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Chapter 34: campaign against Pope.—Second Manassas.—Sharpsburg.—Fredericksburg.

Although defeated, the army under General McClellan was still a formidable force, and might at any time threaten Richmond.

His camp at Westover was protected by his gun-boats, and the hills had been fortified to resist the Confederate forces.

General Lee, under the idea that a demonstration upon Washington would force Mc-Clellan's withdrawal for its protection, early in August, sent General Jackson in advance, to engage General Pope, who commanded a new army in Northern Virginia.

Immediately upon receiving information of this move, McClellan began to transfer troops to Washington, and Lee moved with the rest of his army to join General Jackson.

After several engagements the enemy was forced to withdraw, and the next morning Longstreet resumed his march to join Jackson.1 [362]

Much desultory fighting took place on August 29th; but on the 30th the enemy made a determined attack on Jackson's front, and Longstreet ordered his whole line forward to the charge, and defeated Pope's army.

The career of General Pope was as brief, boastful, and disastrous, as those of Generals Lee and Jackson were brilliant, audacious, and successful.

Immediately after the battle of Second Manassas, the army under Lee crossed the Potomac and entered Maryland.

While at Frederick City2 General Lee [363] matured his plan of operations, and issued his order of battle.

Unfortunately for these plans of Lee, the battle order addressed to D. H. Hill was by some accident lost, and fell into the hands of McClellan, thus disclosing to hini the movements of his adversary.3 McClellan immediately pushed on to South Mountain Pass, where D. H. Hill had been left to guard the rear, while Jackson went to Harper's [364] Ferry and Longstreet to Hagerstown. Hill made a heroic defence, but being outflanked, fell back toward Sharpsburg during the niclht.

On the morning of September 15th, General Lee stood at bay at Sharpsburg, with bare-1y 18,000 men, and confronted McClellan's whole army along Antietam Creek.

Colonel Walter Taylor, in his “Four years with Lee,” says:

The fighting was heaviest and most continuous on the Confederate left. It is established upon indisputable Federal evidence, that the three corps of Hooker, Mansfield, and Sumner were completely shattered in the repeated but fruitless efforts to turn this flank, and two of these corps were rendered useless.

“These corps numbered an aggregate of 40,000, while the Confederates from first to last had but barely 14,000 men.”

The centre had been fiercely assailed, but was held by Longstreet with Miller's guns of the Washington Artillery,4 and a thin gray [365] line of infantry, some of whom stood with unloaded guns without ammunition, but waving their colors to give semblance of support. This must be one of the severest tests to the bravery of troops, to stand as target without the means or the excitement of retaliating. All honor to them.

The battle was fought against great odds, and to have resisted this mass of men shows of what stuff our soldiers were made.

All the next day Lee remained on the battle-field, thinking McClellan would again attack, but he, not being so minded, the Confederate army recrossed the Potomac during the night into Virginia.

Late in October, 1862, General McClellan followed Lee into Virginia. Here he was relieved and succeeded by General Burnside.

On December 13th the battle of Fredericksburg was fought.

1 At this time a Federal critic said: “The truth is, the rebel generals strip their armies for a march as a man strips to run a race. Their men are ‘ destitute’ when they reach our lines, because they cannot cumber themselves with supplies. They come to fight --not to eat. They march to a battle-field, not to a dress parade. When shall our armies be found, for a like reason ‘ destitute in the presence of the enemy? ’ ”

2 Treatment of Confederate prisoners.

“ There were 445 sick Confederate soldiers left in the hospital at Frederick, Maryland, before the fight of Sharpsburg, and these were ‘captured ’ at a charge bayonet by the Yankees. They were huddled together in the German Reform Church, with five crackers a day for rations, though the ladies of Frederick gave them what they could spare to eat. They were then with prisoners, making a total of 1,400, marched six miles (to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, many of them falling on the way from illness), and sent to Baltimore ; the interruption on the trip being an attempt on the part of a sentinel to kill one of the prisoners who got off the cars to drink at a creek.

In Baltimore they were placed in a prison crowded to suffocation. The people of Baltimore, upon hearing of their arrival, carried them buckets of coffee and all sorts of eatables. The next day they were marched out in charge of a Dutch captain, who, after parading them through the principal streets, put them on board the steamer City of Norwich, and they were soon (with the exception of six who died on the way) within the walls of Fort Delaware, made famous by the sufferings of our soldiers there. One of our men was stripped and whipped by a sergeant, who accused him of stealing. There were 2,700 prisoners there; of this number 186 took the oath of allegiance, and 46 died. Out of the 2,700 there were I,500 sick, and not 200 of them will be fit for service under a month.

The Confederate officers were treated with consideration, but the privates experienced the most brutal usage. The prisoners who are alluded to returned yesterday by the flag of truce.

-Richmond Despatch, 13th instant.

3 General Robert Ransom, in his reminiscences of Mr. Davis, writes, in reference to General D. H. Hill and the lost order, as follows:

In the early summer of ‘63, D. H. Hill was commanding at Richmond. He was sent thence to the army under Bragg. I happened to be present, a day or two after Hill had gone, when an intimate personal friend of Mr. Davis rather criticised the President for what he considered an unwise and too magnanimous act, remarking that the “President certainly knew that Hill was no friend of his and was insubordinate, and had, by losing his order in ‘62, thwarted the plans of General Lee in Maryland.” Mr. Davis answered, “ Hill is a faithful soldier, General Bragg has asked for him, and it is not proven that he was to blame in reference to the lost order. Besides, men are not perfect, and I can have no personal resentment to true, brave men who are such fighters as all know Hill to be, no matter what their feelings may be to me individually.” Mr. Davis has been charged with visiting personal animosity upon those in his power who were not his personal admirers.

This is only one instance among many refuting the unjust assertion. Hie was so much a man that jealousy and envy could not live in his great soul.

4 General Lee's report of the battle.

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