although barefooted and hungry, forced them back step by step until the crest was reached.
The guns belonging to the Richmond Howitzers
, and attached to the brigade, were pushed up when possible, but when the formations would not permit, the wheels were removed and each piece lifted or pulled by long ropes to the desired position, when the guns would be again mounted.
It was an arduous task, but there was no faint-heartedness among the men.
The regimental and company officers displayed the greatest courage and energy in conducting the movement up the rough mountains, but whether storming Maryland heights
or charging the enemy's strong lines on numerous bloody fields, the soldiers of Barkdale
's Brigade were an inspiration.
Active and heroic as the officers were, they seldom had an opportunity to lead.
The men as a rule were planters, or sons of wealthy planters, whose teaching and traditions led them to noble and heroic deeds and desperate ones if need be.
Finally, when we reached the summit, the enemy formed along the high bluff for a final struggle.
The 19th and 21st Regiments, in the center, as if by a common impulse, raised a yell and dashed forward.
The 17th on the right, the 13th on the left, opened fire and joined in the charge.
The enemy broke in disorder and ran down the narrow defiles leading to the river.
The Confederates crowded around the precipice and fired plunging shots into the troops in town.
The enemy tumbled their cannon over the bluff and into the river, leaving nothing behind but camp fires and scraps of bread, meat and a few onions, which the Mississippians scrambled over, and hurried here and there in search of more.
is the key to Harper's Ferry
, and it may not be amiss to describe, even in a casual way, the picturesque little town.
A mountain known as ‘Elk Ridge
’ runs north and south through Virginia
, but is cut in twain by the Potomac river
. Maryland heights
form the steep bank on the north and Loudoun heights
on the south side of the river.
Between Harper's Ferry
and Loudoun heights
empties into the Potomac
, and behind them lie Bolivar heights, which, though less pretentious than the other two, slope off gradually and smoothly, forming a beautiful valley.
rests in the beautiful valley, or, more properly, the basin formed by the three heights and looking down on the town from either, gives the appearance of a Lilliputian