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General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 15: the Maryland campaign. (search)
oving his columns out from the vicinity of Washington City on the 5th, made slow and very cautious marches to save fatigue of his men and at the same time cover the capital against unforeseen contingency; so slow and cautious was the march that he only covered forty or fifty miles in seven days. On the 12th his Headquarters were at Urbana, where he received the following telegram from President Lincoln: Governor Curtin telegraphs me, I have advices that Jackson is crossing the Potomac at Williamsport, and probably the whole rebel army will be drawn from Maryland. The President added,-- Receiving nothing from Harper's Ferry or Martinsburg today, and positive information from Wheeling that the line is cut, corroborates the idea that the enemy is recrossing the Potomac. Please do not let him get off without being hurt. Rebellion Record, vol. XIX. part i. p. 41. McClellan's official account. Elsewhere General McClellan has written of the 12th: During these movements I had not i
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 17: preliminaries of the great battle. (search)
he batteries were assigned positions near the ridge under the crest, where they could best cover the fields on the farther side of the stream. A few minutes after our lines were manned, information came of the capitulation of Harper's Ferry, and of the withdrawal of the troops to the Virginia side of the Potomac. General Toombs's brigade joined us early on the 15th, and was posted over the Burnside Bridge. He was subsequently ordered to detach two regiments, as guard for trains near Williamsport. As long as the armies were linked to Harper's Ferry, the heights in front of Sharpsburg offered a formidable defensive line, and in view of possible operations from Harper's Ferry, through the river pass, east of South Mountain, formed a beautiful point of strategic diversion. But when it transpired that Harper's Ferry was surrendered and the position was not to be utilized, that the troops there were to join us by a march on the south side, its charms were changed to perplexities.
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 19: battle of Sharpsburg, or Antietam (continued). (search)
, had the smaller force, while Burnside's numbers were greater. In the afternoon General Lee was advised of new arrivals in General McClellan's army, and, thinking the few stragglers who came up to swell his own ranks were not sufficient to justify him in renewing the battle on the 19th, ordered his trains back, and after night marched his troops across the Potomac at the ford near Shepherdstown. General Stuart was ordered to cross ahead of the general move, recross the Potomac at Williamsport, and stand guard to the rear of the columns in case of danger to their crossing. The road being clear at nine o'clock, the army marched; the First Corps, in advance, crossed about two A. M. on the 19th, awaited to guard the crossing, and at daylight was deployed on the south side. A. P. Hill's division covered the retreat of the army, and the cavalry under Fitzhugh Lee was to follow, relieving lines of picket guards and helping the feeble footmen. The rear of the Confederate column cro
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 20: review of the Maryland campaign. (search)
At noon of the 13th, General Lee's order distributing his forces and a despatch from the Governor of Pennsylvania were handed General McClellan,--the former the celebrated lost despatch, given on a previous page,--the latter reading as follows: Harrisburg, Pa., September 13, 1862. Major-General George B. McClellan: When may we expect General Reynolds here Services needed immediately. Longstreet s division is said to have reached Hagerstown last night. Jackson crossed the Potomac at Williamsport to capture Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry. We are assembling militia rapidly at Chambersburg. Can we do anything to aid your movements A. G. Curtin Governor of Pennsylvania. This told of the change of march of my brigades from Turner's Pass to Hagerstown, and, with the lost despatch, revealed that Hill's five brigades were the only troops at the former place. The same afternoon General McClellan's signal service despatched him that the Union signal station on Maryland Height
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter25: invasion of Pennsylvania. (search)
out and joining the troops on Maryland Heights. The artillery trying to escape north towards Williamsport was followed so closely that they lost some three or four guns. With his divisions under Johhe Valley of Virginia the leading corps (Second) was to divide and cross the Potomac River at Williamsport and Shepherdstown, the column through Williamsport to march through Hagerstown and ChambersbuWilliamsport to march through Hagerstown and Chambersburg towards Harrisburg, collecting produce and supplies for the army, Imboden's cavalry on its left flank. The eastern column was to march through Sharpsburg, Emmitsburg, and Gettysburg towards the brastern column. The First Corps was to draw back from the Blue Ridge and cross the Potomac at Williamsport, to be followed by the cavalry, which was to cross at Shepherdstown and ride severely towards Potomac, followed by those of the First, the former crossing at Shepherdstown, the latter at Williamsport. The corps came together at Hagerstown, in Maryland, continued their march till the 27th, an
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 29: the wave rolls back. (search)
were thrown together to wait, but the cavalry charge proved to be a carriage-load of lady refugees. Some of the cavalry did get over upon the trains parked at Williamsport, but there were many wounded near there who could handle their muskets, many infantry up from Winchester, and some of Imboden's cavalry, besides some batteriesally got up, when the enemy drew off. On the 6th and 7th the commands were up, and deployed their lines from Falling Waters to cover the bridge and ford at Williamsport. But the river was full, past fording at Williamsport, and a raiding party from Harper's Ferry had partially destroyed the bridge at Falling Waters. InfantryWilliamsport, and a raiding party from Harper's Ferry had partially destroyed the bridge at Falling Waters. Infantry trenches were made along the lines, batteries were put in position, and we were ready in a day or two to receive our successful adversary. He found some mud along his route, and was not up until the 12th, when he appeared and spread his lines along the Confederate front, but positions were changed,--he had the longer outer curve