Working parties were employed in destroying the aqueduct of the canal over the Antietam
, and the locks and canal-boats.
On the 7th Rodes
moved through Rohrersville
, on the road to Crampton's Gap in South Mountain
, and skirmished with a small force of the enemy, while Breckenridge
demonstrated against Maryland Heights
, with Gordon
's division, supported by his other division, now under Brigadier General Echols
, who had reported for duty.
While these operations were going on, McCausland
had occupied Hagerstown
, and levied a contribution of $20,000, and Boonsboro
had been occupied by Johnson
On the 6th I received a letter from General Lee
, by special courier, informing me that, on the 12th, an effort would be made to release the prisoners at Point Lookout
, and directing me to take steps to unite them with my command, if the attempt was successful; but I was not informed of the manner in which the attempt would be made-General Lee
stating that he was not, himself, advised of the particulars.
My desire had been to manceuvre the enemy out of Maryland Heights
, so as to enable me to move directly from Harper's Ferry
; but he had taken refuge in his strongly fortified works, and as they could not be approached without great difficulty, and an attempt to carry them by assault would have resulted in greater loss than the advantage to be gained would justify, I determined to move through the gaps of South Mountain
to the north of the Heights
On the 7th, the greater portion of the cavalry was sent across the mountain, in the direction of Frederick
; and that night, the expected shoes having arrived and been distributed, orders were given for a general move next morning; and an officer (Lieutenant Colonel Goodwin
of a Louisiana regiment) was ordered back to Winchester
, with a small guard, to collect the stragglers at that place, and prevent them from following.