Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/529
Reunion of Virginia Division A. N. V. Association. 519
At nig^ht, then, of the 13th, this was the position of affairs. Jack- son on Bolivar Heights, McLaws on Maryland Heights, and Walker on Loudoun Heights, had completely invested Harpers F'erry. Lee, with Longstreet, was near Hagerstown, D. H. Hill at Boonsboro', with the brigades of Colquitt and Garland in the pass through the South Mountain, known to history and the reports as Turner's Gap, Hampton and Munford guarded Crampton's Gap.
Reno's corps, of Burnside's right wing, at Middletown, four miles from the top of Turner's Gap. The corps of Hooker, Sumner, Mansfield and Sykes's division, around Frederick, eight miles from Middletown, and twelve from the top of Turner's Gap. Franklin was at Buckeyestown, twelve miles from Crampton's Gap, with Couch's division three miles to his left, at Licksville. The roads were in capital condition. On the National road, three columns could move abreast, with numerous roads over Catoctin, across Middletown Valley. Over the road from Buckeyestown, Franklin could have marched his troops in a double column to Crampton's. McClellan held his troops everywhere within six hours' march of the passes of the South Mountain, which were defended at Crampton's by cavalry, and at Turner's by two weak brigades of infantry. Lee's army was divided in part by the narrow Pleasant Valley. If a march had been made by Reno, at sun-down, on Turner's Gap, and by Franklin on Crampton's, they would have been in possessi(m of both passes by daylight of the 14th. With Franklin in possession of Cramp- ton's Gap, he would have been five miles from Maryland Heights and Harpers Ferry. With Reno in Turner's Gap, the head of Mc- Clellan's columns would have been driven between D. H. Hill and Longstreet on the one side, and Jackson, McLaws and Walker on the other, and McClellan could have isolated and fought either be- fore the other could come to its assistance. The caution with which General McClellan had moved forty-five miles in nine days might well be explained by his lack of knowledge of the position or the intentions of Lee, and the demoralized condition of his own beaten troops.
But on the 13th, by the most extrarodinary fortune of war, Mc- Clellan received precise and official information of the exact position of each of the Confederate divisions on that very day. He was put in possession of Lee's orders to his corps Commanders, directing the details of the movement on Harpers Ferry. General McClellan says this order fell into his hands. The Count of Paris states that it was picked up from the corner of a table in the house, which had served