The Civil War, Day by Day

Stonewall Jackson at Harpers Ferry


Jackson at Harpers Ferry

Now, the streets were quiet, except for the scuffling feet of curious gray soldiers who wandered the historic town. Dim lights glowed from a few windows, signaling a cautious return to life. The general and his staff studied the shadowed facades of the buildings, overshadowed by Maryland Heights beyond. The general’s face was a familiar one to many, and this was the scene of his earliest command - “Stonewall” Jackson had returned to Harpers Ferry.

A year prior to this warm September evening, Jackson’s first command was located here. Now, he had returned to encircle it, forcing its 25,000 man garrison to surrender. It was a strategic high point of Robert E. Lee’s campaign into Maryland. What were Jackson’s thoughts as he rode along Shenandoah Street that evening? Was he remembering his first command, or the victory of the day? More than likely, the plan for the following day’s march rolled through his head. Lee, to the north, was waiting for “Stonewall,” while facing the bulk of McClellan’s Union Army.

There was little time to rest on his laurels. Jackson was desperately needed in Maryland. He would march northward at dawn, toward Sharpsburg, and a rendezvous along the banks of the Antietam.





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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.