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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Diary of Robert E. Park, Macon, Georgia, late Captain Twelfth Alabama regiment, Confederate States army. (search)
y not to interfere with private property. It was set on fire either by some thoughtless and reckless sharpshooter in the rear guard, or by some careless soldier stationed about the house. July 13th Marched on our retreat the remainder of the night, passed through the very friendly Southern town of Rockville, and halted near Darnestown. I slept all the afternoon, not having enjoyed any rest the previous night. At dusk we commenced marching, via Poolsville, to White's Ferry on the Potomac river. Did not march over five miles the entire night, though kept awake, and moving short distances at intervals of a few minutes. July 14th Recrossed the Potomac, wading it, and halted near the delightful little town of Leesburg. We have secured, it is said, over 3,000 horses and more than 2,500 head of beef cattle by this expedition, and this gain will greatly help the Confederate Government. July 15th Rested quietly under the shade of the trees. July 16th We passed thro
repair for final instructions to the headquarters of General Lee in the town, and in this ride he was accompanied by his Staff. Leesburg, the county seat of Loudoun, is a town or village of about 4000 inhabitants, some four miles from the Potomac river, and, as might be readily supposed from its proximity to the border, was alternately in the possession of the Yankees and the Confederates, having undergone a change of masters several times during the war. General Lee's headquarters was set ed, drove back the Yankees in his turn for several miles with great slaughter. About mid-day I was sent by General Stuart to our cavalry with orders that they should press forward, in corresponding movement with the infantry, up the bank of the Potomac. At the moment of passing the 3d Virginia Cavalry, as I was exchanging some friendly words with its gallant commander, Colonel Thornton, a piece of a shell tore off his left arm very near to the shoulder, from which wound he died in great agony
ed Captain Hamilton at once to General Stuart, to make report to him, and proceeded myself to join Hampton, whose column I could hear close at hand, trotting along the turnpike. Whoever has been himself in so perilous a situation, and has unexpectedly found hope and relief again, can understand the joyous emotion with which I greeted my chivalrous friend, who was as much pleased to receive as I was to deliver General Stuart's orders. Without further accident we reached the banks of the Potomac, and as I was well acquainted with the somewhat difficult ford, I piloted the brigade across the broad stream, and having satisfactorily accomplished this, returned to General Stuart, who had in the mean time been pressed hard by the enemy, and was just directing his troops towards the river. Our battery on the Virginia side, joined by the other pieces as they were successively brought over, now opened a spirited fire in the direction where the enemy was supposed to be advancing, which was
boro, while General Lee formed his line to cover the crossing at Falling Waters and Williamsport. Here, near Boonsboro, Stuart did some of his hardest fighting, and successfully held his ground, crowning every knoll with the guns of his horse artillery. When the infantry was in position, the cavalry retired, and took position on the flanks — the two armies faced each other, and a battle seemed imminent-when one morning General Meade discovered that General Lee was on the south bank of the Potomac. It is said that the Federal commander designed attacking Lee that day, against the opinion of his officers. What would have been the result? That is a difficult question. A humble soldier of the Southern army may, however, be permitted to say that a rout of the army of Northern Virginia, under Lee, never seemed to him possible. Nor was it ever routed. It was starved, and it surrendered. General Lee was thus over with his army, where provisions and ammunition were obtainable; a
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The campaign of Gettysburg. (search)
that he was twenty-two miles on the Cashtown road, and that the enemy was not only retreating, but it was a rout, the road being encumbered with wounded and wagons in the greatest confusion. On this report the two other divisions of cavalry were sent to intercept and harass Lee in crossing the Potomac; but the Army of the Potomac did not leave Gettysburg for four or five days after, and then passed by the way of South Mountain to the Antietam creek. In consequence of heavy rains the Potomac river was so much swollen that Lee could not cross, and the two armies were again brought face to face for two days. General Meade declined to attack, and Lee's army escaped. The cavalry rendered important service after the battle of Gettysburg, in pursuit. They captured large trains of wagons, many prisoners, and were in such position that, had General Meade followed Lee on the 4th of July, the surrender of Lee would have been unavoidable. The two great objective points of the war were
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 8: winter campaign in the Valley. 1861-62. (search)
sburg, the Federal authorities had the unobstructed use of it from the Ohio River eastward to Cumberland. The destruction of the canal was therefore needed, to make the interruption complete. This work, ascending the left, or north bank of the Potomac, receives its water from that river, which is raised to a sufficient height to feed it by a series of dams thrown across its channel. The most important of these was the one known as Dam No. 5, built within a sharp curve of the river, concave then crowned the southern bank of the river with artillery, and fired a few shots into the town. This was in retaliation for the crime of the Federalists, who had repeatedly shelled the peaceful village of Shepherdstown, on the south bank of the Potomac, when it was not used as a military position by the Confederates, and even when there was not a soldier near it. Jackson declared that they should be taught, such outrages could not be perpetrated with impunity; and he added, that, while he was
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 17: the campaign in Maryland. (search)
the place was actually forced. So that the main struggle, after all, fell to the corps of General Jackson. He directed the division of Hill toward the Shenandoah, and that of Taliaferro, under Brigadier-General J. R. Jones, to the banks of the Potomac. The division of Ewell, under Brigadier-General Lawton, marched upon the Charlestown turnpike, and supported Hill. On the 14th General Jackson, observing an eminence upon the extreme right of the enemy's line, and next the Potomac, occupied onon with the Commander-in-Chief, with difficulty found him, in advance of all his troops, without escort, examining the posture of the enemy's force, while the division of A. P. Hill was rapidly advancing to the front. On the north bank of the Potomac were planted seventy pieces of heavy artillery, while under their protection, a considerable force of infantry had passed to the southern side, and were drawn up in line upon the high banks next the river. Under the direction of General Jackson
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 1: ancestry. (search)
me years afterward, he gave away all the lands he had taken up, and settled at his own expense, to the servants he had fixed on them, some of whose descendants are now possessed of very considerable estates in that colony. After remaining some time in England he again visited Virginia with a fresh band of followers whom he also established there. He first settled in York County in 1641, where he was burgess and justice in 1647, and when later he removed to the Northern neck, between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, he filled the offices of Secretary of State and Member of the Privy Council. Of his loyalty to the house of Stuart we have already spoken, and of his various voyages, indicating in themselves his enterprising genius. When he made his will in London, in 1663, he was returning on what proved to be his last voyage. He had with him his large, young family, his eldest son John not yet being of age; but he was so determined to establish them in Virginia that he ordere
Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Debates of Lincoln and Douglas: Carefully Prepared by the Reporters of Each Party at the times of their Delivery., Second joint debate, at Freeport, August 27, 1858. (search)
lave States, I propose, out of mere kindness, to relieve him from any such necessity. When the bargain between Lincoln and Trumbull was completed for Abolitionizing the Whig and Democratic parties, they spread over the State, Lincoln still pretending to be an old line Whig, in order to rope in the Whigs, and Trumbull pretending to be as good a Democrat as he ever was, in order to coax the Democrats over into the Abolition ranks. They played the part that decoy ducks play down on the Potomac river. In that part of the country they make artificial ducks and put them on the water in places where the wild ducks are to be found, for the purpose of decoying them. Well, Lincoln and Trumbull played the part of these decoy ducks and deceived enough old line Whigs and old line Democrats to elect a Black Republican Legislature. When that Legislature met, the first thing it did was to elect as Speaker of the House, the very man who is now boasting that he wrote the Abolition platform on w
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 17: preliminaries of the great battle. (search)
dment at Harper's Ferry to that line during the night. Under cover of the night, Lieutenant-Colonel H. Davis, at the head of the Union cavalry, left Harper's Ferry, crossed the Potomac, marched up the left bank, through Sharpsburg, and made good his escape, capturing some forty or fifty Confederate wagons as they were moving south from Hagerstown. We left McLaws in possession of Maryland Heights, on the 14th, with his best guns planted against the garrison at Harper's Ferry. The Potomac River was between his and Jackson's and Walker's forces, and the Shenandoah divided Jackson's and Walker's commands. Walker posted his division to defend against the escape from Harper's Ferry, and planted three Parrott guns of Captain French's battery and two rifle pieces of Captain Branch's on Loudoun Heights, having effective fire along Bolivar Heights. General Jackson sent word to McLaws and Walker that the batteries were not to open till all were ready, but the latter, hearing the engage
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