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you can so as to retain them there. In drawn from Maryland heights, and within ihat event I will probably throw the mass six miles of Harper's Ferry. of the army on the pass in front of here. On the night of the 14th the following If I carry that it will clear the way for despatch was sent to Gen. Franklin : you, and you must follow the enemy as
“BOLIVAR, Sept. 15–1 A. M. rapidly as possible. GEO. B. MCCLELLAN. I “GENERAL: * * * * * “ Maj. Gen. Com. 1
“ The commanding general directs that " Maj. Gev. FRANKLIN."
| you occupy, with your command, the road
from Rohrersville to Harper's Ferry, Gen. Franklin pushed his corps rapidly
placing a sufficient force at Rohrersville forward towards Crampton's pass, and at about 12 o'clock on the 14th arrived at
to hold that position in case it should be Burkettsville, immediately in rear of which
attacked by the enemy from Boonsboro.'
Endeavor to open communication with he found the enemy's infantry posted in
Col. Miles at Harper's Ferry, attacking force on both sides of the road, with artil
and destroying such of the enemy as you lery in strong positions to defend the ap
may find in Pleasant valley. Should you proaches to the pass. Slocuin's division was formed upon the right of the road
succeed in opening communication with
Col. Miles, direct him to join you with his leading through the gap, and Smith's upon
whole @ommand, with all the guns and the left. A line formed of Bartlett's and
public property that he can carry with Torbett's brigades, supported by Newton,
bim. The remainder of the guns will be whose activity was conspicuous, advanced
spiked or destroyed; the rest of the pubsteadily upon the enemy at a charge on the right. The enemy were driven from
lic property will also be destroyed. You
will then proceed to Boonsboro', which their position at the base of the mountain,
place the commanding general intends to where they were protected by a stone
attack to-morrow, and join the main body wall, steadily forced back up the slope !
of the army at that place; should you find, notil they reached the position of their
| however, that the enemy have retreated Bittery on the road, well up the mountain.
from Boonsboro' towards Sharpsburg. you 'There they made a stand. They were, liowever, driven back, retiring their artil.
will endeavor to fall upon him and cut off
his retreat. lory in echelon until, after an action of
"By command of Maj. Gen. McClellan. three hours, the crest was gained, and the eneiny hastily fled down the mountain on
“GEO. D. RUGGLES, the other side.
"Col. and Aide-de-Camp. On the left of the road, Brooks's and “Gen. Franklin.” Irvin's brigades, of Smith's division, form- On the 15th the following were received ed for the protection of Slocum's flank, from Gen. Franklin: charged up the mountain in the same
"AT THE FOOT of Mount PLEASANT, steady manner, driving the enemy before
“In Pleasant Valley, three miles from Thein until the crest was carried. Four
“Rohrersville, Sept. 15–8.50 .A. M hundred prisoners from seventeen different
“General: My command started at day. organizations, seven hundred stand of
light this moruing, and I am waiting to Erns, one piece of artillery, and three co
| have it closed up here. Gen. Couch arlorz, were captured by our troops in this
rived about 10 o'clock last night. I have brilliant action. It was conducted by Cien. Franklin in all its details. These
ordered one of his brigades and one bat
tery to Robrersville or to the strongest details are given in a report of Gen. Frank-i.
!! point in its vicinity. The enemy is drawn lin, herewith submitted, and due credit
up in line of battle about two miles to our awarded to the gallant officers and men
front, one brigade in sight. As soon as I engaged. The loss in Gen. Franklin's corps was
am sure that Robrers ville is occupied I
shall move forward to attack the enemy. one hundred and fifteen killed, four hun
This inay be two hours from now, If dred and sixteen wounded, and two miss
Harper's Ferry has fallen--and the cessaing. The enemy's loss was about the
tion of firing inakes me fear that it has same. The enemy's position was such that our artillery could not be used with
it is my opinion that I should be strongly any effect. The close of the action found
dre-enforced. Gen. Franklin's advance in Pleasant valTry on the night of the 14th, within three
“W. B. FRANKLIN, : and a half miles of the point on Maryland
“Maj.-Gen. Commanding Corps. lieights where he might, on the same night
“Gen. G. B. McCLELLAN." or on the morning of the 15th, have formed
“SeptemBER, 15-11 A, H. a junction with the garrison of Hurper's "General : I have received your despatch Ferry bad it not been previously with-' by Capt. O'Heefe. The enemy is in large force in my front, in two lines of battle | sion at about a mile to the north. There stretching across the valley, and a large are two country roads, one to the right of column of artillery and infantry on the the turnpike and the other to the left, right of the valley looking towards Har- which gives access to the crests overlookper's Ferry. They outnumber me two to ing the main road. The one on the left, one. It will of course not answer to pur called the “Old Sharpsburg road,” is sue the enemy under these circumstances. is nearly parallel to and about half a mile I shall cominunicate with Burnside as distant from the turnpike, until it reaches soon as possible. In the mean time I shall the crest of the mountain, when it bends wait here until I learn what is the pros-off to the left. The other road called the pect of re-enforcement. I have not the Old Hagerstown road," passes up a raforce to justify an attack on the force I vine in the mountains about a mile from see in front. I have had a very close the turnpike, and bending to the left over view of it, and its position is very strong. and along the first crest, enters the turn"Respectfully,
pike at the Mountain House, near the sum“W. B. FRANKLIN, Maj. Gen. mit of the pass. “Gen. G. B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding." On the night of the 13th the positions
Col. Miles surrendered Harper's Ferry of the different corps were as follows : at 8 A. M on the 15th, as the cessation of Reno's corps at Middletown, except the firing indicated, and Gen. Franklin | Redman's division at Frederick. was ordered to remain where he was to Hooker's corps on the Monocacy, two watch the large force in front of him, and miles from Frederick. protect our left and rear until the night
Sumner's corps near Frederick. of the 16th, when he was ordered to join
Bank's corps near Frederick. the main body of the army at Keedysville,
Sykes's division near Frederick. after sending Couch's division to Maryland |
Franklin's corps at Buckeystown. Leights, While the events which have Couch's division at Licksville.
just been described were taking place at The orders from headquarters for the Crampton's gap the troops of the centre march on the 14th were as follows : and right wing, which had united at Fredel 13th, 11.30 P. M.-Hooker to march at erick on the 13th, were engaged in the daylight to Middletown. contest for the possession of Turner's gap. 13th, 11.30 P. M.–Syker to move at 6
On the morning of the 13th Gen. Pleas- A. M. after Hooker, on the Middletown and anton was ordered to send McReynolds's Hagerstown road. brigade and a section of artillery in the di- / 14th 1 A. M.--Artillery reserve to follow rection of Gettysburg, and Rush's regi- | Sykes closely. ment towards Jefferson to communicate 13th, 8.45 P. M.--Turner to move at 7 A.M. with Franklin, to whom the 6th United 14th, 9 a. M.-Suinner ordered to take States cavalry and a section of artillery | the Shookstown road to Middletown. had previously been sent, and to proceed 13th, 6.45 P. M.--Couch ordered to move with the remainder of his force in the di- to Jefferson with his whole division. rection of Middletown in pursuit of the On the 14th Gen. Pleasanton continued caemy.
| his reconnoissance. Gibson's battery and After skirmishing with the enemy all afterwards Benjamin's battery (of Reno's the morning, and driving them from seve-corps) were placed on high ground to the ral strong positions, he reached Turner's left of the turnpike, and obtained a direct. gap of the South mountain in the after- fire on the enemy's position in the gap. noon, and found the enemy in force and Gen. Cox's division, which had been orapparently determined to defend the pass. dered up to support Gen. Pleasonton, left He sent back for infantry to Gen. Burn-its bivouac, near Middletown, at 6 A. M. side, who had been directed to support The first brigade reached the scene of achim, and proceeded to make a reconnois- tion about 9 A. M., avd was sent up the old auce of the position.
• Sharpsburg road by Gen Pleasonton to The South mountain is at this point feel the enemy and ascertain if he held the about one thousand feet in height, and its crest on that side in strong force. This general direction is from northeast to was soon found to be the case; and Gen. southwest. The national road from Fred. Cox having arrived with the other brigade, erick to Hagerstown crosses it nearly at and information baving been received from right angles through Turner's gap, a de-Gen. Reno that the column would be suppression which is some four hundred feet ported by the whole corps, the division in depth.
was ordered to assault the position. Two The mountain on the north side of the 20-pounder Parrotts of Simmons's battery turnpike is divided into two crests, or and two sections of McMullan's battery ridges, by a narrow valley, which, though were left in the rear in position near the deep at the pass, becomes a slight depres-turnpike, where they did good service
during the day against the enemy's bat- | a heavy fire, and moved out to protect the teries in the gap. Col. Scammon's brigade guns with which Capt. Cooke had re. was deployed, and well covered by skir-mained. Order was soon restored, and mishers, moved up the slope to the left of the division formed in line on the right of the road with the object of turning the Cox, and was kept concealed as much as enemy's right, if possible. It succeeded possible under the hillside until the whole in gaining the crest and establishing itself line advanced. It was exposed not only there, in spite of the vigorous efforts of to the fire of the battery in front, but also the enemy, who was posted behind stone to that of the batteries on the other side walls and in the edge of timber, and the of the turnpike, and lost heavily. fire of a battery which poured in canister | Shortly before this time Gens. Barnside and case shot on the regiment on the right and Reno arrived at the base of the mounof the brigade. Col. Crooke's brigade
tain ; and the former directed the latter to marched in columns at supporting dis
| move up the divisions of Gens. Sturgis tance. A section of McMullan's battery, I and Rodman to the crest held by Cox and under Lieut. Croome, (killed while serving | Wilcox, and to move upon the enemy's one of his guns,) was moved up with great
position with his whole force as soon as he difficulty, and opened with canister at very
was informed that Gen. Hooker (who had short range on the enemy's infantry, by
just been directed to attack on the right) whom (after having done considerable ex
was well advanced up the mountain. ecution) it was soon silenced and forced
Gen. Reno then went to the front and to withdraw.
assumed the direction of affairs, the posi. One regiment of Crooke's brigade was
tions having been explained to him by Dow deployed on Scammon's left, and the
Gen. Pleasonton. Shortly before this time other two in his rear, and they several
I arrived at the point occupied by Gen. times entered the first line and relieved
ne and reneveq | Burnside; and my headquarters were locathe regiments in front of them when herd
ted there until the conclusion of the
ted there until pressed. A section of Sumner's battery
action. Gen. Sturgis had left his camp at was brought up and placed in the open
one 1 P. m., and reached the scene of action space in the woods, where it did good ser
about 3} P. M. Clark's battery, of his divivice during the rest of the day.
sion, was sent to assist Cox's left, by order The enemy several times attempted to of Gen. Reno, and two regmients (2d retake the crest, advancing with boldness, Maryland and 6th New Hampshire) weru but were each time repulsed. They then detached by Gen Reno and sent forward withdrew their battery to a point more to | a short distance on the left of the turnpike. the right, and formed columns on both our His division was formed in rear of Wilflanks. It was now about noon, and a lullcox's, and Rodman's division was divided ; occured in the contest which lasted about Col. Fairchilds's brigade being placed on two hours, during which the rest of the the extreme left, and Col. Harland's, uncorps was coming up. Gen. Wilcox's der Gen. Rodman's personal supervision, division was the first to arrive. When he on the right. reached the base of the mountain, Gen. My order to move the whole line forward Cox advised him to consult Gen. Pleason- and take or silence the enemy's batteries ton as to a position. The latter indicated in front was executed with enthusiasm. that on the right, afterwards taken up by | The enemy made a desperate resistance, Gen. Hooker. Gen. Wilcox was in the charging our advancing lines with fiereact of moving to occupy this ground, when ness, but they were everywhere routed and be received an order from Gen. Reno to fled. move up the old Sharpsburg road and take Our chief loss was in Wilcox's division. a position to its right, overlooking the The enemy's battery was found to be across turnpike. Two regiments were detached a gorge and beyond the reach of our into support Gen. Cox, at his request. One | fantry; but its position was made antenasection of Cooke's battery was placed in ble, and it was hastily removed and pot position near the turn of the road, (on the again put in position near us. But the crest,) and opened fire on the enemy's bat- | batteries across the gap still kept up a teries across the gap. The division was fire of shot and shell. proceeding to deploy to the right of the Gen. Wilcox praises very highly the road, when the enemny suddenly opened conduct of the 17th Michigan in this (at one hundred and fifty yards) with a advance-a regiment which had been or. battery which enbladed the road at this ganized scarcely a month, but which point, drove off Cooke's cannoners with charged the advancing enemy in flank in their limbers, and caused a temporary a manner worthy of veteran troops; and panic in which the guns were nearly lost. also that of the 45th Pennsylvani,a which But the 79th New York and 17th Michigan proinptly rallied, changed front uuder Cook's battery now re-opened fire. Stur. gis's division was moved to the front of tery “B," 1st Pennsylvania artillery, was Wilcox's, occupying the new ground gained placed in position on high ground at about on the further side of the slope, and his three and a half o'clock, and fired at the artillery opened on the batteries across enemy on the slope, but soon ceased by the gap. The enemy made an effort to order of Gen. Hooker, and the position of turn our left about dark, but were repulsed our lines prevented any further use of arby Fairchilds's brigade and Clark's bat-tillery by us on this part of the field. The tery.
first Massachusetts cavalry was sent up At about 7 o'clock the enemy made the valley to the right to observe the another effort to regain the lost ground. movements, if any, of the enemy in that attacking along Sturgis's front and part direction, and one regiment of Meade's of Cox's. A lively fire was kept up until | division was posted to watch a road Dearly 9 o'clock, several charges being coming in the same direction. The other made by the enemy and repalsed with divisions were deployed as they came up, slaughter, and we finally occupied the Gen. Hatch's on the left, and Gen. Rickhighest part of the mountain.
etts's, which arrived at 5 P. M., in the rear. Gen. Reno was killed just before sunset, Gen. Gibbons's brigade was detached from while making a reconnoissance to the Hatch's division by Gen. Burnside, for front, and the command of the corps de- / the purpose of making a demonstration on volved upon Gen. Cox. In Gen. Reno the enemy's centre, up the main road, as the nation lost one of its best general offi-soon as the movements on the right and cers. He was a skilful soldier, a brave left had sufficiently progressed. T'he 1st and honest man.
Pennsylvania rifles of Gen. Seymour's There was no firing after 10 o'clock, and brigade were sent forward as skirmishers the troops slept on their arms ready to to feel the enemy, and it was found that renew the fight at daylight; but the enemy he was in force. Meade was then directed quietly retired from our front during the to advance his division to the right of the night, abandoning their wounded," and road, so as to out-flank them if possible, leaving their dead in large numbers scat- and then to move forward and attack, tered over the field. While these opera while Hatch was directed to take with his tions were progressing on the left of the division the crest on the left of the old main column, the right under Gen. Hooker Hagerstown road, Ricketts's division being was actively engaged. His corps left the held in reserve. Seymour's brigade was Monocacy early in the morning, and its sent up to the top of the slope, on the advance reached the Catoctin creek about right of the ravine through which the road 1 P. M. Gen. Hooker then went forward to runs; and then moved along the summit examine the ground.
parallel to the road, while Col. Gallagher's At about 1 o'clock Gen. Meade's divi- and Col. Magilton's brigades moved in the sion was ordered to make a diversion in same direction along the slope and in the favor of Reno. The following is the order ravine. sent:
The ground was of the most difficult “ SEPTEMBER 141 P. M. character for the movement of troops, the “GENERAL: Gen. Reno requests that a hillside being steep and rocky, and obdivision of yours may move up on the right structed by stone walls and timber. The (north) of the main road. Gen. McClellan enemy was very soon encountered, and in desires you to comply with this request, a short time the action became general holding your whole corps in readiness to along the whole front of the division. The support the movement and taking charge line advanced steadily up the mountain of it yourself.
side, where the enemy was posted behind “Sumner's and Bank's corps have com- trees and rocks, from which he was gramenced arriving. Let Gen. McClellan be dually dislodged. During this advance informed as soon as you commence your Col. Gallagher, commanding 3d brigade, movement. “GEO. D. RUGGLES, was severely wounded; and the command
“Col., A. A. G., and A. D. C. devolved upon Lieut.-Col. Robert An“Maj.-Gen Hooker."
derson. Meade's division left Catoctin creek Gen. Meade having reason to believe about two o'clock, and turned off to the that the enemy were attempting to outright from the main road on the old Ha-flank him on his right, applied to Gen. * gerstown road to Mount Tabor church, Hooker for re-enforcements. Gen Duryea's where Gen. Hooker was, and deployed a brigade of Ricketts's division was ordered short distance in advance, its right resting up, but it did not arrive until the close about one and a half mile from the turn of the action. It was advanced on Sey. pike. The enemy fired a few shots from mour's left, but only one regiment could å battery on the mountain sido, but did open fire before the ecemy retired and Do considerable damage. Cooper's bat. I darkness interveued.
Gen. Meade speaks highly of Gen. Sey- sides of the mountain, and the troops were mour's skill in handling his brigade on the ordered to hold their positions antil fur. extrenie right. securing by his manœuvres ther orders, and slept on their arms. Late the great object of the movement, the out in the afternoon Gen. Gibbon, with his flanking of the enemy.
brigade and one section of Gibbon's batWhile Gen. Meade was gallantly dri- | tery, (B, 4th artillery,) was ordered to ving the enemy on the right, Gen Hatch's move up the main road on the enemy's division was engaged in a severe contest centre. He advanced a regiment on each for the possession of the crest on the left side of the road preceded by skirmishers, of the ravine; it moved up the mountain and followed by the other two regiments in the following order: two regiments of in double column; the artillery moving on Gen. Patrick's brigade deployed as skir. | the road until within range of the enemy's mishers, with the other two regiments of guns, which were firing on the column the same brigade supporting them. Col. from the gorge. Phelps's brigade in line of battalions in The brigade advanced steadily, driving mass at deploying distance, Gen. Double the enemy from his positions in the woods day's brigade in the same order bringing and behind stone walls, until they reached up the rear. The 21st New York having a point well up towards the top of the cone straight up the slope instead of pass, when the enemy, having been re-en. around to the right, as directed, the 2d forced by three regiments, opened a heavy United States sharpshooters was sent out fire on the front and on both Aanks. The in its place. Phelps's and Doubleday's fight continued until 9 o'clock, the enemy brigades were deployed in turn as they being entirely repulsed; and the brigade, reached the woods, which began about
after having suffered severely, and having half up the mountain. Gen. Patrick with
expended all its ammunition, including his skirmishers soon drew the fire of the
even the cartridges of the dead and enemy, and found him strongly posted be
wounded, continued to hold the ground it hind a fence which bounded the cleared
had so gallantly won until 12 o'clock, space on the top of the ridge, having on
when it was relieved by Gen. Gorman's his front the woods through which our line
brigade of Sedgwick's division, Sumner's was advancing, and in his rear a cornfield
corps, (except the 6th Wisconsin, which full of rocky ledges, which afforded good
remained on the field all night.) Gen. Gibcover to fall back to if dislodged.
bon, in this delicate movement, handled his Phelps's brigade gallantly advanced, | brigade with as much precision and coolunder a hot fire, to close quarters, and ness as if upon parade, and the bravery of after ten or fifteen minutes of heavy firing
his troops could not be excelled. on both sides (in which Gen. Hatch was
The 2d corps (Sumner's) and the 12th wounded while urging on his men) the
corps (Williams's) reached their final posi. fence was carried by a charge, and our
tions shortly after dark. Gen. Richardline advanced a few yards beyond it, some
son's division was placed near Mount Ta. what sheltered by the slope of the hill.
bor church, in a position to support our Doubleday's brigade, now under the command of Lieut.-Col. Hoffman, (Col.
right, if necessary; the 12th corps and Wainwright having been wounded,) re
Sedgwick's division bivouacked around lieved Phelps, and continued firing for
Bolivar, in a position to support our centre an hour and a half; the enemy behind
and left. ledges of rocks, some thirty or forty
Gen. Sykes's division of regulars and paces in our front, making a stubborn re
the artillery reserve halted for the night sistance, and attempting to charge on the
at Middletown. Thus, on the night of the least cessation of our fire. About dusk
| 14th, the whole army was massed in the Col. Christian's brigade of Ricketts's divi- | vicinity of the field of battle, in readiness sion came up and relieved Doubleday's to renew the action the next day, or to' brigade, which fell back into line behind move in pursuit of the enemy. At dayPhelps's. Christian's brigade continued light our skirmishers were advanced, and the action for thirty or forty minutes,
it was found that he had retreated during when the enemy retired, after having made the night, leaving his dead on the field, and an attempt to flink us on the left, which his wounded uncared for. was repulsed by the 75th New York and About fifteen hundred prisoners were 7th Indiana.
taken by us during the battle, and the loss The remaining brigade of Ricketts's di- ! to the enemy in killed was much greater vision (Gen. Hartsuff's) wils moved up in than our own, and, probably, also in the centre, and connected Meade's left wounded. It is believed that the force with Doubleday's right. We now had opposed to us at Turper's gap consisted of possession of the summit of the first ridge D. H. Hill's corps. (15.000,) and a part, if which commanded the turnpike on both not the whole, of Longstreet's, and per