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[75] march of Martinsburg, and the reported Federal advance toward Romney, convinced Johnston that the time had come to abandon Harper's Ferry and put his army in a defensive or active offensive position; so during the 13th and 14th the heavy baggage of the troops (Johnston says nearly every private soldier had a trunk), the property of the quartermaster and commissary departments, and the remaining machinery of the armory were sent by rail to Winchester, and the bridges over the Potomac, from the Point of Rocks to Shepherdstown, were destroyed. The machinery from the armory was sent forward, by wagons, from Winchester to Strasburg, and thence by the Manassas Gap railroad to Richmond.

The Confederates evacuated Harper's Ferry on the morning of the 15th, moved out on the Berryville road and bivouacked three or four miles beyond Charlestown. The next morning, before the resumption of the march, the cavalry outposts reported that the advance of Patterson's army had crossed the Potomac below Williamsport and was marching on Martinsburg. Johnston at once decided to oppose this advance toward Winchester by marching across the country to Bunker Hill, midway on the turnpike between Martinsburg and Winchester, and by thus opposing Patterson prevent his anticipated junction with McClellan. While waiting for a guide, he received a letter from Cooper, dated June 13th, giving him permission to abandon Harper's Ferry and retire toward Winchester, and, if not sustained by the people of the valley so that he could turn on the enemy before reaching Winchester, to continue to retire to the Manassas Gap road; that it was hoped he could make an effective stand, even against superior forces, in some of the mountain passes; but if he was forced so far as to make a junction with Beauregard, he would leave the enemy free to occupy the valley of Virginia and move on the rear of Manassas Junction.

Johnston broke camp at 9 a. m., June 16th, and marching through Smithfield, reached Bunker Hill in the afternoon and bivouacked on Mill creek, the full-flowing branch of the Opequan running through that village from the west, where armies so often encamped during the subsequent years of the war. Next morning the troops were advanced toward Martinsburg, to high ground favorable for battle, to await the approach of the Federal

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