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CHASING A REBEL TROOPEB. 181
gardens, and clustering them in rich bouquets, placed them in the hands of the brave New Yorkers. Grave matrons, with ruddy daughters, like Angels of Mercy, came to the gates by the road-side with cups of milk and water to refresh the thirsty soldiers. Such a reception was hardly expected, and was the more appreciated, after the long and unpleasant experiences among the rebel men and women of Virginia. The remainder of the Division came up here and rested for the night.
Heavy firing was heard in the direction of Harper's Ferry. While passing through Jefferson much merriment was occasioned by the chasing of a rebel cavalryman. Seeing him lagging behind, one of our troopers, clapping spurs to his horse, started in hot pursuit, yelling and screaming at the top of his voice, as he rode. He continued to gain on the gray-back, and when within a few yards, discharged his carbine and revolver simultaneously at him, which so alarmed the fugitive that he wheeled, and at once gave himself up. A little further on, Col. Irwin, of the Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, who had now assumed command of the Brigade, took after five rebel videttes, and riding into their midst with a revolver in each hand, compelled three of them to surrender.
When our forces advanced to Frederick, the enemy retreated on two turnpikes diverging from the city, and running through cuts in the Blue Bidge, six miles apart, and known as the South Mountain, or Turner's Pass, near Middletown, and
182 BATTLE AT CRAMPTON'S PASS.
Crampton's Pass, near Burkettsville. Having fortified these and the surrounding hill-tops, they waited our approach. Gen. McClellan, after reviewing the situation for a short time, decided upon storming these positions. To Gen. Franklin he assigned the duty of taking Crampton's Pass, while he superintended operations personally at Turner's.
The jSixth Corps moved forward from the vicinity of Jefferson Sunday morning, and on nearing Burkettsville, was arranged for the attack. The enemy seeing this, opened a heavy fire from the guns planted on the heights, but the troops pressed rapidly forward on the double-quick over the ploughed fields and meadows, until the village was reached, when they halted in the streets. The Thirty-third lost but one man while running the gauntlet of the rebel batteries. Though shot and shell were flying in every direction, the citizens came out of their houses, waved their handkerchiefs, cheered for the "Union Boys," and brought them food and drink. After resting for a few moments, the advance was again sounded, and Slocum's Division moved to the right of the turnpike and engaged the enemy, while Gen. Brooks, supported by the Thirty-third and other Regiments of the Third Brigade, marched directly up the road. About 3 o'clock Slocum reached the Pass, and drove the enemy from it, after a hard fought battle. Brooks' column immediately came on, and dashing up the woody summit, charged the battery at the left of the Pass and captured two guns, together with numerous prisoners. Among
8UREENDEB OF Habper's FEREY. 183
the number was Col. Lamar, of the Eighth Georgia, who had previously been taken at the battle of Golden's Farm and paroled. It now being dark, the troops retraced their steps to the Pass, and moving down the west side of the mountain, bivouacked at the foot in Pleasant Valley. Gens. Hooker and Reno had, in the meantime, stormed the South Mountain gorge, though in doing so the later lost his life.
Monday morning, the Sixth Corps stood to arms at sunrise, and prepared to march to the relief of Harper's Ferry. It was soon ascertained, however, that Col. Miles had surrendered that place, and the men went into camp again. This intelligence so affected Gen. McClellan as to cause him to shed tears. Tuesday, the Corps remained in Pleasant Valley.
FOUGHT WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 1JTH.
The battle of Antietam was the first substantial victory which crowned the labors of the Army of the Potomac. Williamsburg, Fair Oaks and Malvern were all victories, but productive of no immediate results. Fought on ground of the enemy's choosing, and under the disadvantages which always attend the assailing party, it was a decisive struggle, stemming the tide of invasion and rolling back to their rebellious territory Lee's boasted legions, the
who had come to "free" "My Maryland." A single regret is associated with Antietam: that the enemy, defeated and driven back, were not followed up and annihilated.
After being driven from the mountain passes, (Jen. Lee withdrew his forces from the vicinity of the Blue Ridge, Boonsboro and Hagerstown, and concentrated them near Sharpsburg, in horse-shoe shaped lines, the heels resting near the Potomac.