From the army.
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Frederick Co. Va., 9 miles from Winchester, Sept. 22d, 1862.
You should have heard from me are this, of the stirring events just transacted in this part of the State
, but for an unfortunate wound received in the battle of Sharpsburg
, September 17th, on account of which I have since been so situated as to be unable to write until at present.
The particulars of the march through Maryland
are now so well known to every one that it is useless to repeat.
One circumstance, however, I have not jet seen in print, and will mention.
's corps marched from Frederick
' to Williamsport
Just in sight of Boonesboro
', the whole army stopped to camp and cook rations.
As usual, several soldiers made their way on to town in search of something good to eat. No danger was apprehended.
and staff rode on in front, not dreaming of danger; but just as they had reached the centre of the town Capt. Russell
's company made a dash upon them and the straggling soldiers.
I saw the cloud of dust, but could not for a moment divine its meaning, until I saw the horsemen come dashing back.
Fortunately, no injury was done, though a ball pierced the hat of one of Jackson
I heard in Williamsport
— his residence — that Capt. Russell
was wounded in the mouth.
Capt. J. M. Payne
and a doctor, whose name I did not learn, lost their horses.
They were taking dinner at a hotel.
The enemy fled before us from Martinsburg
to Harper's Ferry
; we pursued; a part of Longstreet
's forces captured the Maryland Heights
; others got possession of the Loudoun Heights
, and we surrender them.
Thus the words of Gen. Johnston
were literally verified, that Harper
's Ferry would prove a man-trap
to any party who might attempt to hold it. Their troops were living on half rations.
A large number of stolen negroes were also captured, estimated at from five to eight hundred.
Having filled our haversacks with three days rations of crackers, Jackson
's corps started, a little after twelve o'clock on the night of the surrender, directly for Shepherdstown
, waded the river, and proceeded at once into the heaviest of the fight on the extreme left of our lines.
The second brigade was that evening exposed to a severe cannonade from the enemy for an hour.
, who at that time commanded the brigade, was slightly wounded and retired from the field.
, of the 42d, was wounded in the arm, besides eight or ten others, whose names I did not learn.
The command of the brigade then devolved upon Capt. Penn
, of the 42d We lay all night on the field, and the morning of the bloodiest day of American history still found us in the same position.
We were in an uncommonly exposed position, on a ridge just between two depressions, one about 100 yards in front, and the other about the same distance in rear of our line.
The firing commenced early in the morning, even before light.--About sunrise it commenced along our lines.
From the first our men began to fall from their long- range guns.
The enemy were about 400 yards distant, behind a fence, and were so covered by the position that we could see them only when they rose to shoot.--Many of our men thus fell from their long-range guns--six around me whom I could have touched without rising.
Up to this time the cannon had been doing but little execution, nearly every charge passing entirely above us. About 10 o'clock we were ordered to fall back to the woods, where we were well protected by the nature of the ground — In this movement I was wounded, and left the field.
The firing continued incessantly during the day and till 9 o'clock at night.
The right of the enemy's line was turned, and we drove them back to the Boonesboro' mountains
— to the position they held in the Sunday
It was horrible in the extreme to witness the men with mangled limbs and bodies making their way to the rear.
As early as 10 o'clock the whole face of the country seemed covered with them.
Our loss must have been much heavier than in any previous battle.
though much less than that of the enemy.
The number wounded was extremely large compared with those killed.
The Confederates held the field for more than a day to bury their dead, and they fell back this side of the river.
Saturday evening the enemy attempted to cross, but Jackson
mowed down whole columns of them in the river.
Two brigades, I understand, had crossed before he attacked them, but were soon driven back, many of them finding a watery grave before reaching the opposite shore.
Our army is increasing every day, and not withstanding the numbers lost in the late battles, now numbers more than it has for some time.
Thousands who were broken down and left sick on the road during the late marches, are once more making their way to their companies.
Hundreds, too, of convalescents from hospitals who were stopped at Leesburg
and sent on to Winchester
, are rejoining their commands.
Speculators constantly follow in the wake of an army; scarcely had our army passed before the country was swarming with them.
Nearly all goods for sale in the country was immediately bought it up and sent to Richmond
The merchants here, not thinking of such exorbitant prices, sold at reasonable rates.
This is a subject to which the attention of the authorities should be called, for now those very articles which have been carried off are much needed by our toll-worn soldiers.
The country from Shepherdstown
is thickly dotted with the sick and wounded.
, and the several towns on the road, have a large number of them.
The citizens along the route are sorely tried, and it astonishes me to see with how much fortitude they bear up under the many calls made upon their hospitality.
I have now a family before my mind who, since the fight, have never turned away the first one from their door unfed, often having twenty to thirty at a meal.
who permitted not the widow's cruise of oil to fail, will surely bless them in the end.
P. S.--We have in Winchester
about 150 prisoners, besides 500 who were started on toward Richmond
Most of these have once been paroled, and will no doubt soon receive their just deserts.
They profess to have been forced into service again.