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 For the purpose of delaying his advance and giving all time possible for the capture of Harpers Ferry, and subsequent concentration of Lee's army, he called back Hampton's brigade on the morning of the 13th to assist the Jeff Davis Legion in holding the gap at Hagans. They did so until midday of the 13th, when absolutely forced out of it by the irresistible pressure of Burnside's two corps; and during the 13th the cavalry made two separate stands against the Federal infantry in Middletown Valley, for the purpose of saving time and retarding the advance. By noon of the 13th, however, Burnside had obtained possesssion of the top of the mountain at Hagans. From that point is a most extensive and lovely view. Middletown Valley, rich in orchards, farm houses, barns, and flocks and herds spread before you, down to the Potomac and Virginia on the left, and up to Mason and Dixon's line and Pennsylvania on the right. The South Mountain, or Blue Ridge, stretches out, a wall of green on the western side of this Elysian scene, while Catoctin forms its eastern bounds. From Hagans the gap at Harpers Ferry is plainly visible. With a good glass you can see through it to the line and hills beyond. On the Maryland Heights was a high tower, erected for a signal station, and flags on it, and at Hagans it could have been readily distinguished. They were not eighteen miles apart. Rockets from the Maryland Heights and from Hagans would have been easily visible at either point. Notwithstanding this, although Burnside obtained possession of Hagans by noon on the 13th, before Walker had occupied Loudoun Heights, or McLaws had taken Maryland Heights, no attemp is recorded to have been made by either force to communicate by signal with the other during the half of the day so pregnant with fate for the garrison at Harpers Ferry. McClellan fired signal guns incessantly from the head of his relieving columns. They produced the impression upon Miles and White at Harpers Ferry of heavy cannonading, and a great battle somewhere, and scared them so badly that when the attack was really made upon them, they surrendered a strong position without striking a blow in its defence. Stuart held tenaciously to his ground until driven from position to position by infantry, and after midday of the 13th, he drew back to the pass in the South Mountain, where the National road passes over it. He found the pass occupied by D. H. Hill, and turned Hampton off to the left and South, to move down Middletown valley by the foot of the mountain, to Crampton's Gap, which he considered the weakest part of Lee's lines. Hampton, on arriving at Burkettsville, joined Munford with his two fragments of regiments.
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