16th—The mystery is solved. At 8 o’clock yesterday morning, Harper’s Ferry capitulated, (report says, with eight thousand men, forty cannon, and one thousand two hundred horses,) and we have been for two days in sight, and marching less than five miles a day, by a circuitous route. It looks as if the old game is to be re-enacted. Who is there at Harper’s Ferry to be jealous of?
2 P. M.—Tremendous firing along the mountains to our right, some five miles distant. A rider has just arrived from that direction, and reports that Reno’s forces, to the number of ten thousand or fifteen thousand, has surrendered. I do not credit it, but if true, it would indicate a larger force in our front than I supposed, and will explain the necessity of our lying here idle, instead of going to Harper’s Ferry.
But it seems impossible that we could permit two surrenders in one day, in sight of us, and we lie all the while idle. Well, well; we are engaged with the enemy, and shall soon know the worst. Another arrival from Harper’s Ferry. He confirms the story of the surrender there, and says that Colonel Miles capitulated, almost without a fight, and that he was instantly shot by one of his own men. This last story I doubt, though he is certainly shot and mortally wounded. At night, Colonel Miles is dead.