previous next

Patterson, on the 23d, was sending his train across the river at Harper's Ferry, intending to go to Washington with all his available force unless ordered to the contrary; but Scott advised him that this force was not wanted at Washington, but ‘it is expected you will hold Harper's Ferry unless threatened by a force well ascertained to be competent to expel you.’ Patterson replied that he considered the occupation of Harper's Ferry, with his small force, as hazardous, and that not less than 20,000 men were needed to hold it against a formidable enemy.

The Shenandoah valley campaign of 1861—three months long, to a day—though marked by no brilliant achievements, was full of substantial advantage to the Confederacy. (1)The capture of the arsenal and armories at Harper's Ferry gave it a large number of arms, when most needed, and the machinery for their continuous manufacture, worth millions of dollars. (2) The few days of militia rule and service showed that not much dependence could be placed in that State organization. (3) Jackson's twenty-five slays of command at Harper's Ferry organized into regiments and brought under control and military discipline a large number of volunteers, and enabled him to become so familiar with that post and its surroundings that he knew just how to capture it when ordered so to do in the fall of 1862. (4) Johnston's defiant holding of Harper's Ferry, until the 15th of June, kept Scott in a constant state of alarm for the safety of Washington, held a large number of troops in observation in Maryland, and deprived the Federal capital of the use of its best line of communication with the West. (5) Johnston's prompt and bold action in sending Hill to Romney, the quick move of the latter on New creek, and Johnston's evacuation of Harper's Ferry, June 15th, without waiting for orders, and at once placing his army across Patterson's line of advance, not only inspired courage in his men and confidence in their leader, but disconcerted Patterson and made him withdraw his invasion. (6) The conduct of Stuart and Jackson at Falling Waters gave satisfying promise of heroic leadership and made men eager to follow them into mortal combat; and Johnston's all night march and four days offer of battle, which orders from Richmond alone prevented his forcing, assured the army of the Shenandoah that it had an everyway competent commander. (7) The

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert Patterson (4)
Joseph E. Johnston (4)
Winfield Scott (2)
J. E. B. Stuart (1)
Richmond (1)
T. J. Jackson (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 15th (2)
1862 AD (1)
1861 AD (1)
23rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: