Antietam Campaign Phase 1 September 4 201862

General Lee's Confederate army of 45,000 crossed the Potomac River into Maryland, riding a tide of victory. Plunging across White's Ferry on September 4, the Confederates entered Frederick three days later. Finding the Federal garrison standing defiantly across the Confederate line of communications at Harper's Ferry, Lee decided to divide his forces to capture them, and issued an order to that effect to his commanders. Jackson was to take three columns and converge on Harper's Ferry, while Longstreet would move to Boonsboro to guard against McClellan's cautious Federal approach from Washington.

By an unlucky chance, Lee's order to his commanders, Order 191, had been found by Federal soldiers at Frederick, wrapped around three cigars. It was sent to McClellan who jubilantly studied the divided position of Lee's forces. Surging ahead on September 14, McClellan's advance clashed with Long-street's command at South Mountain. Federal I and IX Corps pushed the Confederates out of their stronghold at Turner's Gap. At the same time, VI Corps secured Crampton's Gap. As Lee's veterans fell back from South Mountain, Lee began retreating toward the Potomac. Hearing that Harper's Ferry would probably fall the next day, Lee boldly turned Longstreet's forces, and took a stand along Antietam Creek at Sharpsburg.

When Jackson's columns had closed around Harper's Ferry on September 13, they had bombarded the Federal defenses throughout the following day. The Federals finally surrendered on September 15. Jackson had captured 12,500 prisoners and 73 cannon at the cost of 286 casualties, making the battle of Harper's Ferry the largest Federal surrender of the Civil War. Jackson's success had not come a moment too soon. Following the surrender of Harper's Ferry, Jackson reunited his troops with Lee, leaving only A.P. Hill's division behind to organize the capitulation.

The rebels are wretchedly clad... The cavalry men are mostly barefooted, and the feet of the infantry are bound up in rags and pieces of rawhide."

A resident of Harper's Ferry observing the arrival of Jackson's army.

The 1st Virginia Cavalry halt during Lee's invasion of Maryland (right). Lee had hoped that the appearance of his troops would inspire enthusiasm in the state's residents but the reception was, in fact, only lukewarm.

The 1st Virginia Cavalry halt during Lee's invasion of Maryland (right). Lee had hoped that the appearance of his troops would inspire enthusiasm in the state's residents but the reception was, in fact, only lukewarm.

The Confederates under Stonewall Jackson, Walker and McLaws besieged the 12,500-sirong Federal garrison at Harper's Ferry (above), bombarding the defenses during the 14th. The garrison surrendered the following day, thus opening a Confederate supply line through the Shenandoah Valley.

Lee, his forces scattered, ordered his remaining troops to defend the passes through South Mountain (above). Begining before dawn, the Federal attack was advancing toward Turner's Gap by midday, but was stopped by the Confederates. McClellan now threw further forces against them, which, in enveloping the Confederate flanks. Darkness ended the fighting and the Confederates withdrew.

In a well-conceived attempt to relieve the besieged Federal garrison at Harper's Ferry, the left wing of McClellan's army, commanded by Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin, easily defeated a small Confederate force at Crampton 's Gap, 6 miles to the south of South Mountain (above).

(j^ Sept 15-15; Walker's-Confederate division \ occupies Loudoun Heights and

completes the cordonaroundMiles's s, division. The. Federals surrender 12,500 ^ troops on tlie:15th;;—


Sept 4-7: NTcGeflan resumes command of the Federal army ancf advances cautiously to find Lçe and cover Washington

Sipt 13: McClellan Reaches Frederick and discovers Lee's plafis in;the. mislaid \ Confederate Ordef 1911

Sept 14: Federal f ind IX Corps capture Turner's Gap from D.H. HiB ^nd Longatreevforcingja Confederate retreat

Sept Í4:"A-portion $fMcLaws's Confederates dela^tranklin's Fedej^tl^ ,-Goïps at Crampto^'T^p^m'áptoefew,,, right) J;L


/jjJ Sept.15: With Mjmminent f^l of y^f Harper's Fera'Lee determines to make a (/^stand along^tietarh-Creekat


/ The shattered ruips of Harpef s 'Ferry railroad bridge / . (above):, The guhs and equj/fment cjzptuted by the

-^Confederates at the Union,surrender were much needed ^ byTeea condition of

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