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General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox 2 0 Browse Search
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 6. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones) 2 0 Browse Search
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General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 15: the Maryland campaign. (search)
the little town of Riverton. Between Riverton and Harper's Ferry was the hamlet Sandy Hook, occupied by about fifteen hundred Federal troops. Two roads wind through Pleasant Valley, one close under South Mountain, the other hugging the foot-hills of Elk Ridge,--the latter rugged, little used. Harper's Ferry, against which Lee's new movement was directed, nestles at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, on the Virginia side, under the towering cliffs of Maryland or Cumberland Heights. At Harper's Ferry the river cuts in so close under Maryland Heights that they stand almost perpendicularly over it. The crowded space between the heights and the river, filled by the railway, canal, and turnpike, was made by blastings from the southern extremities of Maryland Heights. Under the precipice the railroad bridge crosses the Potomac, and a pontoon bridge was laid a few yards above it. McLaws marched over into Pleasant Valley on the 11th, through Brownsville Pass, near
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 6. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Detailed Minutiae of soldier life. (search)
High bridge. They knew its great height, but the night was so dark that they could not see the abyss on either side. Arrived on the other side, the wornout soldiers fell to the ground and slept, more dead than alive. Some had slept as they marched across the bridge, and declared that they had no distinct recollection of when they left it, or how long they were upon it. Early on the morning of the 7th, the march was resumed and continued through Farmville, across the bridge and to Cumberland heights, overlooking the town. Here, on the bare hillside, a line of battle was formed, for what purpose the men did not know — the Howitzers occupying a central place in the line, and standing with their feet in the midst of a number of the graves of soldiers who had perished in the hospitals in the town. While standing thus in line a detail was sent into the town to hunt up some rations. They found a tierce of bacon surrounded by a ravenous crowd, fighting and quarreling. The man on du