Battle of South Mountain - September 14, 1862
American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Fox’s & Turner’s Gaps
A single Confederate division under Gen. D. H. Hill (brigades of Gens. Samuel Garland, Roswell Ripley, George B. Anderson, Robert Rodes and Alfred Colquitt) protected Turner’s and Fox’s gaps, two vital passes through the South Mountain range. Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside commanded the Union I Corps under Gen. Joseph Hooker and the IX Corps under Gen. Jacob Cox.
At Fox’s Gap, an assault by Eliakim Scammon’s and George Crook’s brigades from Jacob Cox’s division was initially successful and claimed the life of Garland, but lacked sufficient support. Reinforcements from both sides gathered (not shown), giving Lieut. Gen. James Longstreet’s Confederates time to strengthen Hill's position and beat back later Union attacks. As darkness fell, the Confederates held a position north of the Old Sharpsburg Road.
At Turner’s Gap, Union divisions under Gens. George Meade, John P. Hatch and James Ricketts attacked the Rebel left flank. Confederate brigades of Gens. Nathan “Shanks” Evans, James Kemper and Richard Garnett shored up Robert Rodes’ line defending the gap west of Frostown, but they were eventually pressed back. Gen. John Gibbon’s black-hatted Midwestern regiments, soon to become the “Iron Brigade,” advanced up the National Road and pushed back Colquitt’s brigade. A bloody see-saw battle for control of the pass continued until dark.
Learn More: The Battle of South Mountain