Turners, Fox and Frosttown Gaps

South Mountain (Turners, Frosttown, and Fox’s Gap) Quotes

Last Updated August 1, 2010

“Terrible as an army with banners”

D. H. Hill

Hill’s description of Hatch’s Division attacking at Frosttown Gap

From Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill by Hal Bridges.  (Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961) pg 112

Original From B&L II pg 571-574

“General Stuart must have been mistaken as to the strength of the enemy.”

Alfred Colquitt  Jul 4 1885

Colquitt addressing the large number of Federals approaching his position on Sep 14, 1862 at Turner’s Gap

From   Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill by Hal Bridges.  (Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961)  pg 102

Originally from Colquitt – Hill, July 4, 1885, Hill Papers , NCA

“These summits are like scattered and irregular hills upon the high rounded surface of the mountain top”

Jacob D. Cox

Cox describing the South Mountain crests

From “Who Would Not Be A Soldier” by Scott D. Hartwig,  The Antietam Campaign. edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999  pg 32

Originally from Military Reminiscences of the Civil War 2 vols by Jacob Cox. New York, 1900  Pg 280-281

“my God! Be careful, But I am paroled”

Augustus Moor   Sep 14 1862

Moor to Cox upon encountering him on National Road on the approach to South Mountain.  Confederates had paroled Moor

From  “Who Would Not Be A Soldier” by Scott D. Hartwig,  The Antietam Campaign. edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999  pg 30

Originally from Military Reminiscences of the Civil War 2 vols by Jacob Cox. New York, 1900 pg 280

“The battle of Sunday was one of the most creditable of the war.  I feel very thankful for it.” D. H. Hill Oct 8 1862

Hill describing the Battle of South Mountain.

From   Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill by Hal Bridges.  (Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961)  pg 146

Originally from D.H. Hill-Isabella Hill, Oct 8, 1862, HFP

“Then after leaving the Turnpike, filing to the left across the fields, and wading or jumping a small running stream, the column is halted, and for the first time the Ninth regiment receive orders to load.  Some have never before loaded a gun, few have ever loaded with a ball cartridge, and many must be shown the whole process.”

Edward Lord

The raw 9th New Hampshire going into action at South Mountain for the first time

From “Who Would Not Be A Soldier”  by Scott Hartwig, The Antietam Campaign . edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999  pg 143

Originally from  History of the Ninth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion edited by Edward O. Lord. (Concord, New Hampshire:  Republican Press Association, 1895)  pg 71

“I have seen all of war ever wish to.  The thing is indescribable.  Oh, horrors.”

Member of 9th NH  Sep 15 1862

Another member of the 9th NH recalling Fox Gap

From “Who Would Not Be A Soldier” by Scott D. Hartwig, The Antietam Campaign. edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999 pg 156

Originally from History of the Ninth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion edited by Edward O. Lord. (Concord, New Hampshire:  Republican Press Association, 1895) pg 89-90

“Looked over part of the battle-field, and oh, it was horrible beyond description.”

Member of 9th NH   Sep 15 1862

A member of the 9th NH recalling Fox Gap

From “Who Would Not Be A Soldier” by Scott D. Hartwig, The Antietam Campaign .edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999 pg 156

Originally from History of the Ninth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion edited by Edward O. Lord. (Concord, New Hampshire:  Republican Press Association, 1895) pg 89-90

“If I can believe one tenth of what is reported, God has seldom given an army a greater victory than this…” George B. McClellan

McClellan describing the South Mountain victory to his wife.

From  Our Boys Did Nobly Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, Soldiers at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam by John David Hoptak.  (John David Hoptak 2009) pg 131

Originally from The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan:  Selected Correspondence, 1860-1865, by George B. McClellan, ed. Steven W. Sears. New York:  Ticknor & Fields, 1989 pg 463

[Yankees]”were so numerous that it looked as if they were creeping out of the ground.” a rebel soldier

Rebel soldier describing the approach of the Yankees at South Mountain

From  Cavalryman of the Lost Cause by Jeffry D. Wert. (New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2008.)  pg 149

From Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence by Heros von Borke.  Reprint. (Dayton OH:  Morningside House, 1985)  pg 215

“Had Longstreet’s division been with mine at daylight in the morning, the Yankees would have been disastrously repulsed,”…”the battle of Sharpsburg never would have been fought, and the Yankees would not have even the shadow of consolation for the loss of Harper’s Ferry.”

D. H. Hill

Hill’s report of the Maryland battles

From Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill by Hal Bridges.  (Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961)  pg 150

OR 19 (1) pg  1022, 1025, 1026

“to see what war was without romance.  I cannot describe my feelings, but I hope to God never to see the like again.”

Benjamin Hirst  Sep 15 1862

Hirst of the 14th CT at Fox Gap

From “Who Would Not Be A Soldier” by Scott D. Hartwig,  The Antietam Campaign edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999 pg 156

Originally from History of the Fourteenth Regiment, Connecticut Vol. Infantry by Charles D. Page (Meriden Conn.: Horton Printing Co., 1906)  pg 27

“The 51st was in between two lines of musketry and getting shot down like dogs.  Had not the 51st N.Y. interfered and threatened to fire on the 35th if they did not cease firing, God only knows when the slaughter would have ceased.”

Thomas Parker

Parker recalling the rookie 35th MA shooting into the backs of the 51st PA at Fox Gap

From “Who Would Not Be A Soldier” by Scott D. Hartwig,  The Antietam Campaign .edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999  pg 155

Originally from History of the 51st P.V. and V.V. by Thomas H. Parker (Philadelphia: King and Baird, Printers, 1869) Pg 225-226

“You in Hartford, have no idea of what war is, or of the life of a soldier.”

William Relyea

A member of the 16th CT describing the South Mountain Battlefields

From  “All Who Went into That Battle Were Heroes-Remembering the 16th Connecticut Volunteers at Antietam” by Lesley J Gordon The Antietam Campaign edited by Gary Gallagher  (Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999) pg 174

Originally from “History of the 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry,” by William H. Relyea, William H. Relyea Papers CHS Pg 16-20

“The beauty of the scene breaks upon your vision in a moment, like a charm.  You no sooner reach the crest of the North [Catoctin] Mountain than the long, deep valley, rich with the fruits of the earth, studded with pretty cottages and farmhouses, opens to the view.  Then the repose afforded to the eye by the dark, stern South Mountain on the other side of the valley forms a grand framework to the picture.”

Robert Davidson

Davidson of the 79th NY reports the march toward South Mountain

From  Our Boys Did Nobly Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, Soldiers at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam by John David Hoptak.  (John David Hoptak 2009) pg 66

Originally from  Scottish-American Journal, Oct 2 1862

“We charged on [t]hem and took 150 prisoners.  But you’ll find plenty of [th]em left”

Robert Davidson

Sep 14 1862

Davidson of the 79th NY reports at Fox Gap a conversation with soldiers from another regiment who were guarding prisoners

From “The 79th New York Highlanders in the Maryland Campaign.” by Terry Johnson, The Maryland Campaign of 1862 and its Aftermath, Civil War Regiments Vol 6 No. 2 (Campell CA:  Savas Publishing Company, 1998) pg 68

Originally from Scottish-American Journal, Oct 2 1862

“The file fighting, before we got a full view of the ground, was splendid, and great in volume.  The enemy confident in the strength of their position, raised their well known yelp, as our men advanced; but their cock-sure cries of joy were soon dissipated by the hurrahs of the Union troops, as they drove the Confederates pell-mell before them.”

Robert Davidson

Davidson of the 79th reports on the repulse of Drayton’s Brigade at Fox Gap

From “The 79th New York Highlanders in the Maryland Campaign.” by Terry Johnson, The Maryland Campaign of 1862 and its Aftermath, Civil War Regiments Vol 6 No. 2 (Campell CA:  Savas Publishing Company, 1998) pg 72

Originally from Scottish-American Journal, Oct 2 1862

“The dead lay in heaps, the rebel killed far outnumbering ours.  The road, the field, and the woods were strewn with corpses.  The enemy’s killed lay, as I have said, in heaps-absolutely piled up, just as they fell.  In one group there were no fewer then nineteen dead bodies, one hanging upon a fence, the feet off the ground….The spectacle was dreadful.”

Robert Davidson  Sep 15 1862 Davidson recalling the scenes on the Fox Gap battlefield on the morning after the battle.

From “The 79th New York Highlanders in the Maryland Campaign.” by Terry Johnson, The Maryland Campaign of 1862 and its Aftermath, Civil War Regiments Vol 6 No. 2 (Campell CA:  Savas Publishing Company, 1998) pg 74

Originally from Scottish-American Journal, Oct 2 1862

“We had a bad night on the mountain and had to make sharp play with the flats of our swords on the backs of these fellows.” Moxley Sorrel Sep 14 1862

Sorrell recalling the difficult time pulling exhausted and disorganized troops off South Mountain on Sep 14 1862

From  Taken at the Flood Robert E. Lee & Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 by Joseph L. Harsh (Kent OH:  The Kent State University Press, 1999) pg 290

Originally from Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. by Moxley Sorrel, ed. Bell Irvin Wiley.  Jackson, Tenn.:  McCowat-Mercer, 1958 pg 101-2

“Behind and in front of us, but especially in the angles of the stone walls, the dead bodies of the enemy lay thick: near the gaps in the fences they were piled on top of each other like cord-wood dumped from a cart.”

William Todd Sep 15 1862

Corporal William Todd, historian of the 79th describes the Fox Gap battlefield the day afterward.

From “The 79th New York Highlanders in the Maryland Campaign.” by Terry Johnson, The Maryland Campaign of 1862 and its Aftermath, Civil War Regiments Vol 6 No. 2 (Campell CA:  Savas Publishing Company, 1998) pg 74

Originally from The Seventy Ninth Highlanders:  New York Volunteers, 1861-1865 by William Todd (Albany, 1886) Pg 236

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