Today in History:

4 Series I Volume XIX-I Serial 27 - Antietam Part I

Page 4 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA. MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Numbers 6.-Captain B. F. Fisher, Acting Signal Officer, U. S. Army, of operations September 4-30.

Numbers 7.-Captain Paul Babcock, Seventh New Jersey Infantry, Acting Signal Officer, U. S. Army of operations October 17-November 6.

Numbers 8.-First Lieutenant Peter A. Taylor, forty-ninth New York Infantry, Acting Signal Officer, U. S. Army, of operations September 11-30.

Numbers 9.-Lieutenant J. Gloskoski, Twenty-ninth New York Infantry, Acting Signal Officer, U. S. Army, of operations September 16 November 29.

Numbers 10. -General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding Army of Northern Virginia, of operations September 2-November 15.

Numbers 11.-Extracts from journal of Lieutenant Colonel E. P. Alexander, Chief of Ordnance, Army of Northern Virginia, October 1-November 15.

Numbers 1. Report of Major General Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army, General-in-Chief, of operations September 3-October 24.

Washington, D. C., November 25, 1862.

SIR: In compliance with your orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of military operations since the 23rd of July last, when, in compliance with the President's order of July 11, I assumed command of the Army as General-in-Chief.*

* * * * *

Seeing that an attack upon Washington would now+ be futile, Lee pushed his main army across the Potomac for a raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania. General McClellan was directed to pursue him with all the troops which were not required for the defense of Washington. Several corps were immediately thrown out in observation at Darnestown, Rockville, and Leesborough, and most of his army was in motion by the 5th of September. A portion of it entered Frederick on the 12th.

As this campaign was to be carried on within the department commanded by Major-General Wool, I directed General McClellan assume control of all troops within his reach, without regard to departmental lines. The garrisons of Winchester and martinsburg had been withdrawn to Harper's Ferry, and the commanding officer of that post had been advised by my chief of staff to mainly confine his defense, in case he was attacked by superior forces to the position of Maryland heights, which could have been held a long time against overwhelming numbers. To withdraw him entirely from that position, with the great body of Lee's forces between him and our army, would not only expose the garrison to capture, but all the artillery and stores collected at that place must either be destroyed or left to the enemy. The only feasible plan was for him to hold his position until General McClellan could relieve him or open a communication so that he could evacuate it in safety. These views were communicated both to General McClellan and to Colonel Miles.

The left of GeneraL McClellan's army pursued a part of the enemy's forces to the South Mountain, where, on the 14th, he made a stand. A severe battle ensued, the enemy being defeated and driven from his position with heavy loss. Lee's army then fell back behind Antietam

*Portion here omitted is printed in Series I, Vol. XII, pp. 4-12.

+September 3.

Page 4 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA. MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.