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.
, 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
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
The career of General Pope
was as brief, boastful, and disastrous, as those of Generals Lee
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
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
Ferry and Longstreet
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
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
's guns of the Washington Artillery,4
and a thin gray
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
Here he was relieved and succeeded by General Burnside
On December 13th the battle of Fredericksburg