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Capture of Harper's Ferry — the battle in Maryland.

From the moment that our armies testified their great superiority to the Yankees at Bethel and Manassas, we saw and said that their true policy was to assume the offensive, and never to depart from it. A contrary policy produced a series of disasters which brought the Confederacy to the verge of destruction, and had it not been abandoned at last, we are not sure that we should not, in the end, have become a subjugated and an enslaved people. From the moment the defensive system was abandoned, we began to reap the fruits of our superiority in valor and endurance. Victory followed victory in such rapid succession that the whole civilized world stood amazed at our successes. Each successive victory seemed to rise above the last in brilliancy and importance. Kernstown was eclipsed by McDowell, McDowell yielded to Front Royal, Front Royal was surpassed by Winchester, Winchester gave way to Port Republic, Port Republic bore no comparison with the seven battles around this city, and they in their turn were overshadowed by the second battle of Manassas. We have this day to record an achievement which throws them all in the shade. An army besieging another army in a position strong by nature and strongly fortified, has been assailed at the same time by a third army, and has not only succeeded in defeating that third army with great slaughter, but has, on the same day, compelled the besieged army to surrender at discretion. We remember but three exploits similar to this. One of them was that of Julius Cæsar at Alesia — incomparably the greatest of all that mighty General's achievements — where, with 60,000 men, he kept in an equal number who were besieged in the town, and defeated, with enormous slaughter, 250,000 who attempted to relieve them. Another was that of Marino Faliero at the siege of Zara, where he kept in the besieged, and defeated a Hungarian army of 80,000 men. The third was that of Prince Eugene at Belgrade.

As far as we can understand the operations, from the very imperfect accounts which we have received, they were somewhat as follows: Our army in Maryland is divided into three corps, commanded by Generals Jackson, Longstreet and Hill. Of these corps Jackson's was engaged in the siege of Harper's Ferry, and the other two covered his operations. Conceiving it to be of great importance to raise the siege and to relieve the beleaguered forces, which amounted in numbers almost to a corps d' armee, McClellan resolved to make a powerful effort. He left Washington, it is said, with a force of 80,000 men. From the correspondents of the Yankee papers we heard of him at Rockville and other places on the National road, some time last week, from which we conclude that his army marched upon that road in the direction of Fredericktown. The road passes through Fredericktown, but whether McClellan kept it that far we have no means of ascertaining. The first we hear of him is at Boonsborough, in Washington county, which is nearly equidistant from Fredericktown, Harper's Ferry, and Hagerstown, being between twelve and fifteen miles from each, and lying a little north of west from the first, nearly due north from the second, and nearly southeast from the third.--At this place, on Sunday, he fell with his whole enormous force (80,000 men) upon the corps of Gen. D. H. Hill, which was the rear guard of the army. The battle was long, furious, and bloody; but Gen. Hill, although attacked by vastly superior forces, stood his ground without yielding an inch. In the night Gen. Longstreet's corps arrived, and on Monday the two combined attacked McClellan and totally defeated him, driving his forces before them for five miles. But for the intervention of night, it is said that the rout would have been complete. At ten o'clock, while the battle was still raging at Boonsborough, Gen. Miles, with his whole army, variously estimated at eight, ten, and twelve thousand men, surrendered to Gen. Jackson. Vast quantities of stores, 12,000 small arms, fifty pieces of artillery, and at least 1,000 negroes (some say 2,500) were captured. Having disposed of Miles and his army, Gen. Jackson was marching rapidly down the Potomac, with the intention of crossing below and getting in the rear of McClellan, thus cutting him off effectually from Washington. These operations shed an almost unparalleled lustre on the Confederate arms.

In the battle of Boonsborough, or in the operations before Harper's Ferry, (it seems to be uncertain which,) Gen. Samuel Garland was killed. He was but thirty years old, and was one of the most promising young officers in the army. His education was military, he having graduated at the Virginia Military Institute, and from the time the war commenced, he adopted the profession of arms, with an ardor that amounted almost to a passion. He was possessed of fine talents, and was as fearless as the sword he wore. While in command of a regiment, he was severely wounded at the battle of Williamsburg, but refused to quit the field. He was in all the battles around Richmond, in which he lost 810 men out of 1,700, the strength of his brigade. In private life, he was a most agreeable and a most amiable man. He was the only son of a widowed mother. We have heard of no other officer of high rank who was killed in the late actions.

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