General Lafayette McLaws CSA (1821-1897)



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General Lafayette McLaws CSA (1821-1897)

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General Lafayette McLaws CSA (1821-1897)
C. 1860s

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General Lafayette McLaws was stretched to the limit during the attack on Harpers Ferry. His primary objective was to capture Maryland Heights and use the high ground to deploy artillery for the bombardment of the Union troops below. But, after defeating the Northern forces on the Heights in a sharp engagement, McLaws also had to battle the force of gravity. A road had to be cut up the steep hillside before he could move his artillery from the valley floor to the mountaintop. McLaws sent four cannon to the crest, but it took 200 men to pull each piece up the slope. Meanwhile, McLaws' rearguard, four miles east on South Mountain, was attacked and routed by an overwhelming Union force sent to rescue Harpers Ferry. Nightfall and a hesitant opponent allowed McLaws to regroup and form a thin line of battle across the valley between South Mountain and Maryland Heights. "The early surrender of Harpers Ferry relieved me from the situation...," McLaws wrote matter-of-factly. With no rest for the weary, or for the victors, McLaws received orders to march immediately "to Sharpsburg with all possible dispatch."

West Virginia,Harpers Ferry,25425