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"Battle of Shepherdstown-19th & 20th Sept. 1862" Topic

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American Civil War

383 hits since 14 Apr 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 11:58 a.m. PST

"The day after the Battle of Antietam on the night of the 18th Sept. Lee had withdrawn his army southwestward to the Potomac. At Botelers Ford a mile or so down river from Shepherdstown his army crossed the Potomac back into Virginia. The regimental band of the 18th Mississippi struck up the familiar tune Maryland My Maryland, the soldiers shouted it down, they wanted to hear Carry Me Back to Old Virginny. Near dawn on Friday 19th most of Lee's army had crossed to the Virginian side of the Potomac.

On the morning of the 19th McClellan had sent his Cavalry forward followed by Porters V Corps to seek out Lee. The Cavalry reached Botelers Ford at 8 a.m. Just in time to glimpse the grey clad columns vanishing in the distance on the Virginian side of the river, but the Confederate rear guard were close at hand, deployed on the steep bluffs overlooking the Potomac on the south bank, and in the fields beyond were 44 pieces of artillery supported by two brigades of infantry. Lee had left them there to guard the ford at least until sundown, while his army moved towards Martinsburg.

The Federal Cavalry brought up 18 guns from their horse artillery and for two hours the opposing batteries engaged in a spirited duel. Then Porter approached with the V Corps. And about noon deployed the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters in the dry bed of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which paralleled the north bank of the river. From the cover of this convenient trench, the Federal marksmen started picking off the Confederate…"
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