Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/358

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350 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Virginia, to cut off our retreat. It was also stated that the Federal cavalry had destroyed the pontoons, brought up from Richmond for bridging the Potomac, and that our supplies of provisions and amu- nition were giving out. At three o'clock in the afternoon, our brig- ade received orders from General Fitzhugh Lee, to proceed to our left wing, between Hagerstown and Williamsport, and there we re- mained for the rest of the day and the following night, ready for action.

July 1 3th. At daybreak we marched to the centre of our line of fortifications, reaching on the right to the Potomac, and on the left to the hills about one mile from Antietam. We were ordered to dis- mount, leaving every fourth man in charge of the other's horses, and we took the places of the infantry in the rifle ditches. The retreat of the army to Virginia had begun, the enemy hesitating to give battle.

July i4th. At 3 o'clock in the morning, Captain Moorman in- structed me to call in at about 5 o'clock, our outposts, but to keep up the camp fires and quietly withdraw to Williamsport, where I was to ford the Potomac. Everything was carefully done according to orders, but without my knowing then that I was in command of the last Confederate troops leaving Maryland. General Fitzhugh Lee was awaiting us on the bluffs on the Virginia side with his division, and Federal cavalry and artillery appearing on the Maryland side after I had safely crossed the river, we marched on towards Mar- tinsburg.

A War Letter.

As bearing directly upon the contents of the above, the republica- tion of the following letter is timely:

(Correspondence of Richmond Enquirer.}


Messrs. Editors Our last communication was dated Carlisle, Pa., June 27th. That day General Rhodes' command came up, and General Jenkins' Brigade passed three miles beyond and encamped for the night.

The next morning we entered and occupied Mechanicsburg, seven miles distant from Harrisburg. In the evening we advanced and harassed their pickets a few hours, and then fell back a mile or two