May 15, 1865
[Correspondence of the Alexandria Gazette]
Harper’s Ferry, May 9—I have just witnessed the arrival of a body of men from Baltimore. They left that city Tuesday night, at 11 o’clock, P.M. Without arms and marching all the way, they encountered many privations, in their gloomy retreat from their city.—Every train brings men from Baltimore and other places in Maryland.
They have left behind them home, and old associations, to enlist in the cause of Southern independence. As some compensations to Maryland for this loss of brave and gallant spirits, some few disloyal persons are leaving Virginia to settle in Maryland.
Yesterday, information was received from reliable sources that Federal troops were moving towards this point. Immediately, the Maryland heights, which command the Virginia hills and mountains in the immediate neighborhood, were occupied by a large body of men. The Kentucky regiment and several companies of VA. Troops, comprised this force.
The night, however, passed away without the slightest alarm. Harper’s Ferry is now I think impregnable. A seizure of the Maryland Heights is absolutely necessary before this place can be taken, and with a thousand good soldiers this point might be held against ten times their number.
Last night about 1,000 hogs and 15 horses were seized while passing over the Baltimore and Ohio railroad through this place.
A battery of four cannon commands the railroad at the Point of Rocks, 12 miles below; while the bridge across the Potomac here is commanded by another battery. Scouting parties range the country tor 15 miles North, East and West, also, upon the slightest alarm can communicate by a system of signal agreed upon, with headquarters. Yours, &c.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: May 1865