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April, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 19
them that his mission was to assist them with the power of arms in regaining their rights, of which .they had been so unjustly despoiled. Lee discoursed as fluently and falsely of the outrages inflicted by the generous Government which he had solemnly sworn to protect, and against which he was waging war for the perpetuation of injustice and inhumanity, In a speech at the raising of the National flag over Columbia College, in New York, immediately after the attack on Fort Sumter, in April, 1861, Dr. Francis Lieber admirably defined the character of soldiers like Robert E. Lee, who professed to believe in the State supremacy, but who had served in the armies of the Republic and deserted their flag. Men, he said, who believed, or pretended to believe in State sovereignty alone, when secession broke out, went over with men and ships, abandoning the flag to which they had sworn fidelity; thus showing that all along they served the United States like Swiss hirelings and not as citiz
ng in appearance, the track simply propped up on trestle-work of round logs, and as the trains creep over the abyss, the impressions of the spectators are not, in the aggregate, comfortable. Before this line of communication was established, the Confederates had made the seizure of Fredericksburg and the heights behind it impossible without a severe battle. Lee's army, eighty thousand strong, had pushed forward toward the Rappahannock as rapidly as possible, and at the close of November 1862. it lay in a semicircle around Fredericksburg, each wing resting on the river; its right at Port Royal, below the city, and its left six miles above the city. Lee's engineers had been very busy, and had constructed two lines of fortifications along two concentric ridges a mile apart, extending from the river, a mile and a half above the city, to the Fredericksburg and Richmond railway, three miles below the town. These had grown without the possible interference of the Nationals, for not un
June 17th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
. Jackson also, seeing the menacing peril, had left the matter of capitulation at Harper's Ferry to A. P. Hill, and with the remainder of his command recrossed the Potomac, and by swift marches rejoined Lee on the Antietam Creek. McLaws saw that his own force might be crushed by a vigorous movement on the part of Franklin, and as the surrender of Harper's Ferry seemed to give him leave to withdraw, he abandoned Maryland Heights, passed the Potomac at the Ferry, and made his way to Lee June 17, 1862. by Shepherdstown. Walker had already abandoned Loudon Heights, and made his way by the same route toward the main army. By these quick movements Lee's forces became consolidated before McClellan was ready to strike him a serious blow. On the 16th of September the Confederate Army was well posted on the heights near Sharpsburg, on the western side of the Antietam Creek, which traverses a very beautiful valley, and falls into the Potomac six miles above Harper's Ferry. When McClella
September, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
rators at Richmond were in accord with Lee in this view, and he made instant preparations for throwing his army across the Potomac. Lee was joined on the 2d Sept. 1862. by the fresh division of D. H. Hill, from Richmond, and this was immediately sent as a vanguard toward Leesburg. The whole Confederate army followed, and betwl, of The Humbug of the Confederacy. In pursuance of McClellan's instructions, Franklin appeared at Burkittsville, before Crampton's Pass, at noon on the 14th, Sept. 1862. on the road leading to Rohersville in Pleasant Valley, back of Maryland Heights, with a fine body of troops from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He fo casualties in battle, fatigues, and a distemper which disabled four thousand horses; and clothing, shoes, and camp equipage, were greatly needed. On the 27th Sept. 1862. he renewed an application made on the 23d for re-enforcements, and then informed the Government that he intended to hold his army where it was, and attack the
September 11th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
lected there, which must be sacrificed if the garrison should be withdrawn. Halleck determined to hold it until McClellan should succor the garrison, and orders were given accordingly to the commander. McClellan advised another course; but on the day of the struggle at Turner's and Crampton's Gaps, he sent Miles word to hold out to the last extremity, as he might count on every effort to relieve him. In the mean time Jackson, by quick movements, had crossed the Potomac at Williamsport Sept. 11, 1862. and marched rapidly upon Martinsburg. General Julius White, in command of troops there, fled with them to Harper's Ferry. He ranked Miles, but deferred to his position as an old army officer, and offered to serve under him. The junction of these forces, with some from Winchester, made the garrison over twelve thousand strong. At noon of the 13th Jackson was in full force in the rear of Harper's Ferry, and at once placed himself in communication with Walker and McLaws. The former w
September 13th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
iles a day since he entered Maryland, watching rather than pursuing, for reasons already alluded to, and Lee doubtless supposed that pace would be kept up. When Lee's plan was discovered, on the day after he moved westward from Frederick, Sept. 13, 1862. the National army was in the vicinity of that city, excepting Franklin's corps of about seventeen thousand men, which was several miles nearer Harper's Ferry. Between him and that post was only the division of McLaws, not more than twenty tat you are wrong. The capture of this place will throw us back six months, if it should not destroy us. Beware of the evils I now point out to you. You saw them when here, but you seem to forget them in the distance. --Letter to McClellan, September 13, 1862. The National army moved in pursuit, from Frederick, in two columns, the right and center toward Turner's Gap, in South Mountain, in front of Middletown, Burnside leading the advance; and the left, composed of Franklin's corps, toward C
September 14th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
ain eastward of the pass or hollow, and a good road went over it just westward of the pass. Crampton's Gap was a similar pass, and opened into Pleasant Valley, back of Maryland Heights, a few miles from Harper's Ferry.), and to send six brigades to assist McLaws (who was guarding Crampton's Gap) in his operations for seizing Maryland Heights and Harper's Ferry. Lee was mistaken. The discovery of his plan had led to more vigorous action in the National army, and on the following day Sept. 14, 1862. a startling apparition met the eyes of the Confederates on South Mountain. Stuart had reported the previous evening that only two brigades were in pursuit, and Hill felt quite sure that he could defend the Gap with his five thousand troops, notwithstanding they were somewhat scattered; but at an early hour in the morning Pleasanton's cavalry, with a battery, was seen moving along Alfred Pleasanton. the pike toward the Gap, followed by Cox's Kanawha division of Reno's command, while
September 17th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
ch had been raging within a mile of Headquarters for three hours. Then, with some of his aids, he walked to a beautiful grove on the brow of a declivity near Pry's, overlooking the Antietam, and watched the battle on the right for about two hours, when he mounted his horse and rode away to Porter's position, on the right, where he was greeted, as usual, by the hearty cheers of his admiring soldiers. Oral statement to the author, by Mr. and Mrs. Pry. The contest was opened at dawn Sept. 17, 1862. by Hooker, with about eighteen thousand men. He made a vigorous attack on the Confederate left, commanded by Jackson. Doubleday was on his right, Meade on his left, and Ricketts in the center. His first object was to push the Confederates back through a line of woods, and seize the Hagerstown road and the woods beyond it in the vicinity of the Dunker Church, where Jackson's line lay. The contest was obstinate and severe. The National batteries on the east side of the Antietam poured
September 19th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
e hesitated, and finally, in opposition to the advice of Franklin and Battle of Antietam. others, he deferred a renewal of the battle until the next morning. When that morning dawned, and he sent his cavalry to reconnoiter, the National army had no foe to fight, for Lee, with his shattered legions, had recrossed the Potomac under cover of darkness, and was on the soil of his native Virginia, with eight batteries under Pendleton on the river-bluffs, menacing pursuers. That evening Sept. 19, 1862. at dusk General Porter ordered General Griffin, with his own and Barnes's brigade, to cross the Potomac to carry Lee's batteries. It was done, and four of their guns were captured. On the following morning, Sept. 20. a part of Porter's division made a reconnoissance in force. When a mile from the ford they were surprised by A. P. Hill, who lay in ambush, and they were driven back into and across the river in great disorder, with the loss of two hundred men made prisoners. The Confe
October 26th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 19
te. Resume the method and spirit of ‘98. When Frenchmen see your plume waving in the van, and you, first of all, exposed to the enemy's fire, you will do with them whatever you will. At length, when the beautiful month of October, during which the roads were perfect, had nearly passed by, and Lee's army was thoroughly rested, supplied, re-enforced, and his communications with Richmond were re-established, McClellan's advance began to cross the Potomac, on a pontoon-bridge at Berlin, Oct. 26, 1862. and on the 2d of November he announced that his whole army was once more in Virginia, prepared to move southward on the east side of the Blue Ridge, instead of pursuing Lee up the Shenandoah Valley; on its western side. Meanwhile Stuart, with eighteen hundred cavalry, had recrossed the river at Williamsport, and made once again a complete circuit of the Army of the Potomac without loss. He pushed on as far as Chambersburg, in Pennsylvania, where he destroyed a large amount of proper
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