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[323] the left of the Hagerstown road had carried everything before them. The combat had been spirited, the belligerents had engaged at short musket-range, and steep acclivities had been scaled; a long time detained inside of a clearing full of rocks, behind which the enemy's sharpshooters were sheltered, Hatch's division had at last surmounted all these obstacles. In the centre Gibbon had ascended by the main road up to the entrance of the defile, where he had an engagement in which he obtained the advantage. At last the first ridge was taken, as well as the hill which commands it. The second ridge, thus commanded, was turned, and with it the whole of Longstreet's position. If there had yet remained a few hours of daylight, McClellan, who saw Sumner's corps already arriving, might have crossed the mountain and inflicted an irreparable disaster upon his adversary. But it was seven o'clock in the evening, and it was now the 14th of September; darkness soon shrouded the valleys and ridges of South Mountain. The battle was still going on at the left, and the Federals at this moment sustained a serious loss—Reno, a brave and intelligent officer, was killed by one of the enemy's skirmishers; neither side, however, could any longer gain ground, and the fire gradually died away in the shadows of the night. Sumner, passing to the front line soon after, took the place of Burnside's troops upon the ground which they had conquered.

The battle of Turner's Gap had cost the Federals three hundred and twelve men killed, one thousand two hundred and thirty-four wounded, and twenty-two prisoners; the Confederates lost about as many in killed and wounded, and besides, fifteen or sixteen hundred prisoners. This was an important success for McClellan, which restored confidence to his soldiers and opened to him at the same time the entrance to the valley of the Antietam, where he hoped to strike his adversary before Jackson should have returned from Harper's Ferry. If he had been able to begin the battle sooner, he would have inflicted upon Hill, who was isolated, a much more serious reverse, and by obtaining control of the South Mountain passes before night, he would have definitely prevented the junction of his adversaries. But the Federal general could not foresee the failures which were to result in the premature surrender of Harper's Ferry, and he had reason

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