until Sunday, the 14th, on the morning of which he put five guns in position on Loudoun heights
, supported by two regiments of infantry, after placing the larger part of his force so as to command the road from Harper's Ferry
down the Virginia
side of the Potomac
, to prevent a Federal retreat in that direction.
, with ten infantry brigades in his command, crossed the South
mountain, by the Brownsville gap
, into the Pleasant valley
, on the 11th, and by the evening of the 13th, after a spirited contest with the force defending Maryland heights
, secured possession of that formidable position and completed the investment of Harper's Ferry
These dispositions not only closed all avenues of escape, but sealed the fate of the beleaguered town whenever.
, the commander of the gathered forces, should order his circle of fire to pour down upon it. To further guard his right on the Shenandoah
, he had sent a portion of his own immediate command across that river and placed it, with artillery, on a bluffy shoulder of Loudoun heights
, below the point held by Walker
's guns; so that all things were now ready for assaulting and capturing Harper's Ferry
on the 14th, except that McLaws
was delayed by the necessity for constructing a road by which to bring his artillery from the Pleasant valley
to the top of Maryland heights
It is now important to return to the commands of Longstreet
and D. H. Hill
and recount what had happened to General Lee
while the investment of Harper's Ferry
was being completed.
Marching with Longstreet
on the 10th, Lee
crossed the South
mountain to Boonsboro
, where, learning that a Federal force was threatening Hagerstown
from the direction of Harrisburg
, he proceeded to that point, and there placed Longstreet
in bivouac on the evening of the 11th, on which day D. H. Hill
crossed the South
mountain, but still holding its crest with his rear, and encamped at Boonsboro
still held back Mc-Clellan's advance in the Piedmont country, although the latter was pressing him with unusual and unaccountable vigor.
Writing to President Davis
, on the 12th, Lee
urged the necessity for food and clothing for his army.
On the 13th he anxiously awaited news from Walker
and Mc-Laws, as they were not yet closed in on Jackson
in the investment of Harper's Ferry
To this anxiety was added another when he reflected on the depleted condition