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This is a contributing entry for Military Operations in Jefferson County, Virginia (Now West Virginia): 1861-1865 and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

This is an account of the Battle of Shepherdstown. Following the Battle of Sharpsburg on September 17, 1862, General Lee began moving his army southward back to Virginia on the night of September 18th. The army crossed the Potomac River at Pack Horse Ford without incident. General Lee left a rear guard in place along the cliffs overlooking the river to protect the army as it continued its withdrawal. An advance of the Union army on September 19th and 20th threatened the Confederates, so Confederate General A. P Hill with his division was dispatched to stop the Union pursuit. Hill’s Division successfully repulsed the Union advance literally pushing the Union troops back across the Potomac River. One Union regiment, the 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers known as “The Corn Exchange Regiment,” suffered high numbers of casualties crossing the Potomac with 737 officers and men and re-crossing with 468. The Confederate loss was 34 killed and 231 wounded. “Soldiers of the Light Division, you have done well. I am well pleased with you. You have fought in every battle from Mechanicsville to Shepherdstown, and no man can say the Light Division was ever broken.”


"Military Operations in Jefferson County Virginia (Now West Virginia) 1861–1865," 
Originally Published by Authority of Jefferson County Camp, No. 123 United Confederate Veterans (1911), Republished with an Introduction by James C. Holland by Authority of Henry Kyd Douglas Camp, No. 199 Sons of Confederate Veterans (2004).