Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/211

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History of Lane's North Carolina Brigade. 199

brigades had penetrated so far within the enemy's lines, that Captain Ashe, Assistant Adjutant-General to General Fender, was taken prisoner that night, returning from my headquarters to his own brigade..

Ox Hill By direction of General Jackson, I sent forward the brigades of Branch and Brockenbrough to feel and engage the enemy. This battle commenced under the most unfavorable circumstances, a heavy, blinding rain-storm directly in the faces of the men. These two brigades gallantly engaged the enemy, Branch being exposed to a very heavy fire in front and in his flank. Gregg, Fender, Thomas and Archer were successively thrown in. The enemy obstinately contested the ground, and it was not until the Federal Generals Kearney and Stevens had fallen in front of Thomas' brigade, that they were driven from the ground. They did not, however, retire far until later during the night, when they entirely disappeared. The brunt of this fight was borne by Branch, Gregg and Fender. * * * *

Harper's Ferry Saturday, the 13th, amved at Harper's Ferry, my division being in advance.

On Saturday afternoon, the necessary signals from the Loudoun and Maryland heights notified us that all was ready. I was ordered by General Jackson " to move along the left bank of the Jhenandoah, and thus turn the enemy's left flank, arid, enter Harper's Ferry." The enemy occupied a ridge of hills known as Bolivar heights, extending from the Potomac to the Shenandoah, laturally strong, but rendered very formidable by extensive earth- works. Having first shelled the woods over which my route lay, moved obliquely to my right until I struck the Shenandoah. Moving down the Shenandoah, I discovered an eminence crown- ing the extreme left of the enemy's line, bare of all earthworks, the only obstacle being abatis or fallen timber. The enemy occu- pied this hill with infantry, but no artillery. Branch and 'Gregg were ordered to continue ihe march along the river, and during the night to take advantage -0f the ravines, cutting the precipitous banks of the river, and establish themselves on the plain to the left and rear of the enemy's work. Fender, Archer and Brocken- brough were directed to gain the crest of the hill before men- tioned; Thomas followed as a reserve. The execution of this movement was entrusted to General Fender, his own brigade being commanded by Colonel Brewer. This was accomplished with but slight resistance, and the fate of Harper's Ferry was sealed. Lieu-