Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

150th Anniversary Antietam
Maryland, My Maryland

September 7-9, 2012
Boonsboro, Maryland

Sharpsburg, Maryland
September 9, 1862

Dear Friends,

We arrived in the vicinity of Sharpsburg early on the Friday, and were focused on finding the camps of the advance elements of the USV3R. We did find them on the edges of the land, and went into camp directly. The site was a good one, little to impinge on our experience, save the barns and fields of the maryland country side. We got established, and found that our battalion quartermaster had set up a good headquarters. From there, we got conections to each of the companies arriving. That evening was spent with addressing orders, and attention to the requirements of command. The night was calm, a little cold, but all were desperately tired, and slept well.

The morning brought the reports and formations normally associated with the army operations. As the moring wore on, we were put into line, and marched to the front. We were deployed on a fence line overlooking a little dell, and held there as the artillery did its softening work. The skys looked a little dark, and soon developed into a real natural emergency. We were ordered back to camp at the quick, and sheltered in place. It was a storm to be respected, and while some say that the stuff did not get wet, since the rain was horizontal, the results were much different, wet boys, wet dogs, wet gear.

After a time, we were called out once more to do our work. We went forward from the same site, and were put into a long Union line to push the enemy to our front. This we did in spades, and were very successful in the end. We reached from one horizon to the other in line, and was a force that could not fail.

We returned to our camps and spent a night there. We were originally ordered to the front to the west, but our command was able to get those orders recinded until morning. Come the morning, we were up and in line very early, and were on the march towards the fields of Sharpsburg. We were marched some distance, then by the right, and by error, halted, then by the left, and finally put in line near a large piece of corn on our left.

Once the sun rose, the situation became clear. This piece of ground was under dispute. The battle had come to fruition, and the battle was growing. Our forces had charged into the corn from north to south, and the Rebels were coming against us. The firing was growing, and the amount of effort to advance was difficult. We could see the trial for some time, but soon, the smoke and fire was obscuring the land. We were ordered to advance on the side of the corn, and could see the enemy moving towards the north. we stopped in battalion line, and opened into their flanks. At this point, we could barely see from one end of our line to the other, but the battle was on. As we continued to advance and fire, could begin to only see the few feet in front of us. I was on the right of the battalion, and looking to the center for the Colonel. I could not see that far. The field music was only 3 rods from me, and I could not make them out. As the fight got more severe, there was little to nothing to see in any direction. I looked up to the heavens, and could only see a billow maybe two hundred feet in the air, since the trees near us were only a quarter of the hight to the sky. We blotted out the sun. We blotted out the sun. We held our line, and were not forced to move, as the battle ebbed to the south. Soon, the din died down to some degree, and the phase of the battle seemed to move away. After about an hour, the smoke did move, the sun did appear as an orange ball, and the day once again gained control. All to see that the corn was gone, the lines were gone, the enemy and our boys were lain in rows, and the sight was like that of the nether world. We worked hard and furious to tend to our wounded, and moved back into the woods to regain our command.

Some time later, we were called into line once more. We made a long line of battle, and were called to dress parade. The parade was formed, and the first company was detailed as the honor escort for the colors of the Eight Connecticut Volunteers. This parade was simply the most military and appropriate parade I have ever witnessed in my service. Nothing could compel pride, and exhibit honor than this incredible parade. I will never forget this martial custom as long as I can breath.

Then, the orders came to advance on the south end of the field. We were ready for the fight, and halted to dress our lines one last time before advancing. We were pushed forward towards the Harpers Ferry road, but were force into a ridge and a treeline. There we maintained our lines, but were pushed and cut up by the enemy. We worked our hardest to advance, but could not. We were dropping like flies, and were ordered time and again to retire. The color guard would not give, but finally, the Major took the colors, and commanded the boys to follow them, which they did. We retired, stopped, fired by the rear rank, retired, stopped again, and fired, and lefet a trail of heros and patriots in our wake. We finally reached the low lands, and were safe once more. The army had gathered there, and that is where we ended the battle of Antietam.

Your humble servant,
Seth Plumb

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