Battle of Harpers Ferry

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Battle of Harpers Ferry
Began:

September 12, 1862

Ended:

September 15, 1862

Location:

Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia)

Theater:

Eastern Theater

Campaign:

Maryland Campaign

Outcome:

Confederate victory

33 star flag.png
Combatants
Conf Navy Jack.png

Federal arsenal garrison

Jackson's Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia

Commanders

Dixon S. Miles
Colonel, USA

Thomas J. Jackson
Major General, CSA

Strength

14,000

71,699 [1]

Casualties

217
Killed: 44
Wounded: 173
Captured: 12,419

287
Killed: 39
Wounded: 248

  

Learning that the garrison at Harpers Ferry had not retreated after his incursion into Maryland, Lee decided to surround the force and capture it. He divided his army into four columns, three of which converged upon and invested Harpers Ferry. On September 15, after Confederate artillery was placed on the heights overlooking the town, Union commander Col. Miles surrendered the garrison of more than 12,000. Miles was mortally wounded by a last salvo fired from a battery on Loudoun Heights. Jackson took possession of Harpers Ferry, then led most of his soldiers to join with Lee at Sharpsburg. After paroling the prisoners at Harpers Ferry, A.P. Hill’s division arrived in time to save Lee’s army from near-defeat at Sharpsburg. (NPS summary)

References

  1. Busey and Martin, p. 260. "Engaged strength" at the battle was 71,699. McPherson, p. 648, lists the strength at the start of the campaign as 75,000.
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