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[319] the garrison of Harper's Ferry, and finally, without losing a moment, taking this garrison with him, overtake the rest of the army through Rohrersville. In the mean while, Burnside, leading the march, and following a north-westerly course by the road from Middletown to Boonesboroa, was to force the pass of Crampton's Gap, followed by Sumner's corps and Sykes' divisions. After crossing the mountain these forces were to attack Longstreet and D. H. Hill, whom McClellan expected thus to surprise far from Jackson and the thirty thousand men massed around Harper's Ferry. The Federal general had not deemed it proper to direct Franklin to follow the shorter route from Middletown to Harper's Ferry, along the line of the Potomac, because, as we have stated, it was easily defended; but a glance at the map will show what important results he had a right to anticipate if the garrison of Harper's Ferry should only make an honorable resistance. In fact, McLaws, finding himself alone on the left bank of the river, and separated from Jackson and Walker by its waters, could not have resisted Franklin, while the latter, after raising the siege of Harper's Ferry, would have been in a position to bar the passage of the Potomac against Jackson, and reach the field of battle before him, where the whole Federal army was going to attack Lee while thus deprived of more than one-third of his forces. A critic, who should fail to take into consideration the condition in which McClellan had found the troops whose command Pope had handed over to him, might perhaps blame him for having lost a few hours in the execution of this plan, to which the incapacity of the defenders of Harper's Ferry was to give a decided importance. But instead of condemning so trifling a delay, we feel convinced that impartial history will render justice to the really extraordinary results he obtained through his activity, the precision of his orders and the prestige of his name in leading to the pursuit of a victorious enemy the routed bands he had rallied ten days before in sight of the capital. He could not make them march with the regularity of tried veterans, nor could his lieutenants, notwithstanding their zeal, always conform strictly to the orders he gave them. It followed that Sumner, on the evening of the 13th, had not left Frederick, that only a single corps of the right wing, Reno's, had reached Middletown, while the greater

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