Military Institute. Garland had received a law degree from the University of Virginia and practised law in his home town of Lynchburg, Virginia. Garland was from a prominent family, and was much respected in his community. He had raised a volunteer company as early as 1859, following the arrest of John Brown. Garland was observed on the morning of 14 September walking behind his men, inspecting his positions in Fox's Gap, and deep in a discussion of classical literature with the officers accompanying him.

The leading formation of Federal IX Corps approaching Garland's position was the Kanawha Division, recently attached to the IX Corps from operations in West Virginia, commanded by Brigadier General Jacob Cox. Jacob Dolson Cox (1828-1900) was a lawyer and prominent Republican abolitionist before the War. He would develop into one of the better 'citizen soldiers' the War produced, even though he had no formal military training. Cox was an authority, interestingly enough, on European cathedral architecture. He i.

placed his 1st Brigade led by Colonel Eliakim Scammon on his left and his 2nd Brigade commanded by Colonel George Crook on his right, and advanced at 0900 through cultivated fields and up a steep slope against Garland's waiting rebel infantry.

Cox detached the 23rd Ohio Volunteers from his main body, and sent it on a wide flanking movement to his extreme left, in order to gain a position behind the Confederate right. The 23rd Ohio was commanded by a future president of the USA. Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford B. Hays, who would be elected President of the United States after the disputed election of 1876 was decided by congressional committee and the famous 'Compromise of 1877'. The manner of the Republican victory in 1876 earned Hays the nicknames 'Old eight to seven', the vote in the committee that awarded the

T Federal artillery takes advance and make time position under Jire at for Lee's army to coticen-

South Mountain as the trate. Confederate forces seek to delay McClellan "i

A Reno approached from Gap. The old Sharpshurg the Middletown valley road lies between the and the Catoctin range on stone wall and the rail the left towards Fox's fence seen here.

Republicans the disputed electorial votes, and 'His fraudulence'. Havs would serve as president from 1877 to 1881, but that was in the future, and now he managed to get his men in position unobserved by Garland's Southerners. Cox advanced his brigades against Garland's line, supported by artillery fire from the 10- and 20-pounder Parrott rifles of McMullin's Ohio and Simmond's Kentucky batteries. 'The rebels stood firmly, and kept up a murderous fire', wrote Cox in his report on the action, 'until the advancing line was within a few feet of them, when they broke and fled over the crest into the shelter of a dense thicket skirting the other side.' The Confederate infantry tried several times to dislodge Hays' 23rd Ohio and to retake the crest. Brigadier General Samuel Sturgis's 2nd Division/IX Corps arrived on Cox's right, and the Southern general Garland was killed in the fighting. The Southerners in Fox's Gap streamed towards the rear. It was noon.

The remainder of the IX Corps arrived on the battlefield. The 1st Division led by Brigadier General Orlando Willcox took position on Sturgis's right, and the 3rd Division commanded by Brigadier General Isaac Rodman moved into place on the right of Willcox. The commander of the right wing and the official commander of IX Corps, Major General Ambrose Burnside also had arrived on the field. Burnside was uncertain of Confederate

A Reno approached from Gap. The old Sharpshurg the Middletown valley road lies between the and the Catoctin range on stone wall and the rail the left towards Fox's fence seen here.

strength in the area, and he therefore halted further operations until Federal I Corps got into position on the right of IX Corps. The result was a lull in the fighting of some two hours' duration.

It was time put to good use by the desperate Daniel Harvey Hill, for had Cox continued the advance it is extremely doubtful if the Southern forces could have prevented the capture of Turner's Gap by early afternoon. There would have been ample time for the Federals to continue the forward movement and place themselves between Longstreet and Jackson. 'Providentially, they were ignorant of their success,' wrote Hill in his report on South Mountain. He sent G. B. Anderson's, Ripley's, and Drayton's brigades (the latter an element of D. R. Jones's division of Longstreet's command) down the road towards where Garland's Brigade had been posted to make contact with Colonel Thomas Lafayette Rosser's 5th Virginia Cavalry, which had been operating beyond Garland's right rear. Hill retained Colquitt's brigade astride the main road in the gap proper and dispatched the Alabamian Brigade of Brigadier General Robert Rodes to the extreme Confederate left flank.

T i ^ ___« r____i r ____ The Battle of South Mountain,

Turner's Gap and Fox s Gap: m0rning to about 1400,14 sept 1862

The leading element of Federal I Corps, its 3rd Division, led by Brigadier General George Meade, began arriving on the battlefield after 1330. Meade was ordered to make a diversion in favour of a continued advance of IX Corps by striking the extreme left flank of the Confederate position. George Gordon Meade (1815-72) was an 1835 graduate of the United States Military Academy, a pre-war engineer and professional soldier. He would end the American Civil War commanding the Federal Army of the Potomac. Meade was known to have a terrible temper, and his subordinates unkindly suggested that his disposition might be compared to 'an old snapping turtle'. The division commanded by Meade at South Mountain constituted the 'Pennsylvania Reserves', thirteen infantry regiments from Pennsylvania grouped into what had become one of the hardest hitting formations in the Army of the Potomac. Pennsylvania had received far more men volunteering to support the Federal Union in 1861 than the national government had expected, and rather than turn away these enthusiastic men Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania had organized and equipped them at state expense. Meade's regiments had long ago received Federal designations, but they insisted on still being known as the 'Pennsylvania

T„„„ ..„i., r™« »„j r««. The Battle of South Mountain,

I urner s Gap and Fox s Gap: 1630, i4 September 1862

Reserves'. State pride was as important to Northern men as it was to their opponents. The 13th Pennsylvania Reserves were, for example, actually the 42nd Pennsylvania Volunteers, but the men of Colonel McNeil's 'Bucktail' regiment would have insisted to all ill-informed strangers that they were part of the 'Pennsylvania Reserves' Division equipped by the State of Pennsylvania. Colonel McNeil's regiment led the advance of Meade's division against the Confederate left, now held by Robert Rodes's Alabamians, shortly after 1400. Meade made contact and deployed his division. He ordered Brigadier General Truman Seymour's 1st Brigade with the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves in the advance to swing around the Confederate left; Colonel Albert Magilton was told to lead his 2nd Brigade down the road against the Confederate left, and Colonel Thomas Gallagher was instructed to assault the centre of the Confederate line.

Rodes faced heavy odds at South Mountain on 14 September, as Meade's Pennsylvanians advanced against his Alabamians. He stood his ground. 'Rodes handled his little brigade in a most admirable and gallant manner', wrote D. H. Hill in his report on the action, 'fighting for hours vastly superior odds.' Hill finally began to receive reinforcements from Longstreet starting at 1500, and an hour later the Confederate position was more secure as Brigadier General John Bell Hood's two-brigade division supported the line formed facing Fox's Gap by (from the Confederate right) the cavalry of Rosser and the brigades of G. B. Anderson (supported by the remains of Garland's Brigade), Ripley, G. T. Anderson, and Drayton. (G. T. Anderson's and Drayton's brigades belonged to D. R. Jones's division of Longstreet's command, and the remainder were a part of D. H. Hill's division.) Colquitt's Brigade of Hill's division still held the crossroads, and Hill's other formation, Rodes' Brigade, stubbornly resisted Meade's advance. Brigadier General David Jones led his other brigades, Pickett's Virginians under Colonel Eppa Hunton, Jenkins' South Carolinians under Colonel Joseph Walker, Kemper's Virginians, and Evans's separate South Carolina Brigade to Rodes' support. It was after 1600.

The remainder of Federal I Corps began arriving on the field. The 1st Division led by the 1st 40

Brigade commander Brigadier General John Hatch went forward against the gap between Rodes' right flank and the left flank of Colquitt's brigade, making some progress. The hole in the Confederate line was plugged by the arrival of Jones's brigades. The 2nd Division/I Corps directed by Brigadier General James Ricketts took position between the divisions commanded by Hatch and Meade. Colonel John Gibbon took the 4th Brigade/1st Division/I Corps, the 'Iron Brigade' (19th Indiana, 2nd Wisconsin, 6th Wisconsin, and 7th Wisconsin), up the road against Colonel Colquitt's Georgian regiments.

The engagement dragged on past nightfall, as Ricketts wrote in his report, 'over very rough ground'. Major General Jesse L. Reno, commanding the Federal IX Corps was killed after dark while reconnoitring his front. The battle finally came to a conclusion. 'It being very dark, our troops were directed to remain in position', wrote Major General Hooker, commanding Federal I Corps, and 'to sleep on their arms.' The Confederates departed the field that night. By noon on 15 September, the

► Major General Jesse L. Reno (above right) was mortally wounded while leading his division into Fox's Gap at South Mountain. He actually fell near the stump in the middle of the field beyond the wall (right), while men fought for the wooded crest on the left of the field. The house is the Wise home.

Federal Army was in sole possession of Turner's and Fox's Gaps. It had been a Federal tactical victory, as Crampton's, Turner's, and Fox's Gaps over the South Mountain range of the Blue Ridge Mountains had been cleared of Confederate troops. The various Southern commands under Munford and Hill had, however, purchased a strategic victory. The Army of the Potomac had not succeeded in dividing the Army of Northern Virginia. McClellan had moved upon the capture of Special Order 191, but not swiftly enough.

On 13 September, when he learned that Special Order 191 was in Federal hands Lee had ordered a withdrawal south of the Potomac River. Now, early on 15 September, Lee was informed that Jackson had taken Harper's Ferry with its large Federal garrison. In addition, Hill had managed to hold Turner's and Fox's Gaps for the entire day on 14 September, and Federal VI Corps had not advanced much beyond Crampton's Gap. Lee rescinded the withdrawal order. He ordered his divisions to concentrate on Sharpsburg, Maryland, where he would offer battle along the Antietam Creek.


General Lee has been criticized by historians for making the decision of accepting battle in Maryland following the engagements at South Mountain and Crampton's Gap. He had averted the potential for complete disaster created by the capture of Special Order 191 on 13 September, and Jackson had managed to take Harper's Ferry. But if Lee should fight and lose, the Potomac River to the Confederate rear represented a substantial military obstacle to a retreating army. In addition, the Southerners were outnumbered and the Federals seemed to have the advantage of momentum as a result of the battles for the mountain gaps. The cautious course for the Army of Northern Virginia might have been to accept the Harper's Ferry success, be grateful that the Federals had not been able to take full advantage of Special Order 191, and return to Virginia with the army intact. Robert E. Lee was, however, as Longstreet once remarked lthe most combative man in the army', and there were other considerations.

______ —.. „ _

Lee may have suspected that McClellan's customary battlefield caution would reassert itself; moreover, large numbers of Marylanders had not come to join the Southern army. The engagements at South Mountain and at Crampton's Gap, however successful for the South from a strategic viewpoint, might very well be construed as tactical defeats. The South needed battlefield success in Maryland to encourage Southern sympathies and to impress foreign capitals. Lee may have believed that he could not return to Virginia for political reasons without an engagement that could be reasonably presented as a Southern success. Tactically, Lee prepared a defensive position in such a manner as to allow reaction to Federal advances as circumstances dictated.

McClellan did not follow the Confederate army from the South Mountain battlefield on 15 September with sufficient vigour. Lee was able to complete the concentration of his army at Sharpsburg by the afternoon of 16 September (with the exception of A. P. Hill's division still processing the men and material captured at Harper's Ferry) without any real interference from the Northern army. There was some skirmishing around the Sharpsburg positions on 16 September, but nothing really serious developed. McClellan contented himself that day with reconnoitring the enemy positions and formulating his battle plan.

The general battle plan developed by McClellan on 16 September is a matter of some speculation. The available evidence and the events of the engagement would suggest that he envisaged an echelon assault starting on the Federal right with Hooker's I Corps, followed by Mansfield's XII Corps, followed by Sumner's II Corps, moving from the Confederate left towards the Confederate centre. The basic concept of an echelon assault was that pressure be applied at different points of the enemy line in succession, the assault being taken up by fresh formations as the battle moved from one flank to the other. The enemy would have to commit reserves to meet each new assault, hopefully taking them from the extreme, and as yet unthreatened

A A view of Lee ys headquarters, in the Jacob Grove house, in Sharpsburg. Actually, he used tents for his own and staff quarters, and they were pitched in a small grove on the right of the Shepherdstown Road, just outside town.

Major General Daniel Harvey Hill's division distinguished itself at An tie tarn, as indeed it had at Second Manassas and South Mountain earlier. Hill was at the council of war that lead to battle at Sharpsburg.

flank, to buttress the portions of his line under attack. The offensive would be culminated by launching a fresh formation against a segment of the enemy line, not yet assaulted, that had been stretched through sending troops to other sectors more immediately threatened. McClellan apparently intended to employ Burnside's IX Corps in this final role. He seems to have thought that Hooker, Mansfield, and Sumner would force Lee to move more and more troops towards his centre and left, and Burnside would attack at the critical moment by crossing the Antietam Creek and driving towards Sharpsburg against minimal opposition. McClellan could then1 employ his considerable reserve, Porter's V Corps and Franklin's VI Corps, in the final destruction of Lee's army against the Potomac River. This type of general battle plan called for careful timing and constant pressure on the enemy line. The Federal Army of the Potomac would accomplish neither during the Antietam engagement. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would be able to meet each Federal threat in turn as unplanned lulls occurred in the fighting. Burnside's

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