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Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 6: Jackson's Valley campaign (search)
in highest authority, confidently expected the early fall of Richmond, and had good reason for their expectations. Indeed, the New York Herald that morning had had a leader headed, Fall of Richmond. By noon the papers were issuing extras headed, Defeat of Banks, Washington in Danger. A volcanic eruption could scarcely have startled the administration more. Telegrams were sent the governors of a dozen states calling for instant help to save the capital. Reenforcements were rushed to Williamsport and Harper's Ferry to assist Banks. McDowell's march, already begun before orders could reach it, was countermanded, and half his force, under Shields and Ord, was hurried to the Valley to attack Jackson from the east, while Fremont's 15,000 attacked from the west. McDowell, who was a good soldier, appreciated that no force possible for Jackson to have collected, could accomplish any serious results, and remonstrated, and begged in vain, to be allowed to carry out his projected march
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 12: Boonsboro or South Mountain, and Harper's Ferry (search)
nd a carefully drawn order was prepared, No. 191, detailing the march of each division. Jackson, with his corps (except D. H. Hill's division) was ordered via Williamsport to drive the Federals from Martinsburg into Harper's Ferry, which he would then attack from the south. Walker's division was to cross the Potomac below Harper all pursued the roads assigned them in the order. Already McClellan had learned of the crossing of the Potomac by Walker at Point of Rocks, and by Jackson at Williamsport, but he had not understood the object. There had been fear that it might mean a dash at the lines about Alexandria. Now the whole situation was explained. Lbout 80 wagons, had accompanied Lee's headquarters to Hagerstown, and had also followed the march back to Boonsboro. I was now ordered to cross the Potomac at Williamsport, and go thence to Shepherdstown, where I should leave the train and come in person to Sharpsburg. The moon was rising as I started, and about daylight I forde
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 13: Sharpsburg or Antietam (search)
to any division. It had been left in Richmond, when Lee with Jackson and Longstreet advanced against Pope. After Mc-Clellan was withdrawn from the James, it marched with D. H. Hill's division, and joined the army in Maryland on Sept. 8. On the 10th and 11th it marched to Hagerstown, with Longstreet's corps, and on the 14th returned with it to Boonsboro. That night, when the army was put in motion for Sharpsburg, Pendleton was ordered to take the reserve artillery across the Potomac at Williamsport, and distribute it to guard the fords of the Potomac at that point, and below to Shepherdstown. Hence it happened that on the morning of the 19th the hills on the Virginia side of Boteler's Ford were being held by 15 light rifle guns, and 19 smooth-bores of Pendleton's reserve, while 10 other smooth-bores were held close by. In his advance to the river Pleasanton's cavalry picked up 167 stragglers, one abandoned gun, and one color. When he approached the river he was opened upon by P
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 14: fall of 1862 (search)
y every channel, McClellan on Oct. 7 received instructions to cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy, or drive him south. The army must move now while the roads are good. On receipt of this, McClellan conferred with his chief quartermaster, who thought that sufficient supplies would be on hand within three days. Meanwhile, on Oct. 10 a fresh trouble arose. Stuart with 1800 cavalry and Pelham's battery had been sent by Lee upon a raid. Fording the Potomac, some 15 miles above Williamsport, at dawn on the 10th, by dark Stuart reached Chambersburg, where he burned a machine-shop, many loaded cars, and a supply depot, paroled 285 sick and wounded Federals, and gathered about 500 horses. Next morning he moved to Emmitsburg, and thence below the mouth of the Monocacy, where he recrossed the Potomac, on the forenoon of the 12th. The distance travelled had been 126 miles, of which the last 80 from Chambersburg were accomplished without a halt. An epidemic of foot-and-mouth d
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 16: Gettysburg: the first day (search)
e, Va., did he fully explain to the President his wishes. On the 25th, from Williamsport, he followed the matter up with two letters, urging the organization of an aushed until late at night. On the 15th, starting at 10 A. M., Rodes reached Williamsport at dark and at once crossed three brigades and three batteries over the Potog upon Winchester, made 70 miles in three days. Rodes speaks of his march to Williamsport as— the most trying march we had yet had; most trying because of the intolutely worn-out men fell out of the line. The whole march from Culpeper to Williamsport, which was an extremely rapid one, was executed in a manner highly creditable to the officers and men of the division. A halt at Williamsport was absolutely necessary from the condition of the feet of the unshod men. Very many of these gallaed the Potomac at Shepherdstown on June 23, and Longstreet began crossing at Williamsport on the 24th. Hooker was not far behind, for he crossed at Edward's Ferry on
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 18: Gettysburg: third day (search)
ehicles into a single train, and to conduct it without a halt to Williamsport. Here it would stop only to feed, and would then ford the Potomrain under Imboden moved on roads to our right, via Greenwood to Williamsport. It made better speed than our column of infantry and artilleryemplate. Some of the wounded were taken from the wagons dead at Williamsport, and many who were expected to recover died from the effects of ing traversed about 30 miles, and it still had 15 to go to reach Williamsport. Here began a succession of small attacks of the long train by a hundred wagons were captured. The head of the column reached Williamsport in the afternoon and during the night the balance came up. Here dingly narrow. On the 13th, both his bridge and the ford near Williamsport were passable, and orders were issued to make the crossing durint of rising, the fatal shot struck him. Ewell's corps reached Williamsport by the Hagerstown turnpike and commenced fording the river by mi