Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/258

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254 Southern Historical Society Papers.

cupied a ridge of hills, known as Bolivar Heights, extending from the Potomac to the Shenandoah. General Hill's division was or- dered to move along the left bank of the Shenandoah to turn the left flank of the enemy and enter Harper's Ferry. The 38th was in the left of the division. Fender, Archer and Brockenbrough were directed to gain the crest of the hill, General Fender being entrusted with the execution of this command. Colonel Brewster was in charge of the brigade, which advanced to within about sixty yards of the breastworks on the west point of Bolivar Heights, but the troops were withdrawn. Next morning the brigades of Fender and Thomas marched to within 150 yards of the works, while the artillery played upon the enemy. When the artillery ceased, Fender began to ad- vance, but the artillery opened again, and the enemy showed the white flag, and surrendered about n,ooo prisoners, 12,000 stand of arms, seventy pieces of artillery and many stores. Captain Nicholas E. Armstrong, Company A, and Lieutenant Smith, Company K, were severely wounded.

Hill's Division remained to parole the prisoners and send off the captured goods, and on September 17, moved to Sharpsburg, leav- ing Thomas at Harper's Ferry. At Sharpsburg occured one of the greatest battles of the civil war. General Hill arrived in time to save the day, but Fender's Brigade on the right of the division was not actively engaged, being under fire at long range of musketry.

The division crossed the Potomac into Virginia, and on the 2oth, at Shepherdstown, were ordered to drive some brigades of the enemy across the river. The enemy massed in front of Fender's Brigade and endeavored to turn his left. General Fender became hotly en- gaged and informing Archer of his danger he (Archer) marched by the left flank, and forming on Fender's left, a simultaneous, daring charge was made, and the enemy driven pell mell into the river. Then commenced the most terrible slaughter the war witnessed. The broad surface of the Potomac was blue with the floating bodies of the slain. But few escaped to tell the tale. By their own account they lost 3,000 men killed and drowned from one brigade alone. General Fender in his report says:

' ' Captain Ashford, commanding the Thirty-eighth North Carolina at Manassas Junction and at Manassas, when he was wounded, has entitled himself to notice as well as promotion by his uniform bravery and good conduct. Lieutenants A. J. Brown and J. M. Robinson, also of the same regiment, have attracted my attention more than once, as also Adjutant D. M. Mclntyre. Lieutenant-Colonel Arm-