Harpers Ferry Essay

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The historical battle of Harpers Ferry was a pivotal point during the Civil War. While the battle was a clear victory on the Confederate front, Union forces could have changed the outcome with little efforts. This paper analyzes the battle with the intent of identifying how the application, utilization, or availability of intelligence assets could have resulted in an alternate outcome. With the proper use of All Source Intelligence analysis on the Union front, the Battle of Harpers Ferry would have played out completely different. While the results of this battle may not have changed the outcome of the Civil War, it would have affected the timeline of follow-on battles. The structure of this paper is simple, we cover the basics of the battle and follow up with relevant facts on how proper use of terrain analysis and troop capabilities affects the outcome of the battle.
During September 9th of 1862 Confederate forces led by Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson commanded three divisions with the goal of seizing Harpers Ferry. At the time Harpers Ferry was a Union occupied town bordering Maryland and Virginia. For the Union front this was a main arsenal holding area that provided support to other forces. For the Confederates, they saw it as a major supply line allowing logistics to travel down south or north through the use of rail road systems. COL Dixon Miles, the Union commander at Harpers Ferry, received intelligence about the movement of enemy forces towards his location.

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