SERVICE WITH THE THIRD
Occasionally we could even catch a glimpse of the lines of our troops as they moved up the slopes to assault the position of the enemy. We were now rapidly marched down the mountain and turned off by a circuitous route to the right, in order to strike the enemy on the left flank. Before we could reach their position, however, it had already been carried by assault, and the enemy had taken advantage of the darkness to make good their retreat. Such was the battle of South Mountain.
We now countermarched to the turnpike near Middletown, where we went into camp at one o'clock in the morning. We had been on the road for twenty-two consecutive hours, most of the time climbing over rocks and through brush on the mountain side. Again we were on the march, at eight o'clock the next morning, crossing South Mountain as we had crossed the Catoctin Mountains, with the wagon train occupying the road and the troops in the woods along the side. We passed through Boonsborough in the afternoon, and by night had reached nearly to Keedysville.
The road was strewn with the muskets and other accoutrements of the enemy fleeing from