Turner's Pass tablets - Zittlestown, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member S5280ft
N 39° 29.081 W 077° 37.192
18S E 274681 N 4373841
Quick Description: A series of 6 tablets that descibe the events leading up to the battle at Fox's Gap.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 7/9/2008 5:30:34 PM
Waymark Code: WM45D3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 63

Long Description:
Between September 4th and 7th, 1862, the Army of Northern Virginia, General Robert E. Lee, commanding, crossed the Potomac near Leesburg and occupied Frederick, Maryland. On the 10th a movement was made to surround and capture the Union forces at Harper's Ferry. Early that morning Major-General T. J. Jackson, with Jackson's (Stonewall) Division and the divisions of R.S. Ewell and A.P Hill, left Frederick, marched over South Mountain at this Pass, crossed the Potomac near Williamsport on the 11th, seized Martinsburg on the 12th and marching by way of Charlestown, invested Harper's Ferry from the Virginia side of the Potomac on the 13th. J.G. Walker's Division, then near Monocacy Aqueduct, recrossed the Potomac at Point of Rocks on the night of the 10th, and occupied Loudon Heights on the 13th. Major-General Lafayette McLaws with his own division and R.H. Anderson's both of Longstreet's command, moved from Frederick on the 10th, via Middletown; crossed South Mountain at Brownsville Pass, seven miles south of this, on the 11th; Two brigades moved unto Maryland Heights and six down Pleasant Valley on the 12th, and invested Harper's Ferry from the Maryland side. Generals Lee and Longstreet, with the divisions of D.R. Jones and J.B. Hood, the brigade of N.G. Evans and the Reserve Artillery, marched on this road to Hagerstown. D.H. Hill's Division halted at Boonsboro to prevent the escape of the garrison at Harper's Ferry through Pleasant Valley and to support Stuart's Cavalry, which remained east of South Mountain to observe the movements of the Union Army and retard its advance.

In the advance of the Union forces to repel the invasion of Maryland by the Confederates, the Army of the Potomac commanded by Major General Geo. B. McClellan, moved northward from Washington with its front extending from near the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to the Potomac River. On September 12th, Cox Kanawha Division of the Ninth Corps, occupied Frederick. On the 13th Pleasonton's Union cavalry, moving from Frederick on the National Road, forced the passage of Catoctin Mountain, Stuart's cavalry retired to Catoctin Creek and then to the east foot of this Pass. Cox's Division moved to Middletown. Willcox's and Sturgis' Division bivouacked at the west base of the Catoctin, and Rodman's at Frederick. The First (Hooker's) Corps bivouacked on the South side of the Monocacy near the crossing of the National Road, the Sixth (Franklin's) Corps at Buckeystown and Couch's Division between that place and the Potomac. The Second (Sumner's) and Twelfth (Mansfield's) Corps and Sykes' Division of the Fifth Corps concentrated at Frederick. Informed at Frederick of the position of the Confederate Army and the intentions of the Confederate commander, General McClellan, on the evening of the 13th, gave orders to cross South Mountain on the 14th, the main body by this pass to attack D.H. Hill and Longstreet, the Sixth Corps and Couch's Division at Crampton's Pass, six miles south, to attack McLaws and relieve Harper's Ferry.

Hill's five brigades were encamped at and around Boonsboro to prevent the escape of the Union forces at Harper's Ferry, through Pleasant Valley. Informed that two Union brigades were approaching Turner's Pass, Hill, on the evening of September 13, ordered Colquitt's and Garland's Brigades from Boonsboro, to dispute the passage of the mountain. Colquitt, with Lane's battery of Georgia Artillery, moved nearly to the east foot of the mountain and formed north of this road. During the night Garland's brigade and Bondurant's Alabama battery took position a few yards east of this. The Fourth Georgia of Ripley's brigade was ordered to guard Hamburg Pass, nearly three miles north. Early on the morning of the 14th Col. T.L. Rosser, with the 5th Virginia Cavalry and Pelham's Battery occupied Fox's Gap one mile south of this, traversed by the old Sharpsburg Road. Upon the approach of the Union advance by the Sharpsburg Road, Garland moved south along the crest of the mountain and joined Rosser. Colquitt moved back and formed line across the road about 700 yards southeast of this point. Lane's battery took the position a few feet north of this point. George B. Anderson's brigade was ordered to support Garland. Later in the day, Rodes occupied prominent peaks of the mountain north of this, commanding the approaches by the Old Hagerstown Road, and three regiments of Ripley's Brigade were ordered to follow George B. Anderson to the right.

Cox’s Division of the Ninth Corps moved from Middletown at 6 A. M., September 14, by the Frederick and Hagerstown Pike, turned to the left at Koogle’s Mill, on the Catoctin, nearly four miles southeast of this, and, marching on the old Sharpsburg road, at 9 A. M. encountered Garland’s Brigade immediately south of Fox's Gap one mile south of this. A severe contest resulted in the death of General Garland, the dispersion of his Brigade, and Cox established himself on the crest of the mountain. George B. Anderson’s Brigade coming to the assistance of Garland, attempted to regain the lost ground and was repulsed. At 2 P. M., Willcox’s Division formed on Cox’s right with Sturgis’ Division in reserve. Harland’s Brigade of Rodman's Division formed on Willcox’s right and Fairchild's Brigade of the same Division on Cox’s left. At 4 P. M., the whole line advanced and met with stout resistance by the Brigades of G. B. Anderson, Garland and Ripley of D. H. Hill’s Division, Rosser’s Cavalry, and the Brigades of Drayton and Geo. T. Anderson of D. R. Jones’ Division and the two Brigades (Wofford and Law) of Hood’s Division. The four Brigades last named marching that day from Hagerstown and arriving on the field between 3 and 4 P. M. The contest continued until dark, the Confederates holding Fox’s Gap and the ridge north of it. Cox’s Division maintaining its hold on the ridge south of the Gap. As the engagement closed Major-General J. L. Reno, Commanding Ninth Corps, was killed.

During the contest at Fox's Gap, Hooker's (First) Corps was operating east and northeast of this point. The First Corps left the Monocacy at daybreak, passed through Frederick and Middletown and between 3 and 4 P. M., leaving Gibbon's Brigade on the main pike, turned to the right at Bolivar, nearly two miles southeast of this, and, marching on the old Hagerstown road, passed Mt. Tabor Church and formed line about one and a quarter miles east of this, Meade's Division on the right, Hatch's on the left, Ricketts' in reserve. By Hooker's advance, Rodes' Brigade was driven from its position on several prominent mountain peaks, the Union advance gaining ground to the left and front. During the action Longstreet arrived from Hagerstown with reinforcements, the Brigades of Kemper, Garnett and Evans going to Rodes' assistance, but the whole Confederate line east and northeast of this was forced back and at dark the First Corps had possession of the summit, the high ground commanding the road, and threatened the Confederate line of retreat.

When Hooker moved to the right at Bolivar by way of the Hagerstown road, Gibbon continued on the main road and attacked Colquitt, in position about 700 yards southeast of this point. He drove Colquitt's skirmishers and reached the bend in the road in Colquitt's front, but was unable to drive Colquitt, and bivouacked in his front. When darkness put an end to the engagement, Cox's Division of the Ninth Corps held the summit of the mountain, south of Fox's Gap. Hooker's First Corps gained the high ground northeast, commanding the Confederate line of retreat on Boonsboro, and Gibbon held the ground gained by him along the turnpike to the south. The Confederate line of retreat being in great jeopardy, Lee, immediately after dark put his Army in motion for Sharpsburg, where Jackson, Walker and McLaws joined him.
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