Monday, September 10, 2012

September 9, 1862

September 9, 1862:  Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia has remained in the vicinity of Frederick, Maryland for five days, and Lee decides to split his army into several pieces and put them on the move.  At the same time, he is getting reliable intelligence that McClellan is on the move, although Lee is confident that McClellan will not move fast enough to cause the Confederacy any consternation. 

On the Union side, McClellan begins sending out tentative feelers to make contact with the Confederates, convinced that they are in Frederick.  He is also convinced that Lee’s army numbers about 110,000, which is more than twice Lee’s actual numbers.  McClellan confidently writes to Gen. Halleck, his superior, “The army is tonight well posted to act in any direction the moment the enemy develops his movements, . . . I am now in condition to-watch him closely, and he will find it hard to escape me if he commits a blunder.”

---Gen. Robert E. Lee issues Orders No. 191, deploying his army in several parts to accomplish a number of tasks, especially taking Harper’s Ferry and disrupting the operations of the B&O Railroad, the main rail link between East and West northern states:

Maryland, Sept. 9, 1862, showing the planned routes of Lee's troops by Orders No. 191
September 9, 1862.

Numbers 191.
    The army will resume its march to-morrow taking the Hagerstown road. General Jackson's command will form the advance, and, after passing Middletown, with such portion as he may select, take the route toward Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac at the most convenient point, and, by Friday night, take possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, capture such of the enemy as may be at Martinsburg, and intercept such as may attempt to escape from Harper's Ferry.
    General Longstreet's command will pursue the same road as far as Boonsborough, where it will halt with the reserve, supply, and baggage trains of the army.
    General McLaws, with his own division and that of General R. H. Anderson, will follow general Longstreet. On reaching Middletown he will take the route to Harper's Ferry, and by Friday morning possess himself of the Maryland Heights, and endeavor to capture the enemy at Harper's Ferry and vicinity.
    General Walker, with his division, after accomplishing the object in which he is now engaged, will cross the Potomac at Cheek's Ford, ascend its right bank to Loyettsville, take possession of Loudoun Heights, if practicable, by Friday morning, Keys' Ford on his left, and the road between the end of the mountain and the Potomac on his right. He will, as far as practicable, co-operate with General McLaws and General Jackson in intercepting the retreat of the enemy.
    General D. H. Hill's division will form the rear guard of the army, pursuing the road taken by the main body. The reserve artillery, ordnance, supply trins, &c., will precede General Hill.
    General Stuart will detach a squadron of cavalry to accompany the commands of Generals Longstreet, Jackson, and McLaws, and with the main body of the cavalry will cover the route of the army and bring up all stragglers that may have been left behind.
    The commands of Generals Jackson, McLaws, and Walker, after accomplishing the objects for which they have been detached, will join the main body of the army at Boonsborough or Hagerstown.
    Each regiment on the march will habitually carry its axes in the regimental ordnance wagons, for use of the men at their encampments to procure wood, &c.
    By command of General R. E. Lee:

    R. H. CHILTON,
   Assistant Adjutant-General
   Major General D. H. Hill,
   Commanding Division.

---Pres. Lincoln meets with a group of prominent Baltimoreans who are worried about the Confederate invasion.  Lincoln assures them that the U.S. Army is prepared to protect their city.

---No one in the Union army seems to know what is going on in Kentucky.  Pres. Lincoln inquires of Gen. Jeremiah  Boyle, the Union commander in Kentucky, as to the whereabouts of Gen. Bragg’s army, which some in Washington fear may be heading to Virginia.  Boyle does not know.

---The New York Times publishes an editorial worrying about the state of Kentucky, and offers this alarm:

The destruction of bridges by the rebels, on the railroad between Frankfort and Louisville, shows that they are in complete control of the capital and entire interior of that State. The Governor had previously removed to Louisville, with the Legislature; and we presume the State archives are all safe. Still, the fact that the capital of Kentucky is in the hands of the rebels, as well as the present capital of Maryland, is a mortifying fact, and should certainly inflame the patriotism of the two States and beget a feeling of resentment that the loyalists in no part of the country have yet manifested.

In Kentucky, the rebel rule will doubtless be extremely severe. The lines have been tightly drawn in that State, nearly a year, and the bitterest feuds exist between the Unionists and secession sympathizers. . . .

---Sarah Morgan, in Clinton, Louisiana, writes in her journal concerning the news of Lee’s victories in Virginia and consequently of her brothers in the army:

At sunset Saturday, Eliza and Miriam returned to Mrs. McCay’s with Nannie Davidson.  Mother had proved obdurate and refused to leave Clinton; so they had all gone on, and spent the day with Mrs. Haynes instead of going to Mrs. George’s.  After my quiet, solitary day, I was glad to see them again, particularly as they brought confirmation of the great victory in Virginia.  It is said the enemy were cut off from Washington, and that we were pursuing them.  O my brothers!  If God will only spare them!  I envy Lydia who is so near them, and knows all, and can take care of them if they are hurt.  It will be several days at least, before we can hear from them, if we hear at all; for Jimmy has never yet written a line, and George has written but once since the taking of the forts, and that was before the battle of Chickahominy.  We can only wait patiently.

---At Sabine Pass, on the Texas coast, the USS Connecticut captures the English-owned blockade runner named Rambler, as she dashed out with a load of cotton headed for Havana.

---There is more heavy skirmishing between cavalry of both armies on the road from Poolesville to Barnesville, Maryland. 

---A Colonel Shingles, of the Confederate Army, leads a small force of Rebel cavalry and artillery against the Union garrison at Williamsburg, Virginia, and overwhelms them, recapturing the town.


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