, but why I had the audacity to approach it as I did, with the small force under my command.
It was supposed by some, who were not informed of the facts, that I delayed in the lower Valley longer than was necessary; but an examination of the foregoing narrative will show that not one moment was spent in idleness, but that every one was employed in making some arrangement, or removing some difficulty in my way, which it was necessary to make or remove; so as to enable me to advance with a prospect of success.
I could not move across the Potomac
and through the passes of the South Mountain
, with any safety, until Sigel
was driven from, or safely housed in, the fortifications at Maryland Heights
After abandoning the idea of capturing Washington
, I determined to remain in front of the fortifications during the 12th, and retire at night, as I was satisfied that to remain longer would cause the loss of my entire force.
had burned the bridges over the Gunpowder
, on the Harrisburg
and Philadelphia roads, threatened Baltimore
, and started for Point Lookout
, but I sent an order for him to return.
The attempt to release the prisoners, of which I was informed by General Lee
, was not made, as the enemy had received notice of it in some way. Major Harry Gilmor
, who burned the bridge over the Gunpowder
on the Philadelphia
road, captured Major General Franklin
on a train at that point, but he was permitted to escape, either by the carelessness or exhaustion of the guard placed over him, before I was informed of the capture.
On the afternoon of the 12th, a heavy reconnoitring force was sent out by the enemy, which, after severe skirmishing, was driven back by Rodes
' division with but slight loss to us. About dark we commenced retiring and did so without molestation.
Passing through Rockville
and Poolsville, we crossed the Potomac
at White's Ford
, above Leesburg
in Loudoun County
, on the morning of the 14th, bringing off the prisoners