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9th Vermont Infantry

Harper's Ferry

Memories of the Ninth Vermont at the
Tragedy of Harper's Ferry, Sept. 15, 1862.


division over the Shenandoah and placed them on the right bank so as to enfilade their lines. The other batteries of Ewell's division were placed on School House Hill."

These were the batteries used so effectively against Rigby and Potts on the morning of the 15th. We lay out all night in front of these three brigades, and at daylight were brought into camp. A little later the right wing under our Lieutenant-Colonel Andrus went to reinforce the picket, and Colonel Stannard became general field-officer of the day.

On Saturday evening, after Maryland Heights was abandoned, Colonel Miles sent for Captain Russell, 1st Maryland Cavalry, and asked him "if he were willing to try to pass the enemy's lines, and reach somebody that ever heard of the United States Army, or any general of the United States Army, or anybody that knew anything about the United States Army, or any telegraph station, and report the condition of Harper's Ferry." Taking nine picked men, he succeeded, after many adventures, in crossing the Potomac, near the mouth of Antietam Creek, and made his way to Frederick, where he found McClellan at breakfast at nine o'clock on Sunday morning. McClellan at once sent a courier to General Franklin, commanding the 6th Corps, then advancing on Crampton's Gap, urging haste, and asked Russell to go back to Colonel Miles, but as Russell would not take the risk he sent him to Franklin to lend him his knowledge of the country and hurry him on. At three p.m. he reached Franklin, fighting for Crampton's Gap to force an entrance into Pleasant Valley in McLaws's rear. The enemy was driven from the Gap after a three hours' fight, opening at noon, and Franklin, too easily satisfied with his easy success, rested, and let the enemy alone to make new combinations. Time was just what was wanted by them. Here is where we complain of Franklin as well as of McClellan. We think he should have hurried on, that evening. In his report McClellan says:

"In the 13th I ordered Franklin to march at daybreak of the

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