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Posted By: Greg Acken on: 05/26/2002 00:16:15 CDT|
Subject: RE: Signing in
Thanks for your encouragement. It, along with everyone else's kind words, is much appreciated. Regarding Fortescue at Harpers Ferry, he basically got spooked at the prospect of capture (though unlike the infantry garrison, he was not bound to the place) and decided--completely on his own-- to abandon it on September 7. He rode north up Pleasant Valley, into south central PA, and on through Balto. to the signal camp at Georgetown. Exchanging horses, he caught back up with the Army of the Potomac on the evening of September 14 near Crampton's Gap.
I don't think Myer (based on his comments in his official report of the campaign), was too pleased with the performance, as he singled out quite a few officers for special mention, but omitted Fortescue. Fortescue had attempted a number of times on 9/5 to signal Brinkerhoff Miner on Sugar Loaf on September 5 (he was prevented from signaling on the Heights on 9/4 by a meddling officer), but Miner was apparently driven off the mountain and captured before they successfully communicated. He also tried to reach Ephraim Briggs at Poolesville but had no luck there either. As you surmise, there is quite a lot of what I consider to be good information in his narrative (although the fact that he wrote it 30 years later lessens its value), and I look forward to sharing it with all interested parties.