During the Maryland campaign of 1862, Union forces occupying Harpers Ferry stuck out as a quite problem for the Confederate’s line of communications. So as written up in Special Orders 191 it was surrounded by Confederate forces. After all the maneuvering and placing of guns on the surrounding heights above Harpers Ferry was done, it fell rather quickly. As one yankee put it, it was “no more defensible as a well bottom.” Douglas Southall Freeman in “Lee’s Lieutenants” describes how the famished Confederates fared when they went into the town after the surrender.
While the essential arrangements were being made, most of the troops were given liberty to explore the sutlers’ establishments at Harper’s Ferry. Some of the brigades of Hill’s Light Division had been denied their proper part of the loot at Manassas, and now Pender’s men and Branch’s and others could enjoy canned lobster or fill stomach and haversack with cake or stuff pockets with candy. When Walker’s column came over the Shenandoah and McLaws’s streamed across the Potomac bridge, there was much grumbling because the booty had all been devoured or appropriated. “Jackson’s troops fairly swam in the delicacies, provisions, and ‘drinkables,’ ” wrote comrade Dickert, resentful after more than thirty years, “. . . while Kershaw’s and all of McLaws’s and Walker’s troops, who had done the hardest of the fighting, got none.”
Douglas Southall Freeman . “Lee’s Lieutenants” .Simon & Schuster