The distance between the crest of the heights is about two miles, and from either a plunging fire can be sent into the town.
Therefore, when the Mississippians opened on the place from Maryland heights
in the rear, the enemy quickly asked for terms.
In the meantime McClellan
was pushing his heavy columns to the relief of the garrison.
's and Barksdale
's Brigades back to ‘Crampton
's pass,’ some six miles distant, to hold him in check.
Arriving in front of the pass, we formed line across the valley and awaited events.
The Federal infantry was in plain view on the side of the mountains, their guns stacked in line of battle, and Barksdale
's men were there to meet them.
Signal guns were fired by the enemy to give information to the garrison that they were approaching, but Jackson
was not the man to parley in such an exigency.
surrendered the entire force of 11,000 men, seventy-three pieces of artillery, 20,000 stands of small arms and a large quantity of military stores early in the day of September 15.
The news was communicated by signal flag, and General Barksdale
galloped along the front of the brigade and announced to each regiment: ‘Harper's Ferry
It is unnecessary to state that the Mississippians yelled.
That was a part of their daily exercise which never failed to give the enemy the shivers.
returned to Harper's Ferry
, and the enemy's cavalry made a show of dogging the rear, but a volley from the 18th Regiment, which acted as rear guard, sent them scurrying back.
We reached the river and spent the night along its bank on the Maryland
The following morning we crossed on a pontoon bridge.
The other brigades crossed the previous day. The garrison was paroled and allowed to return to their homes.
We stood in the streets of the town all day, and about 10 o'clock received small rations of beef, no salt or bread, and if there is one thing more unpalatable than all others, it is fresh beef without salt.
After noon we received three hardtacks to the man, which was a poor return for the desperate work of the last three days.
We left Harper's Ferry
about 4 P. M., marching in the direction of Winchester
Ignorant of the conditions which confronted the army at Sharpsburg
(conditions due to the misfortune of General Lee
's campaign order having fallen into the enemy's hands), and believing that we had earned a rest, and were, therefore, headed for the beautiful Valley of Virginia, the men were in fine spirits and