Monday, September 17, 2012

September 15, 1862

Sept. 15, 1862:  Apparently, McClellan’s swift advance (well---swift for McClellan, at least) has caught Lee by surprise, and he has decided to retreat back across the Potomac.  But first, he must gather the spread-out pieces of his army.  Longstreet has 13,000 troops just west of the passes of South Mountain, and Jackson still has around 26,000 around Harper’s Ferry.  Lee decides upon Sharpsburg for a place to collect, being a crossroads.  By nightfall, Lee has only 15,000 men in line on the heights north and east of Sharpsburg.  For some reason, McClellan’s movement grinds to a halt, even though the day ends with his army still a half-day’s march from Sharpsburg, and the Federals do not push the pursuit.

---Battle of Harper’s Ferry, Day 3 - After an artillery battle, Col. Dixon Miles decides to surrender Harper’s Ferry.  After the white flag is raised, Union gunners keep firing for some time, and the fire is returned by the Rebels.  When the fire finally slackens, Col. Miles is wounded severely in the leg, and will die from his wound the next day.  Harper’s Ferry belongs now to the Confederates again.  They capture 11,000 Union troops, 13,000 stand of small arms, 73 cannons, and a vast haul of supplies, wagons, rations, and munitions.  Jackson leaves A.P. Hill to clean up, and puts the rest of his troops on the road.  Confederate Victory.

---Confederate troops under Gen. Bragg have attacked the Union fort at Munfordville, Kentucky, where a small Union garrison under Col. Wilde of Indiana beats back two attacks.  Bragg stops his entire column and invests Munfordville in a siege.

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