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[340] 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. McLaws, 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. Jackson, 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; Stuart 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

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