Friday, July 24, 2009
In the same way attrition had attached itself to the 18th Massachusetts, the Fifth Corps was a mere shadow of its former self, reduced in strength to one sixth its numbers from the year prior.
On the morning of the 24th the First Division was positioned on the left of the line. While the second and third brigades began their further advance into Manassas Gap, the 1st Brigade was held in reserve, a precautionary measure in the event the advance was checked and driven back.
Both the aforementioned brigades went downhill, crossed a valley, and up the mountain, trying to sniff out Confederates and their masked batteries. Nothing. Nothing but more peaks to climb and more valleys to cross. In time the Division was recalled. The effort was not futile for the Third Corps, though. They bulled their way through the Gap virtually unopposed and emerged on the other side, taking full possession of Front Royal.