Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5, 1864 (Monday): All Quiet On the Harper's Ferry Front

General Jubal Early

January 5, 1864 - 7 p. m. (Received 7. 15 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
     Shaler's brigade of the Sixth Corps, 1,375 enlisted men, will leave this point at 4 a. m. to-morrow.
Further examination of scouts subsequent to my telegram of 1 p. m. would lead to the conclusion that the infantry of Early's command in the lower valley was only two brigades and some detached regiments.

     GEO. G. MEADE,

Washington, D. C., January 5, 1864 - 4. 20 p. m.
Major-General MEADE,
Army of the Potomac:
     The brigade ordered up will probably be sufficient to supply General Kelley's wants. It will be held here ready for his orders. Last reports from Baltimore and Ohio Railroad indicate no immediate danger.

      H. W. HALLECK,

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 33, Part 1, Page 348.

Only days before there was alarm that Early was moving to attack Harper's Ferry.  Actually, the force on the move was primarily Imboden's with White's Cavalry.  But the movement of Early to the Valley to check Averell created confusion about both his strength and intention.  Three years in the Union still had the problem they did at the commencement of the war, how to protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the lines to the northwest. 

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