demonstration against Bolivar heights and sent a part of his infantry force to Loudoun heights
, being informed that Jackson
was crossing a division over the Potomac
above Harper's Ferry
, moved a part of his infantry.
force to Maryland heights
to defend his rear, and withdrew his line in front of Harper's Ferry
to the crest of the plateau nearest that town, thus not only shortening his line, but securing protection from his own batteries on Maryland heights
which could fire over his men at an approaching enemy.
having accomplished the object of his advance to Harper's Ferry
, which was to gain time for the removal of the captured stores from Winchester
, was now ready to extricate his army from the seemingly perilous position into which he had brought it, a position which induced the Federal
commanders, who were seeking to intercept his line of retreat, to say to their men, to stimulate their marching ability, that they now had Jackson
in a bottle, and all they had to do was to be in time