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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.

145

Anderson's division on Maryland Heights and in Pleasant Valley had  6 Brig. Of 26 Reg'ts
J. R. Jones of Jackson's corps had   4    "    "    20    "
Making a total of 26    "    "   123    "

while Lee had only sixteen brigades and seventy-six regiments at South Mountain and above, and was holding all of the Army of the Potomac but the 6th Corps, with great tenacity. To any critic of our failure to hold Harper's Ferry under these conditions I will retort, by asking him to turn to McClellan's letter of the 20th September crying for reinforcements before pursuing Lee, in which he assures General Halleck as follows:

"General Sumner with his and Williams's Corps occupies Harper's Ferry and the surrounding heights. I think he will be able to hold his position till reinforcements arrive."

Palfrey in his history of the Antietam campaign says:

"If there was any doubt about the 2d and 12th Corps holding Maryland Heights with the rest of the Army of the Potomac to back them it was then time to place McClellan permanently in a fortified camp."

This was after Lee withdrew from Antietam in a shattered condition and beyond the possibility of any material reinforcement.

We were withdrawn from Downey's line, during Sunday night, and lay in a young peach orchard underneath and not fifty yards from the muzzles of Rigby's guns, to support them from attack along the Charles Town Pike. All night we could hear the voices of the Rebels getting batteries into place on the extension of our plateau across the Shenandoah to our left and rear. As far as the eye could reach, in the circle from the Potomac to the Shenandoah, was the lurid glare of Jackson's camp-fires close up around us. How


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