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Herald of Freedom and Torch Light, Sept 1862 (2 -6B War news: Surrender of Harper’s Ferry)

Herald of Freedom and Torch Light, Hagerstown, Md., September 1862, page 2 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Washington, Sept 16.

Harper's Ferry was surrendered to the Rebels at 10 o'clock yesterday, after Colonel Miles had been severely if not mortally wounded.

I regret to have to announce the surrender of Harper's Ferry, with all forces and stores there, to the enemy, at nine o'clock on Monday morning.

The enlisted men and some officers have been paroled and arrived here. From them I gather the following particulars:

The Rebels commenced the attack on Friday noon on our forces, on the Maryland Heights. The skirmishing continued throughout the day and evening, and was renewed on Saturday. The enemy was driven back with considerable loss. - They came up several times and were repulsed. - When it was discovered that they were coming up in overwhelming force, an order was given to spike the guns and throw them down the mountain. The whole force from the heights then retired in safety, the guns from Camp Hill shelling the enemy when they attempted to pursue our retiring men.

On Sunday afternoon a party of our men again ascended the Heights and brought away their field pieces which they had left there unspiked.

On Sunday, at noon, the Rebels appeared in great force on Loudon Heights. Col. Miles shelled them from paint to point. Some of their guns were dislodged but they still managed to keep up a brisk fire from some of their batteries, which were run back out of sight and loaded.

The cannonading was kept up all day on Sunday without doing much damage. The firing ceased at dusk on Sunday evening, and was resumed again on Monday morning at daylight, and kept up until 9 o’clock, when Colonel Miles ordered a white flag to be raised.

There was considerable fog and smoke, and the enemy either did not see the flag or could not see it, and kept up a heavy firing for three quarters of an hour. About ten minutes after the flag was up a shell struck Col. Miles, shattering his right leg. It was amputated before the prisoners were paroled.

There were about 2000 cavalry in the command, all of whom, except about forty, escaped about eight o'clock on Sunday night, and cut their way through to Greencastle with but little loss. The balance of the troops, numbering from six to eight thousand, with General White's command, from Martinsburg, were all surrendered.

Gen. House captured an Aid de Camp of Gen. Stuart on Monday forenoon, who was making his way from Harper’s Ferry to Boonsboro’ with a despatch from Gen. Jackson to Gen. Lee, announcing the capitulation of the place. The Aid supposed Gen. Lee was at Boonsboro’, which was in our possession.

This was the first intimation of the surrender which our General received. At the time General Franklin was within three hours march of the Ferry, going to the relief of the beleaguered command, whither he had been sent by Gen. McClellan as soon as he received the despatch from Col. Miles on Monday morning that he was in danger.

The intelligence from the front this morning is of the most cheering character, notwithstanding the bad news from Harper's Ferry. Gen. McClellan was pushing them with a vigor most destructive to the enemy.

He pursued the enemy on Monday morning with his Reserves and a large body of fresh troops. The enemy took the road toward the river at Harper's Ferry and Shepherdstown and he was pursuing and shelling their retreat, causing great loss.

In several contests, on Monday, where they made a stand, our troops charged on them with such vigor that they fell back from point to point in great haste.

The battles and advantages obtained on Monday are thought to be superior in importance to those of Sunday.

Drayton's South Carolina Brigade is entirely gone, either killed wounded or prisoners. The Seventeenth Michigan, one of the new regiments drove up this brigade, first with bullets, and finally with bayonet.

General Howell Cobb was wounded and taken prisoner. He will be back to Frederick sooner than he boasted he would.

General McClellan was pushing on them last evening, however, very close, and had already sent to the rear eight thousand prisoners and four batteries.

Colonel Stroge, Nineteenth Virginia, and Colonel James, of the Third South Carolina Battalion were killed on Sunday last, and their bodies left in our possession. The South Carolina Brigade was very severely handed.

Gen. Hatch, commanding Gen. Keyes’ division, (who is sick,) was slightly wounded.

The Major of the seventy sixth Pennsylvania, whose name I do not remember, was killed, and Capt. Brady, of the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves was also killed.


Herald of Freedom and Torch Light

Maryland Historical Society

Sept 10-24, 1862

Collection Location:
Maryland Historical Society

Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862; Maryland Campaign, 1862; Hagerstown (Md.)--Newspapers.

Washington County, MD. September 1862

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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