This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 through the lower valley of Virginia, driving all the Federal detachments before him, and forcing them to crowd into the blind alley of Harper's Ferry. But it was not until eleven o'clock on the morning of the 13th that he made his appearance before the declivity of Bolivar Heights. Walker had established himself the day before on London Heights, which he had found unoccupied, while McLaws had only reached the foot of Maryland Heights at a late hour on the 12th. He had only been able on that evening to engage in a harmless musketry fire with the Federals who were posted there, and had been compelled to postpone the attack till the next day. On the 13th, the day on which McClellan found Lee's order of march, the Federal troops cooped up at Harper's Ferry numbered fourteen thousand men, two thousand of whom were cavalry, with seventy-three field-pieces. On the approach of Jackson, General White, who had assembled all the detachments scattered through the valley of the Shenandoah at Martinsburg, brought them to Harper's Ferry, placing himself under the orders of Colonel Miles, who was in command of that post. With this small army, Miles had nothing to fear from his adversaries; for, having control of the bridge of boats which connected Harper's Ferry with the opposite side of the river, he could concentrate all his forces on Maryland Heights, and maintain himself in that position for an almost indefinite period. He could even have attacked McLaws with a numerically superior force, and perhaps have crushed him before Jackson, who was separated from his lieutenant by the river, could have come to his assistance. But, from the beginning, the incapacity of Miles and the weakness of his subordinates created a great deal of confusion among the defenders of the place, and disheartened everybody. At a short distance from Maryland Heights there is a most difficult pass called Solomon's Gap, where McLaws could have been held in check for a long time. Miles was unwilling to occupy it. He had done nothing to fortify Maryland Heights, although McClellan had already given special instructions to that effect previous to the Peninsula campaign; he did not even furnish the necessary tools to improvise parapets, but contented himself with leaving Colonel Ford with two or three thousand men in the place
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.