View single post by pender
 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2011 10:49 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 148

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Mark, The forced march from Harpers Ferry to Sharpsburg by the Light Division. Is one of the high marks of the confederate army of northern Virginia. McClellan's attack on the left which saw ferocious fighting. Then after the failed attack shifting to the center. The fight there on that small country lane would forever be remebered as bloody lane. I can just imagine Gordon limping along the lane steadying his men with four bullet holes in his body before the fifth hits him in the face and takes him out. The screams of the irish brigade of the union rushing foward and being repelled. Then after enormous pressure the confederate line breaks. The only thing that stops the union on rush is Longstreet with some confederate artillery, and more than that the mortal wounding of Major General Isreal B. Richardson. So McClellan turns to the right. The union men of 11th Connecticut are forwarded first as skirmishers. Then the men of Sturgis's 2nd division. The confederates that opossed them were only a single brigade commanded by Brigadier General Robert Toombs. However they stopped the 2nd Maryland and the 6th New Hampshire of the 2nd division. Next came the 51st Pennsylvania and the 51st New York, they done it, they crossed the bridge and routed Toombs small force. Here Burnside began to consolidate his position on the far bank. The union men regrouped the forces of Christ, Welsh, Fairchild, Harland, Crook, Ferrero, Nagle and Scammon are now on the confederate right flank. Lee's reserves are gone there is no one left to put in. In many minds at this point in the battle the war is probably over. Lee is about to have his right flank rolled up. But as some ancient tale as Thermopylae or the battle of Issus UP CAME HILL. They had made a march of seventeen miles or you could say a run of seventeen miles. Hill drove them so hard straggler's lined the road. They deployed in the following order Archer's brigade, Gregg's brigade, Branch's brigade, Pender's brigade and Brockenbrough's brigade. Thomas's Georgian brigade had been left at Harpers Ferry to parole union pow's. Pender and Brockenbrough's brigade held the extreme right. Archer, Gregg and Branch advanced "with a yell of defiance" wrote Hill. They smashed into Rodman's division, Harland's brigade was particularly hit hard. Some confusion may have prevailed in the union ranks as ths soldiers in the Light Division, or many any way were wearing captured federal uniforms from Harpers Ferry. Now a route was beginning in the union ranks and would have more than likely countinued if the 1st brigade of the Kanawha division had not made a stand. The Light Division's counter-attack had won the day Lee's lines had held. One more point I would like to make is Lee still very heavily out numbered. But now with the Light Division chose to stay the next day and dare McCellan too attack. That attack never came. Yes Mark I also agree with you the Light Division is given much credit for saving Lee's army at Sharpsburg.


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