The battle ground was a terrible sight

Colby Bicentennial Seal 1864-1913

 

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“The battle ground was a terrible sight. And then the passing of the wounded + the prisoners and the hurrying by of ammunition trains all mingled”

-Richard Cutts Shannon 1862

Sept. 14, 1862

Marched at 6 — our division leading. Heavy firing again began early and continued in direction of Harper’s Ferry and along up the valley. Crossed the mountain and entered Jefferson about 9 a.m. There is a most magnificent view from the summit.Power through Jefferson to the music of fifes and drums. People seemingly glad to see us. Proceeded on to within a mile of Birkheadsville, began to skirmish from that point up to the village which was finally occupied by our skirmishers. Discovered batteries in various positions in the mountain side and on both sides of the Gap. Tried to reach the enemys [sic] battery with 3 inch ordnance guns, couldn’t do it. Finally there was a consultation held between the Division and Brigade Commanders and it was determined to storm the pass.Accordingly the division was moved under cover of the woods to the front and in lines of two battalions. Bartlett leading, and Newton next, they pressed forward. The line of march was to the right of the town. While moving over the open fields our men were subjected to a severe fire of Artillery from the enemy’s batteries posted on the hills until they reached the base of the mountain. There we began to feel the enemy’s infantry.  After an hour’s firing the lines made a general charge up the slope and this ended one of the most magnificent fights of the war.They fired at our Staff repeatedly. The battle ground was a terrible sight. And then the passing of the wounded + the prisoners and the hurrying by of ammunition trains all mingled with the troops was one of the most satisfying + satisfactory spectacles that I have witnessed during the war.For once we whipped the enemy. We gained possession of the Gap and forced the enemy to retreat down the other side of the mountain into the valley. We took prisoners, colors, and guns.The wounded and dead of the enemy were scattered all along the mountain side. Our loss was considerable.

Sept. 15, 1862

Spent the day in resting, burying the dead and establishing head quarters Received news of the loss of Harper’s Ferry

-Richard Cutts Shannon, 1862

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