General Ezra Ayres Carman

The Antietam Manuscript of

Ezra Ayres Carman

   "Ezra Ayres Carman was Lt. Colonel of the 7th Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers during the Civil War.  He volunteered at Newark, NJ on 3 Sept 1861, and was honorably discharged at Newark on 8 Jul 1862 (This discharge was to accommodate his taking command of another Regiment).  Wounded in the line of duty at Williamsburg, Virginia on 5 May 1862 by a gunshot wound to his right arm in action.  He also served as Colonel of the 13th Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers from 5 August 1862 to 5 June 1865. He was later promoted to the rank of Brigadier General."

   "Ezra Ayes Carman was Chief Clerk of the United States Department of Agriculture from 1877 to 1885. He served on the Antietam Battlefield Board from 1894 to 1898 and he is acknowledged as probably the leading authority on that battle . In 1905 he was appointed chairman of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Commission."

   "The latest Civil War computer game from Firaxis is Sid Meier's "Antietam". More significant is the inclusion of the previously unpublished manuscript of Ezra Carman, the commanding officer of the 13th New Jersey Volunteers during the battle of Antietam. His 1800-page handwritten account of the battle has sat in the National Archives since it was penned and its release is of interest to people other than gamers."

   "As an added bonus, the game includes the previously unpublished Civil War manuscript of Ezra Carman, the commanding officer of the 13th New Jersey Volunteers. After the Battle of Antietam, Carman spent the rest of his life documenting the momentous events that occurred on the battlefield. Over a span of several decades, he corresponded with hundreds of battle veterans from both the Union and the Confederacy. At the request of the U.S. government, Carman authored an 1,800 page history of Antietam, undoubtedly the most comprehensive documentation of the Battle."

   "General Ezra Ayes Carman was born Feb. 27, 1834 and died Dec. 25, 1909.  General Carman was living with his son, L.D. Carman, at 1351 Q Street NW, Washington DC, at the time of his death. His son was a medical examiner in the U.S. Pension Bureau and signed his death certificate. Ezra Ayres Carman died of Pneumonia. His wife, Ada, was living in Los Angeles at the time taking care of her blind brother. General Ezra Ayres Carman is buried at Arlington National Cemetery."

   "As Bachelder was to Gettysburg, so Ezra Ayers Carman was to Antietam and William T. Rigby to Vicksburg. Veterans themselves, Carman and Rigby pursued extended correspondence with other participants, accumulating abundant data on troop movements and personal experiences at their sites for the government. Some of this trove is now at the National Archives. A small but significant collection of Carman's documentation, labeled "Antietam Studies," is in an uninventoried series in RG 94."


General Ezra Carman, Manuscript, Antietam National Battlefield Library, Sharpsburg, Md

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The Battle Begins: Daybreak to 7:30 a.m.


September 16, 1862

by Ezra A. Carman (originally Chapter 13)

General Lee was an early riser. On the night of the 15th his headquarters were  pitched in a body of open woods nearly three-fourths of a mile west of the  Sharpsburg town square, on the right of the road leading to Shepherdstown.  Very soon after daybreak of the 16th he had breakfast and was on Cemetery  Hill, and after walking among the guns of the Washington Artillery, trying in  vain to pierce the fog that hung over the course of the Antietam, to see what  McClellan was doing, walked back to the roadside, where a campfire was  smoldering. Here, about sunrise, a young officer of Longstreet's staff rode  up, dismounted, and delivered a message, to which Lee listened attentively,  then as in a soliloquy, said: "All will be right if McLaws gets out of  Pleasant Valley." Still earlier in the morning he had heard that the head of  Jackson's column had reached the Potomac and that, when Jackson left Harper's  Ferry, McLaws was still in the valley, but had been ordered by Jackson to  follow him as soon as possible. 

We return to Jackson and Walker, whom we left at Harper's Ferry and Loudoun  Heights on the morning of the 15th. We have noted the receipt by Jackson of  Lee's orders to join him as speedily as possible, but Jackson's men were out  of rations and these could not be immediately supplied. Late in the afternoon  General A.R. Lawton, commanding Ewell's division, was ordered to march to  Sharpsburg, 14 miles distant. Two only of his brigades--Lawton's and  Trimble's--were ready and Lawton started with these near sunset, leaving  General Early, with his brigade and Hays', to follow as soon as possible.  Lawton marched up the Virginia side of the Potomac until late in the night and  went into camp about four miles from Shepherdstown Ford. Early was not  promptly supplied with rations, and it was midnight when they had been cooked.  At 1 a.m. he marched with his brigade and Hays' and overtaking Lawton, the  entire division was on the march at early dawn, crossed Shepherdstown Ford at  sunrise and, proceeding on the Sharpsburg road, halted in a wood, about a mile  from town, near Jackson's Division, that had preceded it in crossing the  Potomac. 

No sooner had the surrender of Harper's Ferry been assured than Walker  descended Loudoun Heights, crossed the Shenandoah at Keys' Ferry and marched  to Halltown, where he halted for rations. At 1 a.m. he resumed his march,  overtook the rear of Jackson's force, about an hour later, and reached  Shepherdstown Ford between daylight and sunrise. His division crossed the  river early in the day, and halted in a grove about midway from the ford to  Sharpsburg, where it remained until 3 a.m. of the 17th, when it moved to the  right and took position to cover Snavely's and Myers' fords south of  Sharpsburg. Jackson made this report: "Leaving (A.P.) Hill to receive the  surrender of the Federal Troops and take the requisite steps for securing the  captured stores, I moved, in obedience to orders from the commanding general,  to rejoin him in Maryland with the remaining divisions of my command. By a  severe night march we reached the vicinity of Sharpsburg on the morning of the  16th."

Some of Jackson's staff officers and others say that Jackson reported to Lee  at daylight on Cemetery Hill. General Walker says ("Battle and Leaders," Vol.  II, p. 611) that he rode forward with Jackson from Shepherdstown Ford about 8  o'clock. In another article in the volume referred to he says that after the  troops had crossed the Potomac he rode forward with Jackson at midday to  report to Lee: "I expected to find General Lee anxious and careworn. Anxious  enough, no doubt he was; but there was nothing in his look or manner to  indicate it. On the contrary, he was calm, dignified, and even cheerful. If he  had a well organized army of 100,000 veterans at his back, he could not have  appeared more composed and confident. On shaking hands with us, he simply  expressed his satisfaction with the result of our operation at Harper's Ferry,  and with our timely arrival at Sharpsburg; adding that with our reinforcements  he felt confident of being able to hold his ground until the arrival of the  divisions of R.H. Anderson, McLaws and A.P. Hill, which were still behind, and  which did not arrive until the next day."

Jackson and Walker brought to Lee about 10,300 officers and men. This was not  a large reinforcement but, with 15,600 already in position, gave Lee an  aggregate of infantry, cavalry, and artillery of 25,900 men, all veteran  soldiers. It was a compact, well trained force. As the long September day wore  on, and gave the men time to rest, Lee became confident that he would not be  called upon for any serious work that day and, that by morning, McLaws and  Anderson would be with him, his army, except for A.P. Hill reunited and ready  to give McClellan battle. 

 During the afternoon and night of the 15th McClellan's forces moved to the  positions assigned them, but it was not until after daybreak of the 16th that  the great body of them were in their designated places, some brigades did not  get up until noon. Hooker's (First) Corps was in the forks of the Big and  Little Antietam. Sumner's (Second) Corps was on both sides of the Boonsboro  and Sharpsburg road. Richardson's Division in advance, near the Antietam, on  the right of the road. Sykes' Division was on the left of Richardson's, and on  Sykes' left and rear was Burnside's (Ninth) Corps. Mansfield's (Twelfth) Corps  was at Nicodemus Mill or Springvale. Pleasonton's cavalry division was just  west of Keedysville.

Near midnight of the 15th two companies each of the 61st and 64th New York,  Under command of Lieutenant Colonel Nelson A. Miles, passed along the rear of  Sedgwick's Division and some distance along the bluff below the "middle  bridge," then turning back reached the bridge just as a party of Union cavalry  came riding sharply over it from the south bank. They informed Miles that the  enemy had fallen back and that there were none in the immediate front of the  bridge. Miles crossed the bridge to the west side of the creek, and marched  cautiously west along the highway. It was then daybreak. A heavy fog prevented  vision for more than fifteen or twenty feet; the dust in the road deadened the  sound of the footsteps and silence was enjoined. Miles who was in advance, had  reached the crest of the ridge about 600 yards beyond the Antietam, and was  about to descend into the broad ravine where the Confederates were in  position, when he ran upon a Confederate crossing the road, whom he captured  and from whom he learned, that he was very near the Confederate line. The  command was faced about and moved back with as much silence as possible, and  recrossed the bridge before the fog lifted, but long after daylight of the  16th.

There has been much criticism on the failure of McClellan to attack Lee on the  afternoon of the 15th or at least early on the 16th. We have referred to the  failure to do so on the 15th. The situation, inviting prompt attack on the  morning of the 16th, is well stated by General F.A. Walker in the "History of  the Second Army Corps":

 "If it be admitted to have been impracticable to throw the 35 brigades that  had crossed the South Mountain at Turner's Gap across the Antietam during the  15th, in season and in condition to undertake attack upon Lee's 14 brigades  that day with success, it is difficult to see what excuse (?) can be offered  for the failure to fight the impending battle on the 16th, and that early. It  is true that Lee's forces had then been increased by the arrival of Jackson  with J.R. Jones and Lawton's divisions (also Walker's), but those of Anderson,  McLaws and A.P. Hill could not be brought up that day. A preemptory recall of  Franklin, in the early evening of the 15th, would have placed his three  divisions in any part of the line that might be desired. Even without  Franklin, the advantages of concentration would have been on the side of  McClellan. When both armies were assembled the Union forces were at least 9 to  6, of the Confederate 6 only 4 could possibly have been present on the 16th.  Without Franklin the odds would still have been 7 to 4." 

It is evident that McClellan had no idea of fighting Lee on the 15th. There  seems to have been to do it early on the 16th, certainly no orders to that  effect were issued, nor did he make any preparations. In fact he expected Lee  to retreat during the night of the 15th. 

At 9 o'clock on the morning of the 16th, after telegraphing his wife that he  had no doubt "delivered Pennsylvania and Maryland," McClellan dispatched  Halleck: "The enemy yesterday held a position just in front of Sharpsburg.  This morning a heavy fog has thus far prevented us doing more than to  ascertain that some of the enemy are still there. Do not know in what force.  Will attack as soon as situation of enemy is developed." When the (?) fog  lifted he (missed?) S.D. Lee's guns, which had been moved to the left, or, as  he reports:  

"It was discovered that the enemy had changed the position of his batteries.  The masses of his troops, however, were still concealed behind the opposite  heights. Their left and center were upon and in front of the Sharpsburg and  Hagerstown Turnpike, hidden by woods and irregularities of the ground, their  extreme left resting upon a wooded eminence near the cross-roads to the north  of Miller's farm, their left resting upon the Potomac (sic in McClellan's  report). Their line extended south, the right resting upon the hills to the  south of Sharpsburg near Snavely's farm." (McClellan's report, p. 54) The changed position of the batteries is given by McClellan as one of the  reasons for not making the attack before afternoon, for, he says, he was  "compelled to spend the morning in reconnoitering the new position taken up by  the enemy, examining the ground, finding fords, clearing the approaches, and  hurrying up the ammunition and supply trains, which had been delayed by the  rapid march of the troops over the few practicable approaches from Frederick.  These had been crowded by the masses of infantry, cavalry and artillery  pressing on with the hope of overtaking the enemy before he could form to  resist an attack. Many of the troops were out of rations on the previous day,  and a good deal of their ammunition had been expended in the severe action of  the 14th." (From McClellan's report.)

From the time of McClellan's arrival on the field until Hooker's advance in  the afternoon of the 16th, nothing seems to have been done with a view to an  accurate determination of the Confederate position. >From the heights east of  the Antietam the eye could trace the right and center, but the extreme left  could not be definitely located, nor was the character of the country on that  flank known. It was upon this flank that McClellan decided to make his attack  and one would suppose that his first efforts would be directed to ascertain  how that flank could be approached and what it looked like. This was proper  work for cavalry, of which he had a good body available for the purpose.  Pleasonton's cavalry division was in good shape and elated with its successful  achievements, culminating in the discomfiture of Fitz-Hugh Lee's Brigade at  Boonsboro, the day before, and confident of its capacity for further good  work. But it was not used. As far as we know not a Union cavalryman crossed  the Antietam until Hooker went over in the afternoon of the 16th, when the 3rd  Pennsylvania cavalry accompanied him. Nor can we discover that the cavalry did  any productive work elsewhere. It did not ascertain that there were good fords  below the Burnside Bridge, leading directly to the right-rear of the  Confederate line, and we know of no order given for its use, save a suggestion  to Franklin, to have his cavalry feel towards Frederick. The part taken by the  cavalry this day is very briefly told by Pleasonton, in his report: "On the  16th my cavalry was engaged in reconnaissances, escorts and support to  batteries." If any part of his command, except the 3rd Pennsylvania, was  engaged in reconnaissances and supporting batteries we do not know of it. The first movement of the day was to cross the bluff east of the Antietam with  artillery and cover the Middle Bridge. This bluff, which, south of the bridge,  almost over-hangs the Antietam, recedes from it north of the bridge for a  short distance, then approaches it. It rises 180 feet above the stream and  commands nearly the entire battlefield.

The Reserve Artillery, which arrived late in the evening of the 15th, was put  in position, early in the morning, by General Henry J. Hunt, chief of  artillery. Taft's New York battery, and the German (New York) batteries of von  Kleiser, Langner, and Wever were placed on the bluff north of the Boonsboro  road, Taft's Battery relieving Tidball's which rejoined the cavalry division.  Von Kleiser relieved Pettit's New York battery. The four New York batteries  had 20 pound Parrott guns and were supported by Richardson's Division. South  of the Boonsboro road, and about 9 a.m. Weed's Battery (I, 5th U.S.) and  Benjamin's Battery (E, 2nd U.S.) were run up the bluff in front of Sykes'  Division. Each battery, as it came into position, opened upon such bodies of  Confederate infantry as could be seen, and upon the Washington Artillery and  Hood's Division batteries, on Cemetery Hill, and the batteries on the ridge  running north from it, and the reply was prompt and spirited, during which  Major Albert Arndt, commanding the German artillery battalion, was mortally  wounded. As the Confederates were short of ammunition and the range too short  for their guns, Longstreet ordered them to withdraw under cover of the hill.  General D.H. Hill says that the Confederate artillery was badly handled and  "could not cope with the superior weight, calibre, range, and number of the  Yankee guns. An artillery duel between the Washington Artillery and the Yankee  batteries across the Antietam, on the 16th, was the most melancholy farce in  the war." (Hill's report--at end.) At 1 p.m. Taft's and von Kleiser's   batteries were moved from the north to the south of the Boonsboro road; Taft  relieving Benjamin, who went to the left, near Burnside Bridge, and von  Kleiser taking position about 120 yards on Weed's right. Kusserow's Battery,  of 20-pound Parrotts, relieved Taft, north of the road, but not in the same  position. From Taft's, von Kleiser's, and Weed's positions one could look to  the right, through the open space between the East and West Woods, and see  Hood's men as they advanced to meet Hooker, late in the day, and their guns  were brought to bear upon them, as also, upon Jackson's men as they took  position near the Dunkard Church, about sunset. From the bluff north of the  Boonsboro road the gunners could look down the Sunken road, and it appeared  but a stone's throw to Piper's cornfield in and around which were the men of  Rodes' Brigade. There were very few points of the Confederate line that these  batteries could not reach, and on many they had an enfilade and reverse fire. Early in the morning a signal station was established on the crest of Elk  Ridge. The extensive view from this position commanded Sharpsburg and  Shepherdstown, the country in the vicinity, and the approaches in every  direction. It communicated with signal stations at McClellan's headquarters,  with some on the extreme right, and with Burnside's headquarters. Sykes' Division was on the south side of the Boonsboro road, its right,  Buchanan's Brigade, resting on the road, opposite Richardson's left. On the  left of Buchanan was Lovell's Brigade, extending down toward the Burnside  Bridge. Warren's Brigade of two New York regiments (5th and 10th) were held in  reserve. Later in the day, it, with Randol's Battery (E and G, 1st U.S.) was  moved to the left, out of the line of fire of the Confederate guns on Cemetery  Hill; the new position in a piece of woods, and covering the approaches in the  direction of Harper's Ferry. At 7 a.m. Captain Hiram Dryer, 4th U.S. Infantry,  was ordered to take the Middle Bridge and establish part of his regiment on  the west bank of the Antietam. Upon arriving within 200 yards of the bridge he  passed the pickets of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, when he detached Lieutenant John  L. Buell, Company G, to advance rapidly to the bridge, which was done without  opposition. Dryer then marched the regiment to the bridge and threw four  companies across it, which were posted under cover of a stone bank and wall on  the right of the road, and of a rock-ledge and barn on the left. In about two  hours it was observed that the enemy was advancing a skirmish line on both  sides of the road, upon which, two companies, under Lieutenant Buell and R.P.  McKibbin, advanced on either side of the road to hold the Confederate in  check. They advanced about 300 yards up the ascending road and met the enemy,  who, after exchanging a few shots, fell back under cover of the ridge, behind  which lay George B.(T.?) Anderson's Brigade. About the same time the  Confederate batteries on Cemetery Hill began a vigorous shelling of Dryer's  skirmishers and upon the batteries on the bluff in his rear, beyond the  Antietam. The firing was of short duration and did but little harm, wounding 3  of Dryer's men, two others were wounded by the skirmishers. At sunset Dryer  was relieved by the 1st Battalion, 12th U.S. Infantry, Captain M.M. Blunt, and  recrossed the Antietam. As soon as the bridge had been taken by the regular  infantry, two companies of the 5th New Hampshire, under Captains Cross and  Long were sent to destroy the mill-dam a few yards below the bridge, hoping  thus to lower the waters of the creek above and make fording less difficult,  but did not succeed in breaking the dam, for want of proper tools. Several  companies of Richardson's division were on picket during the night, and in the  morning, four companies of the 5th New Hampshire, under Major E.E. Sturtivant,  were detached to guard a small aqueduct, crossing the Antietam near Neikirk's,  nearly a mile above the bridge.

During the forenoon the Twelfth Corps advanced from its bivouac near  Nicodemus' Mill and massed in a field west of Keedysville and in rear of  French's Division. In the afternoon, Morell's Division of the Fifth Corps  passed through Keedysville and bivouacked on the left of the Boonsboro and  Sharpsburg Turnpike. 

 The valley of the Antietam at and near the Burnside Bridge is narrow. On the  right of the stream the high bank was wooded below the bridge and about 200  yards above it, and commanded the approaches both to the bridge and the ford  immediately below it. The steep slopes of the bank were lined with rifle pits  and breastworks of rails and stones. These, together with the woods, were  filled with Toombs infantry, while numerous batteries commanded and enfiladed  the bridge and ford and their approaches.

McClellan seems to have had some apprehension that the Confederates might  attack his left by this bridge and by the valley below it and, about noon,  ordered Burnside to move farther to the left, to a strong position in the  immediate vicinity of the bridge and to reconnoiter the approaches to it  carefully, as he would probably be ordered to attack there on the next  morning. Later in the day he rode to the left to satisfy himself that Burnside  had properly placed his troops to secure his left flank from any attack made  along the east bank of the Antietam, as well as to carry the bridge. He was  not satisfied with the dispositions made by Burnside and found it necessary to  order some changes, the result of which was that, late in the afternoon,  Burnside's Corps, except Willcox's Division, was moved to the left and front,  in three columns, and took position upon the rear slopes of the ridge on the  east bank of the Antietam, the center of the corps being nearly opposite the  bridge, the batteries were placed on the crest of the hill near the bridge,  the infantry in close support, Benjamin's Battery being on a knoll, some  distance to the left and back from the bridge.

Burnside's movement was not opposed, nor disturbed, save by a few shots from  Richardson's Battery, south of Cemetery Hill, but Toombs' skirmish line thrown  across the bridge for observation, was seen, near a cornfield southeast of the  bridge, upon which Captain H.F. Devol (?), with his company of the 36th Ohio,  went forward and drove it through the cornfield and back over the bridge.  About the same time Capt. James Wrenn with a detachment of the 48th  Pennsylvania went a mile down the Antietam and saw nothing but Munford's  cavalry, on the west bank of the stream. 

The 79th New York was detached and sent to guard the signal station at  McClellan's Gap on Elk Ridge, and the 28th Massachusetts and 50th  Pennsylvania, both under command of Major Edward Overton, were sent to Elk  Ridge, where the Rohrersville road crossed it, to support some of Pleasonton's  cavalry, which was keeping open the communications with Franklin in Pleasant  Valley.

General McClellan reports that the ground in front of the entire Confederate  line consisted of undulating hills, their crests, in turn commanded by others  in their rear. "On all favorable points the enemy's artillery was posted, and  their reserves, hidden from view by the hills on which their line of battle  was formed, could maneuver unobserved by our army, and, from the shortness of  their line, could rapidly re-enforce any point threatened by our attack. This  position, stretching across the angle formed by the Potomac and the Antietam,  their flanks and rear protected by these streams, was one of the strongest to  be found in this region of country which is well adopted to defensive  warfare." (McClellan's report, p. 54) 

When McClellan made his rapid examination on the evening of the 15th, he  concluded that an attack on the Confederate left offered better results than  an attack elsewhere, and the conclusion was confirmed by a more extended  examination on the morning of the 16th. For reasons given elsewhere, which we  consider entirely inadequate, he deferred the movement until afternoon. The plan for the impending general engagement was to attack Lee's left with  the corps of Hooker and Mansfield, supported by Sumner's corps and, if  necessary, by Franklin's corps, and, as soon as matters looked favorably  there, to move Burnside's corps, against Lee's right, upon the ridge running  to the south and rear of Sharpsburg. Having carried these positions he then  proposed to press with the right along the crest towards Sharpsburg, and when  either of these flank movements should be successful to advance the center  across the Middle Bridge with all the forces then disposable. The plan was a  good one, but its execution, from beginning to end was miserable, though the  fighting was splendid.

The first step in McClellan's plan was the transfer of Hooker's First Corps to  the west bank of the Antietam. If this movement was not itself a  reconnaissance in force, it should have been preceded by such an examination  of the ground as would have sufficed to determine, with some approach to  accuracy where Lee's left was, but this, as we have seen, was not done. The  first step was a blunder, in that the movement was made in the afternoon of  the 16th, at an hour too late to accomplish anything before dark and serving  no purpose, save to inform Lee where he was to be attacked.

It was 2 p.m. when McClellan gave Hooker orders to cross the Antietam by the  Upper Bridge and ford below it, to attack and, if possible, turn Lee's left;  Meade's and Ricketts' division were to cross the bridge and Doubleday's at the  ford. Later, Sumner was ordered to cross the Twelfth Corps during the night  and hold the Second Corps in readiness to cross early next morning. It was  nearly 4 p.m. when Hooker put his troops in motion, Meade's Division in  advance. Then he rode to McClellan's headquarters for any further orders he  might have to give, and was informed by McClellan that he was at liberty to  call for reinforcements, should he need them, and, that on their arrival they  would be placed under his command, upon which he rode off and joined his  troops on the march. His direction lay nearly perpendicular to the Antietam,  his object being to gain the high ground or divide between the Antietam and  the Potomac, and then incline to the left, following the elevation towards  Sharpsburg, feeling for Lee's flank, which it was believed would be found  somewhere on the divide, its exact or even approximate position being unknown  to either McClellan or Hooker that day or early on the next. 

Meade's Division led the advance across the bridge and on the Williamsport  road, two regiments being thrown forward as skirmishers, followed by a  squadron of Lieut. Col. Samuel W. Owen's 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, all closely  supported by the division. Hooker, as was his custom, rode in advance close to  the skirmishers, and had not proceeded over half a mile when he was joined by  McClellan and his staff, apparently to see how Hooker was progressing. "Among  other subjects of conversation," reports Hooker, "I said to the general that  he had ordered my small corps, now numbering between 12,000 and 13,000 (as I  had just lost 1,000 men in the battle of South Mountain) across the river to  attack the whole rebel army, and that if reinforcements were not forwarded  promptly, or if another attack was not made on the enemy's right, the rebels  would eat me up." (Hooker's report, p. 217) Soon after this conversation  McClellan recrossed the Antietam and rode to the Pry house from which he could  see across the Antietam and observe the effect of Hooker's march or any  movement made to meet it. >From this time Pry's house became his headquarters.  Ricketts' Division followed Meade's over the bridge and on the Williamsport  road, and most of the artillery and all of the ammunition trains followed  Ricketts.

Doubleday's Division crossed at pry's Ford, below the bridge, drove some  Confederate cavalrymen from a cornfield and strip of woods on the left, who  hastened to inform Stuart, at the Dunkard Church, that the Union army was  crossing the upper Antietam, Stuart, in turn, sending the information to Lee  at Sharpsburg. Doubleday first moved up stream a short distance, then, turning  to the left, advanced over fields, parallel with Ricketts, and about 80 yards  on his left, his entire division was closed up, Patrick's Brigade in the  advance, removing fences and filling their pockets and haversacks with apples  from the numerous, well laden orchards.

While Hooker's columns are in motion, we return to General Lee, whom we left  congratulating Jackson and Walker upon the successful operations at Harper's  Ferry and their timely arrival at Sharpsburg. It was with great satisfaction  that he contemplated McClellan's delay in attacking his position, a delay he  did not take advantage of to strengthen his position by the construction of  any defenses. The utility of hastily constructed intrenchments on the field  was not yet appreciated. But the delay gave him an opportunity to make a  thorough study of the field, to select and occupy the best defensive  positions, to give Jackson's and Walker's men a good rest, and concentrate  more closely his widely separated command.  During the afternoon Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson held council in the house of  Jacob A. Grove, at the southwest corner of the Sharpsburg town square. While  they were examining the map of Maryland and a map of Washington County, the  artillery on Cemetery Hill opened fire, word came that there was a movement  threatening Burnside Bridge and a cavalryman dashed up with a message from  Stuart that the Union forces were crossing the Antietam near Pry's Mill. Lee at once ordered Longstreet to meet this advance on the left with Hood's  Division, and Jackson was ordered to take position with his own division on  Hood's left, Lawton's Division being ordered to support Toombs at the Burnside  Bridge. Walker remained in reserve, near Lee's headquarters, west of town. Early in the day the greater part of Fitz-Hugh Lee's cavalry brigade was in  the fields near the Dunkard Church, with detachments in advance on the  Hagerstown road and on the Smoketown road and east of it, observing the  crossings of the Antietam. The 9th Virginia, which had spent a quiet night in  an oak grove near Sharpsburg, moved up the Hagerstown road during the day,  passed Hood's men, at and in front of the Dunkard Church, went down the  Smoketown road beyond the East Woods and drew up in rear of two guns of  Pelham's Battery, near the northwest corner of the S. Poffenberger woods. The  guns were masked by a clump of bushes. The position commanded an extended view  of open fields and the road leading to Smoketown, thence to the Antietam. When the videttes came in and reported that the Union columns were crossing  the Antietam by the bridge and the ford, dispositions were made to delay their  march, and Stuart and Hood, who were at the Dunkard Church, were notified.  Stuart prepared Fitz-Hugh Lee's Brigade to support the 9th Virginia, should it  be hard pressed, and Hood sent a company of the 2nd Mississippi, under R.E.  Clayton, and one of the 6th North Carolina, under Captain Lea, up the  Hagerstown road to D.R. Miller's. About 100 men of the 4th Texas, under  command of Captain W.R. Martin, went northeast from the church, through the 30  acre cornfield, and grass field beyond, and took position on the right of the  two companies of Clayton and Lea, and behind the fence overlooking the field  between it and the North Woods, as also the ground on the right and the  Smoketown road, beyond the East Woods. Other skirmishers of Hood's Division  and some dismounted cavalry were behind the north fence of the East Woods and,  on the right of those of the 4th Texas; and still farther to the right was a  skirmish battalion of Colquitt's Brigade. Colonel S.D. Lee sent two howitzers  of Rhett's South Carolina battery, to the left of the Mumma house, and quite  near the Smoketown road, and a section of Parker's Virginia battery, went up  the Hagerstown road, nearly a mile to the toll-gate, soon returning without  becoming engaged. D.H. Hill sent Lane's Battery of Cutts' Battalion to assist  Hood, and it took position between the Smoketown and Hagerstown roads. Hood  says he stationed "one or two batteries upon a hillock in a meadow near the  edge of a cornfield and just by the pike." One of them was Lane's Battery, the  other we cannot identify, but it was what Wofford reports as "a little  battery." On the Hagerstown road and about 180 yards south of the southwest  corner of the cornfield, was one gun of Blackshear's Georgia battery under  charge of Sergeant-Major R. Fallizant (?). Later in the day, about sunset,  three guns of Poague's Virginia battery, went into position on the left of  Fallizant (?), and about 40 yards west of the Hagerstown road.

When the advance of Meade's Division had gone less than a mile, Hooker saw at  a distance the high ground he was seeking, upon which Meade's column turned to  the left, off the road and across the Hoffman farm. Meanwhile detachments of  the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry had been sent forward on the Williamsport road,  also due west to locate the Hagerstown road, some of the latter went down the  Smoketown road and were fired on by cavalry and artillery. The presence of the  enemy was reported to Hooker just as he was leaving the road to march across  the Hoffman farm, upon which he ordered the "Bucktails" (13th Pennsylvania  Reserves) of Seymour's Brigade, to advance as skirmishers, on the left, and  four companies of the 3rd Pennsylvania Reserves to deploy to the right; the  main column, formed of battalions in mass, division front, with the artillery,  moving the open ground, for the high ridge. Meanwhile a squadron of the 3rd  Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Lieut. E. W. Warren, moving to the left and by the  farm lane running past M. Miller's, had reached the south corner of the East  Woods, where it was soon joined by a platoon of cavalry, under Lieut. W.E.  Miller, which had advanced down the Smoketown road, followed by the  "Bucktails," upon which Warren charged into the woods, unmasked the  Confederate guns and was fired on by Virginia cavalry. Feeling that his  instructions to develop the enemy had been carried out, Miller and Warren fell  back and awaited the infantry now coming up.

Colonel Hugh W. McNeil, commanding the "Bucktails" had deployed four companies  as skirmishers, the remaining six being held in reserve, and advancing  steadily and cautiously, on either side of the Smoketown road, came upon the  Confederate cavalry pickets in front of the East Woods, supported by troops in  position behind the fence on the north edge of the woods. A body of  Confederate cavalry dashed out of the woods and up the Smoketown road, over  the Bucktail skirmishers, but were quickly driven back. The Confederate  infantry skirmishers were driven in, and the "Bucktails," advancing, came  under a raking fire from the infantry and dismounted cavalry, behind the  fences, which was replied to, the reserve of six companies moving at once to  the support of the skirmishers. No sooner had line been formed, in a plowed  field, back of some hay-stacks, when the Confederates opened on it with two  batteries, Rhett's with shell and Lane's with solid shot and spherical case. Up to this time Hood's Division had remained near the Dunkard Church,  supporting the batteries which were firing beyond the East Woods, but when, at  twilight, the cavalry was driven in, Hood went to the front to contest  possession of the East Woods and the cornfield. Wofford's Brigade, which was  in the field in front of the church, moved by the left flank and formed line  on the south border of the cornfield, its left near the Hagerstown road, its  right, the 5th Texas, in the East Woods. Law's Brigade moved from the woods  about the church, directly to the front, the left wing on the left of the  Smoketown road, supporting Wofford, the right wing on the right of the road  eastern part of the East Woods. Scarcely had the division taken position when  the cavalry and Pelham's two guns came back through the East Woods, passed  through the deployed line of the division and went to the rear. The 5th Texas  then sent forward a skirmish company through the cornfield, over the fence,  and across a narrow pasture to a rail fence overlooking a plowed field, and  saw Hooker's men advancing--Seymour's Brigade, with the "Bucktails" leading. Col. McNeil, after forming line in the plowed field west of S. Poffenberger's,  four companies on the right of the Smoketown road and six on the left, rested  some fifteen minutes, during which time the remainder of the brigade came up,  when he gave the order to charge and drive the enemy from the woods. Placing  himself at the front, and, on the left of the road, he led his command, under  a severe fire of the Texans and artillery, to within 15 yards of the East  Woods, when he fell pierced to the heart by a rifle ball. The regiment did not  pause but kept on, drove the enemy from the fence and entered the woods, to be  checked when half-way through them by the 5th Texas and a battery on the south  edge of Miller's cornfield. With the assistance of Cooper's and Ransom's guns  the battery was soon silenced, but the Texans held ground. In this movement  the "Bucktails" were closely supported by the remainder of the brigade, the  6th Reserves, advancing on their right, driving in the skirmishers of the 4th  Texas and some of the 5th Texas, and slowly following them into the woods and  to the fence separating the woods from the Miller cornfield. An effort was  made to penetrate the cornfield but the right of Wofford's Brigade had pushed  up into it and held ground so tenaciously that the regiment withdrew about 100  yards to the north part of the East Woods, leaving a heavy picket line along  the fence in its front. The 1st Reserves followed the "Bucktails" into the  woods and formed on their right and rear. The 5th Reserves, on the left of the  brigade, remained some time in the open ground, but came up after dark and  formed along the north fence of the woods, on the left of the 1st Reserves. Cooper's Pennsylvania Battery closely followed the "Bucktails" through the  woods south of Line's, by a wagon path, (?) down the Smoketown road, and into  battery west of the road, close to the northwest corner of the S. Poffenberger  woods, the 2nd Reserves in support, and opened fired upon Lane's Georgia  Battery, which was firing at Seymour's men in the East Woods. While in this  position and actively at work, the two brigades of Magilton and Anderson were  swinging to the left and advancing past the right of the battery. When the "Bucktails" moved down the Smoketown road to meet the enemy in that  direction, Meade led the brigades of Magilton and Anderson toward the high  ground and the Hagerstown road, but soon after leaving the Line farm and  crossing the Smoketown road, when he had reached the crest of a gentle slope,  he wheeled to the left and marched south, the column closed in mass, with  skirmishers well out, stopping occasionally to remove fences and make  observations. When nearing the J. Poffenberger barn the enemy's skirmishers  were discovered in the North Woods and a battery beyond the woods and quite  near the Hagerstown road opened fire, upon which four companies of the 3rd  Pennsylvania Reserves were deployed as skirmishers to the right and four  companies directly to the front, followed by the 4th Reserves in line of  battle, closely supported by the two brigades. The Confederate skirmishers  were quickly driven from the woods and the two brigades pushed on and occupied  them just at dusk, Anderson's right resting on the Hagerstown road, with  Magilton on his left.

When approaching the North Woods a Confederate battery was plainly seen in a  field, beyond them, supported by infantry, playing upon Seymour's men in the  East Woods. Major John Nyes ordered the 4th Pennsylvania Reserves to fix  bayonets and prepared to take it, but was restrained by the of his brigade  commander, probably so directed by Meade, who says that as but one regiment,  the 4th Reserves, was deployed he was deterred from the endeavor to capture  the battery by a charge. After Meade entered the woods, the battery still  continuing to fire on Seymour, Ransom's Battery (C, 5th U.S.) was ordered  forward to silence it. Ransom went straight down the field east of the J.  Poffenberger barn, through the North Woods to the open field beyond and into  battery, opening upon the Confederate battery and supporting infantry an  enfilade fire, which, in addition to Cooper's fire, and the musketry fire of  the "Bucktail" skirmishers, caused the withdrawal of the offending guns.  Wofford reports he had one officer and some dozen men wounded by this fire and  that the enemy were informed of his position by the firing of a half dozen  shots from a little battery on the left of his brigade which hastily beat a  retreat as soon as the Union guns opened on it.

About this time Poague's Battery of three guns, west of the Hagerstown road,  began shelling Ransom's guns and the North Woods, occupied by Meade's men, and  the hill beyond them. After a few shots at Poague's Battery, in which it was  joined by Simpson's Pennsylvania Battery, Ransom was withdrawn and bivouacked  a few yards north of the North Woods and east of J. Poffenberger's barn.  Cooper remained in the position occupied at the beginning of the action and  Simpson remained on the ridge a little to the right and rear of Cooper. The losses in this affair were not heavy. On the Union side the principal loss  fell upon the "Bucktails" in the death of their commander. Of Hood's Division  but three regiments and the divisional skirmishers were engaged, these lost  very lightly, and the left of Wofford's Brigade suffered some from artillery  fire. Colonel P.E. Liddle, 11th Mississippi, was mortally wounded. His  regiment was in the south edge of the cornfield, supporting Wofford's Brigade,  and was not engaged, when he was struck by a chance shot.

While Hood was engaged, Jackson came on the field with his old division and  formed on his left. When he received Lee's orders to take this position, he  advanced from where he had been resting since morning, leaving Sharpsburg to  the right, passed the Dunkard Church and formed partly in open ground, and  partly in woods, with his right on the Hagerstown road opposite Hood's left,  Winder's' and Jones' brigades in front, on open ground, Taliaferro and Starke  in the edge of the woods, a short distance in rear. Poague's Battery was on a  slight knoll in advance of the first line, and, as we have seen, became  engaged with Ransom's Battery, concerning which Poague says: "upon this  battery, fire was opened, and in about twenty minutes it was silenced, our own  battery (Lane's) on the right of the road in the meantime having retired. In  this affair we were assisted by one gun of some unknown battery." This one  gun, unknown to Poague, was Sergeant Fallizant's gun of Blackshear's Battery.  General J.R. Jones, commanding Jackson's Division, reports that the  skirmishers were "warmly engaged until night" and Major H.J. Williams, of  Winder's Brigade, says of the Union artillery fire, "the display was grand and  comparatively harmless, except to the stragglers in far rear." But the second  line suffered some casualties. Colonel Edmund Pendleton, 15th Louisiana, who  succeeded to command of Starke's Brigade, next day, reports that in taking  position, "we encountered the shells from three of the enemy's batteries  (Cooper, Ransom, and Simpson), and had the misfortune about dark to have  several of our number, among whom was the gallant young Gordon, a lieutenant  in the 9th Louisiana Regiment and acting assistant adjutant-general of the  brigade, who was killed by a shell which cut off both his legs at the thigh." At the time Jackson's Division was sent to the left, Lawton was ordered to  support Toombs at the Burnside Bridge. It was soon seen that no serious work  was to be looked for in that quarter upon which Lawton was ordered to follow  Jackson. He moved through the fields to west and north of Sharpsburg, until he  reached the Hagerstown road at the Dunkard Church. It was then growing dark,  the troops in front were engaged, and Early's Brigade was formed on the left  of Jackson's second line, and at right angles to it., to protect that flank.  Hays' Brigade was put in Early's rear, Lawton's and Trimble's were held in  reserve near the church.

About the time Jackson came up, Stuart's cavalry fell to the rear of Hood's  Division, and, for a time rested in the fields east of the church and observed  the shells from two directions, passing over head, "their burning fuses,  making fiery streaks and gleaming like meteors, and the whole making a  comparatively harmless but brilliant spectacular performance." (von Borcke?) Of Hooker's Corps, Meade's Division only was engaged. The movement of this  column to the left, slowly followed by Ricketts, interfered with the march of  Doubleday's Division. When Meade, moving south, had passed the head of  Doubleday's column, Patrick's Brigade was double-quicked west, under a sharp  artillery fire, by which some men were wounded, to a triangular piece of woods  skirting the Hagerstown road, and formed line along the road fence, facing  west. Before the other brigades of the division could be put in motion to  follow Patrick, Ricketts' Division crossed their line of march and moved into  the S. Poffenberger woods, on either side of the Smoketown road, and  bivouacked. After Ricketts had passed, the other three brigades of Doubleday  resumed march in the dark. Hoffman's Brigade halting on Patrick's left, and  close to the fence of the road, his left connecting with Meade's right, at a  right angle, and resting within a few feet of a lane running from the  Hagerstown road to J. Poffenberger's. Phelps' small brigade followed Hoffman  and bivouacked 200 yards in rear of Patrick. Gibbon's Brigade, closed in mass,  bivouacked in rear of Hoffman. All of Doubleday's brigades faced west and were  then at right angles to Meade, who faced south. 

North of the Joseph Poffenberger house is a prominent hill or rounded ridge  220 feet above the Antietam, and the highest point of the battlefield,  dominating all the ground west of the Hagerstown road and destined to play an  important part in the battle of the 17th. It was on the western slope of this  ridge that Doubleday's four brigades went into bivouac, and on its plateau  were placed the division batteries. Campbell's Battery (B, 4th U.S.) was about  70 yards north of the Poffenberger barn; Monroe's (D, 1st Rhode Island) on  Campbell's right, and Reynolds (L, 1st New York) on the right of Monroe. The  1st New Hampshire Battery, Lieutenant F.M. Edgell, went into park, in a  cornfield, about 500 yards east of the ridge, where it remained until 3.30  a.m. of the 17th, when it advanced into position between Patrick's and  Hoffman's brigades, close to the Hagerstown road, one gun on the road prepared  to be used in any direction.

Hooker's movement was barren of good results but prolific in bad ones. When  darkness came and stopped his advance, he knew very little more of the enemy's  position than when he crossed the Antietam. He had been ordered to turn Lee's  left flank, and completed his day's work by posting his own command in such  manner as to secure it from a flank attack of the enemy, a very proper thing  to do, under all circumstances, but a thing not contemplated when he started;  he had given Lee complete and reliable information as to McClellan's  intentions for the morrow.

Pickets were thrown out to the front and on the right, who were very close to  those of the enemy, and, in the fore part of the night, the Confederate  artillery kept up an annoying fire, particularly upon the brigades of Magilton  and Anderson in the North Woods.

About 9 p.m. Colonel Fisher of the 5th Pennsylvania Reserves, on the left of  the line, having some apprehension for that flank, sent Lieutenant H.P.  Petrikin (?) with a detail of 24 men to reconnoiter and establish a picket  post to the left and about 180 yards to the front. After passing the northeast  corner of the East Woods, Petrikin turned to the right and moved over a field  east of the woods. It was so dark that objects were scarcely discernible at  the distance of only a few feet, and as the party neared a fence running  easterly from the southeast corner of the woods, smoldering campfires were  seen and some of the men cautioned Petrikin that the enemy were just behind  the fence. Petrikin ordered his party forward and, when about 25 feet from the  fence, the 4th Alabama and part of the 6th North Carolina, of Law's Brigade,  fired a scattering volley. The detachment gave a partial volley in return and  retreated, leaving Petrikin mortally wounded. He was taken by the Alabama men  to the Dunkard Church and tenderly cared for, but died during the night. His  watch was returned to his family by Capt. W.M. (R?) of the 4th Alabama. At his headquarters in the Poffenberger barn Hooker heard the picket firing  along the line in his immediate front, and still farther to the left on  Seymour's front and, soon after the Petrikin incident, visited his pickets in  order to satisfy himself concerning this firing. He found that the picket  lines were so near each other that though unseen, each could hear the other  walk. Seymour's officers and men were keenly alive to their propensity to the  enemy and appeared to realize the responsible character of their service for  the night. Their conduct inspired Hooker with the fullest confidence. Upon  returning to the barn, Hooker immediately dispatched a courtier informing  McClellan of his surroundings and assuring him that the battle would be  renewed at the earliest dawn and that reinforcements should be ordered forward  in season to reach him before that moment.

The 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, after performing much detached duty during the  day, was practically united soon after dark, between the right of Seymour's  Brigade and the left of Magilton. Late in the night, a squadron, under command  of Captain Claude White, was ordered on outpost duty. When giving White his  instructions, Hooker said he could not give any information about the roads,  that he had taken position on the left flank of the enemy and wanted him to  move to the right and rear and use his eyes and ears so as to give him timely  notice of any movement in that quarter on the part of the enemy. White moved  north, more than a mile from Hooker's headquarters, to the intersection of the  Williamsport road and the Hagerstown turnpike, placing his reserves in the  angle of the two roads, at the Schneibele (?) home and picketing the turnpike  and the road west of it.

When the engagement terminated by darkness, Stuart moved his cavalry still  farther to the left, on Jackson's flank, and crowned the commanding hill  between the West Woods and the Potomac with artillery ready for the attack in  the morning. The greater part of Fitz-Hugh Lee's Brigade was moved in rear of  this steep hill and near the river. It was quite late in the night when Fitz-  Hugh Lee got into position, after which he went up the side of the hill, tied  his horse to a small tree and lay down to sleep. Jackson soon came up and laid  down near him at the foot of a tree and was soon asleep.

The 7th Virginia Cavalry, of Munford's Brigade, was detached September 10th,  to accompany Jackson on his march to Harper's Ferry. On the afternoon of the  16th it recrossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown Ford and marched by Grove's,  Smith's and Rouse's (?) to the Coffman farm, where the horses were left and  the men marched across the fields to Ground Squirrel Church, and took position  north of the woods, which surround the church, and on both sides of the  Hagerstown turnpike. It was late at night and they were not aware of the fact  that they were but 600 yards south of White's squadron of the 3rd Pennsylvania  Cavalry and but half a mile north of Doubleday's Division. Nor did the  Pennsylvania cavalrymen nor Doubleday's men know of the near presence of the  Virginians.

When it became evident to General Lee that Hooker's movement was but the  advance of a much larger force and that his left was to be attacked early in  the morning, he ordered D.H. Hill to extend his line to the left, which Hill  did by moving Ripley's Brigade from the right, near the Boonsboro and  Sharpsburg turnpikes, to the left and in support to Jackson and Hood and the  batteries of Stephen D. Lee. Ripley passed in the rear of the division and  took position, during the night, about 150 yards west of the Mumma house, his  right resting on Mumma's lane, his left extending northwest nearly to the  Smoketown road.

The officers and men of Hood's Division, being without food for three days,  except a half ration of beef for one day, and green corn gathered from the  field, Hood rode back to Lee's headquarters and requested him to send two or  more brigades to his relief, or at least for the night, in order that his men  might have a chance to cook their meager rations of flour. Lee said that he  would cheerfully do so, but he knew of no command that could be spared for the  purpose; he, however, suggested that Hood see Jackson and endeavor to obtain  assistance from him. After riding a long time in search of Jackson, Hood  finally found him alone, lying on the ground, asleep, by the foot of a tree.  He aroused him and made known the half-starved condition of his troops, upon  which Jackson ordered Lawton's and Trimble's brigades to his relief. He  exacted of Hood, however, a promise that he would move to the support of these  brigades the moment he was called upon. It was now after 10 o'clock, his two  brigades were relieved and fell back to a position about 200 yards in rear of  the Dunkard Church and Hood rode off in search of his wagons, that his men  might prepare to cook their flour.

Lawton's Brigade relieved the Texas Brigade; two companies of skirmishers,  under Lieutenant W.H. Harrison, 31st Georgia, about 50 feet in the south edge  of Miller's cornfield, extending into the East Woods on the right and to the  Hagerstown pike on the left; eight companies of the 31st Georgia, in support,  about 100 yards south of the corn, the remainder of the brigade, in line,  about 135 yards behind the 31st Georgia. Trimble's Brigade, commanded by  Colonel James A. Walker, 13th Virginia, relived Law: its pickets in the edge  of the East Woods, which were occupied but a short distance farther in by  Seymour's men, and his main line in a plowed field, east of the Smoketown  road, one regiment in a clover field west of the road and connecting, though  not closely, with Lawton on the left. The right connected with Ripley's  Brigade, the latter forming nearly a right angle with Walker, and fronting the  Antietam. Lawton faced north; Walker northeast. Both brigades lay upon their  arms during the night with occasional skirmishing in front between the  pickets.

There is nothing in the records to show that, when Hooker crossed the  Antietam, it was the intention of McClellan that either the Twelfth or Second  Corps should follow him that evening, if there were such intentions they were  not shown in any orders to that end. But when McClellan, after his march with  Hooker, recrossed the Antietam he ordered Sumner to send the Twelfth Corps to  Hooker's support that evening and to hold his own, Second Corps, in readiness  to march for the same purpose an hour before daylight. Sumner, who was anxious  to have his command of two corps act as a unit, under his own eye, in so far  as this was possible, asked permission to follow Mansfield's Corps that night,  but McClellan would not consent; he would give him no authority to move till  ordered to do so, and was given to understand that he would not receive such  orders till next morning. McClellan had broken up Burnside's wing command by  detaching Hooker, he now dislocated Sumner's by detaching Mansfield. Sumner sent the order to Mansfield late in the night and the corps, crossing  the Little Antietam and main Antietam by the stone bridges, went up the  Williamsport road nearly a mile, then turned to the left and, about 2.30 a.m.,  went into bivouac on the farms of Hoffman and Line, a mile in Hooker's rear.  Sumner, anticipating the movement of his own corps, and impressed with the  importance of having everything at the front at the very earliest hour, sent  five of his batteries across the Antietam during the night. They parked near  the Twelfth Corps.

The Battle Intensifies: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.


Daybreak to 7:30 AM

by Ezra A. Carman (originally Chapter 15)

The battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg) was really three distinct engagements,  at different hours of the day, on entirely different parts of the field. The  battle began on the Union right at daybreak and was practically over at 10:30  a.m. In the center it began at 9.30 a.m. and was over before 1 p.m. It began  on the Union left at 10 a.m. and continued until sunset. No Union troops that  fought on one part of the line were elsewhere engaged. With the Confederates  it was different: Colonel Walter H. Taylor, in "Four Years with General Lee,"  says "With consummate skill were they maneuvered and shifted from point to  point, as different parts of the line of battle were in turn assailed with  greatest impetuosity."

The engagement on the right began with the advance of the First Corps, under Hooker, at daybreak, upon the divisions of Ewell and Jackson, resulting in the  defeat of those two divisions and the check of Hood's Division. The next stage  was the advance of the Twelfth Corps and its relief of the First Corps at 7.30  a.m.; the forcing back Hood and successful engagement with the brigades of  Ripley, Colquitt, and Garland, driving them from the field at 8.40 a.m. The  third stage, on the right, was the advance of the Second Corps at 9.10 a.m.,  and, the engagement of Sedgwick's Division and parts of the First and Twelfth  corps, in the West Woods, with Early's and G.T. Anderson's brigades, the  divisions of McLaws and Walker, and the remnants of Jackson's Division. When Hooker crossed the Antietam, on the afternoon of the 16th, it was his  understanding that, when he began the attack the next morning, on Lee's left,  simultaneous attacks would be made upon Lee's center and right. When he had  taken position at night he reported to McClellan that "the battle would be  renewed at the earliest dawn," and suggested that he should be reinforced  before that time.

There was no delay on Hooker's part. The stars were still shining when his  skirmishers became engaged and he and Meade left their quarters in the  Poffenberger barn and went to the south edge of the North Woods to give  direction to the attack. His examination determined him to continue a  southward movement and seize what appeared to be the key point on that part of  the field--the Dunkard Church and the high ground adjacent, on either side of  the Hagerstown road. Once gained, this position would take D.H. Hill's  Division in left flank and rear, and enfilade the Confederate batteries on  Cemetery Hill. Orders were given holding Doubleday's Division in readiness to  move directly on the church and for batteries to be put in position to support  the movement and silence Colonel S.D.Lee's guns, plainly seen on the plateau  across the road from the church. While these examinations were being made the  battle opened in the East Woods, between Seymour's men and the Confederate  brigades of Lawton and Trimble, and by an artillery duel between Doubleday's  batteries on the Poffenberger Hill and three batteries on Nicodemus hill.  Rickets was ordered to support Seymour; Doubleday's was ordered forward, and  Meade's Division was held in the center to support the movement of Doubleday  and Ricketts and go to the assistance of either, when required.

The Confederate position was not exactly as Hooker expected to find it. It did  not present its flank to him; the left was thrown back at nearly a right angle  to the main Confederate line, with its left across the Hagerstown road;  Jackson's old division west of and perpendicular to the road, and two brigades  of Ewell's Division, under A.R. Lawton, east of it. Lawton claims first  attention.

Trimble's Brigade, under command of Colonel James A. Walker, 13th Virginia,  was on the right of the division, its right resting on the Mumma grave-yard,  thence extending to the left across the Smoketown road. From right to left  were the 15th Alabama, 21st North Carolina, 21st Georgia, 12th Georgia, the  last named being on the left of the road. The brigade numbered about 700 men.  Ripley's Brigade of D, H. Hill's Division was on the right and rear of  Trimble's. On the left of Trimble's was Lawton's Brigade, but not in close  connection, there being an interval of 65 to 70 yards. Lawton's Brigade,  commanded by Colonel Marcellus Douglass, 13th Georgia, had six Georgia  regiments--the 13th, 26th, 31st, 38th, 60th, and 61st--numbering 1150 men.  When first in position, and until the battle had fairly opened, the left of  the brigade was about 120 yards east of the Hagerstown road, and the three  left regiments--the 26th, 38th, and 61st, in order named from left to right--  from 225 to 230 yards south of the Miller cornfield and practically parallel  to it; the right wing of the brigade was refused and faced northeast. The 31st  Georgia was thrown to the front and left of the right wing, and to within 120  yards of the, its right about 100 yards from the East Woods fence. When taking  position, during the night of the 16th, two companies of the 31st, under  command of Lieutenant W.H. Harrison, were advanced as pickets 50 feet into the  corn, their right at the edge of the East Woods, their left extending to the  Hagerstown road. Before daybreak of the 17th Harrison inadvertently stumbled  upon the Union picket line, a few shots were fired, Harrison was captured, and  his pickets were withdrawn from the corn and formed along its south border.  The ground held by the brigade was somewhat lower than the cornfield, and, in  nearly its entire length, was covered by low stone ledges, and small  protuberances, which afforded some protection and, in places, a rail fence was  thrown down and piled as a breastwork. In other places there was no  protection, either of rock-ledge, inequality of the ground, or fence rails,  but as the action progressed and the line rapidly thinned, those exposed  positions were abandoned for the sheltered ones.

In rear of Lawton's two brigades, on the plateau nearly opposite and about 225

yards from the church, were four batteries of Colonel S.D.Lee's artillery  battalion--the Ashland (Va.) Artillery, Captain P. Woolfolk, Jr.; Bedford  (Va.) Artillery, Captain T.C. Jordan; Brooks' (S.C.) Artillery, Lieutenant  William Elliot; and Parker's (Va.) Battery, Captain W.W. Parker. There was also in the vicinity of the church and on the ridge south and west  of it some guns of Cutts' artillery battalion. The battalion consisted of the  four Georgia batteries of Lane, Ross, Patterson, and Blackshear. Lane's  Battery was not engaged on the 17th. The other three batteries were engaged on  various parts of the field, in the vicinity of the church and on Hauser's  ridge, most of the time under direction of General Stuart.

There was some spiteful firing during the night by the opposing pickets, who,  in places, were not over 50 feet apart and, when not yet fairly dawn, the  firing increased to the proportions of a severe engagement. Seymour's men soon  advanced through the eastern part of the Miller's cornfield and the East Woods  to the fences bordering them on the west, drove in the right of the skirmish  line and fell upon the front and right flank of the eight companies of the  31st Georgia, who were driven back upon their brigade.

The 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (Bucktails) now advanced in somewhat open order  about 100 yards to the left and front, still keeping in the woods and throwing  its right forward, the left in this movement reaching and resting on the  Smoketown road. In this position, well covered by the large trees, it opened a  steady and very accurate fire upon both Trimble's Brigade and the right of  Lawton's, while the skirmish lines of the 1st and 6th Reserves advanced to the  edge of the corn and woods and gave their attention to Lawton's right and  center.

As the 13th Reserves became engaged with Trimble's Brigade, the 5th Reserves,  advancing through the eastern part of the East Woods, drove the Confederates  out of them and came to the support of the 13th, the right wing of the 5th  coming up behind the left of the 13th. The 5th was quickly obliqued beyond the  Smoketown road, its right 25 yards from it, and, lining up behind the fence,  opened fire upon Trimble's Brigade, in line across the plowed field near the  Mumma grave-yard, 300 yards distant. The fighting was severe, the Confederates  suffering most, being on open ground, while the Pennsylvanians had the cover  of trues. The ammunition of the 13th began to run out, when it was relieved by  the 2nd Reserves, which during the night had remained in support to Cooper's  Battery, and had before day entered the woods and now moved up to support the  13th. When the 2nd moved up, the 13th fell back for ammunition, but some of  the men, having cartridges, remained on the line. Colonel Fisher of the 5th  Reserves, observing from his position on lower ground that the left of the  13th had fallen back, and not seeing that the 2nd had taken its place, for it  formed more to the right, out of his sight, and supposing that a heavy  Confederate fire, heard at this time, had swept the troops from his right,  thus exposing that flank, led his regiment off by the left flank, down the  east fence of the woods to the big spring at S. Poffenberger's and thence to  the Poffenberger woods, bordering the Smoketown road; the 1st, 2nd, and 6th  Reserves, and the greater part of the 13th still remaining in the East Woods. While Trimble's Brigade was engaged with the Pennsylvania Reserves two heavy  batteries beyond the Antietam opened fire upon it, and very soon thereafter  the Union artillery on the high ground east of D.R. Miller's joined in the  fire. Stephen D. Lee now sent two guns of Jordan's Battery to its assistance,  but those were soon silenced and withdrawn. Leaving Trimble's Brigade under  the severe musketry fire of the 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves and the cross-fire  of artillery we note the arrival of reinforcements to Seymour.

When Hooker ordered Ricketts to the support of Seymour he ordered, also, that  the batteries of the division should be hurried forward to the high ground  between Miller's orchard and the East Woods. Matthew's Battery (F, 1st Pa.  Light Artillery) immediately advanced from near S. Poffenberger's woods,  passed in rear of the hill where Doubleday's guns were then engaged Stuart's,  and, being upon by S.D.Lee's guns, went into position near they extreme  northwest corner of the East Woods, soon advancing to a more favorable  position in the same field, about 30 yards west of the woods, and fired over  the corn at Lee's batteries near the church.

When, at dawn, Ricketts was ordered forward, Hartsuff's and Duryea's brigades  were directed to flank to the right out of the Poffenberger woods, and then  advanced south, Hartsuff, in deployed line, leading Duryea, in column of  divisions, in close support on the right. Christian's Brigade was to go  directly forward on the left of the Smoketown road. It was daybreak when  Hartsuff and Duryea obliqued to the right out of the woods to the grass-fields  east of the J. Poffenberger's barn. Hartsuff, who was in line, moved south,  but was immediately halted, and Duryea, passing to the right, went through the  North Woods and over Magilton's Brigade, lying in them, and halted in a plowed  field, where a detail was made from the 105th New York to Thompson's Battery  (C, Penn. Light Artillery) which had accompanied the brigade and was short of  men. The advance was soon resumed, under a terrific fire of shot and shell  from Lee's guns, by which many men were killed and wounded, and passing  Matthew's Battery, the brigade went down a gentle incline and deployed along  the north fence of Miller's cornfield, about 5:45 a.m., the 107th Pennsylvania  on the right, and 97th, 104th, and 105th New York, in order named, on the  left, and the 1100 men laid down.

When Thompson halted his battery for a detail of men Matthews was already  engaged. When men were furnished him he opened fire upon S.D.Lee's guns, but  finding that Jordan's section, on Trimble's line, had the correct range of his  position, he turned his fire upon it until it was withdrawn, and was then  ordered to advance and go into action nearly on a line with Matthews and 20  yards east of Miller's orchard and due east of his house. Thompson and  Matthews now threw several charges of canister into the cornfield, and then at  6 a.m. Duryea's men sprang to their feet, went over the fence and through very  dense corn, standing over their heads, to its south edge--245 yards--the right  of the line about 145 yards east of the Hagerstown road, the left about 100  yards from the East Woods. Simultaneously with the advance of Duryea's men  into the corn, Thompson's Battery went forward nearly to the fence and again  opened upon S.D.Lee's guns.

The south edge of the corn was skirted by a row of corn which the men began to  poke to the right and left to discover what was in front, the left regiment  saw Trimble's Brigade and the right of Lawton's engaged with Seymour's in the  East Woods, and the right regiment saw, 230 yards in their front, Lawton's  left in rear of a low rail fence, partly thrown down. As Lawton's men had been  instructed to watch for the Union line to reach the edge of the corn and for  each man to fire down his "own corn row," Duryea's men were instantly fired  upon and there was a contest of the most deadly character. At first no  attention was paid by either line to the rail fence in their respective  fronts, but each stood and fired on the other, neither party endeavoring to  advance, soon, however, the severity of the fire dictated more caution and  most of the men, on both sides, laid down and sought cover.

The 105th and 104th New York, on reaching the south edge of the corn pushed  out into the open field 160 and 120 yards respectively and were opened upon  with such vigor by Lawton's right and the 12th Georgia, and S.D.Lee's guns,  that they soon fell back to the corn, the former carrying with it, its  mortally wounded commander, Lieutenant Colonel Howard Carroll. We return to Trimble's Brigade, which we left contending with the 2nd  Pennsylvania Reserves and annoyed by artillery fire. The 13th Reserves having  been withdrawn and the 5th having retired, because missing the 13th on its  right, Walker, commanding Trimble's Brigade, paid particular attention to the  2nd Reserves, which was obliged to fall back a short distance, just as  Duryea's men reached the south edge of the corn, upon which Trimble's  skirmishers entered the East Woods, but did not penetrate far, as the 2nd  Reserves had fallen back a short distance only, to a more advantageous and  sheltered position. In the formation of Trimble's Brigade the 12th Georgia,  about 100 men, was on the north side of the Smoketown road, its right resting  on the road, 20 yards east of the lane running to the Mumma house. In this  position it fired at the 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves and the skirmishers of the  1st and 6th. Upon the falling back of the Pennsylvanians and the advance of  the 105th and 104th New York, south of the corn, it wheeled to the left and  took position behind a rock ledge parallel to the Smoketown road and 100 yards  from it, and from this covered position delivered such an accurate fire upon  the two regiments that they became much shaken and fell back. Colonel Walker,  observing the effect of this cool and deliberate fire, now ordered the 21st  Georgia and the 21st North Carolina to wheel to the left, cross the Smoketown  road, and, taking shelter under the same low rock-ledge and the swelling  ground on either side of it, open fire on the left of Duryea's line with the  view of it. The movement was promptly executed and after a few rounds Duryea's  left yielded some ground. Observing that General Hays' Louisiana brigade had  now come on the field to the support of Lawton and that, apparently, it was  going forward to join in the fight, Walker ordered his own line to advance,  which it did, a short distance, when, seeing that Hays did not advance with  him and that Lawton's right had yielded some ground, thus leaving his own left  exposed, and that his men could not advance farther with safety, he fell back  to his original position. In this last advance Walker noticed that the 12th  Georgia did not go forward with the other regiments, less than a score  responding to the order, while the others were seen lying down behind the  rock-ledge. Surprised at the conduct of this tried and veteran regiment he  hastened to it and found that every man had gone forward, who could do so.  Those remaining were dead or wounded. Out of 100 men carried into action 59  were killed or wounded; among the killed was Captain James G. Rodgers,  commanding the regiment.

Meanwhile the struggle continued between Duryea's right (the 107th  Pennsylvania and 97th New York) and Lawton's left (the 26th, 38th and 61st  Georgia). At first the 26th Georgia was 120 yards east of the Hagerstown road,  but it obliqued to the left until it gained high ground, about 50 yards from  the road and directed a right oblique fire upon the right of the 107th  Pennsylvania; the left of the Pennsylvania regiment and the entire 97th New  York, being under the fire of the 38th and 61st Georgia. On the west side of  the road was Jackson's old division, not yet engaged, but a few of its  skirmishers, at the fence of the road, were firing at the flank of the 107th  Pennsylvania. The 38th Georgia made a desperate effort to gain the cover of a  ledge in its front, near the corn, but was disastrously repulsed; the 61st was  content with holding on , suffering terribly from a crossfire. Neither side  gained any advantage of ground, but Lawton's men lost more heavily, as they  were fired at from both front and right, the fire from Seymour's men in the  East Woods enfilading the three left regiments, at the same time Duryea's  right partially enfiladed the right regiments. In addition both Lawton's and  Trimble's brigades were then, and had been since daybreak, under a distressing  artillery fire from the Union batteries in front and from the log range guns  beyond the Antietam, which, with the infantry fire, General Early reports:  "subjected the two brigades to a terrible fire."

The change of front and advance of the 21st Georgia and the 21st North  Carolina caused the 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves and the skirmishers of the 1st  and 6th to retire a short distance to a better position, and an incorrect  report reached Duryea that they had given way entirely, and that the  Confederates were filling the East Woods in pursuit, thus endangering his left  flank. Without verifying the report, Duryea, after being in action 30 minutes,  ordered his brigade to fall back. These orders met the 105th and 104th New  York as they fell back from the pasture field and carried them to the  northeast part of the cornfield. Parts of the 97th New York and 107th  Pennsylvania followed, but the right of the former and the left of the latter,  failing to receive orders, and, from the density of the corn, not perceiving  that their comrades had retired, remained a little longer, when it was  discovered that they were alone, upon which they fell back through the corn  and, at its north side met Hartsuff's Brigade sweeping to the front, and,  under Hooker's order they rallied as a support. As these two detachments went  back the advance of Doubleday's Division entered the northwest corner of the  corn and moved to the attack. In its action of about 30 minutes Duryea's  Brigade lost 33 1/2 per cent of its number; the most sever loss falling upon  the 97th New York; out of 203 present it had 107 killed and wounded, or 52  7/10 per cent.

Immediately upon Duryea's retirement, Lawton's skirmishers pushed into the  corn in pursuit, and the entire line, supported by Hays' Brigade, was ordered  forward, when it was discovered that the advance of Doubleday's Division, on  either side of the Hagerstown road, threatened to turn the left flank, upon  which the left of the brigade obliqued toward the road and became engaged with  the 6th and 2nd Wisconsin of Doubleday's advance and, at the same time,  Jackson's old division, west of the road became engaged. The battle now raged  near and along the Hagerstown road and in and west of the East Woods. We shall  narrate later the action on the Confederate left of this line, and now resume  the narrative of what followed Duryea's withdrawal.

We have stated that while Trimble's Brigade was engaged Hays' Louisiana  brigade came on the field. It had bivouacked in the woods northwest of the  church. Soon after daylight Lawton ordered Hays to move quickly and fill the  interval of 120 yards between the 26th Georgia and the Hagerstown road. Hays  crossed the road, 120 yards north of the Dunkard Church, and was advancing due  north to close the interval, when he was directed by Lawton to bear to the  right and take position immediately in rear of his brigade. This was done and  he remained in this position until Colonel Douglass commanding Lawton's  Brigade, requested him to come to his assistance. With his 550 men he advanced  under a deadly fire from Matthews' and Thompson's guns, and was still  advancing when Hartsuff's Brigade came down through the cornfield and East  Woods and opposed him. 

When Hartsuff, after moving out of the Poffenberger woods to the right, at  daybreak, halted his brigade, it was that he might go forward and examine the  ground over which he was to move and see where Seymour was engaged, and thus  lead his men to the most advantageous position for the work in hand. While in  the performance of this most important duty he was severely wounded and borne  from the field. The command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel Richard  Coulter of the 11th Pennsylvania. The delay incident to the halt and change of  command was about 30 minutes, but, at the end of that time Coulter had  received no orders to advance, and the 90th Pennsylvania, of Christian's  Brigade, had been ordered to support Matthews' Battery. When Coulter assumed  command the brigade was in line north of the East Woods, in this order from  right to left--Massachusetts, 11th Pennsylvania, 13th Massachusetts, and 83rd  New York. It numbered about 1000 men. Just as firing began on the Hagerstown  road, between the advance of Doubleday's Division and the skirmishers of  Jackson's Division, Coulter received orders to go forward and was instantly in  motion. He advanced through the East Woods and over the open field west of  them, and at Seymour's suggestion obliqued a little to the right to clear  Seymour's lines. The 12th Massachusetts, on the right, went down the sloping  ground. Lawton's skirmishers had already entered the corn, bullets were flying  fast and shells from S.D.Lee's and Stuart's guns were exploding, two companies  from the Massachusetts regiment were thrown out, under command of Captain B.F.  Cook, and the line continued its advance. As one company of skirmishers was  sufficient, the other fell back in with the regiment and Cook went on through  the corn, Lawton's skirmishers slowly retiring, the Massachusetts skirmishers   falling back into their regiment as it came up. The regiment, Thompson's  Battery moving close in its right rear, followed Lawton's men to the south  edge of the corn, every step through the corn marked by the dead and wounded  from the fire of the Confederate artillery, but there was not a straggler. The  regiment advanced about 50 yards beyond the south edge of the corn to a swell  of ground (trending?) southwest, then throwing its right 10 or 12 yards  farther from the corn than its left, which was about 18(?)0 yards from the  East Woods. Lawton's main line was not seen until the regiment crowned the  knoll and the battle-smoke had drifted away, when it was discovered beyond  some low ground, a scattering and irregular line to the right, but more  compact in front, and an advancing line was seen on its left front; this was  Hays' Brigade and most bloody work began. The 11th Pennsylvania, closely  following on the left of the 12th Massachusetts, passed over the 6th  Pennsylvania Reserves and through the corn to near its southeast corner, where  facing a little west of south it opened fire. On the left the 13th  Massachusetts and the 83rd New York swept through the East Woods, and,  wheeling to the right, faced nearly west at the edge of the woods, where they  became immediately engaged. The entire movement was executed in good order,  the regiments coming into position in quick succession and opening fire before  fairly halted. From the time the 12th Massachusetts crowned the knoll, south  of the corn, to the time the 83rd New York swung around to the edge of the  woods, not more than three minutes elapsed, and Hays' Brigade terribly  depleted, had reached Lawton's line. Hays did not halt, but pushed right on  against the 12th and 13th Massachusetts and 11th Pennsylvania, a part of  Lawton's men going with him, the remainder obliquing to the left toward the  Hagerstown road, as we shall see, to be repulsed by the 2nd and 6th Wisconsin  and parts of Phelps' Brigade.

The weight of Hays' attack fell upon the 12th Massachusetts, 11th Pennsylvania  and right wing of the 13th Massachusetts, which were on open ground, much  exposed, the left wing of the 13th Massachusetts having the cover of the  woods. S.D.Lee's guns tore great gaps in the ranks of the 12th Massachusetts;  the musketry fire rapidly thinned it; Major Burbank, its commander, was  mortally wounded; the colors and the entire color-guard went down in a heap;  the men closed up on the colors, which still lay on the ground, and continued  their fire. The 11th Pennsylvania and the 13th Massachusetts poured in a  deadly fire and, struck in front and flank, Hays and the Georgians, who had  had advanced with him, were soon checked, then repulsed and fell back slowly  and sullenly to seek cover. At this time Trimble's Brigade, nearly out of  ammunition and getting what it could from the cartridge boxes and pockets of  the dead and wounded, was barely holding ground, and Lawton's left had been  repulsed by Doubleday's advance along the Hagerstown road. While all this was  transpiring on the right of Jackson's line, east of the Hagerstown road,  bloody work was being done on the left (west) of it, and we now turn out  attention to that part of the action.

When Jackson's Division came upon the field, at dusk of the 16th, it was  formed in two lines, the brigades of Winder and Jones in first line, on open  ground, the right (Winder) resting on the Hagerstown road, on the left of  Lawton's Brigade, though separated from it by an interval of 120 yards,  Lawton's men not in view, being beyond and below the ridge on which ran the  road. The left of the line was about 100 yards from the West Woods. This line  of two brigades was under command of Colonel A.J. Grigsby of the 27th  Virginia. The second line, the brigades of Starke and Taliaferro, under  command of General W.E. Starke, was in the north edge of the southern body of  the West Woods, 210 yards in rear of the first line, Taliaferro's Brigade  resting its right on the Hagerstown road, Starke, on the left, extending to  the west edge of the woods. These four brigades comprised the "Stonewall"  Division, commanded by General John R. Jones.

The greater part of Jackson's artillery did not enter the West Woods, but was  in the open ground west of them, near the A. Poffenberger barn, but Poague's,  Brockenbrough's and D'Aquin's batteries followed the infantry and took  position, Poague's on Grigsby's line, Brockenbrough's in front of Starke's  Brigade and D'Aquin's near Brockenbrough's. Before the action had fairly  opened Jackson saw that D'Aquin was in a very exposed position, where, after  the infantry became engaged, he could not use his guns to advantage, and  ordered him out of the woods to the open ground on the west to act with  Stuart's cavalry. Poague, who had done some work, at dusk of the 16th, sent  back his two 10-pound Parrott guns and was given two howitzers from Rains'  Battery, and, at daybreak of the 17th had three guns a few feet in advance of  Grigsby's line and about 35 yards west of the Hagerstown road. Skirmishers  were well out in front from D.R. Miller's on the right to beyond the Nicodemus  house on the left. The strength of Jackson's old division was about 1600 men.  General John R. Jones says: "Regiments were commanded by captains and  lieutenants and some companies by sergeants. Many of the men had shoes and  many went into action barefooted. They were ragged, tired, hungry and  barefooted, but they were soldiers who had marched hundreds of miles during  the summer and fought many battles under Jackson and Lee, and upon this field  fought with a gallantry never surpassed and rarely equaled."

At daybreak an artillery duel began across Jackson's front between Doubleday's  and Stuart's guns, and soon after daybreak a stream of round shot and shell  came from Matthews' and Thompson's batteries on the Miller farm; and from the  heavy guns beyond the Antietam came a fire which enfiladed Jackson's Division  and took it in reverse. Poague's and Brockenbrough's guns replied to the guns  on the right front, but Brockenbrough was soon ordered to retire through the  West Woods. During the artillery fire General John R. Jones, commanding the  division, was stunned by the explosion of a shell over his head and obliged to  turn over the command to General Starke and leave the field. Lawton and  Trimble were now at work on the right and very soon Doubleday's advance was  seen marching on the east of and close to the Hagerstown road.

Before this Grigsby had noticed the gap between his right and Lawton's left  and had called attention to it, and when Doubleday was seen advancing, he  again sent a member of his staff to Starke with the request that the gap be  filled at once. It was just at this time that Lawton's order came to the same  effect and Jackson, who was with Starke, ordered Hays to move through the  woods in Starke's rear, cross the road and fill the gap; at the same time  Early was ordered to the left to support Stuart's cavalry and the artillery on  Nicodemus hill. How Hays executed his orders has been told; what Early did  shall be told later; we now follow Doubleday.

It was nearly 9 o'clock, on the night of the 16th, when Doubleday's Division,  infantry and artillery, went into bivouac on the hill north of Joseph  Poffenberger's. At very early daybreak Doubleday galloped along the line and  ordered Gibbon and Phelps to move their brigades back at once, as they were on  a hillside, in open range of the Confederate batteries on Nicodemus hill,  about a 1,000 yards distant. The men, most of whom were in sound sleep, were  awakened, and Gibbon hurriedly began moving back from the exposed slope. He  had moved not more than ten rods when a shell burst over his brigade, then  another, followed by a percussion shell, which struck a thrashing machine and  exploded in the center of the moving mass, killing three men and wounding 11  of the 6th Wisconsin, and disabling some men of other regiments. Moving on the  brigade soon reached the shelter of the Poffenberger barn. This fire came from  the batteries of Balthis and Wooding, on Stuart's line, and was the first  artillery firing on the morning of the 17th of September. The first shot was  probably fired by Balthis Staunton battery, commanded by Lieutenant A.W.  Garber. Carpenter immediately joined his fire to that of Garber and Wooding,  and they were promptly answered by Doubleday's guns, the first shot killing  Lieutenant-Colonel John T. Thornton, commanding 3rd Virginia Cavalry, who was  in rear of Nicodemus hill, where Fitz-Hugh Lee had moved the greater part of  his cavalry brigade, and on the west slope of the hill Jackson slept during  the night of the 16th.

This was the artillery prelude to the battle of Antietam, and was soon  followed by S.D.Lee's guns near the Dunkard Church, the guns beyond the  Antietam, Poague's and Brockenbrough's guns and those of Matthews and  Thompson.

The Confederate guns on Nicodemus hill were soon silenced, but resumed their  fire soon after, not upon Doubleday's artillery alone but upon his infantry  and that of Ricketts and Meade's divisions, as they moved to the front, an  enfilading fire which was very annoying and that inflicted some loss. The fire  from these guns ranged into the ranks of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, which  had bivouacked near the East Woods, causing it to change position. The  regiment was then broken up into detachments, serving on different parts of  the field, supporting batteries and gathering stragglers.

It was after the opening of this artillery fire that Doubleday was directed to  get ready to move. He had previously dispatched Gibbon to take the advance,  followed in order by Phelps, Patrick, and Hoffman. It was nearing 6 a.m., when  Hooker ordered the advance, Gibbon to begin the attack along the Hagerstown  road, followed by Phelps as a support. About 15 minutes later Patrick went  forward by Hooker's order, and by the same order Hoffman remained to support  the artillery, on the Poffenberger hill in his rear.

Gibbon's Brigade consisted of the 19th Indiana, 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin. It  numbered 971 officers and men. It was a staunch organization, known as the  "Iron Brigade," and had a good soldier as its commander. Gibbon advanced in  column of divisions, the 6th Wisconsin, Lieutenant Colonel Edward S. Bragg, on  the right, on the east of the Hagerstown road, through the North Woods, which  were being vigorously shelled by Stuart's guns, over Magilton's Brigade of  Pennsylvania Reserves, and into the open field south of the woods, , where  Hooker was directing affairs. Here the 6th Wisconsin was deployed in line and  two companies thrown out as skirmishers. Under Hooker's orders the regiment,  followed by the brigade, obliqued to the right until it reached the road, then  marched south. Upon approaching D.R. Miller's garden the fire from this point  was severe, the enemy still holding it as a picket post, although Duryea had  passed it on the east. The skirmishers, under Captain John A. Kellogg, drove  the Confederates out, and the regiment pushed on over the open field, which  was swept by an artillery fire from Stuart's guns on the right and Poague's in  front. The right wing passed to the right of Miller's garden without trouble;  the left was delayed in its advance by a picket fence surrounding the garden.  In moving over the flower beds and through the rose bushes Captain E.A.  (Brown?) was killed by a musket ball. Beyond the garden, in a peach orchard,  the two wings of the regiment were united, just as the Confederate skirmishers  disappeared into the cornfield, which was on rising ground, the cornstalks  standing thick and high. This was the western part of the Miller cornfield.  Bragg did not linger in the peach orchard but ordered the regiment forward. It  climbed the south fence of the orchard, moved across a shallow basin of 75  yards and pushed into the corn. The three right companies were crowded into  the road and across it on the right. The other regiments of the brigade  followed the 6th Wisconsin and halted, closed in mass, in the open space  between the orchard and the cornfield, while the Wisconsin skirmishers were  searching the corn.

Campbell's Battery followed Gibbon through the North Woods and halted about  100 yards south of them, and a section, under Lieutenant James Steuart, was  advanced and opened fire over the heads of the infantry, in reply to S.D.Lee's  and Poague's guns and, also, upon the woods north of the Dunkard Church.  Reynolds' New York battery was subsequently ordered to the same field, and the  position on the plateau north of Poffenberger's, was filled by Cooper's and  Simpson's batteries of Meade's Division.

Phelps' Brigade followed Campbell's Battery through the North Woods and into  the open field in which Hooker and staff were seen, directly in the rear of  Campbell's Battery, and was ordered by Hooker to move by the flank through the  field and support Gibbon, who was seen advancing. The direct and cross  artillery fire over the field was very heavy, but the brigade moved without  loss to a point some 90 yards in advance of and on the right of the battery,  the right resting on the Hagerstown road, and the line moved forward some 50  yards in rear of Gibbon. Phelps had five regiments the 22nd, 24th, 30th, and  84th New York (14th Brooklyn) and 2nd United States Sharpshooters. The brigade  numbered 425 officers and men.

Patrick's Brigade consisted of the 21st, 23rd, 35th, and 80th New York, and  numbered about 824 men. It followed Phelps through the North Woods, open field  and peach orchard, halting in the shallow depression between the orchard and  the cornfield, as the 6th Wisconsin became engaged, closely supported by the  rest of its brigade and Phelps.

We left the 6th Wisconsin advancing into the cornfield. Its skirmishers soon  found the enemy mostly along the fence bordering the Hagerstown road and under  cover, these were rapidly driven across the road and the regiment moved up  steadily in support, closely followed by the 2nd Wisconsin, the right of the  6th on and to the right of the road, under the immediate command of Bragg, the  left in the corn, under Major R.R. Dawes.

For some reason the right of the skirmish line failed to advance and clear  that flank or discover what was in that direction, and the right wing reached  a rise of ground in front of Miller's barn and some straw stacks on the right  of the road, when it received an unexpected and severe fire upon the flank  from Captain A.C. Page's Virginia skirmishers, lying along the edge of the  West Woods, nearly opposite the barn, and also under the cover of the rock  ledge between the road and the woods.

At this moment a Confederate gun, probably of Cutts' Battalion, passed into  the road, in front, and Bragg ordered Captain (Bacheller's) company, which was  in the road, to advance to a ridge, crossing the road a few yards in front,  and open fire upon the horses attached to the guns; at the same (sic) he  ordered the two companies on the right of the road to advance and occupy a  shallow basin between two swells of ground, and a few yards nearer the enemy,  whom he had not yet seen, but of whose near presence he was well assured. So  soon as this advance was attempted the fire from the West Woods and the ledge  upon his flank increased to a murderous enfilade, a fire from a skirmish line  in front followed and, looking in that Direction, Bragg saw Grigsby's line,,  the brigades of Winder and Jones, lying along the fence and across the field  to the West Woods, and at right angles to the road. No sooner had he  discovered it than the entire line rose to its feet and poured in a volley  which struck down many of his men and swept over the field and into the  cornfield held by the left companies. This rendered advance on the right  impracticable and (Bacheller)'s company, in the road, was ordered to lie down  under the corner of the fence. No sooner had he given the order than Bragg  received a severe and painful wound in the left arm, but was still able to  direct the right companies to draw back under cover of the road fence, and the  left wing to halt and lie down in the corn. These orders were being executed  when he fainted and was carried to the rear, Major Dawes succeeding to  command.

Early in the morning Poague's Virginia battery of three guns was a few yards  in front of Grigsby's Virginians and was soon vigorously engaged with the  Union batteries of Matthews and Thompson, and then with Stewart's two guns; it  directed some of its fire upon Doubleday's advancing brigades, also upon  Duryea and Hartsuff. When the skirmishers began engaged and Gibbon's line  advanced through the corn, Poague withdrew to the rear of Grigsby's line and  threw a few rounds of canister into the corn; when the Wisconsin companies  appeared, marching west of the road, the Union artillery, Stewart's guns now  assisting, still keeping up a rapid and precise fire, he fell back to the A.  Poffenberger barn. Grigsby held on with his less than 450 men, subjected to  the same destructive artillery fire, and to the severe fire of the Wisconsin  skirmishers, who, creeping up along the fences of the road, did effective work  upon his weak line. His men were falling fast, his left was threatened by the  advance of a Union force through the West Woods, and he sent Lieutenant J.M.  Garnett, of his staff, to Starke, with the message that he could not hold on  much longer. Garnett found Starke in the edge of the woods, delivered the  message, and as he lifted his eyes he saw the men retreating across the open  field. Grigsby had used all efforts to hold on, but the fire upon him was so  destructive, that Major H.J. Williams, commanding 5th Virginia, suggested to  him to move back into the woods. Grigsby would not take the responsibility,  upon which Williams ordered the 5th Virginia to fall back and the other  regiments of Winder's Brigade followed; once started the retreat was rapid. Jones' Brigade, commanded by Captain John E. Penn, 42nd Virginia, was on the  left of Winder's and quickly followed it in retreat. The left of this brigade  rested about 100 yards from the West Woods; it was very small and the greater  part of it, under command of Captain A.C. Page, was on the skirmish line. When  Gibbon was seen advancing through the D.R. Miller's fields, the advance  skirmishers, near Nicodemus's, were recalled and the greater part of them  posted in the east edge of the West Woods, some of them were advanced to the  shelter of the rock ledge running south from Miller's barn, and it was this  body of skirmishers that opened fire upon Gibbon's flank as he advanced along  the road and through the corn, which fire, with the direct fire of Grigsby in  front, carried the 6th Wisconsin to halt and Gibbon to order the deployment of  the 19th Indiana and 7th Wisconsin to the right of the road and down to the  West Woods. At the same time Gibbon ordered Stewart's two guns to the front,  and at about the same moment Doubleday ordered Patrick, who had come up five  minutes before, to cross the road and support the movement of the 19th Indiana  and 7th Wisconsin. The 19th Indiana crossed the Hagerstown road between D.R.  Miller's house and barn and formed line; Captain W.W. Dudley, deploying his  company as skirmishers, quickly dislodged the Virginians from their cover at  the rock ledge, and pushed on into the northern part of the West Woods, the  Virginians falling back, Dudley closely following about 120 yards into the  woods, when, the opposition becoming very pronounced, he halted; the regiment,  slowly following the skirmishers, halted at the edge of the woods, where the  7th Wisconsin came up and formed on its left, at the extreme northeast corner  of the woods, and sent a company of skirmishers to assist Dudley. Patrick's  Brigade followed the 7th Wisconsin across the road and formed in the rear of  it and the 19th Indiana. The 19th Indiana and the 7th Wisconsin now pushed  into the woods; Dudley again went forward; Captain Page, who had been forced  back, was now reinforced by Captain Penn, who had been specially charged with  the care of that flank, but Penn was soon severely wounded, losing a leg, and  the Virginians fell back to their brigade line, just as Winder's was  withdrawing, and Jones' Brigade, now under command of Captain Page, quickly  followed; the two brigades reduced to less than 250 men, obliquing to the  right in retiring and rallying in the woods in rear of Starke's left. As the 19th Indiana and 7th Wisconsin were sweeping through the West Woods the  2nd Wisconsin was moving in the corn to the left of the 6th Wisconsin. As it  came up to the 6th, Lieutenant Colonel Allen, commanding the 2nd, directed  Dawes to advance. Dawes ordered his men up and, guiding on the right of the  2nd Wisconsin, swung away from the road, ordering Captain Kellogg, on the  right, to move the right companies obliquely to the left in the corn. Kellogg  ordered his men up, but so many were shot down that he ordered them down again  at once. The line did not wait for Kellogg but pushed on through the corn,  followed by Phelps' Brigade, 25 yards in rear, and, farther to the left, Hartsuff's Brigade was sweeping through the east part of the corn and the East  Woods. Up to this time the 2nd Wisconsin had not given or received a shot, nor  had it seen an enemy, but, as it reached the south edge of the corn, the men  saw before them, the left of Lawton's Brigade, about 200 yards distant. There  was no time for extended observations, for, as the 2nd Wisconsin and the seven  companies of the 6th came into view, the 26th, 38th, and 61st Georgia rose  from the ground and simultaneously both lines opened fire. There was but a  short halt at the south edge of the corn, the Wisconsin men went over the  fence bounding it; Kellogg came up the road with his three companies, and all  went forward, firing and shouting, driving back and to the left the three  Georgia regiments, to the foot of the high ground, where, only a skirmish line  now, and under cover, they held on until Hood came up. This encounter near the  road was at the time Hays came up farther to the Confederate right and made  the charge in which most of the officers in both his own and Lawton's Brigade  were killed or wounded.

At the moment the Georgians were driven back by the Wisconsin men, the latter  saw a body of Confederates swarming out of the West Woods, just north of the  church, as though intent on turning the right of the Union line, upon which  Colonel Allen, on the left, changed front obliquely to the right to secure a  better position for firing and directed his men to construct a rail barricade.  This was on the high ground near the road, and his line faced southeast. The  6th Wisconsin formed on his right, its three right companies still in the  road, many of the men lying down under cover of the fence.

The advancing Confederate line was Starke's, composed of his own brigade and  that of Taliaferro; Starke's Brigade numbering about 650 men, Taliaferro's  about 500. When Starke received Grigsby's appeal for help his line was lying  down in the woods, about 20 yards from the edge, Taliaferro's right resting on  the Hagerstown road. Starke immediately ordered the men up, waited until  Grigsby's men had fallen back out of the way, then sprang to the front and led  the advance, his objective being the southwestern corner of the Miller  cornfield, where the Wisconsin men had made their appearance in pursuit of the  Georgians. He led his own brigade obliquely to the right and as Taliaferro's  charged directly to the front, the right of one and the left of the other,  becoming mixed, causing some confusion, but both brigades pressed obliquely to  the right; soon received the fire of the Wisconsin men, Starke was mortally  wounded (dying within an hour) about 160 yards north of the woods and 140  yards west of the road, and the two brigades, under a murderous fire, thinning  its ranks at every step, reached the high and strong post and rail fence of  the road and came face to face with the Wisconsin men across the road, only 30  to 75 yards away. Fire was immediately opened; the 14th Brooklyn of Phelps'  Brigade, rushed out of the corn and merged with the Wisconsin men, and the  fighting was fast, furious, and deadly. The Union men fell on all parts of the  line, some ran back into the corn. Lieutenant Colonel Allen was wounded, and  after a few minutes, the Union men fell back and laid down below the low rail  fence, at the edge of the corn, but only for a moment, and the Confederates  began to climb the fence into the road. Phelps, as we have seen, had moved up  to within 25 yards of the Wisconsin men, before they had left the corn and,  after they had gone forward and become engaged with Starke, the 14th Brooklyn  rushed to their assistance. About the same time the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters  moved up to the fence and laid down. Colonel Phelps reports: "Having  ascertained that the enemy's line was formed with their left advanced...and  that they were in position to partially enfilade our line, I ordered the 2nd  U.S. Sharpshooters, Colonel Post, to move to the right and front, advancing  his left, and to engage the enemy at that point." Post went over the fence and  about 30 yards beyond it, his right on or very near the Hagerstown road, his  left thrown forward, thus making an oblique line with the road, and engaged  the left of Starke's line (the 1st Louisiana)), in and beyond the road. The  Wisconsin men and 14th Brooklyn were slowly falling back when Post was taking  this position, they quickly rallied in the corn and with the remainder of  Phelps' Brigade again went forward, formed on the left of the Sharpshooters  and renewed the fight. Meanwhile some of the Confederates had climbed the  fence and got into the road and others were following, but the Union fire was  so severe that no farther advance was attempted, but they held on to the line  of the fence, though suffering severely, and the contest had been maintained  some 15 minutes when new trouble came to them.

 It will be remembered that, when the advance of the 6th Wisconsin was checked  by the fire on its right flank, Gibbon ordered Stewart with his two guns to  the front, from his position east of the Miller house, and the 19th Indiana,  7th Wisconsin, and Patrick's Brigade to the right in and near the West Woods,  where they drove back the Virginia skirmishers of Jones' Brigade. Stewart  moved very promptly, came down the road at a dead run and, wheeling to the  right, put his two guns in position in front of some straw stacks south of the  Miller barn, and his limbers in rear of the stacks and between them and the  barn to protect his horses. He was now ordered to move forward about 150 yards  to the summit of the high ground, but objected, as he could see Starke's men  coming out of the woods, and the advanced position would bring him under their  close fire, however, he went forward about 50 yards and came into battery  about 30 yards west of the road. At the same time the 80th New York (135 men)  of Patrick's Brigade came to his support, its right wing in rear of the guns,  while the left wing, under Major J.B. (Hardenbaugh?), advanced down the field  close to the road. As the ground was undulating and not favorable for the use  of canister Stewart opened fire upon Starke's men with spherical case, the  left of the 80th New York fired a few shots upon the left flank of the 1st  Louisiana, the skirmishers of the 19th Indiana were seen cautiously coming up  on the left and rear, and Starke's entire line retired rapidly, but in pretty  good order, by the right flank, to the woods from which it had advanced,  Stewart's shrapnel following it.

At the moment of retiring the color bearer of the 1st Louisiana was killed at  the fence, the colors were seen to drop over the fence into the road, and  Adjutant Louis C. Parmelee and others of the Sharpshooters rushed forward to  seize them, received a galling fire from the left, by which Parmelee was  killed, but another secured the colors. Many of the Sharpshooters crossed both  fences of the road in eager pursuit of the Louisianians, some went down the  road, but the greater part of the line, the Wisconsin men and Phelps' New York  men, moved down the east side and were rapidly approaching the Dunkard Church,  when out from the woods around the church and into the open ground on the east  swept Hood's Division, and delivered such a business like fire that the  pursuing forces halted, then fell back in some disorder, those on the left to  the corn, while the Sharpshooters, flanked on the left and nearly surrounded,  were crowded into the road, along which they retreated to D.R. Miller's. The  left wing of the 80th New York fell back and joined its right wing in rear of  Stewart's guns.

Starke's men had been less than 30 minutes engaged and lost heavily. Starke  and nine other officers of the brigade were killed. Colonels Williams,  Stafford and Pendleton succeeded each other quickly in command, all being  wounded, and of the 650 carried into action nearly 300 were killed and  wounded. Taliaferro's Brigade lost heavily; two officers commanding it were  wounded, and of the 500 carried into action about 170 were killed and wounded.  The Union loss was less heavy.

The moment has now come to note the movement of Hood's Division, but, before  accompanying it in its brilliant and bloody advance, it is desirable to see in  what position and condition the Union lines are to meet it.

The 19th Indiana and 7th Wisconsin, after having pushed into the West Woods  and driven out the Virginians, with Patrick's Brigade held the north part of  the Woods and the rock-ledge running south from Miller's barn. Hoffman's  Brigade remained in position supporting the division batteries on the  Poffenberger hill, which had silenced the Confederate batteries on Nicodemus  hill and compelled most of them to be withdrawn. Matthews', Reynolds' and four  of Campbell's guns are in the field between D.R. Miller's and the East Woods,  the brigades of Magilton and Anderson, with Ransom's Battery, are moving from  the North Woods to the front, and Christian's Brigade had moved up in close  support to Seymour and Hartsuff, who are still engaged in the southeast corner  of the cornfield and in the East Woods.

Christian's Brigade was composed of the 26th and 94th New York, 88th and 90th  Pennsylvania. Very early in the morning the 90th Pennsylvania was detached to  support Matthews' Battery, in the field west of the north part of the East  Woods, and the other three regiments moved out of the S. Poffenberger woods  and formed line south of them. After a halt of some minutes they were formed  in column of division and advanced toward the East Woods, did an unnecessary  amount of drilling, under a wicked artillery fire, that killed and wounded  many men and demoralized one or two of the most prominent officers, and again  halted near the East Woods. After a few minutes they were ordered to advance  and support Hartsuff, then severely engaged; they entered the woods and again  halted. Seymour now rode up and ordered the regiments to deploy in line and go  forward. The 26th and 94th New York, moving south through the woods, crossed  the Smoketown road, the 26th was on the left. As the two regiments made their  appearance at the fence they were greeted by a charge of canister from a  battery about between Mumma's and the Smoketown road, and by a fire from  Ripley's Brigade, which had now moved up on Trimble's right, and was in line  near the grave yard and along the fence of a cornfield to its right. The two  regiments opened fire, not only upon Ripley, but upon Trimble's men, also, who  could be seen behind the fences of the Smoketown road, engaging the left of  Hartsuff's line, the 83rd New York, now assisted by the 88th Pennsylvania.  Some Pennsylvania Reserves were still in the line and carefully firing, but  Christian's advance had relieved the 1st and 2nd Reserves, which now fell out  of the woods.

When Christian's three regiments went into position men of the 88th  Pennsylvania saw to the right and front Lawton and Hays engaged with Hartsuff,  and still farther to the front could be seen fighting on the Hagerstown road,  between Gibbon's and Phelps' men on one side and Starke's on the other.  S.D.Lee's guns were searching the East Woods with round shot and shell and  firing over the heads of Lawton and Hays at the Union batteries north of the  cornfield, and a little later could be seen Hood's advance from the church,  and on the left both the 26th and 94th New York saw a Confederate column  (Colquitt's Brigade) the heads of the men visible only, marching by 4's toward  the right, through the low ground south of the Mumma house, then in flames,  and the hour was 7 o'clock.

While Christian's three regiments were going into position on the left, the  right and center of Hartsuff's Brigade were melting away under the persistent  and fatal fire of Hays and Lawton, who, although repulsed, were still holding  on, waiting for help. The 12th Massachusetts had been reduced to less than 40  men, the 11th Pennsylvania had suffered terribly, all were short of  ammunition, and Colonel Coulter rode into the East Woods looking for help,  and, as he entered them, met the 90th Pennsylvania moving to join its brigade.  It had been in support of Matthews' Battery since early morning. Coulter asked  Colonel Lyle, commanding the regiment to come to his assistance, Lyle at once  brought his regiment into line, passed out of the woods and over the ground  held by the 13th Massachusetts, and swept into the pasture field about 160  yards west of the woods and 60 yards south of the corn, planted the colors on  a rock ledge and, facing southwest, opened fire upon Hays and Lawton, and,  while so engaged, saw a Union body near the Hagerstown road, go forward, then  fall back.

During the not more than 30 minutes it had been engaged Hartsuff's Brigade  suffered greatly. The 12th Massachusetts carried into action, according to  Fox, in his "Regimental Losses", 334 officers and men, and had 49 killed, 165  wounded and 10 missing, an aggregate of 224, or 67 per cent of those engaged.  When it saw help coming the colors were raised from the _ ground, where they  had fallen, dead color bearers under them and over them, and 32 men marched  with them to the rear. The 11th Pennsylvania had 235 officers and men in  action, and lost 125 killed and wounded, over 53 per cent. The losses in the  13th Massachusetts and 83rd New York were sever, but not in such proportions  to numbers engaged.

The right and center of Hartsuff's Brigade having fallen back, the  Confederates now gave their undivided attention to the 90th Pennsylvania. As  the 12th Massachusetts fell back it saw the advance of Hood's men from the  woods at the church and the 4th Alabama, marching by the flank down the  Smoketown road, and the 90th Pennsylvania saw the same, and Thompson's  Battery, still in the cornfield, opened upon them with shrapnel, it could not  use canister because so many Union wounded lay close in front of the guns. Soon after the retirement of the three right regiments of Hartsuff, the 83rd  New York fell back, and, very soon thereafter, as everything on the right had  gone and Hood's line was advancing, the 88th Pennsylvania was given orders to  retire. Many protested and would have remained but the order was repeated and  the regiment fell back. Meanwhile the 26th and 94th New York, on the extreme  left, east of the Smoketown road, were keeping up a desultory fire upon  Trimble's and Ripley's men, but soon the 94th New York saw that the 88th  Pennsylvania, on its right, had gone, Hood's men were still advancing, the 4th  Alabama was seen coming down the road from the church, and the regiment fell  back in some confusion, closely followed by the 26th New York, which had  gradually melted away, a few only remaining to retire as Ripley's men began to  advance and the 4th Alabama approached the woods on the right. There was  nothing now left south of the east part of the cornfield to resist Hood's  advance, but the 90th Pennsylvania.

As the Confederate brigades of Trimble, Lawton, and Hays, did no more fighting  after Hood's advance had relieved them, we may anticipate their withdrawal and  count their losses. Walker, commanding Trimble's Brigade, who had been  painfully wounded, and unfitted for further duty, ordered the commandants of  regiments to conduct them to the rear to replenish ammunition and collect the  stragglers. Captain Rodgers, commanding 12th Georgia, and Captain Miller,  commanding 21st North Carolina, were killed, Major Glover, commanding 21st  Georgia, severely wounded, and of the less than 700 carried by the brigade  into action 237 were killed, wounded, and missing. Lawton's Brigade went off  the field without a commander; when in the fields in the rear Major John H.  Lowe, 31st Georgia, finding that he was senior officer, reformed it. Colonel  Douglass its commander had been killed in the last charge; Major A.P. McRae,  commanding 61st Georgia, and Captain W.H. (Battey?), commanding the 38th were  killed, three regimental commanders were wounded, and nearly all the company  commanders of the brigade killed or wounded, and 567, or one half of the  brigade, killed, wounded, or missing. The 38th Georgia carried 123 officers  and men into action, and lost 70 killed and wounded. In its gallant fight  Hays' Brigade suffered terribly, losing 60 per cent in killed and wounded,,  both Hays' staff officers were disabled, Colonel H.B. Strong and five other  officers of the 6th Louisiana, and five more officers of the brigade were dead  on the field. Every regimental commander was either killed or wounded. Hays  gathered the small remnant of his brigade after they had fallen back to the  West Woods and conducted them farther to the rear. None of these three  brigades were again engaged during the day.

About the time Hays made his advance and was repulsed, General Lawton,  commanding the division, was wounded and borne from the field. General Early,  who succeeded to the command of Lawton's Division officially reports: "The terrible nature of the conflict in which those three brigades had been  engaged, and the steadiness with which they maintained their position are  shown by the losses they sustained. They did not retire from the field until  Gen. Lawton had been wounded and borne from the field, Col. Douglass,  commanding Lawton's Brigade, had been killed, and the brigades had sustained a  loss of 554 killed and wounded out of 1150, losing five regimental commanders  out of 6; Hays' Brigade had sustained a loss of 323 out of 550, including  every regimental commander and all his staff, and Col. Walker and one of his  staff had been disabled, and the brigade he was commanding had sustained a  loss of 228(?) out of less than 700 present, including 3 out of 4 regimental  commanders."

General Hooker reports, "The slain lay in rows precisely as they had stood in  their ranks a few minutes before. It was never my fortune to witness a more  bloody, dismal battlefield."

General Jackson, in his official report, says: "About sunrise the Federal infantry advanced in heavy force to the edge of the  edge of the wood on the eastern side of the turnpike, driving in our  skirmishers. Batteries were opened in front from the wood with shell and  canister, and our troops became exposed for near an hour to a terrific storm  of shell, canister, and musketry. With heroic spirit our lines advanced to the  conflict and maintained their position, in the face of superior numbers, with  stubborn resolution, sometimes driving the enemy before them and sometimes  being compelled to fall back before their well-sustained and destructive fire.  Fresh troops from time to time relieved the enemy's ranks, and the carnage on  both sides was terrific."

In the midst of this terrific carnage Hood came into action and added one half  his division to the ghastly roster of dead and wounded. Hood's Division  consisted of two brigades commanded by Colonel W.T. Wofford, 18th Georgia, and  Colonel E.M. Law, 4th Alabama. Wofford's was Hood's old command, generally  known as the Texas Brigade, comprising the 1st, 4th and 5th Texas, 18th  Georgia, and the Hampton (S.C.) Legion. Law's Brigade consisted of the 4th  Alabama, 6th North Carolina, 2nd and 11th Mississippi. The division numbered  about 2000 men, their superior fighting quality not excelled in the army. Up  to this day they had never known defeat. Hood was a lion-hearted soldier; his  brigade commanders brave and skillful officers.

When Hood was relieved by Lawton, on the night of the 16th, and retired to the  woods about 250 yards in rear of the Dunkard Church, it was to get food for  his men, who had been nearly famished for three days, and he road in search of  his wagons. It was with much difficulty that he found these in the darkness,  and they contained flour only. Not until nearly dawn was this in the hands of  his men and they were without cooking utensils. It was dawn before the dough  was prepared, which the men proceeded to cook on ramrods. About 4 a.m. Hood  sent his aid to General D.H. Hill, apprising him of his condition and asking  if he could furnish any troops to assist in holding the position on the left,  to which Hill replied that he could not. As we have seen, the fighting began  at dawn, in and near the East Woods, and, soon thereafter, Hood received  notice from Lawton that he would require all the assistance he could give him,  and later, when Hartsuff and Gibbon advanced, an officer of Lawton's staff  dashed up to Hood, saying "General Lawton sends his compliments, with the  request that you come at once to his support" and added that Lawton had been  wounded. "To Arms" was instantly sounded, and quite a number of Hood's men  were obliged to go to the front, leaving their uncooked rations behind; some  carried the half-cooked dough on their ramrods and ate it as they went  forward.

At this time the Union artillery fire was very heavy from the batteries north  of the cornfield, as well as those beyond the Antietam, the latter fire  directed at S.D.Lee's guns, but going over them and into the woods around the  church. Shot and shell fell into the ranks of the division, killing and  wounding many men, but it quickly formed and went through the woods and to the  Hagerstown road, under a heavy fire of shrapnel, shell and round shot, and  thence into the clover field nearly opposite the Dunkard Church. Law, on the  right, went out by the flank. After crossing the road he threw his brigade  into line, facing northeast, and gave the order to advance, his objective  point being that portion of the East Woods south of the cornfield. The 4th  Alabama, being crowded out of line, moved by the flank on the Smoketown road.  From right to left the regiments were in this order: 4th Alabama, 6th North  Carolina, 2nd and 11th Mississippi. On reaching field Law saw but few  Confederates, these were in much confusion, without commanders, but still  fighting with much determination.

Wofford's Texas Brigade moved through the woods and across the Hagerstown  road, about 100 yards north of the church, and formed up on Law's left almost  if not quite as soon as Law had formed line, and faced nearly north. It was a  general complaint against the Texas Brigade that it fought too fast, whether  well founded or not we do not know, but we do know that on this occasion no  sooner had it cleared the woods than it opened fire upon the two Wisconsin  regiments and Phelps' men, who were following Starke's defeated and retreating  command. In moving across the road the brigade was thus formed from right to  left: 5th, 4th and 1st Texas, 18th Georgia and Hampton Legion. Hood says that  as he moved across the road in front of the church: "Lawton was borne to the  rear on a litter, his command was dispersed or fighting in small groups,  behind such shelter of rocks and ledges, as the open field south of the corn  afforded, and the only organized body of Confederate troops left upon that  part of the field, were some 40 men who had rallied around the gallant Harry  Hays, on the highest ground near the junction of the cornfield and the  meadow"; and these were anxiously awaiting Hood's arrival. Hood crossed the  Hagerstown road at 7 o'clock. One of the most difficult things to determine in  considering a great battle, is the hour that particular events took place, and  the length of time troops were engaged. No two or more men will agree upon  such points. Those of undoubted and equal courage, will contend for largely  varying periods. This difficulty confronts us at every step and upon nearly  every page of the official reports of Antietam, but a close analysis of the  movements up to this period of action, leads to the conclusion that it was 7  a.m. when Hood crossed the Hagerstown road, at the church, and it was at this  time that Colquitt's Brigade was seen moving from the Sunken Road. (Statement  to the writer of Capt. Robbins, 4th Alabama, and Capt. Nisbet of 21st  Georgia.) Major Gould, 10th Maine, inclines to the belief that this body was  the skirmish battalion of Colquitt's Brigade, composed of five companies, one  from each regiment of the brigade. This body had no flag, the 21st Georgia had  a flag, and Robbins is confident that the body joining him had a flag. It is  possible that the skirmish battalion did enter the woods and was engaged in  the southern part of them. We have before us a letter of Lieut. Col. Work,  written February 13, 1891, in which he says: "The morning reports, by company  commanders, on the morning of the 16th, showed (including field officers,  Major Dale, Adjutant Shropshire and myself) a total regimental strength of  226. After dark on the evening of the 16th, two men from each of the twelve  companies of the regiment were detailed and sent to the rear for the purpose  of roasting green corn as food for the regiment. Less than half of them had  rejoined the regiment, when, just after day dawn (sic), on the 17th, we were  ordered forward--and by this means, we went into action with about 15 men less  than 226." With this deduction the regiment had 211 in action and its loss of  182 was 86 1/4 per cent. The loss in each of the twelve companies, shows 50  killed, 132 wounded, 4 missing, an aggregate of 186. In two companies every  officer and man were killed or wounded. Of 26 officers 7 were killed and 11  wounded. Conceding the accuracy of Col. Work's statement that the regiment had  211 in action, its loss was 23 69/100 per cent killed, 86 1/4 per cent killed  and wounded, and 88 15/100 per cent in killed, wounded and missing. The color lost was the "Lone Star" flag made from the wedding dress of Mrs.  L.T. Wigfall, whose husband, formerly Senator Wigfall, had been colonel of the  1st Texas. Its loss was not discovered until the regiment was moving out of  the corn and when it was too late to hunt for it as Patrick's men were  pressing its flanks and Anderson's came within a few yards of its rear. Work  reports that he was "well convinced that had the 18th Georgia and Hampton  Legion not met with the most obstinate and stubborn resistance from a superior  force to their left, they would have supported me promptly and effectively  upon my left, and that that portion of the enemy's force in our front would  have been routed, the tide of battle there turned, and the day been ours." The 18th Georgia and the Hampton Legion could not go forward because they were  checked by the fire of Stewart's guns and the supporting infantry. We left  Stewart throwing spherical case at Starke's retreating men. When he saw Hood  moving toward the cornfield he turned his guns upon him and those swarming up  the road and in the field, close to the fence, in which were his guns, and  threw canister as rapidly as his men could handle it. But still the  Confederates pressed on, and, under cover of the fences and the corn, some  crept close to his guns, picking off the gunners so rapidly that in less than  ten minutes from the time he had taken position 14 of his men were killed and  wounded, and the two guns were temporarily silenced, but not before they had  done terrible execution in the ranks of the 18th Georgia and Hampton Legion.  Stewart's horse was killed and, in falling, threw him; as soon as he could  rise he ran back to the stacks, behind which the caissons had been left, and  ordered the drivers to accompany him to the front and take the places of the  dead and wounded cannoneers. By the time he had returned with these to the  guns Captain Campbell, commanding the battery, coming at a gallop down the  road from the Miller field, brought the other four guns into battery on the  left of Stewart's section and began firing canister into the cornfield and the  field south of it, where the Confederates were seen near the east fence of the  road. In a very short time Campbell was severely wounded, and the command fell  to Stewart. General Gibbon, seeing the danger threatening and observing the  gunner of the left piece fall, ran into the battery and acted as gunner. What  was left of Phelps' Brigade and the 2nd and 6th Wisconsin, not over 150 men,  in all, were brought across the road, from where they had rallied when driven  from the cornfield, and, merging with the 80th New York, drew close to the  guns: those on the left opened fire into the cornfield, those on the right,  with bayonets fixed, lying down behind the guns. In the full uniform of a  general officer, his face begrimed by powder, and perspiration running down  his cheeks, Gibbon was still serving the gun of his old battery, yet almost  despairing of saving them. Double charges of canister were thrown into the  corner of the cornfield, the aim was low, the stones and dirt on the road were  plowed up, the fence rails were splintered and thrown into the air, and as  smoke and dust cleared away, groups of the enemy were seen running to the  rear, and, looking to the right, there was seen a Union line sweeping across  the front of the guns up the road. It was a few minutes before this that the  4th Texas, Lieutenant Colonel B.F. Carter, which had come from the right and  halted at the brow of the ridge, moved up and received a scattering fire from  the ledge 150 yards beyond the road. Carter wheeled his regiment to the left,  drew up along the road fence and replied to the fire from the ledge; about 50  men, catching sight of a Confederate flag in possession of Gibbon's men,  beyond the road, charged to retake it, but were checked before they had  crossed the second fence and lay down on the west side of the road, under  shelter of the fence and a ditch on that side. It was at this time that the  officers of the Hampton Legion and 18th Georgia saw that Law's men and the 1st  Texas were falling back on their right and that on their left, not 200 yards  distant, a Union line covered their entire flank, advancing in an oblique  direction, threatening to cut them off, when they gave the order to fall back,  simultaneously with Gibbon's last shot that sent the fence rails flying into  the air.

The five small regiments in this advancing line were the 19th Indiana, 7th  Wisconsin, 21st, 23rd, and 35th New York. When the left of the skirmish line  of the 19th Indiana, on the higher ground in the West Woods, saw the advance  of Hood's Division, passing their flank, they reported the fact to Lieutenant  Colonel Bachman, who with the regiment, was still in the west woods, on much  lower ground, and the information was conveyed to the 7th Wisconsin and  Patrick's Brigade. Bachman at once called in the skirmishers from his right  and front, and with his regiment and the 7th Wisconsin, changed front to the  left, moved out of the woods to the ledge and opened fire on the Confederates  lying in the road and beyond it, and another line along the fence in an open  field about 100 yards distant, driving the latter line back, but the 4th Texas  still held ground. Bachman, yielding to the urgent appeals of the men, gave  the order to charge and hat in hand, with drawn sword, led them on the "double  quick" all cheering as they advanced. At the same time the 7th Wisconsin  sprang over the rock ledge and went forward on the left of the 19th Indiana,  closely followed by Patrick's three regiments. It was the sight of these  advancing regiments that caused the retreat of the Hampton Legion and the 18th  Georgia. The 4th Texas, in danger of being cut off by the 19th Indiana,  started to move off by the left flank, before the 19th Indiana could intercept  it, but had moved only a few feet along the fence, when its commander, Carter,  saw that the regiment was so much exposed and that it could not escape in that  direction that he halted, opened fire on the 7th Wisconsin, which had nearly  reached the road, repulsed it, and immediately fell back under the hill, to  reform and was ordered by Hood to move to the Dunkard Church. The 19th Indiana  was temporarily checked, but finally went on, crossed the road and followed  the Confederates to the brow of the ridge, over which was seen a strong force  of infantry (Ripley's Brigade) which opened fire, Bachman was mortally  wounded, and Dudley succeeded to the command. As soon as Bachman could be  carried to the rear, the regiment fell back to the road and rallied in it; on  its left were Patrick's regiments--the 21st, 23rd, and 35th New York. When the 19th Indiana and 7th Wisconsin changed front to the left, to strike  Hood's flank, Patrick was in the north part of the West Woods in support to  them. He also changed front and moved obliquely to the left with the 21st and  35th New York to the rock ledge, where he was quickly joined by the 23rd New  York, which, early in the action, had been sent to the right, but now had been  relived by the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves. The 21st and 35th New York reached  the ledge just as the 7th Wisconsin went over it and the 19th Indiana farther  to the right was making its charge. As the Wisconsin men fell back from the  hot fire of the 4th Texas, the 21st and 35th New York, closely supported by  the 23rd, went forward through them, under a severe fire from the retreating  Texans, and gained the road, the 21st going entirely across it and into the  grass field beyond, but immediately fell back as the 19th Indiana on the right  retreated and fell back to the road.

The venturesome Texans, who had been so eager to recapture the Confederate  colors and who were in the road, near the southwest corner of the corn, were  cut off by this quick advance of the Union line and, perceiving that the Union  troops were already in the corn, started directly down the road in the  direction of the church and were fired upon, some were killed and wounded,  about 20 were captured, a few escaped by climbing the east fence of the road. The repulse of Wofford gave Gibbon an opportunity to retire Stewart's guns.  Forty battery men had been killed and wounded, 26 horses killed and 7 more  disabled, and Stewart was ordered to resume the position held by his two guns  earlier in the day, and the infantry supporting, much reduced, were ordered to  the North Woods.

When the 19th Indiana and other regiments took position in the road no enemy  was seen on their right, but they had been only a short time in the road when  they were attacked in the flank and rear by Starke's men, who had been driven  into the woods. The Union line presented such a tempting opportunity that  portions of the Louisiana brigade were led by Colonel Stafford out of the  woods and approaching, unobserved, to within 100 yards of the 19th Indiana  gave it a rear and enfilade fire that caused it to fall back to the rock  ledge, the movement being followed by Patrick, all his regiments in  succession, changing front, engaging the enemy, finally driving them back to  the woods and then taking position behind the ledge.

The 19th Indiana and 7th Wisconsin were moved to the rear near the West Woods  and, after lying a short time under a severe artillery fire from Stuart's guns  on their right, rejoined their brigade in the North Woods. Patrick held the  ledge a few minutes longer, when, his ammunition being almost exhausted and  his line attacked in flank and rear, he ordered his command to fall back to a  low meadow near Miller's barn and behind a line of rock ledges at right angles  to the road and about 15 rods from the West Woods, to await ammunition and  reinforcements, where he remained, between the fire of opposing batteries,  long enough to make coffee when we shall see him again engaged. At the moment the Union line advanced to the road and saved Stewart's guns,  Gibbon hastened across the road to Anderson's Brigade to have it go forward.  Meade could not be found, being on the left of his line, and Gibbon ordered  Anderson to push through the corn in pursuit of the Confederates, advising him  that a part of his own brigade and Patrick's were still in and on the right of  the road. Anderson's three regiments went forward, the 1st Texas and others  retiring before them, and the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves went clear through the  corn to the open field where Wofford's men had been; the Union line, by this  time, had been forced back from the road and Stewart's guns were going to the  rear, but the regiment advanced about 75 yards beyond the corn, when it saw  Ripley's Confederate brigade advancing across the low ground on its left front  and immediately opened fire, to which Ripley's men promptly responded.  Anderson rode back to get reinforcements, before he could return Captain Dick,  commanding the regiment, learned that the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves, on his  left, had fallen back, there was no support on his right, his men were falling  fast, and he was obliged to fall back to the position from which he had  advanced. The 11th and 12th Reserves, on the left of the 9th, advanced about  half way through the corn, when they received such a severe fire that they  were ordered to fall back, the 11th to the Antietam road and thence to the  rear; the 12th through the corn to the shallow basin near the road, where it  was joined by the 9th. Subsequently the 9th and 12th were relived by the  Twelfth Corps and Meade ordered them to join the division in support of the  corps artillery.

While these three regiments were engaged in and near the cornfield, the 10th  Pennsylvania Reserves, Lieutenant Colonel A.J. Warner, was in action on the  extreme right, beyond the north part of the West Woods. As its brigade moved  to the front this regiment was detached, and, crossing the road just before  reaching Miller's house, went across the low meadow and relieved the 23rd New  York, which rejoined its brigade in the advance to the road. Warner's  skirmishers reported a Confederate brigade (Early's) moving behind a cornfield  in the direction of the West Woods. Hooker was advised of the movement and the  regiment pushed on to a fence running northwest from the corner of the woods;  part of the regiment deployed as skirmishers, went into the cornfield to annoy  Early and, if possible check and delay his movement. In these operations  Warner was wounded and the command fell to Captain J.P. Smith. Early now  detached the 13th Virginia to meet Warner's skirmishers; a battery was brought  to bear on the regiment, which was drawn to the left, along the same fence,  where, for the present, we leave it.

With the exception of Patrick's Brigade and the 10th Reserves, on its right,  west of the Hagerstown road, and a few of Magilton's men in the north part of  the East Woods, the infantry of Hooker's Corps was out of the fight, and  Hood's Division, with the exception of the 4th Alabama and the 5th Texas,  still in the East Woods, had withdrawn or was withdrawing to the woods at the  Dunkard Church, and Ripley's Brigade had become engaged with the Twelfth  Corps.

Wofford had 854 men in action and lost 560 killed, wounded, and missing, or 65  1/2 per cent. Of the three regiments engaged at the road the Hampton Legion  had 77 in action, and lost 55 killed and wounded, or 71 4/10 per cent; the  18th Georgia had 176 engaged, of whom 101 were killed, wounded or missing, or  57 per cent, and the 4th Texas, with 200 engaged, had 107 killed and  wounded--53 1/2 per cent. The 1st Texas, as stated, had 211 in action, lost  182 killed and wounded, or 86 1/4 per cent. After giving the names of 12  officers killed, Wofford says: "They deserved a better fate than to have been,  as they were, sacrificed for the want of proper support." 

 In "Advance and Retreat", General Hood writes of his division: "This most  deadly contest raged till our last round of ammunition was expended. The 1st  Texas regiment had lost in the cornfield fully two-thirds its number; and  whole ranks of brave men, whose deeds were unnumbered, save in the hearts of  loved ones at home, were mowed down in heaps to the right and left. Never  before was I so continuously troubled with fear that my horse would further  injure some wounded fellow soldier, lying helpless on the ground. Our right  flank, during this short, but seemingly long, space of time, was toward the  main line of the Federals, and, after several ineffectual efforts to procure  reinforcements and our last shot had been fired, I ordered my troops back to  the Dunkard Church, for the same reason which compelled Lawton, Hays, and  Trimble to retire." In his official report Hoods says: "Fighting, as we were,  at right angles with the general line of battle, and General Ripley's Brigade  being the extreme left of General D.H. Hill's forces and continuing to hold  their ground, caused the enemy to pour a heavy fire upon the rear and right  flank of Colonel Law's brigade, rendering it necessary to move the division to  the left and rear into the woods near the church." The complaint made by Hood  and his officers that they were not properly supported, is directed at both  D.H. Hill and Ripley for not coming promptly to their assistance.

The events narrated in this chapter cover the period from daybreak to 7.30  a.m. Seymour's brigade and the artillery duel of both sides, opened the  engagement at daybreak. Duryea's brigade went to the assistance of Seymour and  became actively engaged with Lawton and Trimble at 6 a.m., and fell back a  half hour later. Hartsuff, later supported by Christian, became engaged at  6.40 a.m. with Trimble, Lawton and Hays, the latter going to Lawton's  assistance about 6.15 a.m. It was 6.30 a.m. when Gibbon, Phelps, and Patrick  became engaged with Jackson's Division and the left of Lawton, repulsing both;  and 7.00 a.m. when Hood's Division crossed the Hagerstown road at the Dunkard  Church, relieved Lawton, Trimble and Hays, drove back the advance of Gibbon  and Phelps, forced Hartsuff and Christian from the field, and was in turn  checked and driven back by Gibbon, Patrick, Magilton and the First Corps  artillery, aided by the timely appearance of the Twelfth Corps.

West Woods and Dunkard Church: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.


9 A.M. to 11 A.M.

by Ezra A. Carman (originally Chapter 17)

The battle begun at Daybreak had been engaged with great determination and  monstrous losses. It was nearing 9 o'clock and, with the advance and success  of the Twelfth Corps and the retreat of the Confederates into the West Woods  and in the direction of Sharpsburg, there was a grateful lull in the  sanguinary contest, broken only by an occasional musket shot and then by the  guns of Monroe's Battery, which opened fire from the plateau opposite the  Dunkard Church, which fire was replied to by a battery of S.D. Lee's, in open  ground south of the woods and west of the Hagerstown road.

The struggle that followed around the Dunkard Church and in the West Woods was  participated in by Greene's Division and three regiments--125th Pennsylvania,  2nd Massachusetts, 13th New Jersey--of Williams' Division, Twelfth Corps and  Sedgwick's Division, Second Corps, on the one side; on the other side by  Early's Brigade, the remnant of Jackson's Division; George T. Anderson's  Brigade of D.R. Jones' Division; three brigades--Kershaw, Semmes, and  Barksdale--of McLaws' Division, and Walker's Division of two brigades. The  Union force numbered about 7500 men; the Confederate force about 8,200. This  does not include the artillery on either side.

The Second Corps was a veteran organization and had seen much hard service.  Palfrey says it "contained some poor but many excellent soldiers.(?) the hard  fate which its Second Division met in this battle (Antietam) may be an excuse  for stating that up to May 10, 1864, the corps never lost a gun nor a color,  and that it was then and had long been the only corps in the army which could  make that proud claim." Walker says the corps represented in an unparalleled  degree the history of the war in the East. "That corps which in fair fight  with Lee's great army, had captured forty-four Confederate flags ere it lost a  color of its own, that corps which, under the command of Sumner, Couch,  Warren, Hancock, and Humphreys--illustrious roll!--left nearly 40,000 men  killed and wounded upon the battle-fields of Virginia, Maryland, and  Pennsylvania; that corps among whose generals of division were numbered  Sedgwick, Richardson, Howard, French, Barlow, Birney, Miles, Mott, Gibbon,  Webb, and Alexander Hays; the corps which crossed the Chickahominy to the  rescue of the beaten left at Fair Oaks; which made the great assault at  Marye's Heights; on which fell the fury of Longstreet's charge at Gettysburg;  which was the rear guard, October 14th, at Auburn and Bristoe; which stormed  the salient at Spotsylvania, and at Farmville fought the last infantry battle  of the war against the Army of Northern Virginia."

On the evening of September 16th, when McClellan directed Sumner to send the  Twelfth Corps across the Antietam that night, Sumner correctly requested that  the Second Corps should go, also, but McClellan would not consent; he gave  orders to hold the corps in readiness to march an hour before daybreak, to  support Hooker, but not to move until further orders. In anticipation of going  that night Sumner had already sent some of his batteries across the Antietam.  Sumner's men had all breakfasted before daybreak, filled their canteens and  rolled their blankets; they were ready to march but no orders came, and a  little after 6 o'clock Sumner, with his son, Captain S.S. Sumner, of his  staff, went to headquarters, but a few yards distant, for orders and personal  instructions. McClellan had not yet awakened from sleep and none of his staff  seemed disposed to disturb him, though the roar of the battle was sounding in  their ears. Sumner waited, walking to and fro on the veranda of the Pry house,  or sitting on the steps, the roar of battle increasing and the detonation of  the heavy guns shaking the panes and shivering the sash of the windows, which  let into McClellan's room the full sunlight, but McClellan did not make his  appearance. Members of the staff were watching Hooker's struggle, which was in  full view, yet McClellan could not be seen and one of his staff members  remarked that Hooker's fight was only a rearguard affair, as "Uncle Bobby Lee"  was too much of a soldier to fight in that position with a river at his back.  And the opinion was expressed to McClellan, also, that morning, whether he  shared it or not we do not know.

Finally, at 7:20 a.m., after waiting more than an hour, Sumner received his  orders to cross the Antietam with two divisions, Richardson to follow when  relieved by Morell's' Division of the Fifth Corps. He put Sedgwick in motion  immediately, French following, went down the hill in rear of McClellan's  headquarters and crossed the Antietam at Pry's Ford, where Doubleday had  crossed the evening before, and when across ascended a gentle slope for about  a quarter of a mile, halted and formed his lines. He then moved in three  parallel lines, brigade front, nearly due west, came to the field south of the  East Woods, flanked to the right and, entering the woods, marched northward,  then faced to the left, thus forming a column of three deployed brigades,  Gorman's in front, next Dana's, then Howard's The column was now facing west,  parallel to the Hagerstown road, 550 yards distant, and separated from it by  the "Bloody Cornfield" over which the tide of battle had ebbed and flowed  since daybreak, and, not withstanding the struggle in it, Palfrey says "the  corn was very high and very strong." There was short halt while the east fence  of the cornfield was being thrown down, and the men had time to see that "the  ground beneath those great, fair Maryland oaks was strewn with the killed and  wounded of the earlier battle." It was 9 o'clock when Sumner formed Sedgwick's  Division for the attack in the East Woods; it was at the same time that the  125th Pennsylvania, of the Twelfth Corps, crossed the Hagerstown road and  entered the West Woods at the Dunkard Church.

Upon hearing of Sumner's approach General Williams, commanding Twelfth Corps,  had sent a staff officer to apprise him of his position and the situation of  affairs, and, when he came into the woods, Williams rode up from the left,  from near Mumma's, gave him the position and condition of his men, and made  some precautionary suggestions as to the line of advance and care of his  flanks, which were not well received. Sumner had already been informed by  Ricketts that Hooker's corps had been dispersed and could not rally 300 men,  and he seems to have come to the conclusion that the Twelfth Corps was in not  much better condition.

Nor did he stop to satisfy himself on that point or to make a reconnaissance  "or for anything more than a quick study of the field over which the Twelfth  Corps had attacked. The enemy had been pushed back and a counter-attack might  be expected at any moment. As the early success which had attended Union arms  on tat part of the field had just been gained by the Twelfth Corps, it was  obvious that this success should be followed up before the enemy could recover  from its effects and resume the offensive. His resolution had to be taken, and  was taken, on the instant. The emergency of the occasion would not permit him  to await the arrival of French's Division, which he expected to appear at any  moment, for he had given the most positive orders to that officer to put and  keep the head of his column abreast the division of Sedgwick, more than this  he had sent several staff officers to reiterate the orders and had reasonable  grounds for the belief that they had been obeyed."

On the contrary Walker intimates that Sumner neglected to give such orders to  French: "so proud was he of his gallant troops, so full of fight, so occupied  with the thought of engaging the enemy, that he did not even see to it that  French was brought up within supporting distance, but allowed him, for want of  proper direction, to diverge widely to the left." Be it as it may, Sumner did  not wait. He felt so strong in these three brigades of Sedgwick's Division  that he could not imagine anything stopping them, and determined to crush the  Confederate left with one terrific blow, then swing his column around with a  grand, bold half-wheel to the left, and sweep down the Confederate line,  driving it before him through Sharpsburg, and heaping it up in disaster before  Burnside, who, crossing the lower bridge, will complete the victory. While Sumner is forming his column of attack and removing the fences, we note  the condition of affairs around the church, where first the contest is to be  waged, and the preparations being made by the Confederates to regain the  ground lost by them, or at least to hold the Dunkard Church and West Woods. We left Monroe's Rhode Island battery in position on the plateau opposite the  Dunkard Church. Monroe says: "A battery of the enemy here opened upon me, but  no attention was paid to it, and the fire was perfectly ineffective; but the  battery with one section opened upon a body of the enemy (Colquitt's men), who  were seen retreating at the left of their front, and about 125 yards distant,  throwing them into great confusion. The other four guns opened with canister  and case upon a large force advancing through the woods in front, which were  very open, and, with the assistance of the other section, which had  accomplished its object by a few shots, and the First New Hampshire Battery,  checked the enemy, and he retired out of sight. While engaged in forcing back  the enemy in the wood, a body of sharpshooters had, unobserved, crept along  under a little ridge that ran diagonally to the front of the Rhode Island  battery and opened a most (unnerving?) fire upon it, killing and disabling  many horses and men. As quick as possible, a section was directed to open upon  them with canister, which, though it caused them no injury, they lying down  under the ridge, kept them almost silent, they firing but an occasional shot,  but without effect. While this section was keeping the sharpshooters silent,  the other four guns, with the guns of Lieutenant Edgell, opened upon the  battery that was still firing, and soon silenced it. I then ordered my battery  to limber to the rear. The sharpshooters took advantage of the opportunity  thus afforded, and opened most briskly, severely wounding a number of men and  killing and disabling a large number of horses."

Perceiving the dangerous situation he was in and the great difficulty he would  have in withdrawing his guns under this fire, Monroe sent a request to Greene  to keep the sharpshooters down, so that he could get the guns away, but the  answer came that he could not, for want of ammunition. The cannoneers were  rapidly leaving their posts on account of wounds, and the drivers were  constantly employed in relieving disabled horses. When the order "Limber to  the rear" was given, it was executed almost in the twinkling of any eye, but  the enemy behind the ridge, in the road south of the church, protected by  fence rails thrown up and depressions in the ground, had them at their mercy,  and right well did they improve the opportunity by showing the temper of it.  They rose up in an unbroken line and poured a storm of lead into them. Five  guns were gotten off with few losses, but the one remaining was less  fortunate. As the horses made the turn to bring the limber to the trail of the  gun, they were quickly shot down. Before a disabled horse could be disengaged  from the team another would fall. Monroe was now short handed for men, and  Lieutenant Fiske rode of for some, soon returning with 15 or 20 infantrymen,  who ran the piece to the rear, amid the cheers of friend and foe. Four guns  went back to near the corner of the East Woods. The right section went north  to the cornfield and took position near the Hagerstown road and nearly  opposite the Miller straw stacks, where it remained until its ammunition was  exhausted, when it retire to the position from which it had advanced earlier  in the day.

Meanwhile, Battery A, First Rhode Island, Captain John A. Thompkins, had come  up. This excellent battery was attached to Sedgwick's Division and had crossed  the Antietam by the upper bridge, on the evening of the 16th, and parked on  the Hoffman farm. At 8 a.m. of the 17th, Thompkins was ordered to go to the  front and report to Hooker. He passed M. Miller's house, followed the road to  and through the East Woods, and was ordered by Hooker to go into position on  the plateau opposite the church. He made a circuit of the burning buildings at  Mumma's, passing to their left, and went at a gallop down the lane beyond and  came up as Monroe was retiring. He went into battery a little farther south  from Monroe's position and more under cover from the fire of the  sharpshooters, who had so annoyed Monroe, his right gun near where Monroe's  left had been and the others on ground descending to the left, all pointing  south or nearly so. As soon as the six guns came into position, Thompkins  opened fire upon a battery directly in his front across the Hagerstown road,  and south of the West Woods, and upon D.H. Hill's infantry in the Sunken Road,  and, at the time, the 125th Army of the Potomac and 34th New York were being  driven out of the woods at the Dunkard Church.

Very soon after the 125th Pennsylvania had assisted Monroe's Battery to cross  the Smoketown road, and while lying down in the field, about 350 yards from  the Hagerstown road, awaiting orders, Captain E.L. Witman of Crawford's staff  rode up with Crawford's order to advance into the West Woods and hold them at  all hazards. Why such an order was given to this one regiment, when the entire  line was awaiting Sumner's preparations, is not known; it was directed by  neither Sumner nor Williams, but it was instantly obeyed. The men sprang to  their feet and went forward, , double quick, driving before them a few Texans  and Georgians, crossed the Hagerstown road at 9 o'clock and halted in the edge  of the West Woods, just north of the Dunkard Church. There was very little  opposition to this advance, the Confederates, who were on the road in the  immediate front, disappearing in the woods beyond the church, some of them to  the south, below the church, where, as we have seen, they remained to the  great annoyance of Monroe's Battery.

When Hood fell back to the Dunkard Church it was with the intention of  collecting and reforming every thing that had gone back and contest further  Union advance, and to that end Jackson, Hood, and others made great efforts;  with the exception of Hood's men but a few could be held. Colonel Wofford  says: "After some time the enemy commenced advancing in full force. Seeing the  hopelessness and folly of making a stand with our shattered brigade and a  remnant from the other commands, the men being greatly exhausted and many of  them out of ammunition, I determined to fall back to a fence in our rear,  where we met the long looked for re-inforcements, and at the same time  received an order from General Hood to fall back farther to the rear to rest  and collect our men." Hood's men were retreating from the woods as the 125th  Pennsylvania entered them at the church.

When the 125th Pennsylvania had crossed the Hagerstown road Captain John  (McKeage?) was ordered to deploy his company as skirmishers and advance  cautiously to a ridge in front, and company B was formed, facing south, about  20 yards north of the church, its left opposite the northwest corner of it.  The regiment then advanced about 20 yards and halted. As soon as Colonel  Higgins entered the woods he saw that he was without support in rear and on  his right; he was aware that an enemy was on his right front, and gave his  horse to one of his officers, with instructions to ride back to Crawford,  inform him of the situation, and ask for support, as, without it, he would be  unable to hold his position, and that the enemy would certainly flank him and  cut him off, as he was far in advance of the corps. The regiment then advanced  and halted on the crest of a ridge about 120 yards from the road, its left  west of and about 20 yards to the right of the church, its right beyond a  ravine, which, about 200 yards north of the church, crosses the Hagerstown  road and runs west through the woods. The line was nearly parallel to the  Hagerstown road. Captain (McKeage?), who had halted his skirmishers on the  ridge, was now ordered to advance and see what was in front. With little or no  opposition the skirmishers went to within 20 yards of the west edge of the  West Woods, where fire was opened upon them by the 49th Virginia of Early's  Brigade, from a ravine on the right, and Early, gaining the open ground in  their front, advanced firing, the Pennsylvanians falling back, firing. While  at the front they saw not only Early's men, but some troops--George T.  Anderson's--advancing on their left from the direction of Sharpsburg, and from  them, also, they received fire, which was returned.

Leaving the 125th Pennsylvania for a moment we return to Early, whom we left  in the north part of the middle body of the West Woods, confronting Patrick  and Goodrich, keeping his eye on the three companies of the 124th  Pennsylvania, on the Hagerstown road, and anxious about the presence of  Monroe's Battery, Greene's Division and the 125th Pennsylvania on his right  rear. He considered his condition as extremely critical, but recognized the  great importance of holding his ground; "for had the enemy gotten possession  of this woods, the heights immediately in rear, which commanded the rear of  the whole line, would have fallen into his hands." He determined to wait for  the reinforcements promised by Jackson, hoping that they would arrive in time  to meet the 125th Pennsylvania, before it entered the woods, and threw his  right flank back quietly under cover of the woods, and parallel to the  Hagerstown road, so as not to have his rear exposed in the event of being  discovered, still keeping an anxious eye on Greene's Division, which he had  seen disappear on the plateau opposite the church, and very soon saw the 125th  Pennsylvania move into the woods at the church. He looked to the rear for  reinforcements, but could not see them coming. He saw himself cut off from the  main body of the army on the right and a force threatening his left. There was  no time to be lost, and he immediately ordered his brigade to move by the  right flank, parallel to the Hagerstown road, and directed Colonel Grigsby,  who commanded what was left of Jackson's Division, about 200 men, to move back  in line, so as to present front to Patrick and Goodrich. Early moved back  along the rear of the ridge, concealed from view, and in the belief that his  presence was not suspected. Passing from behind the ridge he came in full view  of the skirmishers of the 125th Pennsylvania, and made his presence known by  directing the 49th Virginia, his leading regiment, to open fire upon them.  They fell back and Early continued to move by the flank until his entire line  was exposed. Just at this time he observed the promised reinforcements coming  up, at the southern corner of the woods, and ordered his brigade to face to  the front and open fire.

The reinforcements that Early saw coming up was Colonel George T. Anderson's  Brigade of D.R. Jones Division closely followed by three brigades of McLaws'  Division. Early in the morning Anderson was lying on Cemetery Hill in support  of the Washington Artillery. He was ordered by General Lee to the left to  support General Hood, and, without a guide or directions to find him, moved  off, directing his course by the sound of the musketry, and succeeded in  finding Hood, who pointed out the position he wished him to occupy. When found  Hood's men were retreating from the West Woods and the position he ordered  Anderson to take was the southwest face of the woods. When within 200 yards of  the woods Anderson was fired upon by the skirmishers of the 125th  Pennsylvania, upon which he ordered his brigade sharpshooters forward, the  Pennsylvanians, struck at the same time by Early, fell back, and Anderson  advanced to the fence, bounding the southwest face of the woods, which was  torn down and piled for breastworks, behind which the men laid down. Just  after Anderson reached the fence, Kershaw's Brigade marched up in his rear. So  far we have brought Early and Anderson to this part of the field and while  they are driving in the skirmishers of the 125th Pennsylvania, we accompany  McLaws and Walker.

From his position on Cemetery Hill, General Lee had watched the severe  struggle on his left and observed Burnside on his right. Early in the morning  he had sent Walker's Division to guard the Antietam at Snavely 's Ford, but  perceiving that the weight of McClellan's attack was on the left, knowing  Sumner was in motion to augment it, and fully convinced he had nothing to fear  from Burnside, he concluded to throw Walker's and McLaws' divisions to meet  it, yet, not sure of holding the ground around the Dunkard Church, fearing in  fact that he would lose it, before they could reach it, he determined to take  up a second line, on the ridge nearer Sharpsburg, and walked from Cemetery  Hill in that direction, at the same time ordering some batteries to the  indicated position, behind which he proposed collecting his infantry, some of  which was then being rallied, those who had been in action. In a field on the  outskirts of the town, Lee and Captain Thomas H. Carter, who was retiring his  battery from Rodes' position in the Sunken Road. Carter says: "He seemed to  fear that the whole left wing, then hard pressed and losing ground, would be  turned, and that the enemy would gain possession of the range of hills some  three quarters of a mile to the left of Sharpsburg. He ordered me to this  ground with all the artillery that could be collected, to prevent this  movement. Having communicated with Major Pierson several batteries were  gathered together on this part of the field. General Lee soon arrived there in  person."

After giving some directions Lee was put on his horse and an orderly led it up  the road toward the Dunkard Church, soon meeting Colonel S.D. Lee, who, at the  earnest solicitation of Hood, was on his way to Cemetery Hill to inform him of  the critical state of affairs. Colonel Lee says: "At the time Jackson and Hood  were driven back, and were with difficulty holding the ground near the Dunkard  Church, Hood came up to my battalion of artillery, which had been engaged  during the entire morning and was pretty well wrecked having lost 35 (45?) men  and 60 horses, and ordered me to turn my artillery over to the next officer in  command and to go personally to find General R.E. Lee and tell him the  condition of affairs, and to say to him that unless reinforcements were sent  at once the day was lost. I protested against leaving my artillery in its  wrecked condition. He insisted, however, and I went. I soon met General Lee on  horseback with one orderly, moving at a walk towards that part of the field  and about half way between Sharpsburg and the Dunkard Church. I reported the  condition of affairs on the left, and delivered General Hood's message.  General Lee quietly said "Don't be excited about it Colonel, go tell General  Hood to hold his ground, reinforcements are now rapidly approaching between  Sharpsburg and the ford; tell him that I am now coming to his support." I said  "General, your presence will do good, but nothing but infantry can save the  day on the left.' I started to return and had not gone over a hundred yards,  when Lee called me and pointed to McLaws' Division, then in sight and  approaching at a double-quick."

Some Confederate writers have severely criticized McLaws for not arriving on  the field on the 16th, immediately following Jackson, and for not reinforcing  Jackson on the left, earlier on the morning of the 17th, which, if done, they  contend, would have defeated McClellan's army. The criticism is an unjust one.  It must be remembered that, though not marching as many miles as Jackson,  since the morning of the 10th, McLaws had been engaged in more arduous service  and had done more fighting. He had been detained in Pleasant Valley until the  morning of the 16th, and, when he crossed the Potomac that morning and marched  to Halltown, was without provisions, and, as Jackson's men had already  appropriated the stores captured at Harper's Ferry, he was obliged to hunt up  provisions. His command was very much fatigued. A large number of his men had  no rations, and those who had had not had time or opportunity to cook them.  All had been without sleep during the night previous, except while waiting for  the wagon-trains to pass over the pontoon bridge at Harper's Ferry. His  success in procuring provisions was very meager, he got but one issue only.  After vain effort to get supplies at Charlestown, some three miles distant, he  returned to his command at 3 p.m. of the 16th, marched from Halltown, followed  the route taken by Jackson and Walker, and halted only when it was too dark to  see the road, within two miles of Shepherdstown. When receiving urgent orders  from Lee to hasten forward, he again took up the march at midnight, many of  the regiments still without provisions. He crossed the Potomac before  daylight, it was so dark he used torches, and, before sunrise of the 17th, the  head of his column reached the vicinity of Lee's headquarters, near  Sharpsburg.

At this early hour he did not hear the sound of a gun, nor were there any  noticeable indications that a battle had been fought, nor that one was  imminent. He rode into town looking for General Lee, but no one could give him  any information. He rode back to halt his command and "look around" to find  someone who could tell him where to go and met Longstreet and staff coming  from the rear. Longstreet directed him to send R.H. Anderson's Division down  the road to the hill beyond the town, where it would receive orders.  Longstreet having informed him where he could find General Lee, in a small  grove, he reported to him for orders. Lee was dressing for the day, and said,  as McLaws dismounted from his horse, at the front of his tent, "Well general I  am glad to see you, and have to thank you for what you have done, but we have  I believe a hard day's work before us, and you must rest your men. Do not let  them come quite this far as the shells of the enemy fall about here, and halt  them about a quarter of a mile back in the road and I will, send for you when  I want you." When told that but a few moments before he had received an order  from Jackson to go to the right, Lee replied: "Never mind that order but do as  I told you and consider yourself as specially under my orders." McLaws rode back and halted his division, hastened R.H. Anderson, who was in  his rear, sent word along the lines for the men to rest, and not to stray as  they might soon be needed, dismounted, turned his horse loose, and in a very  few minutes was asleep in the tall grass, as were most of his men. McLaws' Division was composed of the four brigades of Generals J.B. Kershaw,  Howell Cobb (commanded by Lieutenant Colonel C.C. Sanders), Paul J. Semmes,  and William Barksdale, and the batteries of Captains J.P.W. Read, M.C. Macon,  E.S. McCarthy, and H.H. Carlton. It was a veteran division, and a good one,  and had seen much hard service. Kershaw had 936 officers and men, Cobb 398,  Semmes 709, and Barksdale 891, an aggregate in the division of 2,934 officers  and men, including the three batteries that became engaged. McLaws accounts  for the small number carried into action by "the straggling of men wearied  beyond endurance and of those without shoes." Notwithstanding that he lost  over 1,100 men on the 17th, his absentees, who joined before the morning of  the 18th, made his force nearly as large as it was on the morning of the 17th. Somewhat more than an hour after McLaws had laid down and fallen asleep Major  Walter H. Taylor of General Lee's staff awakened him, with the information  that as he had not been able to find him, concealed by the tall grass, his  adjutant-general had been ordered to go forward with the division. McLaws rode  at once to the head of the column, leaving Lee's headquarters and Sharpsburg  to the right, struck the road leading from Sharpsburg to New Industry, on the  Potomac, which was followed a short distance, stopped to pile knapsacks, then  approached the southwest part of the West Woods. On the march were met the  broken commands of Ewell and Hood retiring from the woods, with their tales of  terrible fighting and great slaughter. Wounded men were being carried on  stretchers to the rear, or being assisted by the stout arms of their comrades,  guns were being hauled off by hand, the horses being killed or disabled;  batteries that had saved their horses were dashing to the rear, and  stragglers, without muskets, filled the fields. Manly's North Carolina Battery  and Macon's Richmond (Fayette) Artillery, were ordered to prominent positions  near Reel's house, which they held during the day, without becoming engaged,  and McLaws went forward with his four brigades and three remaining batteries. An officer of General D.H. Hill's staff pointed to the position which the  division was expected to occupy. McLaws was ignorant of the ground and of the  location of other troops, and at his request, Hood, who was near, riding by  himself, indicated the direction to advance, and he quickly resolved upon the  formation of his line, which was that Cobb's Brigade should move off to the  right and advance north into the West Woods, Kershaw on Cobb's left, then  Barksdale, with Semmes on the left of the line. McLaws, who had ridden ahead,  realized the critical condition of affairs. Troops were seen retreating from  the woods, but 300 yards distant, very rapidly, and he saw that the 125th  Pennsylvania was occupying them. He was anxious to cross the open space  between himself and the woods before the latter were fully occupied by the  enemy and ordered an advance before his line had entirely formed. Meanwhile a  brigade was slipping from his hands. Cobb's Brigade which had been ordered to  the right, to enter the woods from the south, marched so far to the right,  under a misapprehension of orders, that it became entirely detached from the  division, and formed on the left of Rodes' Brigade, which was in the Sunken  Road, thus reducing McLaws to the three brigades of Kershaw, Barksdale and  Semmes; Kershaw on the right and the first engaged. As McLaws' line was then  formed, or would have been formed, had all the brigades taken position before  the advance was ordered, it faced northeast, Kershaw on the right, about 150  yards from the southwest face of the woods, in rear of George T. Anderson,  Semmes on the left, in the direction of the Hauser house, and Barksdale in the  center.

Jackson now came up and ordered McLaws to send a brigade to support Stuart.  Kershaw was directed to form line while advancing and told that he must get to  the woods before the enemy had full possession, and to do this must not wait  for his full brigade to come up in line, but double quick his leading  regiment, getting it in line as it went forward.

The 2nd South Carolina was the leading regiment of Kershaw's Brigade. It was

commanded by Colonel John D. Kennedy and numbered 253 officers and men.  Kershaw made a brief speech of encouragement and ordered it forward to clear  the woods and retake a battery, beyond the church, which it was reported had  been abandoned. It moved double quick by the right flank, passed to the right  of George T. Anderson's recumbent men and up along the south edge of the  woods, and began to climb the fence to enter the woods, at a point about 200  yards southwest of the church, when it was fired upon by the retiring  skirmishers of the 125th Pennsylvania, and Colonel Kennedy was wounded, Major  Franklin Gaillard succeeding to the command. Beyond the wounding of Colonel  Kennedy the regiment suffered very slightly, being on lower ground the fire of  the 125th Pennsylvania went over it.

The Pennsylvanians were retiring before Early's advance. It had not been  Early's attention (sic) to advance after his first fire and the Pennsylvania  skirmishers began to fall back, as he had observed some of the long expected  reinforcements preparing to advance into the woods from the direction of his  right, and was afraid of exposing his men to their fire, and that the two  movements would throw both attacking parties in confusion, as they would have  been at right angles. In addition another column was seen approaching his  flank. He says: "The enemy in front, however, commenced giving way, and the  brigade, which I have always found difficult to restrain, commenced pursuing."  This pursuit began as Kershaw was ordering the 2nd South Carolina forward,  and, leaving that regiment where it was fired upon, and where, Kershaw says,  it became "entangled in a rail fence," we follow Early's advance. When the Pennsylvania skirmishers, after firing at Early and the 2nd South  Carolina, rallied upon their regiment it opened fire; Monroe's Battery threw  shrapnel, and Early's men were checked and thrown into some confusion; some  men in front were killed and wounded by their comrades in rear, Colonel Smith,  49th Virginia, was severely wounded, but continued on the field, and  Lieutenant Colonel J.C. Gibson was disabled by a wound in the leg. Early's men  were old soldiers and well disciplined; they quickly recovered from the  confusion into which they had been thrown and returned the fire of the 125th  Pennsylvania with great effect. Early led the 49th Virginia in two charges up  the hill and then fell back to the bottom, it is said, to confuse the aim of  Monroe's gunners. These movements had the effect of breaking the alignment of  the brigade and again throw it into confusion, to which there was now added  the appearance of Sedgwick's Division on his left, to which we return. The fences skirting the cornfield had been thrown down; Williams' ordered the  regiments of his division to fall back out of the way, an order only partially  obeyed, some remaining to be passed over, and at 9:10 a.m. Sumner ordered  Sedgwick's Division forward. We quote Walker: "It was a beautiful sight, those three lines of battle, as they emerged from  the first belt of woods, passed through the cornfield, ripe almost to  harvest--and, moving steadily westward, crossed the Hagerstown pike. But,  surely, they are not going to attack the enemy in that order! Other  dispositions doubtless are to be made. The three lines are scarce seventy  yards from front to rear. Two hundred men moving by the flank, in single file,  would extend from the head of the column to its rear. Should those troops  advance in this order, all three lines will be almost equally under fire at  once, and their losses must be enormously increased. And where are the  brigades that are to support them on the right and left, and protect the  flanks of this perilously dense column? French is out of reach. The shattered  brigades of the Twelfth Corps are holding stiffly on to their ground, under  cover, but are hardly in numbers or condition to undertake the offensive; and  certainly, without a distinct effort to bring them forward, they will not be  on hand if Sumner's column, in its forward rush, shall be assailed in flank.  Richardson indeed could be up in forty minutes; and half that time would sure  to draw French in toward Sedgwick's left. But Sumner does not wait. All his  life in the cavalry, he has the instincts of a cavalry commander. The order is  still forward. Leaving the Dunkard Church on their left and rear, Sedgwick's  Division, in close array, in three lines by brigades,...crossed the Hagerstown  pike."

In this advance the left regiment of Gorman's Brigade, the 34th New York,  moved straight for the Dunkard Church, its left clinging closely to the  Smoketown road, but, when nearing the Hagerstown road, orders were given to  the brigade to oblique to the right, which orders were obeyed by three  regiments, but the orders did not reach the 34th New York, which went straight  ahead, crossed the road just north of the church and came up in the rear of  the 125th Pennsylvania, then engaged, the other regiments of Gorman's Brigade  crossing the road 250 yards and more to the right.

It would be a simple matter to say that Sedgwick's Division of 5000 men  marched into an ambush, was attacked in front and on the flank by the brigades  of Early, Semmes, Barksdale and G.T. Anderson, the 2nd and 3rd South Carolina,  and about 200 men of Jackson's Division, in all about 4036 men, with some help  from Stuart's artillery, and, as the historian of the Second Corps says, were  "at the mercy of their enemy, crushed by the fearful blow," and "driven out in  disorder," with "terrific slaughter," having "two thousand of them disabled in  a moment," and "all the successes of the morning lost." This would be a brief  and very accurate statement of what occurred, but we shall enter into some  details of how all of this occurred, so far as the meager, confused and  contradictory character of the official reports may enable us, with such  assistance as is given in the most excellent histories of Palfrey and Walker,  both gallant officers of Sedgwick's Division. Palfrey says: "Sedgwick's Division...swept steadily forward. Their march was rapid, and  nearly directly west. There was very little distance between the lines. The  recollections of the survivors range from forty feet to thirty paces. Not a  regiment was in column--there was absolutely no preparation for facing to the  right or left in case either of their exposed flanks should be attacked. The  total disregard of all ordinary military precautions in swift and solitary  advance was so manifest that it was observed and criticized as the devoted  band moved on. A single regiment in column on both flanks of the rear brigade  might have been worth hundreds of men a few minutes later, might indeed have  changed the result of the battle. As the column pressed forward into the open  space between the pike and the West Woods, its left just reaching the Dunkard  Church, it came under sharp artillery fire, and met with some loss. The lines  were so near together that the projectile which went over the heads of the  first line was likely its billet in the second or third. The swift shot were  plainly seen as they came flying toward us. They came from Stuart's unseen  guns, planted beyond the woods on or near the high ground which the Federal  troops ought to have occupied . As the division entered the West Woods, it  passed out of fire, and it moved safely through them to their western edge.  There was a fence, and, bordering it on the outside, a common wood road. The  brigade of General Gorman, followed that by Dana, climbed this fence, and then  their lines were halted. For some cause unknown, the left of the two brigades  almost touched, while the line of Gorman's Brigade diverged from the line of  Dana's, so that there was a long interval from the right of the former to the  right of the latter. It is doubtful whether the third line even entered the  West Woods. If they did, they did not stay there long. There was a little, and  only a little, musketry firing while the troops were in this position, but the  Confederate guns to the right of Sedgwick's position were active and  efficient, firing now canister."

Walker substantially follows Palfrey. He says: "Even when the leading brigade emerged from the farther side of the grove no  enemy is seen in front. Only Stuart's horse batteries, from some high rocky  ground on the right, search the woods, as they had the cornfield, with shell  and solid shot. What means this unopposed progress? Is it well or ill, that  this ground should not be disputed? Does it signify success or danger? It  means that the Confederates have refused their left, and that Sedgwick is now  pressing, in column, with his flank absolutely unprotected, past the real  front of the enemy and is (?) at that portion of their line which is drawn  back. It is at once a position of power and danger. If he will let Gorman go  on until he strikes something, but hold Dana until the ground is cleared front  for a left half wheel, to bring him facing south, and at the same time throw  Howard's Brigade into column of regiments, to be moved steadily west to  support Gorman or south to support Dana, the second division will at least  have a chance--a small chance to achieve a victory against the superior forces  which Lee is gathering against it, but large chance to make a strong  resistance, to give a blow for every blow it must take, and, at the worst to  fall back without disorder. But neither the chance of victory nor the chance  of safety is to be taken. Without fronting so much as a regiment south,  without increasing the intervals between the crowded brigades, two of which  almost touch each other on the dangerously exposed left, Sumner, riding with  the field officers of the leading brigade, drives his column straight westward  to find the enemy. As the leading brigade emerges from the grove last  mentioned, fire is opened upon it from a line extended along the crest of a  slight ridge in front, upon which stands a farm house, barn and stacks of  corn, which from the left and rear of this line one of Stuart's batteries  plays upon Gorman's front. Our men drop like autumn leaves, but the regiments  stand up to their work, without a quiver, the colors are advanced and the  battle begun with good set purpose."

In the advance of Gorman's Brigade the 1st Minnesota was on the right, 82nd  New York second in line, and the 15th Massachusetts on the left of the 82nd  New York. The 34th New York, on the extreme left, becoming detached, fought,  as we shall see, at the Dunkard Church. In its advance through the cornfield  the 1st Minnesota passed over the 27th Indiana, then over the three companies  of the 124th Pennsylvania, lying in the Hagerstown road, and onto the narrow  plateau a few yards south of Miller's barn. Sumner was riding with Colonel  Sully and perceiving that the regiment, 1st Minnesota, had not removed the  hood from its colors, exclaimed: "In God's name what are your men fighting  for? Unfurl those colors." The regiment now descended the plateau to lower  ground and the West Woods, swept across the front of Gooodrich's Brigade,  almost touching it, and pushed through the woods to a rail fence bordering  them on the west, and halted at the fence, beyond which was a cornfield on  ground gradually rising to the crest of the Hauser ridge, on which was a small  piece of woods concealing the 13th Virginia, which was supporting Pelham's  Battery.

The Minnesota regiment was a little over 500 yards west of the Hagerstown  road. There was no opposition when the fence was reached and no enemy in  sight; immediately on coming to a halt the skirmishers of the 13th Virginia  opened fire from the cornfield, but were driven back to the woods about 220  yards distant, soon after which Pelham's Battery opened fire. The 82nd New  York, advancing on the left of the 1st Minnesota, gained the outer edge of the  woods, its two right companies formed behind the fence, the rest of the  regiment in open ground, faced more to the south, with the cornfield in front  and connected with the right of the 15th Massachusetts. The Massachusetts  regiment, as it approached the Hagerstown road, began obliquing to the right,  crossed the road and open field beyond, descended the wooded slope and came  directly in front of the A. Poffenberger building, was closing up to the 82nd  New York, and as it gained the summit of a slight elevation, its left became  hotly engaged with Jackson's Division, some of whose men were at the foot of  the rise of the ridge near Hauser's, but many of them covered by the barn,  stacks and rock ledges, not over 25 yards beyond the wood road bordering the  west edge of the woods. Raine's Battery, on the ridge, 500 yards distant,  added its fire to that of Jackson's men, and was silenced by the  sharpshooters, but would not stay silenced. The two right companies of the  regiment crossed the wood road and took cover of a rock ledge in open ground,  the remainder of the regiment in the edge of the woods, the left extending in  the direction of the Dunkard Church, and about 500 yards distant from it. The  center and left were opposite the Poffenberger house and barn, the left being  on the slope of the wooded ridge and about 70 yards from the wood road. The  company of sharpshooters on the left were advanced to the wood road and barn. Dana's Brigade followed Gorman's. From right to left it was thus formed: 19th  and 20th Massachusetts, 59th New York, 42nd New York, and 7th Michigan. Dana  had been ordered to keep his line about 75 yards in rear of Gorman. On  emerging from the East Woods he saw part of Williams' Division lying on the  ground in front, which he took to be Gorman's line, upon which he halted and  ordered his men down, but they were hardly down, when he received an order to  move on, double quick, and enter the woods in front. The outline of the woods  was irregular, presenting a salient point, where the woods came to the road  300 yards north of the church, where his left regiment, the 7th Michigan,  entered, and hardly had it entered than when it became engaged with an enemy  on its flank. Dana immediately ordered the 42nd New York to change front to  support the Michigan men in resisting the flank attack, and the three right  regiments were permitted to move on, enter the middle woods and halt very  close to Gorman's line, then engaged.

Howard's Brigade was close upon Dana's. Its line was formed with the 71st  Pennsylvania on the right, 106th right center, 69th left center, and 72nd on  the left. Howard reports that after passing out of the East Woods, by Sumner's  order he detached the 71st Pennsylvania, to the support of Mansfield's Corps,  and halted his brigade, but Colonel Wistar has no recollection of having  received such an order or of halting his regiment. "At this point," says  Howard "the musketry fire began to tell on us, and I received an order from  General Sedgwick to move up my entire line." Howard says he delayed his line  for the detached regiment to come up, and then crossed the Hagerstown road.  The brigade was under severe artillery fire and struck the road obliquely, the  right first reaching it and climbing the high rail fence on either side, then  pushing on into the woods, the left of the line extending toward the church,  the three right regiments continuing across the open field and beyond and into  the woods in rear of Dana's right, where they come under fire of shell and  solid shot. Howard says: "Just after passing the turnpike I noticed confusion  on the left and quite a large body of men falling back.... I pushed the third  line on a little farther, , and into the woods beyond the turnpike, preserving  the distance about first indicated.... The second and third line, as far as I  could observe from my position near the center of the line, were lying down as  ordered." Howard rode with the 106th Pennsylvania, second regiment in line.  Colonel Owens of the 69th, next on the left, reports that as the brigade  reached the top of the hill, where the open field and woods join, he noticed  many of the regiments to the left of the division falling back in great  confusion, and immediately suggested the propriety of moving the brigade  obliquely to the left. Orders having been received, however, to dress to the  right, the brigade entered the woods in good order, and was dress by the right  of Dana's Brigade. This , however was not done by the entire brigade; the left  regiment was being swept from the field.

At the time Sumner was in the rear of the first line; Sedgwick was not seen  and Howard did not act as the occasion required. Had he taken the  responsibility of changing front to the left with his three regiments, when he  saw this attack upon his flank, either by throwing forward his right or  retiring his left, or both, and forming line perpendicular to the Hagerstown  road, on high and very favorable ground, he would have formed a rallying point  upon which other regiments could have formed, and McLaws, in all probability  would have been checked, for we cannot doubt that the men, who, in July  following, held the "Bloody Angle" at Gettysburg, against Pickett's charge,  would have shown the same spirit here as they did on that occasion; but,  disregarding the attack on the left, he thought it more important to carry out  an unimportant direction to dress on the line of Dana's Brigade, and went on  into the woods and ordered his men to lay down.

Thus, while the left of Dana's and Howard's brigades were crumbling away, the  right and center of the two brigades advanced and entered the middle body of  the West Woods and came up in rear of Gorman's line, then heavily engaged.  This body of woods is 150 yards in depth, east to west, and in that space were  crowded, "jammed" one might say, the three lines, on a sloping hill-side,  exposed to artillery and musketry fire, and the rear lines unable to fire a  shot, unless over the heads of comrades in front.

We return to the 125th Pennsylvania at the Dunkard Church and the Union  regiments involved in its defeat and expulsion. The 34th New York, as we have  seen, was advancing on the left of Gorman's Brigade; as it approached the  Hagerstown road it double quicked, crossed the road and came up in rear of the  left wing of the 125th Pennsylvania, its left going about 30 yards beyond the  church. Perceiving that there was no support on his left, Colonel Suiter,  commanding the regiment, sent an officer to see what there was in that  direction, and saw the 2nd South Carolina moving up the hill toward the  church. The left of the 34th New York was refused and faced southwest, the  right wing, in rear of the left of the 125th Pennsylvania, faced nearly west.  Almost as soon as the 34th New York came up, the 7th Michigan of Dana's  Brigade, entered the woods to the right. This regiment was the left of its  brigade and advanced into the woods about 60 yards, until nearly reaching the  right of the 125th , when it halted for alignment. It was but two minutes when  Confederate colors and troops were seen advancing up the ravine, in the old  wood road on its left, but fire was not opened as the men had been cautioned  that a Union skirmish line was in front on that flank, and almost immediately  two volleys in quick succession were poured into the right of the 125th  Pennsylvania and left of the 7th Michigan, which broke the former and laid low  one half of the left wing of the latter. At the same time the entire front of  the 125th Pennsylvania and 34th New York became involved. All these attacks  were made by Barksdale's Brigade, a part of Early's and the 2nd South Carolina  of Kershaw's, and George T. Anderson was advancing to the fray. The 2nd South Carolina had been pushed into the woods to check the advance of  the 125th Pennsylvania and troops supposed to be following it, until McLaws  could form his command. This was soon accomplished and McLaws gave the signal,  by waving his handkerchief, for the movement to be made; Barksdale's Brigade  entered the woods on their left edge to support the left of the 2nd South  Carolina; the 3rd South Carolina entered the woods in rear of Barksdale's  left; charged down from near Hauser's on the front of the 15th Massachusetts  and 82nd New York; Kershaw led the 7th and 8th South Carolina over George T.  Anderson's men to support and form on the right of the 2nd South Carolina, and  Anderson followed and joined in the attack. These movements were made in the  order stated, in quick succession, all report becoming quickly engaged, and  all claim to have driven the enemy before them.

It will conduce to a clearer understanding of the somewhat complicated and  confused movements of the attacking troops if we first consider the advance of  Semmes' Brigade, on the front of the 15th Massachusetts and 82nd New York, closely and severely engaging those regiments, while others were working on  the flank and rear of the entire division. Semmes' Brigade, as it came on the  field, was ordered by McLaws to move forward in line to the support of  Stuart's cavalry and artillery, on the extreme left. The brigade was then on  the high ground near the Hauser house, numbered 709 officers and men, and from  right to left was thus formed: 32nd Virginia, 10th Georgia, 15th Virginia, and  53rd Georgia. Semmes says: "Immediately the order was given 'by company into  line' followed by "Forward into line' both of which movements were executed in  the presence of the enemy, under a fire occasioning sever loss in killed and  wounded." It advanced steadily 200 yards, the left passing through the Hauser  apple orchard, under a severe fire from the 15th Massachusetts and 82nd New  York, when orders were given to commence firing, as Semmes says, at long range  for most of the arms in his brigade, for the purpose of encouraging the men  and disconcerting the enemy, and the effect was visible in the diminished  number of killed and wounded. Crossing the fence which ran nearly north and  south, just east of the Hauser house, the brigade, under a murderous fire,  charged across a stubble field, men falling at every step, and was brought to  a halt, the right at a rocky knoll very near the A. Poffenberger barn, which  gave some protection from the galling fire of the 15th Massachusetts, on the  hill-side, 130 yards distant, and the skirmishers at the barn and in the old  wood road. The center and left of the brigade were under partial cover of the  many projecting rock ledges. The conflict here was at close quarters and very  severe, the entire brigade suffering from the fire of the 15th Massachusetts, 130 to 190 yards in front, and an enfilading fire from the  right. In advancing to this position and holding it a very few minutes, nearly  one half of the brigade were killed and wounded, the loss being particularly  severe in the 10th Georgia and 15th Virginia, each losing more than one half  their number. Three of the four regimental commanders were wounded. The loss inflicted by Semmes upon the 15th Massachusetts and the two lines in  its rear was severe, and to this was added the fire of several pieces of  artillery that were run up on the Hauser ridge and poured an incessant stream  of canister and shrapnel along the entire front of the three right regiments  of Gorman's Brigade and upon the exposed and defenseless lines in the rear.  Two guns of the First Company Richmond Howitzers, under Lieutenant R.M.  Anderson, moved on Semmes' right, but the open, exposed field was no place for  artillery, it could not live under the fire which swept it, and, under orders,  Anderson withdrew his guns to the high ground in rear, south of Hauser's. Barksdale was nearing the woods when Semmes began his advance. He halted at a  fence a short time until he saw that Semmes was under way across the field,  when he went over the fence south of the barn, and, entering the woods,  immediately came under fire. At this time Early was making a vigorous attack  on the 125th Pennsylvania, advancing and falling back, and again advancing,  then lying down. The left regiments were in some confusion, when Captain  Lilley, 25th Virginia, observing a line coming up, called to his own men to  hold on a little longer, as help was coming, and in a moment Barksdale came up  on the left and joined the attack. Two of his regiments advanced up the ravine  straight for the right of the 125th Pennsylvania, quickly followed by an  advance covering its entire front, all firing with the precision of veterans  at green troops. After firing six to eight rounds, the right of the 125th  Pennsylvania gave way in disorder, carrying with it a few of the 34th New  York, and it was just before this that the 7th Michigan closed up on the right  of the 125th Pennsylvania and had its left wing almost swept away by the  terrific fire that had broken the Pennsylvanians. The left of the Pennsylvania  regiment, having the moral support of the 34th New York, in its rear, remained  a little longer--but not much longer--for as the right gave way the 2nd South  Carolina appeared on its left. This regiment soon freed itself from the  entanglement of the rail fence, and entering the south face of the woods came  into line, as it advanced, to the cover of some wood piles, about 120 yards to  the left of the 125th Pennsylvania, upon which it opened a very effective  fire--"the most deadly fire," writes one of its officers, "the regiment ever  delivered" full upon the exposed flank of the 125th Pennsylvania and the  oblique front of the 34th New York. The effect of this fire was that the  Pennsylvanians gave way and retreated, leaving the 34th New York exposed in  front and on both flanks. The 2nd South Carolina started in pursuit of the  Pennsylvanians, but a well directed volley of the 34th New York drove it back.  A member of the Carolina regiment says: "The first Union line was very quickly  driven, but an oblique line (34th New York) apparently older soldiers, was not  so easily moved and checked us." The check was of very brief duration. Early  had fallen back to change front and check Sedgwick, who was seen marching past  his left, but Barksdale was still advancing and George T. Anderson was moving  on its front. As soon as the 7th and 8th South Carolina passed over his  brigade, while it was lying down at the southwest face of the woods, Anderson  started by the left flank, double quick, along the fence, passed to the right  of the 3rd South Carolina, which was swinging to the left, and went up the  ridge as the 125th Pennsylvania was retreating. He was soon on the left of the  2nd South Carolina, though not connecting with it. He poured in two or three  volleys, the 2nd South Carolina did the same, and the 34th New York was driven  out of the woods, as the 72nd Pennsylvania of Howard's Brigade entered the  woods near the church.

Howard's line advanced from the East Woods in some disorder. As it approached  the Hagerstown road the right of the brigade began obliquing to the right,  while part of the left wing, which had been halted, when attracted by the  contest around the church, , began to oblique in that direction. Part of the  69th regiment followed the 106th, and part overlapped the 72nd, but was soon  moved to the right, and, under a fire that struck down many, the 72nd reached  the road, somewhat broken by the rush of the 125th Pennsylvania through it. It  was aligned by dressing to the right, and then advanced about ten yards into  the woods. Its left, which was near the church, could not fire because some of  the 34th New York were in front, but the right wing was uncovered and began  firing. The 34th New York was almost instantly driven out and the 2nd South  Carolina, Anderson's Brigade and part of Barksdale's opened full upon the 72nd  Pennsylvania, which was ordered by Sumner to retire by the right flank. It had  fired but a few rounds, some men had not fired a shot, and the regiment  retreated to the right and rear, under a heavy fire, which inflicted much  loss. It went back in some disorder, stampeded five of the seven companies of  the 124th Pennsylvania and carried them back to the East Woods. The 125th Pennsylvania had been in the woods not to exceed 30 minutes and the  34th New York and 72nd Pennsylvania less than half of that time; in that short  time and in their retreat their losses were severe; the former had over 140  killed and wounded, the 34th New York 33 killed and 111 wounded, 46 per cent  of the number engaged, and the 72nd Pennsylvania lost over 200 killed and  wounded. In falling back all went over the ground of their advance and rallied  in rear of some batteries that had been put in position near the East Woods. Early, Barksdale, and Anderson claim to have driven the three regiments from  the woods; one does not note the presence of the other or that anyone was  assisting. Early says: "The enemy in front commenced giving way, and the  brigade, which I have always found difficult to restrain, commenced pursuing,  driving the enemy in front entirely out of the woods." Barksdale says: "In a  few moments I engaged them, and, after firing several volleys into their  ranks, drove them through the woods and into an open field beyond." Anderson  makes the brief report that he "engaged the enemy and drove them for about a  half mile, my men and officers behaving in the most gallant manner." He did  not pursue beyond the ground held by the 125th Pennsylvania, where he halted,  about midway between the church and the open field northwest of the Hagerstown  road.

It was while engaged with the 125th Pennsylvania that both Early and Barksdale  saw Sedgwick's line crossing the open plateau on their left. Early says he  could not stop his men, who were in pursuit, and he advanced until his left  flank and rear "became exposed to a fire from the column on the left (Gorman)  which had advanced past my position. I also discovered another body of the  enemy {Dana}, moving across the plateau on my left flank, in double- quick  time, to the same position, and I succeeded in arresting my command and  ordered it to retire, so that I might change front and advance upon this  force." At this time the left of Early's Brigade was in some confusion and he  was on the right with the 49th Virginia; and the change of front was not  effected with the precision one would expect from reading his official report. Barksdale, when he discovered the enemy moving past his left, did not find it  necessary to fall back to change front, he simply ordered his left wing--13th  and 18th Mississippi--to wheel to the left and attack, while the 17th and  21st, , after assisting in driving out the 125th Pennsylvania, 34th New York  and 72nd Pennsylvania, turned upon the 7th Michigan and 42nd New York. At this  moment the 3rd South Carolina came to Barksdale's support. It entered the  woods just to the right of the wood road that led past the church, and  advanced under a severe fire, drawn by Barksdale's Brigade that had preceded  it. When it had passed some distance through the woods, in the direction of  the church, to form on the left of the 2nd South Carolina, Sedgwick's lines  were seen passing its left, upon which it changed direction to the left and  came up in rear of the 17th Mississippi, and Anderson, as we have seen, came  up and filled the gap between it and the 2nd South Carolina. It will be remembered that when the Mississippians struck and routed the right  of the 125th Pennsylvania, they also struck down nearly half of the 7th  Michigan. The 7th fell back a few feet and making a partial change of front  returned the fire and while so engaged the 72nd Pennsylvania came up on its  left, but a little to the rear and began firing. The contest was very short  and both regiments badly shattered fell back. The remnant of the 7th Michigan  retreated across the road, one half of the regiment lay dead or wounded in the  woods or on the road, and a rally was made on the colors in the open ground  south of Miller's cornfield, and his line formed, facing nearly south, quite  number of the 72nd Pennsylvania and some of the 69th rallying upon it, as  also, some of the 42nd New York.

The fate of the 42nd New York was similar to that of the 72nd Pennsylvania and  7th Michigan. When the 7th Michigan was first, Dana ordered the 42nd New York,  which was next in line from the left to change front. As it advanced promptly  on open ground to gain distance, it received a volley from the ravine, inside  the woods, which swept away every fifth man from the ranks, before it had  formed in a new position. It had closed up on the colors and advanced  obliquely toward the woods and another volley again thinned its ranks and the  line began to waver, but soon steadied and reached the edge of the woods about  50 yards beyond the 7th Michigan, and was about to enter them, when it  received such murderous volleys from Barksdale's men and the 3rd South  Carolina that it retreated over the open field and across the Hagerstown road,  with a loss of 181 officers and men, 52 per cent of the number in action.  Early in the engagement Dana was painfully wounded, but remained with his two  regiments until they were driven from the field. He pays them this tribute:  "Although the shattered remnants of them were forced by overwhelming numbers  and a cross fire to retreat in disorder, I bear them witness that it was after  nearly half the officers and men were placed "hors de combat."

Barksdale's Brigade suffered very severely in the brief encounter, but, with  the 3rd South Carolina, pursued to and beyond the fences both at the north and  east edges of the woods and powered their fire at the retreating regiments in  the open fields beyond, the open fields over which the three Union lines had  marched to the middle woods and where they were now exposed to a fire from the  rear. Barksdale says: "The 17th and 21st pursued the enemy across the open  field, when perceiving a very strong force moving to the right and attempting  to flank them, and all of our own forces having retired from that part of the  field, they fell back, under protection of a stone fence, in good order." The  stone fence to which Barksdale fell back was beyond the southwest corner of  the West Woods.

G.T. Anderson, who had come up and filled the interval between the 2nd and 3rd  South Carolina, did not join Barksdale in the pursuit; there was no enemy in  his own front after he had assisted in driving the 34th New York and 72nd  Pennsylvania from the woods, and while he was at another part of the line a  mounted officer dashed up to the brigade with a report that Kershaw, on the  right, had been repulsed and the brigade was likely to be cut off and ordered  a retreat. Some confusion ensued, but Anderson coming up reformed his line and  moved to the right and rear, to the fence he had crossed in entering the  woods, from which position he was soon ordered to the assistance of D.H. Hill  at the Sunken road.

Before this movement of Anderson's, and simultaneously with the pursuit mad by the 17th and 21st Mississippi, the 13th and 18th Mississippi, and 3rd South  Carolina pushed northward along the edge of the wood and over the open field  west of the Hagerstown road and directly in rear of Sedgwick's three lines;  Semmes was still contending with the front and left of Gorman's line, and  Early was forming to attack the flank of the 15th Massachusetts. About the  same time, Kershaw was advancing to the attack on Greene's Division opposite  the church.

While all this was transpiring at and near the Dunkard Church, Sumner was  riding in the rear of Gorman's right encouraging it to a fresh advance. As he  rode up to Colonel Kimball of the 15th Massachusetts, he said: "Colonel, how  goes the battle?" to which Kimball replied: "We are holding our ground and  slowly gaining, but losing heavily as you can see." At this moment both  Colonel Kimball and Major Philbrick discovered that the enemy had turned the  left flank and was moving steadily upon the rear of the division and called  Sumner's attention to it. He could not believe it, but when satisfied that it  was so, exclaimed: "My God, we must get out of this," and rode to the rear to  change the position of the other brigades to meet the enemy. From where Sumner  left the 15th Massachusetts, it was but a few yards to where Howard had halted  his men and ordered them to lie down, and it was soon after this that Sumner,  appearing on the left at the line, his white locks stirred by the breeze, rode  toward the left of the line, giving orders, which, at first, as understood by  the men, were for a charge, and, in response, the men rose up and gave him a  cheer and began to fix bayonets, but now Sumner was heard to say: "Back boys,  for God's sake move back; you are in a bad fix." Howard, who was at the right  of his line, says Sumner came riding rapidly, with hat off and his arms  stretched out, motioning violently, while giving some unintelligible command,  and that the noise of musketry and artillery was so great that he judged more  by the gestures of the general as to the dispositions he wished him to make  than by the orders that reached his ears. He judged that his left had been  turned, and immediately gave the necessary orders to protect his flank, by  changing front to the left with his brigade. "I think, even then," says  Howard, "I could have executed such an order with troops which, like my old  brigade, had been sometime commanded by myself, and thoroughly drilled; but  here, quicker than I can write the words, the men faced about and took the  back track in some disorder." In his official report Howard says: "the troops  were hastily faced about, and moved toward the rear and right in considerable  confusion."

The 72nd Pennsylvania had been crushed at the first onset, the 69th went off  in better order, and 106th, according to accounts given by some of its  survivors, started to fall back by the right flank, "which soon became a  hasty, disorganized and disgusting retreat." The historian of the 106th makes  a better showing: "Arriving at the fence running at right angles to the  Hagerstown road across the open field north of the Dunkard Church, an effort  was made to rally and check the advance of the now elated enemy, who were  emerging from the woods in large numbers...the colors were planted on the  fence.... Colonel Moorehead, though injured by the fall of his horse, remained  on the field, at once took advantage of this opportunity, and, assisted by  Major Stover, ordered the men to stand by their colors, and stand they did.  Detachments of other regiments joining them, they opened fire, pouring volley  after volley in quick succession into the advancing enemy, ho thinking they  had struck our second line, checked their advance, and finally fell back under  cover of the woods." A portion of the regiment fell back to some hay stacks,  where it was joined by the 15th Massachusetts.

In coming into position the 71st Pennsylvania became somewhat out of touch  with the 106th its left, and it was not until the first two lines had given  way, in the vain effort to change front, that it became engaged, and it  suffered more from the fire on its left and rear than from that on its front.  On ascending a projecting mass of rocks to get a clearer understanding of  affairs, Colonel Wistar perceived that the entire left was in full retreat,  being already some distance to the rear, closely followed by the Confederates.  The regiment seemed to be practically alone, was suffering severely, and in  immediate danger of being enveloped and captured. It was quickly formed into  column of companies, to better effect a retreat through the Confederates, then  in rear, but somewhat disordered by their own pursuit. In this movement Wistar  was wounded and captured, the regiment escaping in fairly good order. Howard says his brigade was first to retreat and Palfrey writes: "The third  line, the Philadelphia Brigade, so called, was the first to go." Under the  circumstances this would be very natural, and we cannot that any particular  stigma attaches to the men, however harshly we may criticize the superior  officers, but the statement of Palfrey has been disputed and warmly resented. When Dana endeavored to change front with the 7th Michigan and 42nd New York,  he permitted the 59th New York, 20th and 19th Massachusetts to go forward and  halt in rear of Gorman, and very soon the 59th New York closed upon and began  firing through the left wing of the 15th Massachusetts, upon the enemy in  front. By this fire many of the Massachusetts men were killed and wounded, and  the most strenuous exertions were of no avail either in stopping this  murderous fire, or in causing the second line to advance to the front. At this  juncture Sumner rode up and his attention being called to this terrible  mistake, he rode to the right of the 59th New York and ordered it to cease  firing and retiring which it did in considerable confusion. Survivors of the  regiment say they fired but seven or eight rounds, were subjected to a cross  fire and Sumner "cussed them out by the right flank," and that they went out  in much confusion and did not stop until they reached the Nicodemus house,  when an officer directed them to the right, as the Confederate artillery was  sweeping the ground directly to the north, and a section of Cooper's Battery,  supported by Hoffman's Brigade, was taking position near the toll-gate, beyond  Nicodemus'. As the regiment went out, some of the men saw a regiment, moving  by companies in echelon and delivering a fire which checked the enemy. This  was probably the 71st Pennsylvania or the 19th Massachusetts. The 20th Massachusetts was on the right of the 59th New York; stood some time  under a very severe fire, when orders were given to face to the rear and fire.  Palfrey, who was an officer of this regiment, and wounded in the woods, says  "The only fire delivered by the 20th Massachusetts of the second line was  delivered faced by the rear rank. In less time than it takes to tell it, the  ground was strewn with the bodies of the dead and wounded, while the unwounded  were moving off rapidly to the north." The regiment quickly broke, some parts  of it went through the 19th Massachusetts, after that regiment had made a  stand beyond the woods, and formed in its rear.

The 19th Massachusetts was the right of Dana's line. It suffered severely as  it entered the woods under a fire of musketry, canister and shell, which it  could not return, as the first line was in its front; Colonel Hinks was  wounded, a great number of officers and men were struck down, and a part of  the 82nd New York retreated in disorder through it. As soon as its front was  partially changed the regiment advanced a short distance and opened fire, but  had delivered a few rounds only, when a fire came upon its left and rear, upon  which it delivered a volley by the rear rank, then, changing front, moved out  of the woods with the 1st Minnesota of Gorman's Brigade.

The 82nd New York of Gorman's Brigade, when in line, was in a very exposed  position and suffered severely from the fire of Raine's Battery in its front.  Part of the regiment fell back through the 19th Massachusetts, but the greater  part of it remained until the left and center of the two brigades in rear had  gone, the regiment on its left was moving, when it was ordered back to the  outer edge of the woods, and formed on the right of the 1st Minnesota. After Gorman had expended 40 to 50 rounds of ammunition it became evident that  the enemy was moving in large force on the left, when the firing became  terrific and in five minutes after the regiments around the church had been  driven out, the enemy's fire came pouring hotly on his left and rear. Being in  front, without orders of any kind from any one, and finding that the rear  lines were changing position and had already moved from their original places,  he gave an order, which reached no one but Colonel Sully, to move quietly and  quickly by the right flank. Gorman says in his report:

"Shortly before this I heard Major General Sumner directing the third line to  face about, in order to repel the enemy, which had broken our left, supposing  the design to be to take up a better position than the one just previously  occupied, I having informed the general that any left must be supplanted or I  could not hold the position. The attack of the enemy on the flank was so  sudden and in such overwhelming force that I had no time to lose, for my  command could have been completely enveloped and probably captured, as the  enemy was moving not only upon my left flank but also forcing a column toward  my right, the two rear lines having both been moved from their position before  either of my three right regiments changed theirs."

As soon as Colonel Sully received Gorman's orders to leave the woods and hold  the enemy in check, while the rest were retiring and to cover their  withdrawal, he about faced the 1st Minnesota and moved back at a double quick,  under a shower of canister from a Confederate battery. As the regiment went  back it was in such manner that its left fell onto the right of the 19th  Massachusetts, of the second line, which, also, was falling back and changing  front, and the two swung backward to a rock-ledge about 100 yards north of the  woods, and formed line nearly perpendicular to the Hagerstown road, a part of  the 82nd New York joined the right of the 1st Minnesota, and for a time, the  pursuit of the enemy was checked, though some loss.

We left the 15th Massachusetts at the moment Sumner rode to Howard) The firing  had been incessant upon it for twenty minutes, but it stood resolutely to its  work, the men falling rapidly from the fire in its front, but now a still more  deadly fire came upon its left and rear from Early and Barksdale, and  perceiving that the second and third lines had gone, Kimball ordered the  regiment to move off by the right flank. It retired in fairly good order, some  225 yards to the right and rear, faced about, and came under a severe  artillery fire by which Captain Clark S. Simmonds and others were killed and  some wounded. It remained in this position a few minutes and then retired to  the North Woods. In its brief encounter the loss of the regiment was 318  killed, wounded, and missing, the greatest loss sustained by any regiment on  the field, and 52 1/2 per cent of those taken into action.

Not all the regiments of the second and third lines, which were broken by the  attack on their flank and rear, fell back without halt or offering some  resistance to the advancing enemy. We have already noted that the 106th  Pennsylvania displayed its colors on the fence running from the northeast  corner of the middle body of woods to the Hagerstown road and opened fire by  which it is claimed pursuit was checked, and the same was done by parts of the  71st Pennsylvania and 20th Massachusetts, also by the 15th Massachusetts, as  it was leaving position. All this had an effect, but the pursuit by the 3rd  South Carolina and Barksdale's 13th and 18th Mississippi was checked, in the  open field between the woods and the road, and about 225 yards from the south  edge of the field when it began, by the appearance of infantry and artillery  upon the right flank of the pursuing force.

The 3rd South Carolina was on the right of Barksdale and of the pursuing line;  after it had advanced 225 yards and come under fire of the 106th Pennsylvania,  at the fences, Colonel Nance, its commander, discovered a Union force on his  right, men of the 7th Michigan, 72nd Pennsylvania, Purnell Legion and others,  who had rallied east of the road, and his advancing line was enfiladed by an  artillery fire, all of which caused him to halt, change front to the right and  rear and throw his line into a slight hollow in the southern part of the  field, parallel to and 165 yards from the Hagerstown road.

The artillery fire came from Woodruff's Battery (I, 1st U.S.). Woodruff  crossed the Antietam late on the 16th and parked near Hoffman's. Early on the  17th he followed the route taken by Thompkins Rhode Island battery and halted  behind the East Woods. Major Clarke, chief of Sumner's artillery, rode up,  said that Sedgwick was having a hard time and ordered the battery forward. It  went through the East Woods at a gallop and over the fields straight for the  Hagerstown road, through a stream of fugitives. One of its officers, preceding  the guns, , cleared the ground and the battery dashed up, went into position  about 150 yards from the road and 350 yards north of the church and opened its  six guns with canister upon the 3rd South Carolina, which caused it to change  front, fall back and seek cover, and the same artillery fire ranged through  Barksdale's ranks.

Woodruff was closely followed by Cothran's Battery (M, 1st New York) of the  Twelfth Corps. Before Sumner's arrival this battery had been ordered by Hooker  to the front. It was then in the field near D.R. Miller's and in rear of where  Gordon's Brigade and Ransom's Battery had been engaged. It went down through  the East Woods to the Smoketown road, where Cothran had been told he would be  met by a staff officer to assign him a position. Meanwhile Sedgwick's Division  had come up and gone forward. After a brief wait the battery went down the  Smoketown road to the corner of the woods and turned into the field, on the  right, as the 125th Pennsylvania and 34th New York fell back. There was no  staff officer or other to give orders, Cothran saw Woodruff engaged in front  with infantry and, without awaiting or seeking orders, went forward and into  position on Woodruff's right and opened with canister and spherical case, not  only upon the 3rd South Carolina and Barksdale's men, but upon the woods  around the church.

Barksdale's 13th and 18th Mississippi advanced along the edge and in the woods  on the left of the 3rd South Carolina. At they were staggered by the  resistance of Dana's left, but recovering, moved up the slope, partly in open  field and part among the straggling oaks, "while the shell and canister  thinned their ranks to such an extent, that when the infantry was met, their  galling fire forced them to retire in great disorder." Barksdale reports that  his pursuit was for a considerable distance over ground covered with the dead  and wounded of the enemy, but he did not deem it prudent to advance farther  without support, and ordered the two regiments to fall back to the woods in  front of his first position. McLaws says: "The ground over which the  Mississippi Brigade (General Barksdale) advanced, and to his right, was  thickly strewn with the dead and wounded of the enemy, far exceeding our own,  and their dead was much more numerous than their wounded. The close proximity  of the combatants to each other may account for the disproportion."  Barksdale's loss was 33 per cent, killed and wounded. Barksdale's two  regiments and the 3rd South Carolina were checked and repulsed about 225 yards  from the south edge of the field, over which they charged when Dana's left  gave way. On the left Early went no farther, but halted at his first position,  under cover of the rocky ledges in the woods, and farther pursuit was left to  Semmes and the artillery under Stuart.

While the rear and flanks of Sedgwick's three lines were being pressed and  crushed by the 3rd South Carolina, Barksdale and Early, Semmes, as we have  seen, was heavily engaged in their front. When the line began to waver he  poured in heavy volleys and advanced in a northeast direction, his right over  the ground held by the right of the 15th and 20th Masochists, and 71st  Pennsylvania, his left through the most northern body of the West Woods. He  had already lost heavily in his engagement with Gorman's front, and the more  than 700 officers and men, who had entered the fight, had dwindled to less  than 500. His advance was not in connected line, there being wide intervals  between some of the regiments, and these became much scattered in the pursuit,  some parts of them flying ahead of the others. Semmes reports that he drove  the enemy "from position to position, through woods and field, expending not  less than 40 rounds of ammunition and went farther to the front than the  troops on the right by about 300 yards, and was for a time exposed to a  terrible front and enfilading fire, inflicting great loss." It was this  advance of Semmes that forced the front or turned the right flank of all the  detachments that had united in checking the advance of Barksdale and the 3rd  South Carolina, and that finally expelled Goodrich and Patrick from the north  body of the West Woods.

It will be remembered that when Sedgwick's Division entered the West Woods the  right of Gorman's Brigade swept past the front of Goodrich's Brigade, Twelfth  Corps, which was closely supported by Patrick's Brigade, First Corps. As  Sedgwick's fugitives went to the rear they rushed through and over the three  small regiments of Goodrich, carrying with them. Everything was in wild  disorder. Patrick at once again threw his three small regiments under cover of  the rock ledge, beyond the woods and perpendicular to the road, partially to  rally the retreating troops and partially to hold on with his few remaining  cartridges until order could be restored and assistance come forward. The 21st  New York, Colonel W.F. Rogers, on the right. Rogers says no heed was paid to  his effort, officers and men alike striving to reach the rear: "It was a  complete rout, and they passed on out of sight." In front of the greater part  of the line the pursued and the pursuers were so close that Patrick's men  could not fire.

In Semmes' advance the 32nd Virginia was on the right of the brigade. It  charged over the ground held by the right of the 15th Massachusetts and, after  a check of a few minutes, until the 10th Georgia came up on its left, pushed  entirely through the woods, passing some of Barksdale's men, but seeing none  of Early's, and came into the open ground where Patrick was seen rallying his  brigade and endeavoring to stem the tide of fugitives going to the rear. The 10th Georgia and 15th Virginia advanced on the left of the 32nd Virginia  and halted ten or fifteen minutes in the wood road, beyond where the right of  the 15th Massachusetts had been. At the end of this halt they again advanced  through a skirt of woods to the fences bounding the woods on the (northwest?);  the Georgians in this advance claim to have "driven the enemy with heavy  slaughter" and the Virginians captured many Pennsylvanians of Howard's  Brigade. The two regiments halted near the fence when they saw Patrick in  front.

Patrick was a tenacious and resourceful fighter and undoubtedly would have  checked the farther advance of Semmes' three regiments, now reduced to less  than 250 men, especially as the 1st Minnesota, 19th Massachusetts, and part of  the 82nd New York had now rallied to his right, had the right not been turned  by the 53rd Georgia, Stuart's artillery and its infantry support, the 13th  Virginia of Early's Brigade. The 53rd Georgia was the left of Semmes' Brigade,  and the largest regiment in it, having double the number of any other  regiment. In its advance it struck the 82nd New York, 1st Minnesota, and 19th  Massachusetts, as they were retiring and changing front, and followed them  nearly to the north edge of the woods, when, perceiving the line they had  formed, under partial cover, it halted. Stuart, with artillery and the 13th  Virginia, was advancing on its left.

There was not much opportunity for Stuart to use his cavalry, much of it had  been detached to gather the infantry stragglers and the small body of Fitz  Hugh Lee's Brigade left to him was supporting artillery, which, on the left,  had been placed under Stuart's direction. Stuart was very active with his  artillery. He had been given a very important position to hold--the high  ground that lay between the left of the infantry and the river, and that, once  occupied by the Union troops, would render the Confederate left untenable. He  occupied it to good purpose aggressively. With the many batteries assigned him  he had kept up a constant and very annoying fire and with such effect as led  to the belief that a continuous line extended from the Dunkard Church to very  near the Potomac, a belief that had its effect upon the Union movements early  in the day. When Sedgwick's Division approached he checked its advance at the  west edge of the woods with some of this artillery and the 13th Virginia  infantry, aided by the few men of Jackson's Division, and gave time for McLaws  to come up, make his dispositions and attack. When Sedgwick's lines began to  break, Poague's, Raine's, Brockenbrough's and D'Aquin's batteries started  northerly along the Hauser ridge and kept up an advancing fire from all  favoring points, all the time under a severe fire from the Union guns, but all  the time advancing and firing. As these batteries continued moving to the left  the guns were mixed up, D'Aquin's being generally in the lead. Some were  halted in the Nicodemus cornfield, the highest point on the ridge, and opened  fire upon the 59th New York, 15th Massachusetts and detachments of other  regiments that had halted near the Nicodemus place, but one battery, supported  by the 13th Virginia, moving between the woods and the cornfield, came to a  knoll on the flank of the 1st Minnesota and about 260 yards from it, where it  had an enfilading fire upon its line. At the same time the 13th Virginia was  seen working past the right of the line, threatening its rear, and an order  was given for the entire line to fall back. In falling back the 1st Minnesota  and 82nd New York passed over the field in rear, in line with and almost in  contact with the 13th Virginia on its right, facing about to repulse the 53rd  Georgia, which was now following them; and the 1st Minnesota, rushing through  the Nicodemus farm yard, under a shower of canister, "tumbled over the stone  fence, and, in less than thirty seconds, formed on the colors in the Nicodemus  lane, every man in his place"; the fragment of the 82nd New York with them,  and immediately moved to the corner of that part of the North Woods extending  west of the Hagerstown road. The 19th Massachusetts fell back on the left of  the 1st Minnesota, and both faced about to check the further Confederate  advance, as a section of Cooper's Battery came up and went into position a  short distance out in the open field on the right.

Cooper's section was supported by Hoffman's Brigade. When McLaws made his  attack this section under Lieutenant Fullerton, was in the field to the right  and front of Hoffman's Brigade, that lay along the Hagerstown road, in support  to the artillery on the high plateau north of J. Poffenberger's. When it was  seen that Sedgwick's men where falling back Hoffman moved to the right and  front with his entire brigade and the section of artillery, and took position  with his artillery, and took position with his infantry behind the stone  fences of the road leading west from the toll-gate on the Hagerstown road, and  the two rifled guns were run forward into the open field beyond, between the  road and the Nicodemus place, and on the right of the 1st Minnesota. The  enemy's battery was now quickly silenced and, for about 20 minutes, both the  Minnesota and Massachusetts men exchanged fire with the sharpshooters of the  13th Virginia, supporting the Confederate battery, and silenced them. This was  the limit of the Confederate pursuit; it was checked, reports Stuart, "by the  enemy's reserve artillery coming into action."

Meanwhile Patrick had fallen back. When he saw the line on his right falling  back and the colors of the 53rd Georgia passing his right and others advancing  in his front, he ordered his regiments to retire by the right flank. Colonel  Rogers, commanding the 21st New York, on the right, says: "The enemy's  skirmishers continued warily to advance. There seemed to be no force to oppose  them. My men had by this time exhausted their ammunition. I soon received  orders to move to the rear and at once commenced to retire. This seemed to  give greater encouragement to the advancing skirmishers, who quickly followed,  firing as they advanced, causing man casualties, during our retreat." Patrick  reports that the brigade "was withdrawn in an unbroken line," and Colonel H.C.  Hoffman, 23rd New York, reports that his regiment retired in such perfect  order as to attract General Howard's attention, who was vainly endeavoring to  rally his men, a short distance in rear and who, pointing to the New York men,  said: "Men this the way to leave a field. That regiment acts like soldiers. Do  as they do, men, and we shall drive them back again in ten minutes." Patrick  marched up the Hagerstown road to the North Woods and joined Gibbon's Brigade,  which was deployed through the woods to arrest further retreat.

In an article in the "National Tribune," Howard writes: "When we reached the  open space (where Patrick rallied) Sumner and every officer of nerve mad  extraordinary efforts to rally the men and make head against the advancing  enemy, but that was impossible until we had traversed the open space, for now  we had the enemy's artillery and infantry both pursuing and flanking our  broken brigades by rapid and deadly volleys."

The retreat was arrested and the greater part of the division rallied at the  North Woods. When the 7th Pennsylvania Reserves retired from the contest with  a part of Hood's Division, it went up the Hagerstown road and well into the  North Woods, where it was joined by the 10th Reserves, which, a few minutes  before the advance of McLaws, had been withdrawn from its position near the  West Woods, on Patrick's right. As Sedgwick's stragglers began to come back,  Major C.A. Lyman, 7th Reserves, deployed both regiments and endeavored to stop  them. While so employed Sumner rode up, inquired who they were, and ordered  the two regiments forward. Promptly and prettily they advanced to the south  edge of the woods and halted, where they came under an enfilading fire by  which Captain James L. Colwell, of the 7th Reserves was killed and many  wounded. The cool presence of these two small regiments was of great effect  and upon them Howard rallied a part of his brigade and the division retreated  no farther, but took position in and about the woods.

Walker, in his "History of the Second Army Corps" says: "It is easy to  criticize Sumner's dispositions at Antietam--the dangerous massing of  Sedgwick's brigades, the exposure of the flank of the charging column, the  failure of the commander to supervise and direct, from some central point, all  the operations of the corps; yet no one who saw him there, hat in hand, his  white hair streaming in the wind, riding abreast of the field officers of the  foremost line, close up against the rocky ledges bursting with the deadly  flames of Jackson's volleys, could ever fail thereafter to understand the  furious thrust with which a column of the Second Corps always struck the  enemy, or the splendid intrepidity with which its brigade and division  commanders were wont to ride through the thickest of the fight as callously as  on parade." All this is conceded, yet the fact remains that these splendid  troops of the Second Corps were much disorganized and many of them sadly  demoralized when they fell back, and, unfortunately, that partial  demoralization extended to their commanders. We again quote Walker: "If it is  not a profanation to say such a thing about Edwin V. Sumner, he had lost  courage; not the courage which would have borne him up a ravine swept by  canister at the head of the old First Dragoons, but the courage which, in the  crush and clamor of action, amid disaster and repulse, enables the commander  to cooly calculate the chances of success or failure. He was heartbroken at  the terrible fate of the splendid division on which he had so much relied,  which he had deemed invincible, and his proximity to the disaster had been so  close as to convey a shock from which he had not recovered." Nor had he  recovered from this shock an hour or more later when Franklin came up. As soon as Semmes' men saw that Patrick was retiring from his position behind  the stone ledge they rushed forward, cheering and firing. The 32nd Virginia,  on the right advanced to the stacks south of Miller's barn, where it was  halted until supports could be brought up. It was reduced to less than 80 men,  and these took cover behind the stacks. The 10th Georgia and 15th Virginia,  passing the left of the 32nd Virginia and the barn, halted in rear of the rock  ledge from which Patrick had withdrawn, where they engaged some Union troops  that were under cover of the stone fences of the Hagerstown road. Men of both  regiments crossed the road to the D.R. Miller house, where they found a number  of Union men, wounded and unwounded, some of whom were captured and sent to  the rear. These movements followed those of the 53rd Georgia, which had been  checked on the open ground to the front and left of the position taken by the  10th Georgia and 15th Virginia. Semmes was now about 450 yards in advance of  the point where Barksdale had been repulsed and Early had halted.

When Stuart had driven the 1st Minnesota and 19th Massachusetts from the field  he came riding out of the woods to the 32nd Virginia and inquired for Semmes.  Just then a Union battery across the Hagerstown road opened upon the barn,  stacks, and infantry in sight, and Stuart told Semmes that the battery must be  taken, to which Semmes replied that his men had been very severely engaged and  were about out of ammunition, and that Barksdale was in the woods to the rear  and not engaged, upon which Stuart dashed off after Barksdale.

The artillery fire that opened on Semmes came from a section of Campbell's  Battery, under Lieutenant Stewart, that had such a serious and thrilling  experience near the same stacks very early in the morning, and some of whose  dead still lay near them. When Sedgwick's men passed to the rear, through the  woods, closely pursued by the enemy, this section was in position very near  where Stewart had his section in Miller's field at the beginning of the fight,  and Reynolds' New York battery was on its left. Both were under a heavy fire  from two Confederate batteries beyond the woods, which had their exact range.  Stewart was unable to get his own range on account of the smoke of the  musketry, so limbered to the rear and came up on Reynolds' left , when one of  his men called attention to a body of Confederate infantry in front,  apparently on the Hagerstown road, and the left or most advanced part of the  line, the 53rd Georgia, appeared to be falling back. Stewart loaded his guns  with canister, waited until he saw four stands of colors in their front and  began firing. It was at this time that Stuart came up and advised Semmes to  capture the battery. Semmes remained but a short time after Stuart dashed off  for Barksdale; no troops came to his support or to capture the battery, whose  canister was very annoying, enfilading a part of his line, and he ordered his  regiment back into the woods, Stewart following them with canister until they  were out of sight. They went back in good order to the position from which  they had started, collected and buried their dead and cared for the wounded.  The loss of the brigade was severe; 314 killed, wounded, and missing, being 44  per cent of those engaged; of which the 53rd Georgia left 30 per cent; the  32nd Virginia, 45 per cent; the 10th Georgia 57 per cent; and the 15th  Virginia, 55 per cent. Three of the four regimental commanders were wounded,  and many of the best line officers killed and wounded.

It is difficult to determine the part taken by Early in the pursuit through  the West Woods. He made a very elaborate and graphic report of the battle,  covering four and a half solid pages of the official records, in which he  shows all his earlier movements on the field; his great anxiety for  reinforcements, and the advance made upon the 125th Pennsylvania, and then  spares but five lines to a statement of his change of front and the expulsion  of Sedgwick from the woods. He says: "Just as I reformed my line Semmes',  Anderson's and part of Barksdale's brigades of McLaws' Division came up, and  the whole, including Grigsby's command, advanced upon this body of the enemy,  driving it with great slaughter entirely from and beyond the woods, and  leaving us in possession of my former position." His "former position" was  perpendicular to the Hagerstown road and 130 yards south of the north edge of  the middle body of the woods. Some officers of the brigade state their  impression that a part of the line went clear out of the woods and half way to  the Miller stacks, but instantly fell back to the woods. There is no question  as to the Early's engagement on the flank of the 15th Massachusetts and his  advance over the ground held by it and the 20th Massachusetts, to the position  held by him earlier in the day, but he appears to have followed Semmes' right  and Barksdale's left over this ground, and not in front line and clearly  engaged. This also appears from the record of losses. Semmes' in the short  time he was engaged lost 44 per cent of his men. Barksdale lost 33 per cent,  while Early, who had been much longer engaged, suffered a loss of but 16 per  cent, the greater part of which was in his engagement with the 125th  Pennsylvania. Semmes makes no mention of any troops preceding him and reported  to McLaws that he was not supported by and did not see Early's Brigade.  General Early, after acknowledging the assistance rendered him by Semmes,  Anderson, Barksdale and Grigsby, says: "Major General Stuart, with the pieces  of artillery under his command, contributed largely to the repulse of the  enemy and pursued them for some distance with his artillery and the 13th  Virginia, under command of Captain F.V. Winston." Stuart says the enemy broke  in confusion and were pursued for half a mile along the road. Evidently he did  not see Early but "recognized in the pursuit part of Barksdale's and part of  Semmes' brigades, and I also got hold of one regiment of Ransom's Brigade  which I posted in an advantageous position on the extreme left flank after the  pursuit had been checked by the enemy's reserve artillery coming into action.  Having informed General Jackson of what had transpired I was directed by him  to hold this advanced position and that he would send all the infantry he  could get to follow up the success. I executed this order, keeping the cavalry  well out to the left, and awaiting the arrival of re- inforcements."

Other affairs were taking place in and about the West Woods while Sedgwick's  men were being driven through them, and after they had been driven from them.  It was but a short time after the 3rd South Carolina had taken cover in the  hollow parallel to the Hagerstown road, when Colonel Nance saw Kershaw's  Brigade, about 380 yards to his right, advance "most beautifully" through the  woods and up the slope beyond--the slope to the plateau opposite the Dunkard  Church--and he thought he saw Green's Division break. His regiment belonged to  Kershaw's Brigade, had become detached from it, in advancing to the attack on  Sedgwick's flank, and he thought now to join it in pursuit of a routed enemy,  upon which he crossed the Hagerstown road, and "passed to the summit of a hill  in a freshly plowed field," 60 yards beyond the road, and to his surprise  found Union troops under cover of the hill or ridge and opened fire upon them.  These troops were the Purnell Legion; two companies of the 124th Pennsylvania,  and a few men of Howard's Brigade, remaining near Woodruff's Battery. These  opened fire upon the South Carolinians as soon as they made their appearance  on the high ground, Woodruff turned his guns on them, and they were driven  back to the road, where they remained but a moment, as Woodruff's canister was  to much for them, and then fell back to the ravine from which they had  advanced. Colonel Nance reports that "under the heavy fire of artillery and  the press of fresh troops our line on my right (Kershaw) that just before  advanced in such admirable style, fell back so far that I retired to the road  I had just crossed. There I halted and fired for a time, until a further  retirement required me to fall back to the hollow in which I had before  changed my front. There I remained until the movements of the enemy and the  absence of proper supports determined me to retire into the woods." These were  the woods surrounding the Dunkard Church and south of it, and finding no  friends in them Nance led his regiment where he had first formed line, and  took position behind a rail fence running parallel to the woods.

About this time Walker's Division came upon the field and entered the West  Woods. This division, as we have seen, remained near Lee's headquarters, until  3 a.m. of the 17th, when it moved to the extreme right, to guard the Snavely  and Myers' Fords, where it remained until nearly or quite 9 a.m., when an  order from General Lee directed it to hasten to the left. It moved left in  front, Ransom's Brigade leading, marching rapidly, left Sharpsburg to the  right, and, after passing Reel's house, Ransom formed line by inversion,  bringing the 49th North Carolina on the right. The line formed under severe  fire and in the presence of troops that had been driven back. As soon as  formed the brigade was pushed rapidly forward, marching in columns of  regiments, northerly, along and near the west edge of the West Woods, when  orders were given to "form to the right and resist the enemy in the woods."  (Ransom's report) The 49th North Carolina, on the right, made a right wheel,  which brought it up to the fence bordering the woods. The 35th North Carolina,  marching straight on, as soon as it cleared the 49th, wheeled to the right,  passing by on either side of the A. Poffenberger barn, and the 25th North  Carolina, passing by the left of the 35th, made the same movement, and the  three regiments pushed eastward, up the wooded slope, upon which had stood the  15th Massachusetts and lines in rear of it, and halted in the east edge of the  woods overlooking the open field and the Hagerstown road, but the 24th North  Carolina, on the extreme left, did not wheel to the right, when it had passed  the 25th, but kept straight on, and joining some of the Confederates in  pursuit, became engaged, lost heavily, went clear out of the woods, north, and  was caught up by Stuart and put in position on the extreme left. Ransom reports that upon reaching the woods he "immediately encountered the  enemy in strong force, flushed with a temporary success. A tremendous fire was  poured into them, and, without a halt, the woods were cleared and the crest  near the enemy occupied. (?) The ground was filled with the dead and wounded  of both sides." What enemy Ransom encountered and drove from the woods is a  mystery to us. As a matter of fact, Ransom came up just as McLaws had driven  Sedgwick north, and then swept eastward into the woods, after McLaws had  passed northward, and McLaws left no Union troops behind him, west of the  Hagerstown road, save dead, wounded and prisoners.

In the line formed just inside the east edge of the woods the 49th North  Carolina faced the southeast corner of the open field, its right in the  southern body of the woods. On its left was the 35th North Carolina, and, on  the left of the 35th was the 25th. All were protected by a ledge of rock which  ran along their entire front. The brigade numbered 1,600 men, but, as the 24th  had gone far to the left, Ransom had about 1,250 in line. After taking this  position Ransom "determined to charge across the field in front and to the  (East) woods beyond which was held by the enemy, but he again approached in  force, to within 100 yards, when he was met by the same crushing fire which  had driven him first from the position." This force, approaching Ransom and  staying his projected advance, was two regiments--2nd Massachusetts and 13th  New Jersey--of the Twelfth Corps.

When Sedgwick was being driven from the West Woods Sumner called upon the  Twelfth Corps for help, the staff officer delivering the order to Williams,  saying: "General Sumner directs you to send to the front all of your command  immediately available." Williams had but few men available; Greene's Division  was then engaged at the Dunkard Church; Crawford's Brigade had become  scattered and some of it roughly handled, and as Gordon held his brigade most  convenient for a movement to the point indicated, he was ordered to advance at  once. Gordon says: "I was to move up towards the woods in front to support the  troops there. The order, most urgent and imperative, furnished the only  information I possessed that our forces had again entered the woods in our  front. I deemed it of the utmost importance that my command should move  forward with the least possible delay. I therefore in person gave the order to  the regiments nearest me, without the formation of my entire brigade,  intending to bring up other brigades to support or continue the line, as  circumstances might require." The regiments nearest Gordon were the 13th New  Jersey and the 2nd Massachusetts that were in the East Woods. A staff officer  rode up to the first and directed its colonel to go forward through the  cornfield, across the Hagerstown road and into the West Woods, where he was to  report to the first general officer he met, and he was informed that a part of  the 124th Pennsylvania and other Union troops might be on the road near  Miller's barn, and was twice cautioned not to fire upon troops in front as  they were "our own men." The caution was communicated to the company officers  and by them to their men. For the first time in their soldier experience the  men loaded their muskets, and, the command being given, the regiment advanced  in line of battle through the cornfield, becoming somewhat disordered as it  neared the road, but it was ordered over the fence into the road, where it was  thought reform. The right of the regiment was first to reach the fence, no men  could be seen on the road, there were a few men off to the right and front,  and nothing was visible to the immediate front, where there was ominous  silence. Part of the regiment climbed the fence into the road and the rest  were following when puffs of white smoke were seen at the rock ledge, 150  yards in front, and a hail of musketry went through the regiment, killing some  and wounding many. It was a trying experience for a new regiment, the first  time in action, and there was some confusion, but officers and men soon  rallied; on the right Captain H.C. Irish crossed the second fence and called  upon his men to follow, the gallant Irish fell dead a few yards beyond the  fence, and the colonel, recognizing that a mistake had been made, ordered the  men to form behind the first fence and hold the ground. This was soon found  impossible, the men were being shot buy a foe they could not see, so perfectly  did the ledge protect them; they scarcely knew how to load their muskets and  were doing little or no execution; to hold them longer under fire would be  murder and they were ordered back to the East Woods, retiring in good order,  under the circumstances, and rallying on the spot from which they had  advanced.

The 2nd Massachusetts advanced on the left of the 13th New Jersey, but, not in  close connection with it, and a short distance in rear. It had a similar  experience. Colonel Andrews reports: "The regiment advanced in line, the 13th  New Jersey on its right to a lane, fenced on both sides, which offered a  partial cover, and which was about 100 yards from the wood held by the enemy.  Here the regiment received a very heavy fire from a large body of the enemy  posted in the woods. Our fire was opened in return; but the enemy having  greatly the advantage, both in numbers and position, his fire became very  destructive. Being unsupported it was impossible to advance and a useless  sacrifice of life to keep my position. The regiment was accordingly marched  back in perfect order to the position from which it had advanced." The historian of the 2nd Massachusetts gives more particulars: "While the 3rd  Wisconsin and 27th Indiana, both of which had suffered severely, lay behind a  slight ridge, and the 107th New York was some distance yet to the left, the  2nd Massachusetts and the 13th New Jersey moved up to the road, crossed the  fence, and formed behind the second one. Captain Morse, with Company B,  crossed the second fence. This was but a few rods above the church at the open  ground. Sumner's corps was not visible. When soldiers appeared in the woods  opposite, there was doubt who they were. 'Show your colors' said Colonel  Andrews to the color bearer. Color Sergeant Lundy waved his flag. It was  greeted by a shower of bullets. Fire was then opened and continued. But, as  the smoke lifted, the small force found itself alone. On the left no troops  were visible, on the right the left of the 13th New Jersey had given way. The  enemy were sheltered in the woods and behind rocks, and were in great force  (?) The flag staff was broken, the flag riddled, the socket shot away from the  color bearer's belt. The brave Dwight was mortally wounded. A fourth of the  men had fallen, and they were rapidly dropping. Suffering much more than the  enemy could, and unsupported, the order was given, and the regiment fell back  to the woods behind, thus uncovering the batteries. Cothran's and Woodruff's  guns opened beautifully, and the advancing line of the enemy took shelter  again."

The conduct of the two regiments was thus commended by General Gordon: "The  2nd Massachusetts and 13th New Jersey pushed forward, with great alacrity,  sufficiently far to find that the troops to be supported had retired, that a  large force of the enemy lay concealed in the woods, while a not  inconsiderable number showed themselves in the open field beyond. These  regiments were received with a galling fire, which they sustained and returned  for a brief period, then fell back upon their supports. So strong was the  enemy, that an addition of any force I could command would only have caused  further sacrifice, without gain."

As the two regiments went back to the 3rd Wisconsin and 27th Indiana were met  coming to their support. These, upon being informed of the condition of  affairs, moved back and the four regiments took position in the edge of the  East Woods in support to batteries. When the 2nd Massachusetts and 13th New  Jersey were ordered to the front, the 107th New York, then in the southern  part of the East Woods, was directed to close in to the right. While executing  the movement a general officer rode up and ordered the regiment to move out  into the field and support Cothran's Battery. This fine regiment moved with  steadiness to the rear of the battery, just as the 2nd Massachusetts and 13th  New Jersey were falling back, and maintained it ground for some hours and  until relieved, although exposed to a front fire from the enemy and a fire  over its head from batteries in the rear.

Besides the batteries of Woodruff and Cothran, there were others on front of  the East Woods: Monroe's four guns at the southwest corner of the woods;  Knap's at the southeast corner of the cornfield; (Bruen?)'s on Knap's right;  in the field north of the corn were Reynolds' and Stewart's guns; and, under  the impression that the West Woods concealed a large body of the enemy, on the  point of advancing, these batteries opened a furious fire upon the woods.  McLaws says: "There was an incessant storm of shot and shell, grape and  canister, but the loss inflicted by the artillery was comparatively very  small. Fortunately, the woods were on a side of a hill, the main slope of  which was toward us, with numerous ledges of rock along it." Walker says his  brave men, lay upon the ground, taking advantage of such undulations and  shallow ravines as gave promise of partial shelter, while this fearful storm  raged a few feet above their heads, tearing the trees asunder, lopping off  huge branches, and filling the air with shrieks and explosions, realizing to  the fullest the fearful sublimity of battle."

Meanwhile, there were stirring scenes, hard and brilliant fighting around the  Dunkard Church, where Greene's Division signally repulsed the right of McLaws'  Division, supported by Manning's Brigade of Walker's Division, and, advancing  across the Hagerstown road, secured a footing in the woods beyond and south of  the church. It will be remembered that when Early, Barksdale and Anderson  drove the 125th Pennsylvania, 34th New York and 72nd Pennsylvania from the  woods at the church, they were assisted by the 2nd South Carolina, but this  regiment did not change direction to the left and pursue Sedgwick's Division,  nor did it halt and then fall back as did Anderson. After it fired its  effective volley at the 34th New York and again at the 72nd Pennsylvania, a  part of it passed north of the church and halting near the road fired at the  retreating troops, but the greater part, passing south of the church, crossed  the road, went by an abandoned caisson, and gained a prominent rock ledge, 110  yards east of the church and close to the Smoketown road, where it fired upon  the retreating troops and upon Monroe's Battery, which, says a Confederate  officer, "we thought was getting ready to fight or run away." Exultant at  success and believing the Union line broken and driven entirely from this part  of the field, Captain George B. Cuthbert, who was in that wing of the  regiment, gave the order to form to the right, intending to advance a little  farther to the higher ground on his right. Just as the movement began, and  while most of the men were still facing north, Greene's men, some of whom had  now replenished ammunition, rose up from behind the slight rise of ground  which had concealed them and opened a fire that sent the surprised South  Carolinians to the rear, across the road and about 150 yards beyond the  church, where, under cover of the ridge, they rallied and moved to the right,  out of the line of fire that the Union guns began pouring into the woods  around the church. This lateral movement brought the regiment to within a few  yards of the south edge of the woods, where it awaited the rest of the  brigade.

It was about this time that Carlton's Georgia Battery of three guns came  forward. When McLaws came up with his division this battery advanced along the  Hauser ridge, and near Hauser's, Stuart rode up and asked for a battery which  he proposed to push into the West Woods, to hold them until McLaws could get  up and be deployed. McLaws objected, but Jackson ordered him to turn the  battery over to Stuart. Carlton was ordered by Stuart to go through the woods  to the Dunkard Church and hold that position until Kershaw came up, even if he  lost every man and gun of the battery. This was apparently before the 125th  Pennsylvania had shown itself, and as he started to go Carlton heard the sound  of firing in the woods. He went down the Hauser lane, passing A.  Poffenberger's, and thence by the cart road through the woods. As he came to  the brow of the ridge, on which the 125th Pennsylvania had stood and from  which it had just been driven, he came under the fire of Union artillery, 18  horses were almost instantly killed and he was obliged to put his guns in by  hand, which was done near the northwest corner of the church. Stuart followed  Carlton and as the two stood near the church they saw Greene's infantry and  Thompkins' Battery, on the high ground to the right, and artillery in position  and coming into position in the field to the left and front. The Union  batteries in front opened on him; Thompkins after the repulse of Kershaw,  turned two guns upon him, in less than twenty minutes every gun was disabled  and he was ordered to the rear. More than half of his horses had been killed  and infantry assisted to withdraw the guns. He went into position after the  125h Pennsylvania and 34th New York had been withdrawn from the woods; he  withdrew immediately after Kershaw's repulse, which we now note. Soon after the 2nd South Carolina had fallen back it saw advancing through the  field on the south, a body of troops, supposed to be its own brigade, and the  colors of the regiment were taken to the fence, unfurled and waved, to show  that they were friends, and when they came up it was seen that they were the  8th South Carolina. This regiment had not closely followed the 2nd; it passed  to the right of the route taken by it, and, under a severe fire of canister  from Thompkins' guns, approached the road, and was so. . . (Here chapter ends in middle of sentence; as table of contents calls for 79  pages and this makes 74, apparently 5 pages are missing from the Library of  Congress.)

The Sunken Road: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


9:30 AM to 1 PM

by Ezra A. Carman (originally Chapter 18)

While Sedgwick's Division was being driven through the West Woods a sanguinary  struggle began for the possession of the Sunken Road, a struggle so bloody  that since that day the road has been known as the "Bloody Lane." This lane or  farm road, starting from the Hagerstown road about 600 yards south of the  Dunkard Church, runs in two courses, easterly and southeast, about 1000 yards,  then turns south and pursues a zig-zag course to the Sharpsburg and  Keedysville road which it strikes midway between the crest of Cemetery hill  and the Antietam. By rains and usage the roadway had been worn down to an  ordinary depth of two or three feet, and in many places to a much greater  depth, thus giving protection to troops lying in it. It was in the easterly  stretch of this road that Colquitt's Brigade lay on the night of the 16th,  Ripley's Brigade 600 yards in front, and, in its southeasterly course, on  Colquitt's right, was Garland's Brigade, with Rodes' and George B. Anderson's  on the right and rear, Rodes' on Garland's immediate right and at right angles  facing the Antietam, with Anderson farther to the right also facing the  Antietam. These five brigades constituted D.H. Hill's Division. While Ripley,  Colquitt and Garland were engaged to the left and front with the First and  Twelfth corps, Rodes was ordered to move to their assistance and Anderson was  directed to close in to the left, and, soon thereafter, to form line on Rodes'  right. Rodes reports that he received his orders about 9 o'clock, it was  probably a half hour earlier, and he had hardly begun the movement before it  was evident that the three brigades of the division engaged in front had met  with a reverse, and that the best service he could render them and the field  generally would be to form a line in rear and endeavor to rally them before  attacking or being attacked. General Hill seems to have held the same view,  for, at the moment Rodes came to this conclusion he received and order from  Hill to halt and form line of battle in the Sunken Road. He had then passed  the mouth of Roulette's lane, his left about 150 yards from the Hagerstown  road. Rodes had five Alabama regiments. The 6th, Colonel John B. Gordon, was  on the right, and to the left, in order named were the 5th, Major E.L. Hobson;  3rd, Colonel C.A. Battle; 12th, Captain Tucker, and 26th, Colonel E.A. O'Neal.  The brigade numbered 850 officers and men.

In a short time small parties of Garland's and Colquitt's brigades, falling  back in some disorder, were rallied and formed on his left, Rodes assuming  command of them. Hill says he made an effort to rally all of Garland's and  Colquitt's men at this point, but he was not successful, most of them passed  on to Sharpsburg, but the 23rd North Carolina came off the field led by  Lieutenant Colonel Johnston and took position in the road and some stragglers  joined it. There were some men of the 13th North Carolina among those,  characterized by Hill as stragglers, and Rodes says that a small portion of  Colquitt's Brigade formed on his left. This part of his line received  additional strength by the arrival of Cobb's Brigade of McLaws' Division,  which took position in the Hagerstown road, at the mouth of the Sunken Road. Carter's Virginia battery, which had been on Rodes' left, was sent to the rear  when the brigade moved to the left, and when the new position was taken  Patterson's Georgia battery of three guns occupied a knoll immediately in  Rodes' front, about 250 yards, at the southwest corner of Mumma's cornfield,  and was engaged in firing at Greene's Division, Twelfth Corps, then taking  position at the Dunkard Church, but Patterson's guns were quickly driven  across the Hagerstown road; as we have seen by the fire of the 102nd New York,  and they moved to the left.

George B. Anderson now came up and formed on Rodes' right. During the night of  the 16th Anderson lay at the south end of the Sunken Road and astride the  Sharpsburg and Keedysville road, his skirmishers thrown to the crest of the  ridge, crossing the road, watching the middle bridge over the Antietam. Early  in the morning there was a severe artillery duel between the batteries east of  the Antietam and the Confederate batteries in Anderson's rear, on Cemetery  ridge, and on his left, after which he moved up the ravine to his left, halted  and formed line, and then moved up the same ravine to Piper's cornfield and  again formed line facing the Antietam, as at his previous halt. Then moving  into the Sunken Road he formed line on Rodes' right, in this order from left  to right: the 2nd North Carolina, Colonel C.C. Tew, joined the right of the  6th Alabama, its second company from the right being directly opposite the  entrance to Roulette's lane; on the right of the 2nd was the 14th North  Carolina, Colonel R.T. Bennett, under good shelter from a front attack; on the  right of the 14th, was the 4th North Carolina, Captain W.T. Marsh, and the  30th North Carolina, Colonel F.M. Parker was on the right of the 4th. This  line, which was not a continuous one, was mostly under good cover. There were  places where the road was crossed by rock ledges, and at these points there  was great exposure and they were not occupied. Along this entire front of  Anderson and Rodes was high ground overlooking the Sunken Road, broken only by  a ravine through which ran Roulette's lane. Behind Anderson's entire line and  extending to the left to the center of Rodes' Brigade was a field of dense  corn. In many places in rear this ground was much higher than the Sunken Road  and looked directly down into it. The road was a natural rifle pit. Anderson's  Brigade numbered 1,174 officers and men and was of most excellent material; a  southern writer has said of it: "The fondness of this brigade for prayer  meeting and Psalm singing united with an ever readiness to fight, reminds one  of Cromwell's Ironsides. It fought well at Seven Pines, when one of its  regiments, having carried in 678 officers and men, lost 54 per cent in killed  and wounded. At Malvern Hill it suffered great loss. To see these poor devils,  many of them almost barefooted and all of them half-starved, approach a field  where a battle was raging was a pleasant sight. The crash of Napoleons, the  roar of howitzers and crash of musketry always excited and exhilarated them,  and as they swung into action they seemed supremely happy."

Immediately upon taking position General Anderson and Colonel Tew walked to  the top of the hill in front and saw French's Division forming at the East  Woods and, following the example of Rodes' men who had preceded them, the  North Carolinians began to pile fence rails in their front. Rodes says: "A  short time after my brigade assumed its new position and while the men were  busy improving their position by piling rails along their front, the enemy  deployed in our front in three beautiful lines, all vastly outnumbering ours,  and commenced to advance steadily." D.H. Hill says the enemy "advanced in  three parallel lines, with all the precision of a parade day." This enemy was  French's Division of the Second Corps, and was composed of Generals Max  Weber's and Nathan Kimball's brigades and three regiments of new troops, under  command of Colonel Dwight Morris, 14th Connecticut. The three brigades were  strangers to each other and had been thrown together as a division but the day  before. French put his division in motion about 7.40 a.m., crossed the  Antietam after Sedgwick and at first followed him closely, but gradually fell  behind. The division marched with Max Weber on the left, Morris in the center,  and Kimball on the right. French says: "When my left flank had cleared the  ford a mile, the division faced to the left, forming three lines of battle  adjacent to and contiguous with Sedgwick's and immediately moved to the  front."

French is in error in the statement that he formed his lines "adjacent to and  contiguous with Sedgwick's." If such were the case he must have come up before  Sedgwick's advance; and evidence is to the contrary, and to the effect that  when Sedgwick advanced from the East Woods French had not come up. Upon the  authority of Captain S.S. Sumner, son and staff officer of General Sumner, the  statement was made by Lieutenant Colonel George B. Davis, U.S.A., in a paper  read by him before the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, April 6,  1897, that "the emergency would not permit him (Sumner) to await the arrival  of French's Division," so Sedgwick was pushed forward without him, and that  French had been given most positive orders to put and keep the head of his  column abreast Sedgwick's Division and that these orders were reiterated by  several staff officers. It is hard to question such authority, and it is  passing strange how French formed his lines contiguous to Sedgwick and then  failed to move with him if he had such imperative and reiterated orders. As a  matter of fact Sedgwick's Division had advanced from the East Woods before the  advance of French's three lines entered them, and there is no evidence that  upon entering the woods he was met by Sumner's orders to follow Sedgwick,  although it is highly probable such orders were given on the march from the  Antietam.

French entered the East Woods about 9.15 a.m., halted and fronted to the left,  looking southward. On his right front, 750 yards distant, he could see a Union  battery in action, firing south, and behind it infantry in position, the left  of the line resting on the Mumma lane, and he could see the Confederates in  the Sunken Road. Walker says that French for "want of proper direction" was  permitted to diverge widely to the left. In the absence of orders for "proper  direction," or for a movement in any direction, he came to the quick and  proper conclusion to advance and form on the left of the troops he saw in  position--Greene's Division, which he supposed to be (Sedgwick?)--and engage  the Confederates in the Sunken Road, whose presence there threatened the left  and rear of the Union line. To have done otherwise, under the circumstances, unless under specific orders, would have been highly reprehensible.

It required less than fifteen minutes to close up the columns and properly  dress them. Then the brigades were ordered forward. Weber's in advance,  followed by Morris' and Kimball's. Weber's Brigade was composed of the 1st  Delaware, 4th New York, and 5th Maryland. They were old regiments, well  drilled and disciplined, but never had been in battle. The brigade numbered  1,800 officers and men. The 1st Delaware was on the right, the 5th Maryland in  the center, and the 4th New York on the left.

Weber ordered the colors of the 5th Maryland to be carried direct to the  Roulette house, the regiments on the right and left dressing on the 5th  Maryland, and the line, emerging from the East Woods, went forward, under the  fire of a Confederate battery on the ridge south of Piper's house, and one  west of the Hagerstown road, a fire which was very annoying, several shells  falling into the ranks of the 1st Delaware. The color bearer of the 5th  Maryland, who had been designated to give the direction, was a very heavy  built German, over six feet in height and weighing nearly 300 pounds, very  deliberate in movement, hence, by the right and left color bearers moving a  little more briskly, the brigade, as it approached the Roulette place, assumed  a concentric formation. The 1st Delaware disappeared in Mumma's cornfield, on  the right of the Roulette house, the 4th New York was separated from the left  of the 5th Maryland by Roulette's lane, which ran from the barn to the Sunken  Road, and the 5th Maryland passed through the Roulette grounds and passing to  the right of the dwelling entered the apple orchard, where the left of the  regiment came under the fire of a small Confederate outpost in the Roulette  lane, near the Clipp house. The regiment with the 4th New York drove back this  advance party, a few men being killed and wounded on either side. While driving back the Confederate outpost and brushing some skirmishers from  the fences in front, the right of Weber's line was struck by the 8th South  Carolina of Kershaw's Brigade, which had charged Thompkins' Rhode Island  battery on the plateau opposite the Dunkard Church. In the charge the 8th  South Carolina passed the other regiments of its brigade and, as it mounted  the crest overlooking Mumma's cornfield, saw troops moving through and beyond  it and promptly halted and opened fire. It was a very small regiment of not  over 40 muskets, but so sudden, unexpected, and well delivered was its fire  that with the fire of the artillery, it caused momentary confusion. French  says it was a "sudden and terrible fire." The Carolinians remained but two or  three minutes upon Weber's flank and then fell back with their brigade which  had been bloodily repulsed. At this time the 1st Delaware was in Mumma's  cornfield, its right close to the fence of the lane, the 5th Maryland was in  Roulette's orchard, its right connecting with the 1st Delaware, its left on  Roulette's lane, and the 4th New York beyond the lane. Weber now ordered  bayonets fixed and the brigade went forward on the run to the ridge  overlooking the Sunken Road and from 50 to 80 yards of it. As it reached the  crest of the ridge Rodes and Anderson's men poured in a cool, accurate fire  which caused the whole line to recoil, but it quickly rallied and opened fire.  On the right the 1st Delaware advanced so far that its left was but 50 yards  from the Sunken Road, and the fire from the road and from a line on higher  ground beyond it, was so severe that after a vain effort to advance, during  which, Colonel Andrews says: "The second line (Morris), composed of new  levies, instead of supporting our advance, fired into our rear," the regiment  having lost one fourth its men, and eight officers commanding companies killed  or wounded, fell back through the 14th Connecticut and Mumma's cornfield to  the grass field beyond. The color guard were all killed or wounded, and the  colors left on the field with Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Hopkinson, severely  wounded, who, afterwards brought them off. After the regiment had rallied in  the field just beyond the corn, Major Thomas A. Smythe, Captain Richards,  Lieutenants James P. (Postles?), (Fanner?) and Nicholls, with about 75 to 90  men, went down the Mumma lane as far as the southwest corner of the cornfield,  where, under shelter of rock ledges and the fencing, they remained skirmishing  until about noon. Here Captain Richards was killed and from this advantageous  position they repulsed several attempted advances of the enemy upon Thompkins'  Battery which was close to their right and rear. On the left of the 1st  Delaware, the 5th Maryland passed over the top of the ridge and was met by a  murderous fire from the right of Rodes' Brigade and the 2nd North Carolina of  Anderson, a fire so deadly that over one fourth of the regiment was struck  down instantly, but the survivors lay down and returned the fire. In the  charge the colors were carried about 30 feet to the front, and the men crawled  forward and dress on them, all the time maintaining a steady fire upon the  enemy in the road at the foot of the hill about 50 yards distant. The 4th New  York advanced on the left of Roulette's lane and as it reached the crest of  the hill overlooking Anderson's men in the Sunken Road, about 50 yards  distant, was met by a volley that laid low about 150 men, and the regiment  recoiled, and lay down under cover of the crest. Exultant at their success  portions of Anderson's Brigade rushed forward, but were quickly driven back.  In this short contest of not over five minutes Weber lost one fourth of his  brigade.

 Rodes says the Union line came to the crest of the hill overlooking his  position, and for five minutes bravely stood a telling fire at about 80 yards  which his whole brigade delivered, and Colonel Bennett, 14th North Carolina,  in whose immediate front the 4th New York advanced, says: "There advance was  beautiful in the extreme and great regularity marked their columns (?) and  this precision of movement was preserved by the lines until a space not  exceeding 50 yards separated the combatants. Then it was that a well directed  fire sent them in disorder some 50 paces rearward."

Morris' Brigade of three new regiments followed Weber. When it advanced out of  the woods, Weber's Brigade was about 300 yards ahead of it. The 14th  Connecticut, on the right, passed through Mumma's orchard, nine companies  passed to the right of Roulette's house and one to the left, and the entire  regiment into Mumma's cornfield, the right reaching the Mumma's lane and the  left close to the east edge of the cornfield. The 130th Pennsylvania, on the  immediate left of the 14th Connecticut, advanced through Roulette's small  cornfield, passed between the house and the barn and then through Roulette's  orchard with its left on the lane, while the 108th New York moved on the left  of the lane, its right resting on it. The advance was made under severe  artillery and musketry fire, the latter being directed at Weber, in advance,  who was being followed at a distance not exceeding 200 yards. When the 14th  Connecticut reached the south fence of the cornfield it came under the  withering fire that was being poured on the 1st Delaware in its front, but the  men climbed the fence and with much difficulty advanced from 50 to 65 yards  over the grass field, when, unable to advance farther, it fell back to the  cornfield. The 130th Pennsylvania advanced in line on the left of the 14th  Connecticut, a part of it halted behind a stone fence, which was a  continuation of the fence of Mumma's cornfield, some of the men advanced a few  yards farther and many reached the line held by the 5th Maryland and remained  upon it until relieved by the advance of Kimball's Brigade. On the left of  Roulette's lane the 108th New York moved up to the line held by the 4th New  York, its left extending beyond it, and received such a severe fire from  Anderson's North Carolinians that it recoiled in disorder and lay down upon  the northern slope of the ridge, and again portions of Anderson's command  advanced beyond the Sunken Road and were quickly driven back. 

It was about this time that Rodes, by Longstreet's direction, ordered an  advance. A part of his line went forward and immediately came under such a  severe fire that it was checked. Thompkins' guns from their fine position on  the right and rear of the 14th Connecticut, opened with shell and case shot,  and the line fell back in some disorder and was with difficulty rallied in the  Sunken Road. Rodes says: "Receiving an order from General Longstreet to do so,  I endeavored to charge them with my brigade and that portion of Colquitt's  which was on my immediate left. The charge failed, mainly because the 6th  Alabama Regiment, not hearing the command, did not move forward with the  others, and because Colquitt's men did not advance far enough. That part of  the brigade which moved forward found themselves in an exposed position, and  being outnumbered and unsustained, fell back before I could, by personal  effort, which was duly made, get the 6th Alabama to move. Hastening back to  the left, I arrived just in time to prevent the men from falling back to the  rear of the road we had just occupied." Rodes lost quite severely in this  effort and among the killed was Captain Tucker, commanding 12th Alabama.  Cobb's Brigade took part in this movement and on Rodes left. It will be  remembered that when McLaws prepared for his attack upon Sedgwick, Cobb's  Brigade moved to far to the right and brought up on the left of Rodes, where  it was covered from the Union musketry by a hill in front. , but suffered from  the heavy shelling of the batteries beyond the Antietam. For an hour the  brigade was inactive, then Longstreet ordered it forward with Rodes and the  men, "eager to meet the foe upon a more equal footing, gallantly pressed  forward with a cheer, the top of the hill gained amid a galling and  destructive shower of balls." There it remained until Colonel Sanders, seeing  that Rodes had fallen back, leaving him without support, fell back to the  cover of the fence from which it had charged. As Rodes was rallying the left  of his brigade in the Sunken Road, a part of the 6th Alabama, under cover of  the smoke, mad a rush for the colors of the 5th Maryland, and the colors and  that part of the line near them fell back about 20 yards, when a rally was  made and the Alabama men driven back to the road, the colors being advanced to  their original position. In this affair Major Blumenberg, commanding 5th  Maryland, was severely wounded.

The two brigades of Weber and Morris had made spirited efforts to drive the  enemy but were brought to a stand; had lost heavily and, being new troops, had  become confused and much broken; many of the men had gone to the rear, but  enough of them remained on the firing line to resist the enemy, though without  sufficient aggressive force to advance. While the two brigades were thus  engaged with Rodes and Anderson, Captain S.S. Sumner of the corps staff, rode  up to French with an order from General Sumner to push on and make a diversion  in favor of Sedgwick, who was being severely handled by McLaws. This order  came when Kimball, following Morris from the East Woods, had passed the  Roulette buildings, and halted for alignment 350 yards in rear of Weber and  Morris, the right wing--14th Indiana and 8th Ohio--(midway?) in Roulette's  apple orchard, the left wing--132nd New York and 7th West Virginia, beyond the  Roulette lane. The 8th Ohio rested its left on the lane, on its right was the  14th Indiana; the 132nd Pennsylvania rested its right on the lane, on its left  was the 7th West Virginia. The 132nd Pennsylvania was a new regiment; the  others were veterans and had seen much service in Western Virginia and on the  Peninsula. Kimball was a stiff and tenacious fighter; he had thwarted and  defeated General Lee's efforts to force the Union position at Cheat Mountain,  in September 1861, and defeated Stonewall Jackson at Kernstown, March 23 1862. The Brigade had not been long halted when Sumner's order to press the enemy  was received, and Kimball was directed to pass Weber and Morris, carry the  crest of the ridge and drive the enemy from the Sunken Road with the bayonet.  At this time the battle was raging 350 yards in front, and some officers and  men of Kimball's Brigade were killed and wounded while yet in the orchard. The  men were lying down, Kimball called them to attention, and as he went along  the ranks said: "Boys we are going in now to lick the rebels, and we will stay  with them, all day if necessary." Knapsacks were taken off and piled under the  apple trees, bayonets fixed, and the entire line, starting at a double-quick,  moved steadily and magnificently forward over the open plain, under a heavy  fire of shell and in the face of a sheet of musketry, which dropped men here  and there; the right wing swept past the left of the 14th Connecticut and over  that part of the 130th Pennsylvania on its left and, as it approached the 5th  Maryland and some of the 130th Pennsylvania in front, cried, "get to the rear  you fellows" and, with a roar and blaze, passed over the ridge to receive such  a staggering fire from artillery on the right, and the musketry of Anderson  and Rodes in front that it recoiled to the line held by the 5th Maryland, and  the right wing of the 14th Indiana was closed in to the left, under cover of  the ridge, to avoid the artillery fire, to which it was exposed, and in this  position, both the 14th Indiana and 8th Ohio opened a steady fire which was  continued until the Confederate were driven from the road or surrendered, and  many of the 5th Maryland remained and fought with them. Kimball says:  "Directly in my front, in a narrow road running parallel with my line, and,  being washed by water, forming a natural rifle-pi between my line and a large  cornfield, I found the enemy in great force, as also in the cornfield in rear  of the ditch. As my line advanced to the crest of the hill, a murderous fire  was opened upon it from the entire force in front. My advance further was  checked."

As soon as Kimball's men recovered from the staggering blow, under which they  had recoiled, the color bearers of the 14th Indiana and 8th Ohio crawled along  the ground and planted their colors defiantly on the very crest of the ridge,  the full color guard rallying around them. On these the men formed and, lying  face to the ground," began their work, firing at the heads and shoulders of  such of the enemy as exposed themselves in the Sunken Road, and at others who  were firing from the cornfield beyond, and in this manner says Kimball: "For  three hours and thirty minutes the battle raged incessantly, without either  party giving way." Kimball overestimates the time; he was in action a little  over two hours.

With the advent of Kimball and his firm hold on the ridge the 5th Maryland,  under direction of its company officers, began to withdraw by squads of a half  dozen or more. There was some confusion in the withdrawal and in endeavoring  to check it and get his brigade in order Max Weber was wounded and lost his  leg. Some men of the 5th Maryland remained on Kimball's line, but the greater  part of them were rallied at the Clipp house and near Roulette's barn, where  they were joined by the 4th New York. A part of the 130th Pennsylvania fell  back, but the greater part remained in rear of the 8th Ohio, and the 14th  Connecticut maintained its position in the south part of Mumma's corn, its  left 65 yards in rear of the 14th Indiana. On the right of the 14th  Connecticut, on high ground, well protected by the fences of Mumma's lane and  the outcropping rocks, was the detachment of the 1st Delaware, and 289 yards  to the right and rear was Thompkins' Battery, which poured a constant fire of  shell and case-shot upon the Confederates in the Sunken Road and in the  cornfield beyond it.

In (Kimball's?) advance the left company of the 8th Ohio was crowded beyond  the Roulette lane and with the 132nd Pennsylvania and 7th West Virginia,  marched in good order up the hill, passed the 108th New York, which was  retreating in some disorder, and as they mounted the crest, came under fire of  Confederate artillery on Cemetery ridge and received the fire of Anderson's  men, who were waiting for them, with guns resting on the rails in front. This  fire was terrific and deadly. Colonel Oakford, commanding the 132nd  Pennsylvania, was killed, many officers and men of the two regiments and the  company of the 8th Ohio were struck down, the advance was checked, and the  line fell back under cover of the crest and laid down. When the company of the  8th Ohio reached the crest there were some of the 4th New York still holding  ground, these were relieved and joined their comrades near the Clipp house,  and the veteran Ohioans crawling forward and getting such shelter as the  ground afforded, opened a very cool and effective enfilading fire upon the 2nd  North Carolina and right wing of the 6th Alabama, who were in that part of the  Sunken Road, west of the Roulette lane and in the immediate front of the right  wing of the brigade. 

The Roulette lane, dividing the wings of Kimball's brigade requires a brief  description. From the Hagerstown road the Sunken Road runs easterly 550 yards,  then nearly southeast 450 yards, to where it makes an angle and runs nearly  south. For the first hundred yards the road is level, then rises to pass over  a rocky ledge, where it turns southeast. From this last rock ledge, the angle  in the road, it descends 80 yards to the mouth of the Roulette lane, the  descent in the 80 yards being 20 feet. From the mouth of the lane the road  begins to ascend and at a 150 yards reaches the plateau upon which it runs to  its southerly course. It will thus be seen that the mouth of the Roulette lane  is in a depression, which is the beginning of a ravine or cleft that, running  northerly, bisects the ridge or high ground overlooking the Sunken Road; and  in this ravine runs the narrow Roulette lane, the ground rising abruptly 30 to  40 feet on either side of it.

The conformation of the ground determined the position of the troops.  Kimball's right wing was west of Roulette's lane, on a hill sloping south to  the Sunken Road and east to the lane. Its right, the 14th Indiana, was about  80 yards from the angle of the Sunken Road in front, its left, the 8th Ohio  rested on the Roulette lane 105 yards from its mouth. This position gave a  direct fire to the front upon the right of Rodes Brigade and the 2nd North  Carolina of Anderson's, and an enfilading fire upon the left of the 14th North  Carolina, east of the mouth of the lane, from which it suffered terribly.  Immediately east of the lane the ridge was higher, sloping both west and  south, and on a grassy knoll 100 yards from the mouth of the lane and  overlooking it, was the company of the 8th Ohio. From this point the crest of  the ridge trends southeast, gradually nearing the Sunken Road, and on it, to  the rear and left of the Ohio company were the 132nd Pennsylvania and 7th West  Virginia, the left of the latter about 100 yards from the road. Rodes and Anderson, including men of Colquitt and Garland, who had rallied on  the extreme left, had about 2,400 men. With these they had withstood the  attack of French's 5,700 men, without yielding a foot of ground. Being well  protected, save near the Roulette lane, they had not suffered greatly, but had  inflicted great loss.

While all this was transpiring on his front French was with Thompkins ' guns  on the right of his division. After the repulse of Sedgwick, Thompkins was  ordered by Sumner to hold his position until properly relieved and not to  retire on any account, even to the risk of losing his guns. Soon after this  French came up and expressed some solicitation at the gap between his right  and the left of Greene, a gap covered only by the battery and two small  regiments of Greene. While in conversation Saunder's artillery battalion went  into position in front, and, soon thereafter, R.H. Anderson's infantry  division was seen coming over the field toward the Hagerstown road, with the  evident intention to charge the battery and attack French's right. Thompkins  opened his guns on Saunder's artillery and Anderson's infantry, and French  impressed upon him the great necessity of holding his position, remarking that  if the guns went his division would go to.

There were now several batteries of Confederate artillery on the high ground  between Reel's and the Hagerstown road, which had been gathered there under  Lee's orders to form a nucleus for a new line, and among them was Branch's  Battery of Walker's Division, to which Jackson rode up and asked why it was  not engaged. "No orders and no supports," was the reply. "Go in at once" was  the curt rejoinder, "You artillery men are too much afraid of losing your  guns." The battery and another advanced but were quickly driven back. R.H. Anderson's Division followed McLaws in crossing the Potomac and halted  near Lee's headquarters. It had six brigades of infantry and an artillery  battalion of four batteries. The brigades were those of Wright, commanded by  General A.W. Wright; Wilcox's, commanded by Colonel Alfred Cumming;  Featherston's, commanded by Colonel Carnot Posey; Pryor's, commanded by  General R.A. Pryor; Mahone's, commanded by Colonel W.A. Parham, and  Armistead's, commanded by General Lewis A. Armistead. Mahone's Brigade had  been so badly broken Turner's Gap Crampton's Gap that it had but 82 men at  Sharpsburg and was consolidated into a regiment and acted with Pryor's  Brigade. Armistead's Brigade was detached and ordered to the support of McLaws  on the left.

Saunder's' artillery battalion was composed of Huger's Virginia battery of 4  guns, commanded by Captain Frank Huger; the Portsmouth Battery, 4 guns,  commanded by Captain Carey F. Grimes; Moorman's Battery, 4 guns, commanded by  Captain M.M. Moorman; and the Donaldsonville, Louisiana, Battery, commanded by  Captain Victor Maurin. In the absence of Major John S. Saunders, the battalion  was under the command of Captain Grimes. The battalion moved through  Sharpsburg and up the Hagerstown road and went into position on the ridge  northwest from Piper's barn. Grimes, leading his own battery, went into  position on the right of the road and about 60 yards from it; Moorman on  Grimes right and 50 yards west of the barn, and Huger and Maurin west of the  road. This position was taken soon after had crowned the ridge overlooking the  Sunken Road, and the four batteries opened fire upon him, a fire that was very  effective upon the right of the 14th Indiana, but of no particular effect upon  other parts of his line. Thompkins turned four guns upon them, the 14th  Indiana poured in a musketry fire at from 600 to 700 yards, and the long range  guns beyond the Antietam enfiladed them and they were partially silenced in  less than 20 minutes. Meanwhile R.H. Anderson's infantry came up. It was near 10 a.m. when Anderson was ordered forward. He passed to the left  of Sharpsburg and halted to pile knapsacks. He then marched, left in front,  Pryor's Brigade in advance, northeasterly across the open fields, under a  wicked and demoralizing fire of Thompkins' guns, reached the Hagerstown road  about 100 yards south of Piper's Lane, and Pryor's Brigade marched up the road  to the lane, then down the lane until it passed Piper's barn, where it filed  to the left and went up the hill to the left, on the left of the orchard, and  was halted by a staff officer. Wilcox's Brigade followed Pryor's as far as the  Hagerstown road, which it crossed and, bearing to the right, moved nearly to  the crest of Cemetery ridge, south of Piper's house, then halted and threw out  skirmishers in the direction of the Antietam. Featherston's Brigade followed  Wilcox's and formed near it on Cemetery ridge.

Wright's Brigade did not follow Wilcox's and Featherston's to the Cemetery  ridge, but, bearing to the left, under fire from Thompkins' guns, crossed the  stone fence of the Hagerstown road, north of Piper's lane, passed the barn and  rear of Pryor's Brigade and, facing to the left, was in rear of Piper's apple  orchard. The orchard was enclosed by close and strong oak picket fence, and in  tearing it down the brigade suffered greatly from a cross fire of  artillery--Thompkins in front and the guns beyond the Antietam on the flank.  The 3rd Georgia was on the right and in order named on its left were the 48th  Georgia, 44th Alabama, and 22nd Georgia.

As soon as the fence was torn down sufficiently to admit passage, in places,  the brigade moved through the orchard obliquely toward the northeast corner of  the cornfield, all the time under artillery fire, and when it reached the high  ground in the cornfield came under musketry fire and men fell by the score.  While going through the orchard General Wright's horse was torn in pieces by a  shell, and the general thrown to the ground, but disengaging himself from the  fallen horse he led his brigade on foot through the cornfield, and as he  approached the Sunken Road his left came up in rear of the right wing of the  30th North Carolina, receiving such a severe and unexpected fire, as it  emerged from the corn, that it was driven back, but soon rallied and took  ground to the right. General Wright was shot down, Colonel Robert Jones, who  succeeded to the command, was wounded and disabled by a musket ball that went  through his breast; the brigade, now reduced to about 250 men, reached the  Sunken Road, on George B. Anderson's right, and lay down in it, Colonel  William Gibson, 48th Georgia, assumed command.

In front and to the left, not over a hundred yards distant, was the 7th West  Virginia which now poured in its fire and began to gain ground to the left.  There was some protection in the road from musketry fire; the brigade had  passed out of the line of fire of Thompkins' guns, but was subjected to a  terrible enfilade fire of the guns from beyond the Antietam, which  disheartened the officers and men, who were encouraged to hold on a little  longer as General Pryor would soon join on the right and an advance be made.  But Pryor did not come up, there was an increasing fire in front, and, by  Wright's direction, who was still lying on the ground, twice wounded, unable  to rise, Gibson ordered a charge upon the extended and exposed flank of the  7th West Virginia. The left and center of the brigade made little if any  advance, but the 3rd Georgia, on the extreme right, led by Colonel R.B.  Nisbet, leaped out of the road and making a slight left wheel, charged the 7th  West Virginia, which changed front by refusing its left and advancing its  right, and after a short but severe fight drove the Georgians back to the  road, leaving their colonel, badly wounded, on the field, to be taken prisoner  a little later.

Wright's Brigade had suffered greatly. Its commander had been wounded and  disabled, Lieutenant Colonel Derby, commanding 44th Alabama, killed, Colonels  Jones and Nisbet wounded and a long list of line officers killed and wounded.  One regiment had one officer only, and many companies of the brigade were in  command of sergeants or corporals, but all remained in the road and kept up  warm fire.

It was about this time that George B. Anderson, informed that a column of the  enemy was approaching his right, threatening to envelop it, rode to the rear  to report to D.H. Hill. Upon returning he was wounded at the south edge of the  corn, near the northeast corner of the orchard, and sent his courier to  Colonel Parker of the 30th North Carolina, with instructions that Adjutant  Fred Philips be sent to Colonel Tew, 2nd North Carolina, and inform him that  he was in command of the brigade. Philips made his way, under severe fire,  down the line to the left of the 14th North Carolina and from that point word  was passed along the line of the 2nd North Carolina. Tew, who was lying down  with his men, rose from the ground, acknowledged the receipt of the message by  raising his cap and was instantly killed. The command of the brigade fell to  Colonel R.T. Bennett, 14th North Carolina, who reports that at this time the  brigade "appeared perfectly self-possessed" and that soon thereafter word came  for the command to keep a lookout on the extreme right. This was when  Richardson's Division was forming for attack.

Major General Israel B. Richardson's Division was composed of three brigades  commanded by Generals J.C. Caldwell, Thomas F. Meagher and Colonel John R  Brooke, 53rd Pennsylvania. On the night of the 16th it was in position at the  east foot of the bluff bordering the Antietam, its left on the Sharpsburg and  Keedysville road. It received orders at 7:40 a.m., to march when relieved by  Morell's Division of the Fifth Corps, and it was not until 9 a.m. that Morell  arrived from his bivouac on the suburbs of Keedysville, a mile distant. It was  bad enough that Sumner did not receive his orders to march before 7:30 a.m.,  it was worse that this fine division was delayed, an hour and a half later,  and there was no good reason for it. The events already narrated in this  chapter are good proof that had Richardson closely followed French, and joined  in the advance upon the Sunken Road, D.H. Hill's men would have been driven  from it before the arrival of R.H. Anderson's Division.

The division was put in motion at 9 a.m., went back a short distance on the  road to Keedysville, filed to the left, descended the hill to the ford by  which Sumner had crossed, which it went over about 9:30 a.m., and made a brief  halt to permit the men to wring the water from their socks. The march was  resumed in a direction nearly parallel to the creek and, passing Neikirk's,  the division halted in a ravine through which ran a spring branch to the  Antietam. Here the men piled knapsacks and blankets and the lines were then  formed in a cornfield on the northeastern slope of the high ground that  overlooked Roulette's house and about 450 yards east of it and 700 yards  northeast of the Sunken Road. Meagher's Brigade, on the right, deployed from  column into line of battle on the northeastern edge of the cornfield, marched  through it 200 yards and to its southwestern edge, under a scattering fire  that clipped the corn and wounded a few men. From right to left the brigade  was thus formed, 69th New York, 29th Massachusetts, 63rd and 88th New York.  Caldwell's Brigade advanced through the same cornfield on Meagher's left, and  Brooke's Brigade followed in second line. The infantry strength of the  division was 4,029 officers and men and it was not accompanied by its  artillery, this had preceded it the evening before.

Owing to the smallness of the pioneer corps, which had become much reduced by  service on the Peninsula, there was much embarrassment and delay in crossing  the fence, during which many officers and men were killed and wounded. The  same trouble occurred in passing a second fence, but here volunteers gave  assistance, and the line went forward in fine order, ascended the rising  ground overlooking the Sunken Road and to within 75 to 100 yards of it and  received a murderous fire from the Confederate line in the road and the  artillery beyond. Meagher says: "In coming into this close and fatal contest  with the enemy, the officers and men of the brigade waved their swords and  hats and gave the heartiest cheers for their general, George B. McClellan, and  the Army of the Potomac. Never were men in higher spirits. Never did men with  such alacrity and generosity of heart press forward and encounter the perils  of the battle-field."

Meagher's Brigade was known in the army and throughout the country as "The  Irish Brigade," and was even so designated in orders and reports of commanding  officers. As a matter of fact the brigade at Antietam, and for some months  before and after that campaign, was not strictly an Irish Brigade. Three  regiments were composed mainly of Irishmen and men of Irish parentage. These  regiments, recruited in New York, marched and fought under the green flag of  Ireland. The 29th Massachusetts, constituting one fourth of the brigade, was  not an Irish regiment. On the contrary, it was intensely American in its make  up. All its field officers were lineal descendants of the early colonists, and  with scarcely an exception the line officers were thoroughbred Americans,  nearly all of Revolutionary stock; and so with the men--mainly genuine  Americans. It is doubtful if there was a regiment from Massachusetts with a  larger percentage of Americans in its ranks. Every regiment of the brigade was  superb, and the 29th Massachusetts prides itself upon its service in it, "and  at no time during its four years war experience," writes a prominent officer  of the regiment, "was fairer or better treatment accorded the regiment, from a  gentlemanly and soldierly standpoint than that received while associated with

the Irishmen of Meagher's Brigade."

Notwithstanding the terrible punishment they had received from the first  volley these brave Irishmen and men of Massachusetts stood steadily and  bravely to their work. Meagher's orders were, that, after the first and second  volleys, delivered in line of battle by the brigade, it should charge with  fixed bayonets upon the enemy, and relying on the impetuosity and recklessness  of Irish soldiers in a charge, he felt confident that before such a charge the  enemy would give way and be dispersed. Meagher says: "Advancing on the right  and left obliquely from the center, the brigade poured an effective and  fearful fire upon the column, which it was their special duty to dislodge.  Despite a fire of musketry, which literally cut lanes through our approaching  lines, the brigade advanced under my personal command within 30 (60?) paces of  the enemy, and at this point, Lieutenant Colonel James Kelly having been shot  through the face and Captain Felix Duffy having fallen dead in front of his  command, the regiment (69th New York) halted. At the same time Lieutenant  Colonel Fowler and Major Richard Bentley, of the 63rd, on the left of our  line, having been seriously wounded and compelled to retire, the charge of  bayonets I had ordered on the left was arrested, and thus the brigade, instead  of advancing and dispersing the column with the bayonet, stood and delivered  it fire persistently and effectively, maintaining every inch of the ground  they occupied."

Meagher was close to the 69th New York on the right of his brigade. This  regiment in its advance marched over some troops lying on the ground, under  shelter of the brow of the hill, and when it ascended the ridge its right was  80 yards from the Sunken Road its left much nearer, the whole line on the top  of the ridge and much exposed. Meagher permitted the regiment to fire five or  six volleys, when it was ordered to stop firing and charge and a like order  was sent to the 63rd and 88th New York on the left. After an advance of about  30 yards the order to charge was counter-manded and the 69th fell back to its  first position and resumed firing. The left of the line was gradually advanced  to within 100 yards of the road, the right standing fast.

Beyond a slight depression in the ridge, which was held by the 29th  Massachusetts, of which we shall treat later, were drawn up the 63rd and 88th  New York. The 63rd was on the right and received several deadly volleys  without replying, by which it was greatly thinned. The charge it was ordered  to make by Meagher failed, owing to its heavy losses the first few minutes.  The men began firing with round ball and buckshot, the brigade being armed  with smooth bores, and an officer states that "it was give and take until  ammunition ran out." The nature and severity of the contest is graphically and  touchingly told in the report of Lieutenant Colonel Fowler: (Here Carman  pastes three paragraphs from Fowler's report in OR's:

"In the early part of the action....."

"As the right wing had fallen...."

"It is now a solace...."

On the left of the 63rd was the 88th New York. As it came into position it  received the same deadly fire as had the 63rd, and returned it. During the  engagement an aid rode up and ordered it to charge with the 63rd and take the  enemy's colors if possible. Lieutenant Colonel Kelly at once gave the order,  and the regiment advanced about 25 or 30 yards, but seeing he had no support  Kelly halted the regiment and inquired why the 63rd had not advanced.  Lieutenant Colonel Fowler and Major Bently of the 63rd had been wounded.  Captain O'Neill, who was on the left, said he would advance with the 88th, if  he had any one to command the regiment, but not knowing who was in command he  did not wish to do so, upon which Kelly ordered the 88th to fall back a few  feet.

 We have stated that the 29th Massachusetts covered a depression in the ridge  between the 69th and 63rd New York. It had been under heavy infantry and  artillery fire in its advance, which it returned, but on reaching its position  about 100 yards from the road ceased firing for it could not see the enemy in  the road, nor could the enemy see it, as it was in the depression between the  higher ground on its right and left and the ridge along the Sunken Road  completely sheltered it, but it had a good range on the cornfield in the rear  of the road, which was on higher ground opening wide before it, its shots  cutting down the green stalks of corn as would a scythe and having their  effect upon the enemy, who were hiding there or who came up as support to  those in the road, and from these it received a severe fire.

When Meagher's Brigade took position it was confronted by Anderson's North  Carolinians and Wright's Georgians and Alabamians, but soon thereafter  Anderson was reinforced by the brigades of Pryor, Featherston and Wilcox which  made an effort to charge Meagher.

After Rodes had rallied his men, when repulsed in his attack upon French, he  noticed troops, Wright's Brigade, going in to the support of G.B. Anderson, or  to his right, and that a body of troops, instead of passing on to the front,  stopped in the hollow immediately in his rear and near the orchard. As the  fire between his own men and Kimball was now desultory he went to these troops  and found that they belonged to Pryor's Brigade and that they had been halted  there by somebody, not General Pryor.

Colonel Ballantine, commanding 2nd Florida, says Pryor's Brigade had been  halted some time, his own regiment very much exposed, being near the crest of  a small hill, when Rodes came from the front and asked him to what command he  belonged and why not engaged, to which Ballantine replied, that he had no  orders. Rodes said troops were needed at the front and ordered Ballantine to  form line and go in, told him where to go, and then found Pryor to whom he  stated the conduct of his brigade and the necessity for it at the front. R.H. Anderson had been wounded very soon after coming upon the field and  Pryor, who succeeded to the command, was unaware of the orders under which  Anderson was acting and did not rise to the occasion, and the consequent  movements of his command were disjointed and without proper direction, but,  when apprized by Rodes of the condition of affairs, he ordered his own brigade  forward.

Without waiting this order Colonel Ballantine changed front forward on left  company, the movement being in a measure masked by the orchard and cornfield  in front and the line of the 2nd Florida was established fronting the  cornfield, the right in the orchard and the left in the open ground west of  it. The other regiments executed the movement, forming double- quick on the  right of the 2nd Florida, in this order from left to right, 8th Florida,  Lieutenant Colonel Coppens; 5th Florida, Colonel John C. Hately; 3rd Virginia,  Colonel Joseph Mayo; 14th Alabama, Major James A. Broome, and Mahone's  Brigade, Colonel W.A. Parham, now reduced to less than 50 men. Colonel Hately,  5th Florida, was in command of the brigade, and, as soon as formed he ordered  it forward. It advanced through the orchard and as it entered the cornfield  came under the fire of Thompkins' guns and the musketry of Kimball and  Meagher, Colonel Coppens of the 8th Florida was killed, and immediately after  Captain Waller, who succeeded him in command, fell dead, with the colors of  the regiment draped over his shoulders, and every regiment suffered great  loss. Passing through the cornfield the left of the brigade came up in rear of  the right wing of the 14th North Carolina, the right extending beyond the 14th  North Carolina. When it reached the road, it met with a severe fire which  checked a part of the line, a part of it went beyond the road a few yards but  was quickly driven back with great loss and all lay down with Anderson's men

and opened fire.

Featherston's Brigade was close on the heels of Pryor's. With Wilcox it had  (remained?) some time on the ridge south of Piper's and then was recalled and  formed line in the orchard in Pryor's rear, and it was at this time that Pryor  went forward. From right to left the brigade was thus formed, 2nd Mississippi  Battalion, Major W.S. Wilson; 19th Mississippi, Colonel Nathaniel S. Harris;  12th Mississippi, Colonel W.H. Taylor, and 16th Mississippi, Captain A.M.  Feltus. As soon as formed it followed Pryor's Brigade through the orchard and  entered the cornfield under a heavy artillery fire on both flanks and a  sweeping fire of musketry in front, by which it suffered greatly, and came  upon Anderson's and Pryor's men lying in the Sunken Road, its left behind the  center of the 14th North Carolina, its right in rear of the left of the 30th  North Carolina. It did not halt in the road, but passed over those in it about  30 to 40 yards and fiercely engaged Meagher, but in about five minutes was  driven back to the road with great loss. Colonel Bennett, 14th North Carolina  says Featherston's men "flowed over and out of the road and many of them were  killed in this overflow. The 16th Mississippi disappeared as if it had gone  into the earth."

By this time the ranks of Meagher's Brigade had been greatly thinned, the 69th  New York had nearly melted away and but a few heroic Irishmen were left,  huddling about the two colors, when one of the enemy from shouted from the  Sunken Road, "Bring them colors in here"; upon which the two color bearers  instantly advanced a few steps, shook their colors in the very face of the  enemy and replied, "Come and take them you damned rebels."

This defiant exchange appeared to exasperate the enemy to another advance, and  Lieutenant-Colonel Barnes, 29th Massachusetts, fearful that they might make a  dash for the colors and possibly pierce the line and turn the right of his  regiment, ordered three cheers to be given and a charge made. The historian of  the 29th Massachusetts says: "An hour had nearly elapsed since the front had been reached; several of the  captains had reported that the guns of their men were getting so hot that the  rammers were leaping out of the pipes at every discharge. The men had already  nearly expended their ammunition. Several times during the battle the enemy  had undertaken to come forward, but as often as they attempted it, they were  swept back by our fire. Since General Meagher had been disabled, there had  been no general officer present, each colonel acting upon his own  responsibility. The enemy were well covered and determined. Up to this time  neither regiment had known the fate of the others, nor the extent of their  respective losses. Colonel Barnes now hastened to the right of the 29th, for  the purpose of taking a careful survey of the field. To his dismay, he  perceived that the 69th, though holding on bravely, had lost nearly half their  number; the 63rd had fared equally hard, and the officers and men of both  regiments were striving to keep up their formation. The Colonel, feeling a  deep responsibility, saw at once that something must be done to prevent  disaster; he knew, though he had received no orders since entering the fight,  that from necessity the brigade would soon be relieved, and was every moment  expecting to hear the welcome shouts of fresh troops. Hastily giving his idea  to Major Charles Chipman, his brave and worthy subordinate, he called upon the  regiment for three cheers. The Major took up the order to the left, and the  boys gave the cheers with a will. Colonel Barnes then gave the order,  "forward!" Instantly Sergeant Francis M. Kingman, the dauntless color bearer,  sprang to the front, the whole regiment promptly following him. Above the  noise of the battle were heard the answering shouts of the brave Irishmen of  the brigade, their warlike spirit gaining fresh impulse as they started  forward on the charge. The crisis was over now; the bold forward movement had  saved the brigade from even one blot upon its bright record of fame. The  shouts of our men, and their sudden dash toward the sunken road, so startled  the enemy that their fire visibly slackened, their line wavered, and squads of  two and three began leaving the road and running into the corn. Now the rush  of troops was heard in the rear; now the air was rent with wild yells. It was  altogether too much of a shock for the enemy; they broke, and fled for the  cornfield. The next moment, Caldwell's Brigade, led by General Richardson in  person, with Gross, Barlow, and all its other heroes, came sweeping up behind  the sheltered lines of the Irish Brigade. The flight of the enemy was now  complete. In a few moments Caldwell's men were in possession of the road, and  driving the Confederates through the cornfield and into the orchard beyond." When it was relieved and went to the rear Meagher's Brigade had been reduced  to less than 500 men. The loss of the 29th Massachusetts was comparatively  light, but the three New York regiments had suffered heavily: the 88th New  York 33 8/10 per cent; the 63rd New York, 59 1/4 per cent; and the 69th New  York, 61 8/10 per cent. The loss in officers was very large. With all the  original officers and men of the Irish Brigade, Antietam was its great day,  its crowning glory, though it brought no captured flags away. At  Fredericksburg where the brigade was nearly extinguished, when charging over  ground upon which the Confederate artillery officers boasted that "a chicken  could not live" under the fire of their guns, the rallying cry of the officers  was: "Come on boys; this is nothing to Antietam."

Before accompanying Caldwell's advance we must note the condition of affairs  within the Confederate lines. Since early morning there had been heavy  artillery firing along the line south of the Sunken Road; for nearly two  miles, there was battery after battery, on the high ground running south,  aggregating nearly 80 guns. D.H. Hill says he had 26 guns of his own command,  besides that of Cutts' Battalion, temporarily under his command, and  "positions were selected for as many of these guns as could be used, but all  the ground in my front was completely commanded by the long range artillery of  the Yankees on the other side of the Antietam, which concentrated their fire  every gun that opened and soon disabled or silenced it." Hill further says  that the artillery was badly handled and "could not cope with the superior  weight, caliber, range, and number of the Yankee guns; hence it ought only to  have been used against masses of infantry. On the contrary, our guns were made  to reply to the Yankee guns, and were smashed up or withdrawn before they  could be effectively turned against massive columns of attack."

Early in the morning Major H.P. Jones' artillery battalion of four Virginia  batteries was on Cemetery ridge, between Piper's and the Keedysville road,  under orders to prevent the crossing of the middle bridge, and was soon  engaged with the batteries beyond the Antietam, but being inferior to them in  weight of metal and range, and threatened by an enfilade fire on the right by  Weed's and Benjamin's batteries, Jones was ordered by General Lee to withdraw  under cover of the ridge to the lower ground between it and the Hagerstown  road.

While Jones was on the ridge he was witness to this incident narrated by  Longstreet: "During the progress of the battle General Lee and I were riding  long my line and D.H. Hill's, when we received a report of movement of the  enemy and started up the ridge to make a reconnaissance. General Lee and I  dismounted, but Hill declined to do so. I said to him, 'If you insist on  riding up there and drawing the fire, give us a little interval so that we may  not be in the line of fire when they open on you.' General Lee and I stood on  the top of the crest with our glasses, looking at the movements of the  Federals on the rear left. After a moment I turned my glass to the right--the  Federal left. As I did so, I noticed a puff of white smoke from the mouth of a  cannon. 'There is a shot for you" I said to General Hill. The gunner was a  mile away, and the cannon-shot came whisking through the air for three or four  seconds and took off the front legs of the horse that Hill sat on and let the  animal down upon his stumps. The horse's head was so low and his croup so high  that Hill was in a most ludicrous position. With one foot in the stirrup he  made several efforts to get the other leg over the croup, but failed. Finally  we prevailed upon him to try the other end of the horse, and he got down. That  shot at Hill was the second best shot I ever saw." This incident occurred  about 20 feet north of the Keedysville road and the shot was fired by Captain  Stephen H. Weed, commanding Battery I, 5th United States Artillery. After Major Jones withdrew from the ridge Peyton's Battery was withdrawn and  sent to the left and Boyce's South Carolina battery passed from the  Keedysville road along the ridge to the left. Later in the forenoon Jones re-  occupied the ridge with three batteries, two guns of R.C.M. Page's Battery  were placed close to the Keedysville road, to fire to the front, in the  direction of the middle bridge and the other guns so arranged that their field  of fire was off to the left, and then opened fire on Richardson's Division,  firing solid shot, which struck the ground in front of the column, Jones says  "with wonderful effect."

 Boyce's South Carolina battery of 6 guns bivouacked on the night of the 16th  in a hollow in rear of Cemetery hill. Captain Boyce reports that early on the  17th he was ordered by Colonel Walton beyond the road north of Sharpsburg to  meet and check the enemy. He marched about 150 yards on the Keedysville road,  then turned to the left and marched along Cemetery ridge to the vicinity he  supposed he should occupy, and was placed by Colonel Stevens of Evans'  Brigade, on the slope of the second hill from the road; but, finding his  battery could be of no service in this position, he was posted farther down in  front of another battery. Here, discovering that he was still where he could  not see the enemy, he moved his battery through a cornfield immediately in  front, and, on reaching the far side of this field, found the whole line of  battle, for at least a mile, extending before him. He placed his guns in  battery in easy range of a portion of the line, but he had too wait for an  opportunity to fire, as his own friends, engaging the enemy, intervened. After  a protracted struggle immediately in his front the Confederate infantry  abandoned the field to overwhelming numbers. Boyce says: "My battery was at  this time thrown forward into an open field 200 or 300 yards in advance of its  original position. The enemy then advanced through a cornfield to the field in  which my battery had taken position, showing a front of several hundred yards  in extent, plainly on the right and center, but partially concealed by the  corn on the left. The whole line of the enemy here was within canister range,  and I opened upon him a destructive fire, cutting down two of his flags at the  second or third discharge of the guns. The right and center soon gave way and  retired. The battery was then turned up on the left which held its position  more obstinately. This portion of the line took shelter in a ravine at the  base of the hill from which I was firing, and it was only with one or two guns  that they could be reached. Having no support of infantry, and no other  battery assisting me in resisting this large body of the enemy, and being  exposed the whole time to a galling fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, after  firing 70 rounds of canister and some solid shot I was forced to retire from  this hazardous position, to the cornfield from which I had advance." It is  difficult to locate the various positions held by Boyce but he appears to have  been engaged with the advance of French's Division and also with Richardson's  and to have fallen back into the cornfield from the open ground east of it. At about 9:15 a.m., Miller's Battery of 4 Napoleon guns, Washington Artillery,  was ordered from its position on Cemetery hill to the left. It went through  Sharpsburg, then out on the Hagerstown road and was ordered by Longstreet up  the hill through Piper's orchard to a position near the center of the orchard,  and about 100 yards south of the cornfield in front. In taking position a rain  of bullets came showering over it from the right, left and in front, but it  immediately opened fire on Richardson's advance. In a very short time two  gunners and several cannoneers were wounded and Longstreet ordered the battery  to cease firing and go under cover, by withdrawing a few yards down the hill. Very early in the morning Hardaway's Alabama battery, of 3 guns, under command  of Lieutenant John W. Tullis was near the southwest corner of Mumma's  cornfield, the position subsequently occupied by Patterson's Georgia battery.  It had rifled guns and fired to the front, until the contestants were to close  to distinguish the lines, when the guns were turned upon those beyond the  Antietam, near McClellan's headquarters. About 8 a.m. it crossed the  Hagerstown road and went into position opposite the mouth of the Sunken Road  and 100 yards from it, and from this position opened fire upon French's  Division in its advance, but was soon driven back by Thompkins (or Monroe) to  a position 300 yards west of the road and 50 yards south of the large  cornfield. Here it remained until R.H. Anderson's artillery came up, when it  fell back to a rock ledge, with a depression in rear, where the caissons were  sheltered. This position was about 150 yards southeast of Reel's house and  about the same distance from what is known as the Landing road, and in this  position the battery remained during the day, and with its long range guns  assisted in resisting Richardson's advance.

"Thus," says Longstreet, "when Richardson's march approached its objective,  the Confederate's had Boyce's Battery in the cornfield facing the march;  Miller's section with the Napoleons in the center, and a single battery at  McLaws' rear."

Saunders' artillery had been withdrawn. It had been engaged with Thompkins in  front and had fired at French's men, but was quickly silenced, and was  inactive while Pryor's, Wright's, and Featherston's brigades were advancing  through the orchard and corn to the Sunken Road, and about this time Captain  Grimes advanced one gun of his battery to the left and front and fired at some  infantry between the Dunkard Church and Mumma's. Men of the 14th Indiana saw  the movement, several of them, gaining favorable position on the right, opened  fire, Grimes was struck from his horse by a shot in the thigh, and his men  were bearing him from the field, when a second ball struck him in the groin  and gave him a mortal wound. Meanwhile the other batteries had re-opened fire  but were quickly silenced and withdrawn. Moorman's Battery was badly used up  and retired into park two miles from the field in the direction of  Shepherdstown. Grimes' Battery followed and Huger's Battery, abandoning one  gun, followed Moorman and Grimes. The withdrawal was soon followed by the  retreat of Rodes' Brigade from the Sunken Road.

We left Rodes after he had ordered Pryor's Brigade to the front. After he had  found Pryor and informed him of the fact and Pryor, also, had sent an order  for the brigade to go forward, Rodes started back to his own brigade and met  Lieutenant Colonel Lightfoot of the 6th Alabama, looking for him. Colonel  Gordon had been desperately wounded and Lightfoot was in command of the  regiment. Upon his telling Rodes that the right of the 6th Alabama was being  subjected to a terrific enfilading fire, which the enemy were enabled to  deliver by reason of their gaining somewhat on G.B. Anderson, and that he had  but few men left in that wing, Rodes ordered him to hasten back, and throw his  right wing back out of the road, or rather from its exposed position on a  ledge crossing the road immediately in front of the right of the 14th Indiana.  Instead of executing the order as given by Rodes, for the right wing to fall  back, Lightfoot moved briskly to the rear of the regiment and gave the  command, "Sixth Alabama, about face; forward march." Major Hobson, of the 5th,  seeing this, asked if the order was intended for the whole brigade; he replied  yes, "Yes," and thereupon the 5th, and the other troops on their left,  retreated. Rodes' says: "I did not see their retrograde movement until it was  too late for me to rally them, for this reason: Just as I was moving on after  Lightfoot, I heard a shot strike Lieutenant Birney, who was immediately behind  me. Wheeling I found him falling, and found that he had been struck in the  face. He found that he could walk after I raised him, though a shot or piece  of shell had penetrated his head just under the eye. I followed him a few  paces, and watched him until until he had reached a barn (Piper's), a short  distance to the rear, where he first encountered some men to help him in case  he needed it. As I turned toward the brigade, I was struck heavily by a piece  of shell on my thigh. At first I thought the wound was serious, but finding  upon examination, that it was slight, I again turned toward the brigade, when  I discovered it, without visible cause to me, retreating in confusion. I  hastened to intercept it at the Hagerstown road. I found, though, that with  the exception of a few men of the 26th, 12th, and 3rd Alabama, and a few men  under Major Hobson, not more than 40 men in all, the brigade had completely  disappeared from this portion of the field. This small number, together with  some Mississippians and North Carolinians, making in all about 150 men, I  stationed behind a small ridge leading from the Hagerstown road eastward  toward the orchard and about 150 (370?) yards in rear of my last position. (?)  After this, my time was spent mainly in directing the fire of some artillery  and getting up stragglers."

Rodes testifies to the gallantry of his brigade, which "finally fell back only  when, the men and officers supposed, they had been ordered to do so," and  maintains the troops on his right had already given way when his own men began  to retreat.

 On the contrary D.H. Hill says George B. Anderson "still nobly held his  ground, but the Yankees began to pour in through the gap made by the retreat  of Rodes." Colonel Bennett, then in command of Anderson's Brigade, says Rodes  had retreated before he fell back with the two North Carolina regiments on his  immediate right. As a matter of fact Rodes fell back at the time Wright's,  Pryor's and Featherston's brigades with the 4th and 30th North Carolina , of  Anderson's, retreated in confusion from the Sunken Road before Caldwell's  advance, to which we now return.

Caldwell's Brigade was at first on Meagher's left, but beyond the range of the  immediate infantry contest and well sheltered, being on the reverse or  northeast slope of the high ground where, farther to the right and front,  Meagher was so much exposed. Caldwell, finding no enemy in his immediate  front, began to wheel his brigade cautiously to the right, which if the  movement had been energetically continued, would have taken in flank the  Confederate position in the Sunken Road very soon after Meagher had became  engaged, but the movement was very slow and exasperating to those on the right  of the line, in plain view of the Irish Brigade, which was standing up under a  galling fire, and Colonels Barlow and Miles impatiently strode along the line  making the air blue, cursing the fate or want of generalship that compelled  slow and halting movement when dash was required. But an order was now  received from Richardson to relieve Meagher, upon which the brigade moved by  the right flank in rear of Meagher, then, facing to the left, passed his line  to the front, under a severe fire of musketry. The movement was not made with  that precision described in the official reports, by breaking companies to the  front, Meagher's regiments breaking by companies to the rear, but the brigade  was running when it reached Meagher's line, and without slacking pace, dashed  through his ranks, passing the line by simply pushing its way through,  Meagher's men quickly conforming to the movement. Walker says the movement  "was effected perfect composure, and Caldwell's Brigade became the front line,  and was soon involved in a most spirited contest, in which both the gallantry  of the troops and the exceptional intelligence, skill and audacity of the  regimental commanders were displayed to the highest advantage." The brigade was thus formed: on the right the 61st and 64th New York,  temporarily consolidated under the command of Colonel Francis C. Barlow; 7th  New York, Captain Charles (Brestel?); 81st Pennsylvania, Major H. Boyd McKeen;  and 5th New Hampshire, Colonel E.E. Cross.

While Pryor's and Featherston's brigades, after their repulse, were lying in  the road with G.B. Anderson's men, they were subjected to a severe fire of  artillery and musketry. The sudden advance ordered by Colonel Barnes started  some of the men to the rear and Colonel Posey, observing the crowded condition  of the troops in the road, subjected to much loss, ordered his own brigade to  retire. A scene of great confusion now ensued from the mingling of different  brigades. Caldwell's Brigade now swept to the front and Pryor's and  Featherston's men retreated carrying with them the 4th and 30th North  Carolina. Colonel Bennett reports that while he was observing the right of his  brigade "masses of Confederate troops in great confusion were seen, portions  of Major General Anderson's Division, as we then knew, for the 16th  Mississippi and the 2nd Florida of that command (left regiments respectively  of Featherston and Pryor), coming to our succor, broke beyond the power of  rallying after five minutes stay. In this stampede, if we may so term it, the  4th North Carolina State Troops and the 30th North Carolina State Troops  participated." As an officer of the 4th North Carolina writes: "I think  Featherston was started to the right, but instead of getting there came up  behind us, where he was not needed, for we could have held our position  indefinitely. He sustained great loss in killed and wounded and I have always  thought was the cause of the line breaking, for when he found he was not  needed there he gave an order to fall back, which was mistaken for a general  order and all that could walk went back with him, which caused a general break  in the line."

Wright's Brigade had fallen back before the break occurred. Colonel Gibson,  who was in command, says: "Seeing a new formation of the enemy in our front of  a very large force...I withdrew the brigade in order to a stone fence in the  rear," the fence was on the Hagerstown road. Gibson's withdrawal was followed  by that of Wilcox's Brigade. This brigade, as we have seen, had been sent to a  ridge south of Piper's. After observing the advance of Pleasonton's cavalry  from the middle bridge to the ridge midway to the Antietam, and that "it  stopped there, the brigade recrossed the Hagerstown road, then crossed it  east, north of Piper's lane, moved northwest through the orchard, to the  northeast corner of the cornfield and became heavily engaged on Pryor's right,  but the entire brigade did not succeed in reaching the Sunken Road. It lost  heavily in its advance, and when reaching position was confronted by "a heavy  compact line of infantry about 120 yards in front" and a battery of artillery  on its right flank "shelled it with terrible accuracy." It remained until  Pryor and Featherston gave way, when it retreated in some disorder, every man  for himself, and rallied in the low ground south of the corn, near Piper's  lane and a few yards east of the lower part of the orchard. A few men remained  in the Sunken Road and were captured.

As we have said, when the right of Caldwell's line rushed through Meagher's  skeleton line and crowned the crest of the ridge overlooking the Sunken Road  the Confederates in front of the left were beginning to leave, the entire  division of R.H. Anderson gave way, carrying with it the 4th and 30th North  Carolina of G.B. Anderson's Brigade, and exposing the right flank of the 14th  and 2nd North Carolina. Barlow had led the 61st and 64th New York up the ridge  directly in front of these two regiments; as he crowned it he was met by a  severe fire, upon which he quickly withdrew under cover of the ridge and moved  rapidly to the left near the northeast corner of the cornfield, and was quick  to see the opportunity presented by the exposed flank of the North  Carolinians. Advancing his left he poured an enfilading fire down the road  just as the two regiments had been ordered to retreat. Colonel Bennett,  commanding Anderson's Brigade, says: "Anderson's Division had gone to the  rear. Two regiments (4th and 30th) of our own brigade were missing. The dark  lines of the enemy had swept around our right, and were gradually closing upon  the ground of Rodes' Brigade. They having gone to resist the lines in front  was an easy task, to contend against front and rear attacks we were totally  inadequate, and the bare alternate of retreat was presented. The command was  ordered to make the retreat by the right oblique with frightful loss...and  reformed in the road leading to Sharpsburg." Barlow reports that he secured  over 300 prisoners in the road, and, seeing no enemy in his immediate front,  halted. The 7th New York and 81st Pennsylvania and 5th New Hampshire came up  in quick succession, on Barlow's left and entered the cornfield, where they  were soon met by a severe fire of infantry and canister, from Miller's guns in  the orchard, and shell from two guns of the Donaldsonville battery, farther to  the right beyond the Hagerstown road. The 81st Pennsylvania came up in rear of  the 2nd Delaware of Brooke's Brigade, which had crossed the Sunken Road  farther to the right, and the 5th New Hampshire on the extreme left, advancing  o a small depression, about half way through the corn, saw a body of  Confederates advancing from the direction of Piper's house and lane, which was  quickly driven back.

Barlow's success was shared in by Kimball's Brigade, the 132nd Pennsylvania,  and parts of the 7th West Virginia and 108th New York, on his right, joining  in the fire on the enemy in the road and advancing to it, where they halted,  but the 2nd Delaware and 52nd New York, closely following, charged across the  road, and into the cornfield driving everything out of it, the 2nd Delaware  coming under a heavy fire from Piper's orchard, which threw it into confusion,  but the 81st Pennsylvania coming up in its rear it soon rallied. The 52nd New  York advanced to the crest of the hill in the cornfield and Colonel Frank, its  commander, receiving information that two Confederate regiments were on his  right, on lower ground, marched the regiment to the high ground at the west  end of the cornfield and opened fire on the flank of these two regiments, the  7th New York coming up on his left and supporting him most gallantly. Here he  was joined by Barlow with the 61st and 64th New York.

After describing his movement on the flank of the Confederate in the Sunken  Road and their capture Barlow says: "After these events my regiments, with the  rest of our line, advanced into the cornfield through which the enemy had  fled. (?) Our troops were joined together without much order--several  regiments in front of others, and none in my neighborhood having very  favorable opportunities to use their fire. Seeing quite a body of the enemy  moving briskly on the right of our line, at no great distance, to attack us on  the flank, my regiments changed front and moved to the crest of a hill on our  right flank, occupying the only position where I found we could use our fire  to advantage. This was to the right of the 52nd New York." In this position  the two regiments were behind a fence bordering Piper's cornfield on the west,  the right of the 64th New York resting on the Sunken Road, where the right of  Rodes men had been. At this time Kimball was resisting a flank attack on his  brigade and Barlow gave him great assistance, by opening an oblique fire to  the right, on the edge of Mumma's cornfield.

As stated in the preceding pages, Kimball, west of the Roulette lane, had been  severely engaged. Nearly half of the men of the 14th Indiana and 8th Ohio were  killed and wounded. The men complained that their guns were foul and their  ammunition exhausted. The ground was covered with arms and the men were  ordered to change their pieces for these, and the officers busied themselves  in gathering ammunition from the cartridge boxes of the dead and wounded and  carrying it in their hats and pockets to the men. It was while thus engaged  that Caldwell advanced and Kimball made a charge, which was followed by the  retreat of Rodes, soon followed by that of the 2nd and 14th North Carolina.  Kimball says he drove the enemy "some distance into the cornfield beyond." As  a line the 14th Indiana and 8th Ohio did not go beyond the Sunken Road, but  Company A, 14th Indiana, and Company B, 8th Ohio, did cross close upon the  heels of the 2nd and 14th North Carolina, secured some prisoners and went some  20 to 30 feet into the cornfield and were driven back, and at this moment a  galling artillery fire was poured upon Kimball's right flank and lines of  Confederate infantry were seen sweeping down upon it from the direction of the  Dunkard Church and the eastern end of the Sunken Road.

Longstreet, who was on this part of the line, perceiving the pressure on the  right of R.H. Anderson's Division had ordered an attack on the flank of  Kimball's brigade to relieve it. He directed the artillery west of the  Hagerstown road to concentrate its fire upon Kimball; Cobb's Brigade and  Colonel Cooke, commanding 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas, were ordered  to charge upon his flank and rear.

Cooke was then in the edge of a cornfield about 300 yards west of the  Hagerstown road and 200 yards south of the West Woods, and, when the order was  received, had just ordered a charge for the capture of two guns that had moved  into the woods near the Dunkard Church, on the left of Greene's Division.  Cobb's Brigade was on Cooke's right. When this brigade fell back from the  charge made in conjunction with Rodes' Brigade it was to a fence in the west  end of the Sunken Road, where it remained until Rodes retreated, when, to  prevent being flanked on the right, it changed front to the rear, which  brought it behind a stone fence on the Hagerstown road, its left standing fast  and resting on the Sunken Road. This movement had scarcely been executed when  D.H. Hill rode up and ordered it forward. Lieutenant Colonel Sanders, though  extremely ill, had retained command up to this time, but was now so much  exhausted that he relinquished command to Lieutenant Colonel McRae, 15th North  Carolina, who led the brigade, about 250 men, up the hill in front and to the  right, to the board fences of Mumma's lane at a point just south of the of the  cornfield. Cooke, abandoning his movement on the guns, charged across the  Hagerstown road, close on the heels of Greene's Division, which had just been  driven from the West Woods, swept over the plateau opposite the church and,  wheeling to the right, made directly for the cornfield in the rear of  Kimball's right.

Just these movements were seen by Kimball, the 14th Connecticut, which had  been in the cornfield on his right and rear, left its position, and there was  now nothing to check Cooke, who was charging down on the flank and rear.  Kimball promptly ordered a change of front. The colors of the 8th Ohio and  14th Indiana were run to the right and rear to the adjoining plowed field  south of Clipp's house, and planted on a slight ridge that ran nearly parallel  to the Roulette lane and about 60 feet from it, and the fragments of the two  regiments, rallied on their colors, the 14th Indiana on the right and a part  of the 132nd Pennsylvania on the left of the 8th Ohio. Barely had Kimball's  men taken their new position than Cooke's 27th North Carolina and 3rd  Arkansas, crossed the fences of the Mumma lane and entered the cornfield. Fire  was immediately opened on both sides and Cooke was checked near the middle of  the cornfield. Assistance now came to Kimball's right. Brooke's Brigade which  had been in second line to Meagher had started to move forward and relieve him  but Caldwell having moved by the flank and interposed, Brooks halted and  ordered his men to lie down. When Cooke was seen coming over the plateau  opposite the church Brooks "had the 57th and 66th New York and 53rd  Pennsylvania to the right, to check any attempt the enemy might make to reach  the rear." When Cooke reached the cornfield the 53rd Pennsylvania was ordered  forward to check him, also to hold at all hazards the Roulette barn and  orchard, the barn being used as a hospital. The regiment advanced under a  shower of musketry gained the barn, reached high ground in the orchard and  opened fire upon the left of the 27th North Carolina, and at almost the same  moment the 7th Maine of Irwin's Brigade, Sixth Corps, approached the north  fence of the cornfield and delivered a volley full upon its left flank. All  this was more than Cooke could stand and he ordered a retreat to the position  from which he had started, which was closely followed by Irwin's Brigade.  Cooke not halting until he had recrossed the Hagerstown road to his old  position.

Very soon after Cooke entered the Mumma cornfield, Cobb's Brigade which had  moved from the mouth of the Sunken road about 100 yards up the Hagerstown  road, charged up the hill on the right to the Mumma lane, just south of the  corn, and was not long in this position when Barlow came up and opened fire  upon it and upon Cooke in the corn, the distance being about 350 yards, and  after firing about 20 rounds Cobb's men, being now unsupported by Cooke, who  had retreated, fell back in disorder across the Hagerstown road and joined  Cooke.

McRae commanding Cobb's Brigade, reports that he held his enemy in check,  until his ammunition was exhausted, and seeing no sign of support was  compelled to give the command to falls back, leaving the field with not more  than 50 of the 250 men he started with. Brook's Vermont brigade of the Sixth Corps had been ordered to the support of  French's Division; it came up after the flank attack had been repulsed and  took position in the Mumma cornfield, on the line which had been held by the  14th Connecticut, and Kimball's Brigade fell back to near the Roulette  buildings. Kimball had been continuously engaged for more than two hours,  handling his brigade splendidly and losing 121 killed, 510 wounded, and 8  missing. The heaviest loss was sustained by the 14th Indiana and the 8th Ohio,  the former losing 56 1/2 per cent, the latter 48 2/3 per cent. Meanwhile a desultory contest continued in Piper's cornfield, where as Barlow  reports "the troops were joined together without much order." Walker writes,  in his History of the Second Army Corps : "The colonels of the regiments of  Caldwell's Brigade fought the battle pretty nearly at their own discretion in  the absence of direction from the brigade commanders, so that the regiments  were not in continuous line much of the time. They faced in varying directions  and at varying intervals from each other and sometimes were interspersed with  regiments of other brigades." The like conditions, though worse, obtained on  the Confederate side.

The Confederate line went back from the Sunken Road in some confusion and when  Caldwell followed it to the corn the confusion was increased and disorder  reigned supreme. Brigade and regimental commanders undertook to rally their  broken commands, but found it impossible to do so, and the greater part of  D.H. Hill's and R.H. Anderson's divisions fell back to the Piper buildings and  under cover of the ridge running from the barn to the Hagerstown road; some  were rallied behind the stone fences of the road, and all this at the time  Longstreet was counting on their holding the Sunken Road and co-operating in  the attack on Kimball's flank by a united movement on Richardson's front and  flank. Cooke and Cobb had moved promptly and been repulsed, but when the time  came for the assistance of Hill's and Anderson's divisions they had been  driven from the Sunken Road and were in disorder. After great effort parts of  each division were rallied and charge northeast through the orchard and corn  to attack Richardson's left; Miller's Battery, with a small infantry support  being left in the orchard to hold the right and center in check. It is  impossible to say with any degree of certainty how the brigades were formed in  line. There is a general agreement that regiments and brigades were  intermingled one with another and considerably disorganized and demoralized by  the loss of an unusually large number of officers and many men. In a general  sense D.H. Hill was on the left, but when the charge had reached its limit, some of his men were on the extreme right of R.H. Anderson's.

At the time this advance was made the Union line was much extended and not  continuous. The 5th New Hampshire was on the extreme left and front, somewhat  detached from the 81st Pennsylvania, and Barlow with the 61st and 64th New  York was still on the extreme right, where he was just repulsing Cobb's  Brigade. The 52nd New York on Barlow's left after a half hours fighting saw  the enemy break in his front, and, being without ammunition was falling back.  Still in the corn between the 81st Pennsylvania and Barlow were the 2nd  Delaware and 7th New York both in a somewhat disordered condition. The 5th New  Hampshire had repulsed an attempted advance of a body of Confederates from the  direction of the Piper's house and now, marching by the right flank obliquely  to the rear, under a heavy fire of shell and canister, that killed and wounded  many officers and men, had already reached its position on the left of the  81st Pennsylvania and opened fire on the Confederates in the orchard, when an  officer of the regiment saw the Confederates moving through the corn,  "cautiously attempting to outflank the entire division with a strong force  concealed by a ridge" in the cornfield. They had in fact advanced within 200  yards of the left of the regiment and were preparing to charge, when Colonel  Cross "instantly ordered a change of front to the rear, which was executed in  time to confront the advancing line of the enemy in their center with a volley  at very short range, which staggered and hurled them back." Cross says they  rallied and attempted to gain his left, "but were again confronted and held,  until, assistance being received, they were driven back with loss," leaving in  the hands of the New Hampshire men the colors of the 4th North Carolina. In  this movement Cross had gained ground to the left and rear and held the Sunken  Road at the northeast corner of the cornfield. The assistance he received was  from the 81st Pennsylvania, Major H. Boyd McKeene. McKeene "noticed the  enemy's flags approaching from the orchard, and engaging the 5th New  Hampshire," and the 5th having taken its position on the edge of the cornfield  and in the Sunken Road, he immediately moved to the left and rear and, taking  position on the right of the New Hampshire men, opened fire on the  Confederates and then, says McKeene: "the 5th New Hampshire and 81st  Pennsylvania completely frustrated an attempt to flank the division." While  these engaged there was heard the rattle of musketry on the left and front,  along the road to the middle bridge, the rattle of Pleasonton's carbines. It was just as he had repulse Cobb's Brigade that Barlow was attracted by the  noise of the contest on the left, indicating an advance through the corn on  his original front, and, as he was of no more use in his present position, he  flanked to the left and filed left through the corn to the assistance of the  other regiments of his brigade, until he connected on the right of the 7th New  York, when he came to a front and advanced. Brooke, who had held the 57th New  York, Lieutenant Colonel Philip J. Parisen, and 66th New York, Captain Julius  Wehle, in hand, until the attack on the right had been repulsed, now led them  forward to fill the gap in the line of Caldwell's Brigade, and swept across  the Sunken Road and into the corn just as Barlow was closing in from the  right. The 7th New York was crowded out of line, and the 57th New York, on the  right, connected with Barlow's left and all swept forward through the corn  under a very hot artillery fire and a scattering fire of musketry, by which  Parisen was killed and many others struck down. Brooke's two regiments struck  the Confederates that had been so signally repulsed by the 5th New Hampshire  and 81st Pennsylvania, drove them in disorder and followed to the south edge  of the cornfield, parts of them charged to the Piper lane, but were quickly  driven back. In the advance through the corn the 57th New York captured the  colors of the 12th Alabama and many prisoners, and the 66th New York captured  a lieutenant of the 5th Florida, with his whole company and a stand of colors.  All this was in the corn northeast of the orchard. Barlow was brought to a  stand before reaching the orchard by three guns of Miller's Battery and their  infantry support.

The cornfield ran east and west 560 yards along the south of the Sunken Road,  and from north to south had an average depth of 210 yards, being deepest in  front of the apple orchard, which lay beyond its western end. The orchard  joined the corn, was 225 yards in width, east and west, and ran south 340  yards to Piper's lane. For 150 to 175 yards from the corn it was on high  ground. Then the ground descended abruptly 30 feet or more to a level bottom. Early in the engagement Miller's Battery, of 4 guns, Washington Artillery, was  in position in the northern part of the orchard, on the high ground, about  a100 yards from the cornfield, but being exposed to a severe fire, which it  was unable to return because of the Confederate line in its immediate front,  Longstreet ordered it to take cover, by withdrawing a few yards down the hill.  Here it remained 20 minutes, "when, the enemy again advancing, the battery  again took position. Lieutenant (Here?) having been wounded and Lieutenant  McElroy having been left to watch the movements of the enemy on the right,  Captain Miller found himself the only officer with his company, and, having  barely enough men left to work a section effectively, he opened upon the enemy  with his two pieces with splendid effect. After an action of half an hour he  moved his section to a more advantageous position 100 yards to the front and  right, placing the remaining section under Sergeant Ellis, directing him to  take it completely under cover. He then continued the action until the  ammunition was nearly exhausted, when Sergeant Ellis brought up one of the  remaining caissons. The enemy had made two determined attempts to force our  line, and had been twice signally repulsed. They were now advancing the third  time, and were within canister range, when Sergeant Ellis, who had succeeded  in rallying some infantry to his assistance, brought one of the guns of his  section into action on Miller's left, and gave them canister, with terrible  effect. The three guns succeeded in checking the enemy's advance." Longstreet was with Miller's guns at this time, and, as Miller was short  handed, by reason of his loss of cannoneers, Longstreet's staff assisted in  working the guns, while their chief held the horses, and directed the fire of  the guns. Longstreet writes: 

"Miller was short of hands and ammunition, even for two guns. (?) Our line was  throbbing at every point, so that I dared not call on General Lee for help.  (?) As Richardson advanced through the corn he cut off the battery under  Boyce, so that it was obliged to retire to save itself, and as Barlow came  upon our center, the battery on our left was for a time thrown out of fire  lest they might injure friend as well as foe. Barlow marched in steady good  ranks, and the remnants before him rose to the emergency. They seemed to  forget that they had known fatigue, the guns were played with life; and the  brave spirits manning them claimed that they were there to hold or to go down  with the guns. As our shots rattled against the armored ranks, Colonel Fairfax  clapped his hands and ran for other charges. The mood of the gunners to a man  was of quiet but unflinching resolve to stand to the last gun. Captain Miller  charged and double-charged with spherical case and canister until his guns at  the discharge leaped into the air from 10 to 12 inches."

It was against these three guns, firing double charges of spherical case and  canister, and their infantry supports, that Barlow led the 61st and 64th New  York. Barlow says that from these pieces, and others still farther to the  right, the enemy had been pouting a destructive fire of shell, grape, and  spherical-case shot during the infantry engagement, and that while moving on  the guns in the orchard he was wounded in the groin by a spherical-case shot.  Lieutenant Colonel Nelson A. Miles then assumed command of the regiments and  "immediately deployed skirmishers forward through the field to the orchard."  Richardson now suspended the further advance of his division, partly that it  had become somewhat dislocated, but more particularly because it was exposed  to a heavy fire that he could not silence, as he had no artillery.

At this time the Confederate left center under D.H. Hill was thoroughly broken  up. But a few scattered handfuls of Hill's men were left and R.H. Anderson's  Division was hopelessly confused and broken. The Confederate artillery,  however, kept up a vigorous fire upon the right, left and center of the  Federals, and Hill, seeing that the center of Lee's position was in danger of  being carried, exerted himself to the utmost, and successfully, to stop  further progress. He brought up Boyce's Battery and made it open vigorously,  though itself exposed to a furious direct, and reverse fire. Hill says: "Affairs looked very critical. I found a battery concealed in a  cornfield and ordered it to move out and open fire upon the Yankee columns.  This proved to be Boyce's South Carolina battery. It moved out most  gallantly...and with grape and canister drove the enemy back." It was this fire of Boyce's Battery in connection with Miller's guns in the  orchard, and from some batteries west of the Hagerstown road and on the ridge  south of Piper's that caused Richardson to withdraw. Brooke's two regiments at  the south edge of the corn were specially annoyed by this fire and Brooke:  "finding that the enemy made no attempt to regain the field, sought for and  obtained the permission of General Richardson to withdraw from the now  untenable position, being exposed to a cross fire of the enemy's batteries." We have stated that parts of the 57th and 66th New York advanced to the Piper  lane. Just before this advance was made George T. Anderson's Brigade, which  had been engaged in the West Woods, earlier in the day, was behind the stone  fence of the Hagerstown road a short distance south of the Sunken Road. An  enfilade fire of long range artillery compelled Anderson to change position  down the road toward Sharpsburg, under the crest of a hill and at the end of  the Piper lane. "At this point," says Anderson, "I found a 6-pounder gun, and,  getting a few men to assist putting it in position, a lieutenant of infantry,  whose name or regiment I do not know, served it most handsomely until the  ammunition was exhausted."

The gun belonged to Huger's Battery and was abandoned when its battery left  position west of the road and nearly opposite the Piper lane, because its  horses had been killed, and the officer who served it was Lieutenant William  A. Chamberlaine of the 6th Virginia, Mahone's Brigade. The gun was abandoned  at a gate, on the west side of the road, a few yards south of Piper's lane.  Chamberlaine, with others of the brigade and division who had been driven  back, was assisting in rallying men in the Hagerstown road, when he noticed  the abandoned gun and with the aid of a few men, mostly of G.T. Anderson's  Brigade, but some of the 6th Virginia, ran it up the road about 100 yards,  nearly to the top of the ridge, where it opened fire upon Richardson's men,  moving through the cornfield, but the exposure here was so great that, after  two or three shots, it was run back to the mouth of the Piper lane, and its  first shot in this position was by Major J.W. Fairfax of Longstreet's staff,  and was down the lane at the skirmishers of the 57th and 66th New York, who  were crossing the lane to the Piper house. Two or three shots were fired in  that direction, the New York men fell back, and the gun was then moved back,  up the road, about 50 yards and turned upon Brooke's men, with case shot, as  they were seen at the edge of the corn. Here several shots were fired and the  gun continued in action until Richardson's line fell back.

It was after Boyce's Battery "with grape and canister drove the Yankees back"  that Hill records: "I was satisfied that the Yankees were so demoralized that  a single regiment of fresh men could drive the whole of the time in our front  across the Antietam. I got up about 200 men, who said they were willing to  advance to the attack if I would lead them. We met, however, with a warm  reception, and the little command was broken up and dispersed." Rodes reports  that about 150 of the 200 men were of his brigade and that they were led by  Hill through the orchard, "the general himself handling a musket in the  fight."

There was now no body of Confederate infantry that could have resisted a  serious advance of Richardson's Division, but the artillery fire rendered his  position untenable and the entire line was withdrawn across the Sunken Road  and formed under cover of the ridge upon which Meagher had fought. The serious infantry firing on this part of the field ended with the  withdrawal of Richardson's Division about 1 p.m., at which time the  Confederates re-occupied the Piper house and the adjoining buildings and  advanced their skirmishers into the orchard, and their artillery "from the  south end of the West Woods round to Boonsboro turnpike swept the country in  Richardson's front with their fire." Richardson's men suffered severely from  this artillery fire in taking up their new position, and it could not be  replied to, for, up to this time, the division was without artillery, but now  a section of Robertson's Battery of horse artillery, commanded by Lieutenant  Albert O. Vincent, 2nd U.S. Artillery, arrived on the ground, and, taking  position on Richardson's left, opened fire upon the Confederate batteries in  its front and beyond the Hagerstown road. Its fire was directly, principally,  upon Miller's Battery, in Piper's apple orchard, which was temporarily  silenced. Vincent's section was relieved by Graham's Battery (K, 1st United  States) 6 brass guns. A rifled battery had been asked for; there was none  available on the right, and General Hunt, chief of artillery, was requested to  furnish one. Hunt had none at his disposal; all were actively engaged or had  been detached to other points, but Graham's light 12's were sent instead. Graham moved from his bivouac near Porterstown about noon, passed up behind  the heavy batteries on the high ridge east of the Antietam, crossed the stream  at Pry's Ford, went through the Neikirk place, and, following the ravines,  under cover, ascended the high ground, where Meagher had been engaged and,  relieving Vincent's guns, which retired at once, took position about 80 yards  north of the Sunken Road, and on the left of Richardson's infantry, and  engaged a section of Confederate artillery about 700 yards southwest, behind a  group of three hay stacks, in a field to the right of an orchard, which he  silenced in about ten minutes. A very sharp fire of shot, spherical-case, and  shell were opened on Graham by several batteries, two of which had rifled  guns, and one of these, probably (Hardaway's), situated on a rocky ledge,  beyond the Hagerstown road, enfiladed his guns. Graham returned the fire as  rapidly as possible, but after firing for some 20 minutes found that they were  beyond the range of his smooth bore guns, his solid shot falling short several  hundred yards, and having called Richardson's attention to the fact, was told  by him that he wished to save the battery as much as possible, in order that  it might advance with his division at a signal then expected from Sumner.  While communicating this to Graham, Richardson was mortally wounded by a ball  of a spherical case from the battery enfilading Graham. After this Graham  continued his fire some five minutes and then, after losing 4 men killed, 5  severely wounded, 17 horses killed and 6 severely wounded, withdrew 200 yards  under cover of the ridge. Graham's action was in plain view from McClellan's  headquarters and is described by Colonel Strother of the staff: "About this  time, one of the handsomest exhibitions of gallantry which occurred during the  day. A battery of ours was seen entering the field in the vicinity of  Richardson's Division. Moving at a walk and taking position apparently in  advance of our line, it opened fire at short range, and maintained its ground  for half an hour under the concentrated fire of at least 40 guns of the enemy.  As they moved in with the greatest deliberation I saw a number of shells and  overthrow men and horses, and during the combat the battery sometimes appeared  covered with the dust and smoke of the enemy's bursting shells. Unable to  sustain the unequal contest they at length withdrew to shelter, and then we  saw parties returning to the ground to bring off the wounded in blankets, and  to remove the limbers of two guns, the horses of which had been killed. (?)  The affair was observed from headquarters with the greatest interest, and  elicited the warmest commendation."

The Confederate batteries engaging Graham were those of Miller in the orchard,  the Donaldsonville artillery, near the hay stacks beyond the Hagerstown road,  Hardaway's, and Carter's Battery and others, of D.H. Hill's Division, and  Cutts' Battalion. Captain Carter says: "I now received an order from General  Rodes to plant my battery on the left of the Hagerstown road near the  Donaldsonville Artillery. With the consent of General Lee, I at once moved my  battery to this point. In reaching it I found several batteries engaged in  driving off a Yankee battery (Graham's) posted near the spot occupied in the  morning by my two howitzers. My battery at once took part in this fire, and  continued firing until the battery was withdrawn. There was at this time a  pause in the engagement."

Soon after the withdrawal of Graham's Battery, D.H. Hill advanced his  skirmishers to the upper part of the orchard and into the cornfield on the  right and left.

Although Richardson's Division had been withdrawn to the cover of the crest,  upon which it had begun its engagement, the center of the Confederate line,  held by D.H. Hill and Longstreet, was still menaced by Franklin's Sixth Corps.  Brooks' Vermont brigade had relieved French's Division and was fresh, strong  and intact, and on Brooks' right was Irwin's Brigade. Both were in good  condition and liable at any moment to be launched upon the Confederates, very  much disorganized, partially demoralized, some of them out of ammunition, and  not able to resist a serious onset of infantry. Part of Hill's and R.H.  Anderson's divisions were under cover of the ridge from Piper's barn to the  Hagerstown road, and along the stone fences of the road, while on their left,  filling thinly the space to the south edge of the West Woods, was Colonel  Cooke with the 27th North Carolina, 3rd Arkansas and the small remnant of  Cobb's Brigade. Cooke was confronting Irwin's Brigade and out of ammunition,  and to repeated requests for it Longstreet replied that he had none to give  him and that he must hold his position with the bayonet. Longstreet says:  "Cooke stood with his empty guns, and waved his colors to show that his troops  were in position."

The Union troops engaged in the struggle for the Sunken Road numbered about  10,000 men; French's Division of 5700 and Richardson's of 4,300. The  Confederates opposing these were G.B. Anderson's Brigade of 1174 men; Rodes'  of 550, remnants of Colquitt about 200, G.T. Anderson's Brigade of about 500,  Cobb's Brigade of 398, the 27th North Carolina, 325, the 3rd Arkansas 350, and  R.H. Anderson's Division, with its artillery, excluding Armistead's Brigade,  34000--in all, with artillery, about 7,200 men, not including the artillery  belonging to other organizations than D.H. Hill and R.H. Anderson. The Union Loss in French's Division was 1750; in Richardson's Division 1161,  in all 2911 for the two divisions, to which must be added the loss in Graham's  Battery of 4 killed and 5 wounded, making an aggregate of 2920, 29 per cent of  the number engaged.

The Confederate loss was 1243 in the five brigades and artillery of R.H.  Anderson's Division, 156 in Cobb's Brigade, 217 in the 3rd Arkansas, about 150  in the 27th North Carolina, 50 in G.T. Anderson's Brigade; 203 in Rodes'  Brigade; 475 in G.B. Anderson's Brigade and about 50 in the remnant of  Colquitt's Brigade. The batteries in D.H. Hill's Division lost about 30 men.  The aggregate is 2574 or about 30 1/2 per cent of those engaged. Some of R.H.  Anderson's regiments suffered a loss of over 50 per cent, the 16th Mississippi  over 63 per cent, and the 3rd Arkansas of Manning's Brigade, Walker's  Division, lost 62 per cent.

The Dunkard Church: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


11 AM to 1 PM

by Ezra A. Carman (originally Chapter 19)

Once more we return to the Dunkard Church, which we left at 11 a.m. At that  hour the divisions of the First Corps and Sedgwick's Division of the Second  were rallying in support of the artillery of the artillery on the Poffenberger  hill. Hoffman's Brigade which, with two guns of Cooper's Battery, had advanced  to the crossroad leading to the Potomac, and assisted greatly in checking  McLaws' pursuit, remained in this position about half an hour "when a large  cavalry force was seen passing in rear of a narrow strip of woods" evidently  intending to attack the brigade in flank; on the right a heavy body of  infantry much larger than his brigade followed, upon which Hoffman retired to  the small cornfield across the Hagerstown road, where he could command the  open field west of the road. He was soon ordered to the left, where he  remained until late in the afternoon, when Sumner ordered him to join his  division, "just below the crest of a hill" and immediately "in rear of a long  line of artillery."

Williams' Division of the Twelfth Corps was holding the East Woods and  supporting the batteries of Woodruff, Cothran, Knap, Bruen and Frank, which  were in the open fields in front of the woods, and Greene's five regiments  were in the West Woods to the rear and left of the church. Soon after 11  o'clock the 13th New Jersey, moving from the East Woods through the batteries  and over the open ground south of the cornfield, entered the West Woods at the  church, and relieved the 5th and 7th Ohio; these two small, gallant regiments,  much reduced in numbers and out entirely out of ammunition, retiring to the  plateau east of the road, where they rejoined the 66th Ohio, which, with the  102nd New York, had been left near Thompkins' guns. Soon after this the  Purnell Legion, 200 strong, of Goodrich's Brigade, which had been supporting  the 124th Pennsylvania, near the Hagerstown road, entered the West Woods and  formed line to the right of the church and about 90 yards beyond it, but not  as far advanced as, nor forming close connection with, the 13th New Jersey.  These regiments were sent Greene in response to his urgent request for more  men to hold his important position; he had asked a much larger force, but  Williams could not spare it, and an appeal to Sumner was not successful, nor  could he succeed in recalling Goodrich's Brigade for the purpose. It will be remembered that when Manning's Brigade made its charge against  Greene's position, it moved in such a way as to be almost entirely covered  from the fire of Woodruff's Battery by the peculiar conformation of the  ground, Woodruff found it impracticable to change front for want of time and  the fact that, while protecting one flank he should expose the other, and  being without infantry support, his only course was to fall back about 240  yards to the edge of the East Woods, his left gun sweeping the Smoketown road.  Here he was supported on the right and could protect his left. After firing  from this position of few rounds down the road, in the direction of the  church, and, observing that Manning's attack had been repulsed, Woodruff  retired and was relieved by Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, commanded by  Lieutenant Evan Thomas. Thomas, who had been halted in the East Woods, ran his  right section to the front and out it in position, then advanced his other  guns, the left close to the Smoketown road, and the entire battery remained  some time without firing a shot. About the time Woodruff retired Cothran moved  his battery back a few yards and Thomas formed on his left but not closely  connecting. The 107th New York, supporting Cothran, fell back to the edge of  the woods. For a short time Knap's Battery remained in the southeast corner of  the corn on Cothran's right and rear.

As it neared 12 o'clock Thompkins' Battery, running out of ammunition, was  relieved by Battery G, 1st Rhode Island, Captain Charles C. Owens, and  withdrew to the position from which it had advanced early in the morning. It  is doubtful that any battery on the field did more solid and effective work  than Thompkins. It took position on the plateau, opposite the church, at a  most critical moment, contributed largely to the repulse of Kershaw and  Manning; aided in the repulse of Rodes' attack on French; opened an effective  and demoralizing fire upon R.H. Anderson's infantry as it approached the  field, swept the Piper cornfield with terrible effect as it went through it,  and silenced some of its artillery. During a great part of the time engaged it  had very little infantry support and was exposed on the right to an enfilading  fire from the Confederate infantry. It expended 83 rounds of canister, 68  rounds of solid shot; 427 rounds of shell and 454 rounds of case- shot--1,032  rounds in all. With the exceptions of the shots fired at a battery on its  right, which was hidden by a ridge, every shot was fired at a visible enemy,  the guns pointed with care, and the accuracy of aim and length of fuse noted.  It loss was 4 killed and 15 wounded. 

the night of the 16th Owen's Battery bivouacked a short distance east of  the Smoketown road, near Mansfield's Corps, and about a mile and a quarter  north of the East Woods; in the morning of the 17th it moved to the left and  front in search of some position where it could be used to advantage and about  9.30 a.m. passed through the East Woods and was about to take position in the  field south of the Smoketown road when the 125th Pennsylvania and 34th New  York came retreating from the Dunkard Church, upon which Owens took position  behind the burning Mumma buildings and reported to Major Clarke, Sumner's  chief of artillery, for orders. Clarke had already more batteries than could  be used and directed Owens to get his battery under cover, and it was moved to  the open ground behind the Mumma's orchard, where it remained until ordered to  relieve Thompkins. It went forward and immediately engaged a battery a mile  distant, in the direction of Sharpsburg, which was pouring in a heavy fire. In  about twenty minutes the Confederate was silenced and Owens ceased firing. About 11:30 a.m., the advance of the 6th Corps arrived. We left the 6th Corps  and Couch's Division in Pleasant Valley, where they remained on the 15th and  16th. During the night of the 16th Franklin received orders to move toward  Keedysville in the morning with his two divisions, and to leave Couch to  occupy Maryland Heights. Leaving the 121st New York to guard Crampton's Gap,  bury the dead and care for the wounded, Franklin started at 6 a.m. of the  17th, Smith's Division in advance. Smith marched through Rohrersville to the  old Sharpsburg road, thence to the nose of Elk Ridge, where he was met by an  order of McClellan to mass his division near army headquarters, upon which he  left the road on which he had been marching, struck across the fields and  massed his command alongside of the Keedysville and Sharpsburg road not far  from headquarters, ready to support the attack on the right or the left as  required. McClellan says: "It was first intended to keep this corps in reserve  on the east side of the Antietam, to operate on either flank or on the center,  as circumstances might require, but on nearing Keedysville the strong  opposition on the right, developed by the attacks of Hooker and Sumner,  rendered it necessary at once to send this corps to the assistance of the  right wing." Smith massed his division at the road about 10 a.m. In a short  time he was ordered to form his division to command the ford by which Sumner  had crossed the Antietam, and shortly after was ordered to cross the creek and  occupy a point in rear of where it was supposed the Union right was engaged. Smith went down the hill to the right of the Pry house, crossed the Antietam  by the ford and come up in rear of Sumner's right about 11 a.m., and was  ordered to form his division in rear of the batteries on the extreme right.  The division was then behind and to the right of the East Woods. Before forming his division Smith was informed by Lieutenant Colonel Taylor of  Sumner's staff, that a battery on the right center was unsupported, and  ordered two regiments of Hancock's Brigade to its support. Shortly after, on  visiting the ground, he ordered the remaining regiments and two batteries  forward to the threatened point. The two batteries here referred to were the  1st New York, Captain Andrew Cowan and Battery B, Maryland Light Artillery,  Lieutenant Theodore J. Vanneman. Cowan went through the East Woods and took  position in the grass field east of D.R. Miller's and north of the cornfield,  the same field occupied earlier in the day by the batteries of Stewart,  Ransom, Thompson and Matthews. Vanneman's Battery relieved Knap's, which was  moving to the left; two guns going up the Smoketown road to the Dunkard  Church, where we shall soon follow them. Hancock's disposition of his troops  is shown in his official report: (Here Carman pastes paragraph from OR's: "Arriving on the ground, the regiments of my brigade... ...and at canister distance therefrom.")

Skirmishers were immediately thrown forward into the corn, who came under fire  of those of the enemy, lying behind the fences of the Hagerstown road, and the  D.R. Miller house and enclosures were occupied by detachments from the  command. Very soon the Confederate placed two batteries in front of the West  Woods, their infantry in the edge of it in support, and opened a heavy fire  with shell, round shot, shrapnel, and grape, and Hancock called upon Sumner  for another regiment to place in the woods on his extreme right. The 20th  Massachusetts was given him by Howard and posted in the west edge of the north  part of the East Woods in support to a battery in its front. After a severe  cannonade, the skirmishers assisting, the two batteries were silenced by  Cowan's, Frank's, Vanneman's and Cothran's guns, and withdrawn from that part  of the field. Hancock's loss, in infantry, was very slight, but the batteries  net some losses in men and horses.

To the left of Hancock's line was Evan Thomas's Battery of the Second Corps;  Knap was taking position with four guns on Thomas's right, between him and  Cothran; Ayers' Battery (F, 5th U.S.), under command of Lieutenant Leonard  Martin, was going forward to position on Thomas's left, and Smith was forming  Irwin's Brigade to support these batteries and extend Hancock's left, when  circumstances demanded more active duty, and, leaving Smith for a moment, we  return to Greene at the Dunkard Church.

The left of Greene's line, held by two small companies of the 102nd New York,  the 3rd Maryland and 111th Pennsylvania, was at the south fence of the West  Woods, 168 yards to the left of the church, all facing south and all engaged  in sharp skirmishing with the 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas. On the  right of the 111th was the 28th Pennsylvania, now 300 strong, a part of its  left facing south, but the greater part of the regiment facing southwest, and  firing into the corn and upon skirmishers who made their appearance in the  woods in its front and to the right. On the right of the 28th Pennsylvania was  the 13th New Jersey, facing west, and firing obliquely to the left, into the  corn, and to the front and right upon some skirmishers in the woods; its  center was opposite to and about 190 yards west of the church. To the right  and about 80 yards in rear of the 13th New Jersey was the Purnell Legion of  about 200 men. The left of this regiment rested to the right of the church and  about 90 yards beyond it, and faced a little north of west. In all Greene had  about 1350 men from four different brigades of the Twelfth Corps. When he entered the woods at 10:30 a.m., Greene supposed that Sedgwick was  still in the woods to his right and front, and knew not to the contrary,  nearly the whole time he was in them, but he knew there was a wide interval on  his right and it was to fill this interval that he had called urgently for  reinforcements, a call partially answered by sending him the 13th New Jersey  and Purnell Legion. Soon after taking position on Greene's right the colonel  of the 13th New Jersey, finding his flank in air and knowing from his  experience and that of the 2nd Massachusetts, on the Hagerstown road, about an  hour before, that the enemy were near his right, sent a message to Greene, who  was on the extreme left, that his flank was exposed to the enemy, who were not  far from his right. When this message was communicated to Greene, he replied:  "Tell your colonel not to be uneasy about his flank, the whole of Sedgwick's  Division is in the woods on his right." And Greene had good reason for his  belief; he had not been informed of Sedgwick's repulse; he, himself, had  repulsed two brigades of McLaws' right; he had seen Barksdale's Brigade, the  3rd South Carolina, and a stream of stragglers going through the woods to seek  shelter beyond them; there was a cessation of infantry fire on the right, and  he concluded that the whole Confederate line had been repulsed. Men were now seen moving off toward the right, recognized as Confederates, and  the adjutant of the 13th New Jersey was sent to Greene with the information  and with the further information that the colonel of the regiment was  thoroughly convinced, absolutely sure, that the identical position supposed to  be held by Sedgwick, was, in fact, held by the enemy. This brought Greene to  the right; he made a hurried examination of the position, insisted that  Sedgwick was on the right, told the colonel that he was surely mistaken in the  idea that the enemy were in the woods, on the right, and gave stringent orders  that the men should under no circumstances be permitted to fire to the right.  After informing the colonel that the greatest danger was on the left, and  directing him to keep up an oblique fire in that direction, into the corn, and  upon anything seen directly in front. Greene rode to the left, when an officer  of the corps staff came up, to whom he stated that the officers on his right  were laboring under the delusion that Sedgwick had been driven from the woods.  "Why, yes, General," was the reply "didn't you know it." Greene's response was  more picturesquely (sulfurous?) than polite. As Greene says: "The position of  the division in the advanced woods was very critical. (?) We were in advance  of our lines. (?) Guns were sent for...and I sought reinforcements from  General Williams. None were at the time available." He was separated from  French, on the left, by an interval of nearly 600 yards, filled only by  Thompkins' Battery, supported by about 300 infantry, most of whom had expended  their ammunition, and the nearest troops on his right were those of Williams' Division, the nearest of whom, were a half mile in his rear.

Meanwhile Confederate skirmishers were advancing, a company each of the 30th  Virginia and 46th North Carolina, on the front and on the right, up a ravine.  These were driven back by the 28th Pennsylvania and 13th New Jersey, and  immediately thereafter the commanding officer of the Purnell Legion, sent some  skirmishers to the right, who, going but a few yards, saw a regiment--the 49th  North Carolina--lying down in the woods, well concealed, very near the right  and front, beyond a ravine, and where it had lain the entire time that Greene  was in the woods; and other troops were seen moving steadily and closing up on  the left of this regiment. It was about this time that the two guns Greene had  just sent for were being placed in position in the woods near the church. It was little after half past eleven that Lieutenant C.T. Greene, son and aid  to the general, rode up to Knap with orders to advance two guns towards the  church to assist in holding the woods. Lieutenant James C. McGill was sent  with the right section. He passed from the cornfield and along the west edge  of the East Woods to and across the Smoketown road, taking position on the  high open ground opposite the church, when Lieutenant Colonel Tyndale came up  and ordered him into the woods beyond the church, to dislodge the 27th North  Carolina and 3rd Arkansas from the cornfield, to which order McGill mad an  earnest protest, stating, among other reasons, that the guns could be easily  captured if a charge should be made and any of the horses shot. Tyndale  insisted; McGill replied that the woods was no place for artillery in the face  of concealed infantry, but that he would obey orders. As the high post and  rail fences of the Hagerstown road were obstacles to an advance directly to  the front, McGill moved back into the Smoketown road and down it to the  church, and thence about 100 yards down the Hagerstown road. One gun went into  the woods a short distance and halted; the other remaining on the road, while  McGill awaited more specific orders as to where his fire should be directed.  At this time the limbs and branches were falling off the trees from the fire  of the Confederate artillery and to the left was the cornfield, bounded by a  fence skirted with trees, and concealed by this fence and the tall corn were  the 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas, who were annoying the infantry in  the woods.

Tyndale called McGill's attention to a group of horsemen and some dismounted  officers gathered on a slight elevation southwest of the church, and remarked,  "just take my glass lieutenant and you can see them." McGill looked a moment,  returned the glass, went to his advanced gun, moved it a short distance to  rising ground in the woods and ordered it to unlimber, when the 27th North  Carolina and 3rd Arkansas, rose up from behind the cornfield fence and with a  yell, poured a volley at the gun, two horses were shot, one cannoneer was  killed and another wounded, a cannon shot cut the limb of a tree, which,  falling on the pole team, pinned the horses to the ground, several infantrymen  rushed to assist in extricating the gun, when on the extreme right there was a  crash of musketry and a wild yell; and at the same moment Colonel Cooke, with  his two regiments, charged on the left and the gun was abandoned and lost, the  only gun ever lost by the Twelfth Corps in action. Fortunately the second gun  was still in the road and not yet unlimbered. It fired as it fell back, at the  pursuing enemy, and quickly made its way by the Smoketown road and rejoined  its battery.

This simultaneous charge of Ransom and Cooke, on either flank of Greene's line

was not a concerted one, directed to be made at the same moment. Ransom,  without orders charge to capture the guns, and Cooke, when he saw the guns  coming into position had just received orders from Longstreet, who was engaged  at the Sunken Road, to charge in conjunction with Cobb's Brigade on his right,  on the flank of French's Division. These two movements on Greene's flanks  require separate treatment.

There are always two sides to a fight, and we must now look into the  Confederate lines as they appeared immediately proceeding the events above  recited, and at the hour Greene was attacked on both flanks, which was about  quarter past twelve. Kershaw's and Barksdale's brigades, which had fallen  back, were still in the fields beyond the West Woods, under cover of rock-  ledges, stone and rail fences, and Semmes was near them, and, on their left,  in the same open ground, were the 30th Virginia, 46th and 48th North Carolina  of Manning's Brigade, the 46th North Carolina being at the west fence of the  woods. The 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas were in line south of the  woods opposing Greene, and Cobb's Brigade was on their right, opposite the  mouth of the Sunken Road. Three regiments of Ransom's Brigade were under cover  of the long rock ledge at the edge of the middle body of the West Woods,  nearly parallel to and about 225 yards from the Hagerstown road, which they  faced. Early's Brigade was to their left, and Armistead was to the left and  rear of Early. Armistead's Brigade belonged to R.H. Anderson's Division; acted  as a rear guard to the infantry, and was last of the command to cross the  Potomac, and not in the attack made by McLaws, although it had been detached  from its division to join him. As it approached Hauser's it came under heavy  artillery fire, by which Captain W.G. Pollard, commanding 53rd Virginia, was  killed and a few men wounded. It formed line east of Hauser's and moved into  the West Woods, in the rear of Ransom's Brigade. The adjutant of the 35th  North Carolina was sent to pilot it into position, and as it entered the woods  Armistead was wounded in the foot by a rolling ball: "He saw the ball as it  came rolling down the hill, and could have moved out of its course with all  care, but, probably thinking it a shell and likely to explode, stood as one  transfixed and did not move his foot or a muscle." There was a severe  artillery fire at the time and some confusion in the ranks, Colonel J.G.  Hodges, 14th Virginia, assumed command and led the Brigade to the left, where  it took the position held by Early, who moved to the right on the edge of the  plateau facing the Harper's Ferry road, and on Ransom's left. Armistead came  up very soon after McLaws had fallen back, did not become engaged, but  suffered some from artillery fire. Stuart, with cavalry, artillery, and the  13th Virginia and 24th North Carolina, was on the extreme left, where he had  been checked, awaiting reinforcements that Jackson had promised to renew the  battle. Hood's Division and Hays' Brigade, having replenished ammunition and  partaken of some food, were approaching the West Woods to take position in them about midway west of the church.

But before Hood arrived there was no Confederate line in the woods immediately  west of the church and there was a wide gap, which was now sought to be filled  by the 46th North Carolina and a company of the 30th Virginia. It will be  remembered that when Greene crossed the Hagerstown road the 46th North  Carolina was driven clear out of the woods. Here Colonel Hall was met by  General Jackson, who ordered him to report to McLaws, by whom he was ordered  to endeavor to hold the woods at all hazards. He then "advanced in line of  battle to the edge of the woods, which was by this time filled with the enemy,  and placed the regiment behind a ledge of rocks, throwing out company A and  the company from the 30th Virginia as skirmishers."

The company from the 30th Virginia was commanded by Captain (?) Hudgins and  was not with the regiment in its disastrous charge across the Hagerstown road,  at the church, having been left on picket near Snavely's Ford. When relieved  and rejoining its regiment it was assigned as a support to a battery, and then  ordered into the West Woods, deployed as sharpshooters, with orders if pressed  by heavy line to fall back on the 46th North Carolina. Hudgins with his  company and the one of the 46th North Carolina advanced and were met by such a  severe fire from the 28th Pennsylvania and 13th New Jersey, by which many of  their men were killed and wounded, that they fell back on the 46th North  Carolina, "sheltered under a ledge of rock along the rear slope of the hill in  the woods and at the west edge of them."

Just before these men went back Colonel M.W. Ransom, 35th North Carolina, saw  McGill with his two guns go from the Smoketown road into the Hagerstown road  at the church, and came to the quick conclusion to capture them. At this time  General Ransom, in command of the brigade, had gone to the left to recall the  24th North Carolina, which was with Stuart, and Colonel Ransom was in  temporary command of the brigade--the 25th, 35th and 49th North Carolina. The  two regiments on the left of the brigade were behind the ledge in the edge of  the middle woods and looking over the open ground west of the Hagerstown road,  across which Barksdale's Brigade and the 3rd South Carolina had charges, the  49th North Carolina, on the right, was in the woods on a sloping hill side,  well protected by the rock lodge and concealed by the foliage of the woods.  Ransom ordered the 49th North Carolina to file down to the ravine, then change  front forward on first company, and charge for the church, the two regiments  on the left to close in on the 49th and follow its movements; all of which was  instantly done.

On level ground everything could be seen through the woods, but on the side  hills and in the ravine the foliage of the tree tops was so dense that nothing  could be seen beyond the ravine, so that the 49th North Carolina was not seen  by the 13th New Jersey and Purnell Legion until its right was nearly at the  lowest depression of the ravine, and its entire line was changing front  forward on first company. When this was seen the three right companies of the  13th New Jersey were swung back at nearly a right angle to their former  position but, even now, so impressed were the officers of the regiment by  Greene's warning, and he had not cautioned them otherwise, that the adjutant,  immediately followed by an officer of the Purnell Legion, went forward to get  a closer view and determine whether they were friends or enemies, for their  uniforms could not be distinguished.

The same intensity possessed the Confederates. When Ransom ordered the  movement it was for the purpose of capturing McGill's guns at the church, and  he appears not to have been aware that there was any infantry between him and  the church, although he must have seen the 13th New Jersey and Purnell Legion  enter the woods at the church. Be this as it may, when the right of the 49th  North Carolina came to a halt, and began to change front to make a charge for  the guns, they were surprised to see infantry in their front, and at the same  time that the officers of the Union line were going forward to determine who  the 49th North Carolina were, two officers of the 49th were sent out to  ascertain who the Purnell Legion and the Jersey men were, but before any of  them returned a simultaneous fire was opened on both sides, as though done by  one order. The 49th North Carolina without waiting to complete its change of  front, after the right had fired two volleys, charged, not directly for the  church, as at first intended, but, descending into the ravine, where it was  under partial cover, made directly for the right and flank of the Purnell  Legion, which fire three or four volleys and retreated out of the woods and  across the Hagerstown road. Lieutenant Colonel Simpson reports: "the enemy  appeared in overwhelming numbers and compelled it to retire." The 13th New  Jersey followed the Purnell Legion. It fired two or three volleys; its right  was pressed by the right of the 49th North Carolina, the left of that regiment  was gaining its rear, and it retreated from the woods and across the road; the  commanding officer reports: "Being flanked on the right the whole brigade was  obliged to retire." The 28th Pennsylvania come under the fire of this flank  attack, but, perceiving the retreat of the troops on its right and hearing the  Confederate yell in its rear and to the right, and feeling the pressure on its  left, also, fell back out of the woods, followed by everything on its left.  Major Raphael, commanding the regiment, reports that "the overwhelming force  of the enemy, advancing in three columns on our right, left, and center,  threatening annihilation to the small force in that position" compelled him to  retire, and General Greene, referring to his whole command, reports: "the  enemy advancing in large force, threatening to engulf the small command, they  were forced to retire."

The 49th North Carolina, closely supported by a part of the 35th on its left,  following closely the left of the retreating troops, reached the Hagerstown  road about 130 yards north of the church and continued fire on the retreating  troops as they went over the plateau opposite the church, and upon McGill,  who, driven from position south of the church, was retiring with one gun and  two caissons down the Smoketown road. Some of the North Carolina men had  crossed the road, but the main body had halted at a barricade at the edge of  the woods, when Cothran's and Knap's guns, ten in all, opened upon them with a  most savage fire, the heaviest artillery fire the regiment ever experienced,  which ploughed up the ground around them, killing and wounding many officers  and men, and it fell back into the woods and to the left.

Some of Greene's men retreated across the road north of the church; the  greater part of them crossed south of the church, and officers of every grade  made efforts to check the retreat on the plateau, where Greene had so  successfully repulsed Kershaw and Manning, but effort availed nothing, the  retreat was continued to the East Woods. Colonel Cooke with his two regiments,  supported on the right by Cobb's Brigade, pursuing closely on the left flank  and in the rear, the left of his line as far as the Mumma place. Owens' Rhode  Island battery, which, twenty minutes before had relieved Thompkins, had just  ceased firing in the direction of Sharpsburg and the Sunken Road, was involved  in the retreat. Owens was about to proceed toward the brow of the hill to  engage the enemy's infantry, then in plain sight from that position, beyond  the Sunken Road and around the Piper barn, when, he says: "A noise from my  right attracted my attention, and I saw our infantry retreating in disorder  toward me, and then about 150 yards off, and closely pursued by the rebels. I  limbered up quickly and started on a trot into the road leading direct from  the ruins (Mumma's), and when the last caisson left the ground the enemy were  close upon us."

When the 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas first took position south of the  Dunkard Church woods, they were on line of fence parallel to the woods; after  skirmishing with Greene some time, all, save a few sharpshooters on the left,  were drawn back about 20 paces in the corn and the right thrown back on a line  with Cobb's Brigade and the end of the Sunken Road. The sharpshooters on the  left kept up a lively fire upon Greene's men in the woods and the right  engaged Thompkins Battery, which replied with an annoying fire of canister and  shell. The regiments had been in this position about half an hour when Tyndale  ordered the two guns of Knap's Battery into the woods south of the church. Colonel Cooke, who was observing the movement, ordered the four left companies  up to the fence and directed them to fire at the two guns, both plainly seen,  and particularly at the advanced gun and the horses. At the first fire the  horses and some of the men were seen to fall, and the infantry which had been  moved to support the gun, showed signs of wavering, and at this moment came  Longstreet's order to charge, in connection with Cobb's Brigade and D.H.  Hill's command, upon the flank of French's Division. Cooke ordered the charge  and the 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas leaped the fence and made for the  guns; McGill, who had one gun in the road, unlimbered, fired as it fell back,  past the church, and narrowly escaped capture by the 49th North Carolina, as  it turned into the Smoketown road. The charging line had not proceeded over 50  yards when it was seen that one gun had escaped and that Greene's men were  crossing the road and retreating over the plateau, upon which Cooke, leaving  the abandoned gun to his left, changed direction slightly, to the right, and  pursued Greene, keeping up a running fire and taking some prisoners. In the  pursuit the color bearers of the two regiments forged ahead of the line some  distance and Cooke cautioned the bearer of his own colors to go slower as the  regiment could not keep up with him, which brought the happy response:  "Colonel, I can't let that Arkansas fellow got ahead of men." It was in such  rapid pursuit as this that Cooke reached the crest of the plateau; saw that  Greene's men had reached the cover of artillery, which now opened upon him,  and that he, himself, had gone entirely too far to the left, upon which he  wheeled to the right, crossed the fences of Mumma's lane and entered the  cornfield in rear of where French's right had been but was now fronting him.  Just before the line reached the lane Captains Adams and Graham, commanding  the left companies of the 27th North Carolina, observed some officers and men  behind the hay or grain stacks near Mumma's and double-quicking to the left  and captured them; ordering them to the rear,they double-quicked back to their  commands, which had then reached the middle of the cornfield and been checked.  Immediately in front, behind a ledge, were Kimball's men, who had changed  front; on their left front were three regiments of Brooke's Brigade; Barlow,  with the 61st and 64th New York, was coming into position on their right front  and some of Irwin's Brigade skirmishers appeared and opened fire on the left  flank. The two regiments fell back, at a double- quick, Irwin's Brigade at  their heels and on their flank, firing into them, killing and wounding many.  They went back over nearly the same ground of their advance, to the position  from which they had advanced and, with the few cartridges remaining, assisted  in checking Irwin's pursuit, which did not reach the Hagerstown road. One half  of the officers and men of the two regiments had fallen.

Cobb's Brigade supported Colonel Cooke's right. By its action earlier in the  day it had been reduced to about 250 men. It had been advanced from the mouth  of the Sunken Road to the board fences of Mumma's Lane , striking the fences  just south of the cornfield and came under the fire of the 61st and 64th New  York. Its loss was heavy; when the 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas fell  back it was left without support, and was ordered back. Colonel McRae,  commanding the brigade, reports that it left the field with not more than 50  of the 250 men. It fell back across the Hagerstown road and joined the right  of Cooke's command, remaining with it, until relieved about 3 p.m. As Greene's men retreated to the East Woods, General Smith was about to form  Irwin's Brigade on Hancock's left, when it was observed that the enemy was  advancing and that Evan Thomas had turned his guns to the left upon the 27th  North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas, opening with spherical case upon them as they  crossed the crest of the plateau, and then with canister upon the two left  companies of the 27th North Carolina as they approached the grain stacks, but,  as we have seen, these two companies quickly fell back and joined their  regiment in the Mumma cornfield. The 7th Maine, 20th and 49th New York were in  line of battle with the 33rd and 77th New York as skirmishers on the right.  The 20th New York was the largest regiment in the brigade and led the advance,  the 49th New York in echelon, on its right, and the 7th Maine, in echelon, on  its left. The 20th New York cleared the East Woods and went forward, south of  the Smoketown road, in (fine?) line, General Smith, Colonel Vegesack and his  field officers, riding close behind and pushing it on in the most spirited  manner, the Confederate skirmishers falling rapidly back. Under Smith's order  the regiment was to halt under cover of the crest that had sheltered Greene  earlier in the day, but, in the ardor of pursuit, the men passed the crest and  immediately came under fire of Cooke's infantry and a 4 gun battery south of  the church, which opened with canister inflicting much loss. The regiment was  quickly recalled and ordered to lie down under cover, and the 49th New York  came up and lay down on its right. The 7th Maine, moving in echelon, on the  left, charged a body of Confederates at the Roulette buildings, drove it out  with the loss of 12 men, and double-quicked to the left of the 20th New York,  joining it just as it halted, and lay down on its left.  Irwin had ordered the 33rd and 77th New York to advance on the right as  skirmishers; from some misunderstanding, they both went forward by the right  flank, passed through Thomas' Battery, and, as they neared the church, the  33rd on the right of the Smoketown road and the 77th on its left. The 49th North Carolina, supported by the 35th, which had fallen to the left  and rear out of range of the batteries, seeing them coming, re-occupied the  rail barricade from which it had been driven, and poured a volley upon both  regiments which "staggered them and threw both into momentary confusion."  Irwin says it was "a severe and unexpected volley from the woods on the right,  struck full on the 77th and 33rd New York, which staggered them for a moment,  but they closed up and faced by the rear rank, and poured in a close and  scorching fire driving back the enemy." Lieutenant Colonel (Corning?),  commanding 33rd New York, reports that he "received orders from the commanding  divisional general to support the right, and was ordered to march near the  woods in front." His regiment was in column, marching by the right flank and:  "when near the woods the enemy suddenly and unexpectedly opened a heavy fire  from their infantry who were in the woods. This sudden and unexpected attack  caused a momentary unsteadiness in the ranks, which was quickly rectified. The  battalion faced by the rear rank and returned the fire, when, by order of the  commanding general, the regiment retired a short distance, under cover of a  ridge." Captain Babcock, 77th New York, was at first ordered to support the  33rd New York, but while advancing, was ordered to the front "for the purpose  of cutting off the flying enemy, already routed by the left" of the brigade,  and while endeavoring to execute this order the position became critical and  most of the casualties occurred, "a large force of the enemy" advancing on the  right under cover of the woods, and were about to cut us off from the rest of  the command, "when the danger was discovered and the regiment ordered to fall  back to the cover of a hill about 50 yards (sic). Babcock says his men "only  wavered a moment" and then retired and reformed in good order, "after  delivering two well directed volleys" into nearly if not quite a brigade of  the enemy, so near the right of the regiment that "you could see the white of  their eyes at the time of retiring." The two regiments had come up a hill to  the right of the church, and Smith says: "At this point a severe flank fire  from the woods was received...which threw both regiments slightly into  confusion. They were immediately rallied by their officers and faced by the  rear rank, and ordered to lie down behind the crest of a slope facing towards  the the woods. The rest of the brigade was ordered to form behind a crest at  right angles to the other, facing to their proper front."

A section of Owens' Rhode Island battery accompanied the advance of Irwin's  Brigade. The battery when swept from position by Greene's men, halted a few  hundred yards in rear and, after replenishing ammunition, Owen "took the  pieces alone of the right section and proceeded up behind the advance that  retook the field, but the infantry was quite unsteady on the right and broke a  second time" and not deeming it prudent to risk his guns under such  circumstances, he withdrew and reported to Sumner.

It was the impression, if not the understanding, among the officers of Irwin's  Brigade that they were to retake the woods at the church, and this view was  shared by General Franklin, who in his testimony before the committee on the  Conduct of the War, said: "General Smith made a charge with this brigade on  the advancing enemy, and after a severe musketry fire of fifteen or twenty  minutes drove them back into the woods. He attempted to follow them into the  woods, but was met by a fire from a superior force in the woods, and halted  just this side of the crest of the hill, where his troops were screened from  that fire."

On the contrary, General Smith says, in a letter written December 15, 1897,  that he never contemplated a movement into the woods, that when he had cleared  the front of the enemy's skirmishers, and put the 20th and 49th New York under  cover of the crest of the hill, near the church, he had done and without  orders all he had set out to do; that he did not see Irwin and the other three  regiments of the brigade and supposed he had intimated to a staff officer,  that, when Irwin came up, he was to take position behind the crest to the left  of the two regiments he had put into position. In view of this statement and  the fact that "Baldy" Smith was too good a soldier to put any part of his  command in close action by the flank, we must conclude that the responsibility  rests upon Irwin, who, as events proved later in the day, should not have been  entrusted with any responsibility.

As soon as Irwin's Brigade was formed and ordered to lie down, skirmishers  were thrown out to the crest of the hill along its front. A Confederate  battery advanced and played with severity along the flank of the brigade and  through the line of the 20th New York, which from the nature of the ground was  compelled to refuse its left, and thus received the fire along its entire  front. Irwin says: "Sharpshooters from the woods to the right and to the  extreme left also opened upon us. Shell and canister swept from left to right.  The practice of the enemy was rapid and very accurate, and in a short time the  loss was very heavy and the ranks encumbered with dead and wounded." Before the entire brigade had been established on the line held by Greene in  the morning Smith sent for Brooks' Brigade to act as a support, but, without  his knowledge or consent, it had been ordered by Sumner to support French. At  first it was ordered to the support of Sedgwick on the extreme right but,  before getting into position, French reported his ammunition exhausted and  Brooks was ordered by Sumner to reinforce him, but, on gaining French's right,  he found the enemy had been checked and repulsed, and the brigade took  position in the south edge of Mumma's cornfield 170 yards from and parallel to  the Sunken Road. This brought it on Irwin's left and the position was  maintained until the close of the battle, the men lying on their arms and  subjected to quite a galling fire of both artillery and sharpshooters, causing  numerous casualties.

Meanwhile Ayers' Battery (F, 5th U.S.), Lieutenant Leonard Martin, went into  position 110 yards south of the Smoketown road, and near the small grave-yard,  where it remained, substantially in the same position until the close of the  battle, firing at intervals during the afternoon of the 17th, upon the enemy's  artillery in the woods around the church and in the field south of it. Irwin  records that to the excellent service of this battery the safety of his  brigade "may be largely (imparted?)," and that "had it not checked the heavy  fire from the batteries of the enemy, they would have destroyed the greater  part of my command." Soon after Martin had taken t his position Slocum's Division arrived and its  artillery was put in position. Lieutenant E.B. Williston's Battery (D, 2nd  U.S.) on Martin's right, with its right gun about 12 yards from the Smoketown  road and 75 yards from Mumma's Lane and opened fire at the Dunkard church and  the woods surrounding it, to drive therefrom the Confederate sharpshooters,  that were annoying Irwin. Battery A, Massachusetts Light Artillery, Captain  Josiah Porter, relieved Thomas' and Knap's batteries, which, after the advance  of Irwin's Brigade, had opened fire upon the woods north of the church, and,  upon Slocum's arrival, had retired beyond the East Woods. Porter took position  on Williston's right, north of the |Smoketown road and about 100 yards in  front of the East Woods. Cothran's Battery, with its support, the 107th New  York, was relieved by Battery A, Maryland Light Artillery, 8 guns, Captain  John W. Wolcott, and retired to the fields beyond the East Woods. From the  field east of D.R. Miller's to Mumma's house, there were now seven  batteries--Cowan's, Frank's, Vanneman's, Wolcott's, Porter's, Williston's and  Martin's--aggregating 44 guns so closely placed, that there was no room for  more, and Hexamer's New Jersey battery was held in reserve, in a depression in  the East Woods, near the Smoketown road.

Slocum had marched through Keedysville, crossed the Antietam by the upper  bridge and it was about 12 o'clock, noon, when his advance reached the field.  While the batteries were being put in position Franklin, Slocum, and Smith  were considering a charge upon the woods at the church. Newton's and Torbett's  (i.e., Torbert's) brigades had come up and been formed beyond the woods and  Bartlett's arrival was awaited to form a reserve, when it was found that  Sumner had retained Bartlett to strengthen his own right, in place of Brooks',  whom he had sent to Franklin. General Franklin says: "Immediately after its  (Slocum's) arrival two of his brigades (Newton's and Torbert's) were formed in  column, to carry the wood in the immediate vicinity of the white church. The  other brigade (Bartlett's) had been ordered by General Sumner to keep near his  right. As this brigade was to form the reserve for the column of attack, I  waited until it came up. About the same time General Sumner arrived on the  spot, and directed the attack to be postponed.... Shortly afterward the  commanding general came to the position and decided that it would not be  prudent to make the attack, our position on the right then being considerably  in advance of what it had been in the morning."

In the "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" (Vol.II, p. 597) Franklin  writes: "While awaiting the arrival of Slocum, I went to the right, held by  Sumner. I found him at the head of his troops, but much depressed. He told me  that his whole corps was exhausted and could do nothing more that day....  About 300 yards in its front, across an open field, was a wood...strongly held  by the enemy. The corps had been driven back from an attack on this wood with  great loss. When General Slocum arrived I placed two brigades of his division  on General Sumner's left and was awaiting the arrival of his third brigade,  which was to be in reserve. With the two brigades I intended to make an attack  on the woods referred to, and General Sumner was informed of my intention. The  two brigades were ready to move. Just as the third brigade arrived, General  Sumner rode up and directed me not to make the attack, giving as a reason for  his order, that if I were defeated the right would be entirely routed, mine  being the only troops left on the right that had any life in them. Major  Hammerstein, of McClellan's staff, was near, and I requested him to inform  General McClellan of the state of affairs, and that I thought the attack ought  to be made. Shortly afterward McClellan rode up, and, after hearing the  statements of Sumner and myself, decided that as the day had gone so well on  the other parts of the line it would be unsafe to risk anything on the right.  Of course, no advance was made by the division."

Palfrey says: "Wisely or unwisely, Sumner paralyzed the action of Franklin's  Corps, first detaching from Smith and then from Slocum." But the  responsibility rested upon McClellan for staying Franklin's advance. There was  yet time to make it when he came upon this part of the field. He says: "Toward  the middle of the afternoon, proceeding to the right, I found that Sumner's,  Hooker's and Mansfield's Corps had met with serious losses. Several general  officers had been carried from the field severely wounded, and the aspect of  affairs was anything but promising. At the risk of greatly exposing our  center, I ordered two brigades from Porter's Corps to reinforce the right.  General Sumner expressed the most decided opinion against another attempt  during that day to assault the enemy's position in front, as portions of our  troops were so scattered and demoralized. In view of these circumstances,  after making changes in position of some of the troops, I directed the  different commanders to hold their positions, and, being satisfied that this  could be done without the assistance of the two brigades from the center, I  countermanded the order, which was in course of execution."

After the abandonment of aggressive movement, Williams' Division of the  Twelfth Corps fell back into the East Woods and acted as a support to  Franklin's Corps. Smith's Division retained its position, Newton's Brigade of  Slocum's Division, formed on Hancock's left and supported the two Maryland  batteries, Torbett's New Jersey brigade formed on Newton's left and on either  side of the Smoketown road, supporting the batteries of Porter, Hexamer,  Williston, and Martin, and Bartlett's Brigade was, for the present, held in  reserve.

The remainder of the day was employed in collecting stragglers, straightening  the line, filling the gaps in it and relieving batteries that had been long in  action by fresh men. "The troops lay," writes Walker, "with the bodies of the  Union and Confederate slain all around, in momentary readiness to move  forward; and then the bustle of the staff presaged new combinations, or  the movement of troops to fill the gaps in the line of battle was taken to  mean that hot work was at once to begin; at intervals the artillery broke out  in furious cannonading all along the line, or here and there two ambitious  battery commanders tested the range of their guns and the skill of their  cannoneers in a duel across the crouching lines of infantry." Soon after Irwin had taken position under the crest of the plateau, nearly  opposite the Dunkard Church, a Confederate battery, south of the church,  became very active in throwing shot and shell at the two regular batteries,  south of the Smoketown road, and into the ranks of the New Jersey brigade  supporting them, causing some casualties and much annoyance. The two batteries  seemed unable to reach or silence it and Hexamer's Battery was sent for and  soon appeared. As he came up at a gallop, Hexamer said: "I'll silence that  battery or cut down every tree in the woods." The other batteries ceased  firing, Hexamer passed them a few yards and opened fire. For fifteen or twenty  minutes he rained shot and shell into and around that battery and it ceased to  respond. He gave a few more shots and then withdrew amid the cheers of all who  witnessed his fine practice.

Soon after this artillery duel, about 3 p.m., the 5th Maine and 16th New York  of Bartlett's Brigade, then in second line in the edge of the East Woods, were  ordered to the left as a support to Irwin and to fill an interval between him  and Brooks. When in position their left rested on the Mumma lane and a little  to the rear of Brooks' right. For the next hour there was comparative quiet on  this part of the field, when about 4:30 p.m., quiet was broken by the rapid  roar of artillery on the extreme right, bringing every infantryman to his feet  and the cannoneers to their guns in anticipation of a Confederate advance. For  the cause of this we must go inside the Confederate lines.

 At the hour when McClellan and Sumner came to the conclusion that further  offensive movements were inadvisable and that the right wing of the army  should remain on the defensive, Lee had ordered an attack by Jackson on  McClellan's right, in order to relieve his center from the pressure of  Richardson's attack and the threatening movement of Pleasonton on the  Boonsboro and Sharpsburg road, and Stuart was then massing cavalry, artillery  and infantry for the purpose.

McLaws says that the enemy having abandoned their attempt to advance, he had  an opportunity to examine the relative position of his own line and that of  the enemy and soon "became convinced that we had nothing to gain by an advance  of our troops." But Lee, Longstreet and Jackson had come to a different  conclusion. Longstreet does not refer to the matter in his official report,  but elsewhere says: (Here Carman copies from Longstreet as follows: "At one or two points near our center.... "...and abandoned his orders.")

Walker was with Ransom's Brigade when the order was brought from Longstreet,  directing Ransom to advance and capture the Union battery in his front. Having  been previously instructed by Jackson to hold his position in the woods until  Stuart could turn the Union right and then advance, Walker directed Ransom to  delay the execution of Longstreet's order until he could see Longstreet.  Walker's action was approved. This was about 3 o'clock. Ransom says: "About noon, General Longstreet sent me word to take the battery  in our front, and the order to advance was given, when General McLaws arrived  and ordered me to postpone the attempt. Again, about 2 or 3 o'clock, I  received instructions to advance and take the batteries. Just at this time the  enemy was observed to have massed a strong force about the batteries, and  General Walker, having arrived, forbade the movement until he could  communicate with General Longstreet, in person. Shortly afterward, orders came  to defer any attempt upon the enemy's position until General Jackson should  have attacked him upon his right flank."

It appears from an incident given by the adjutant of the 35th North Carolina  that Jackson, in person, came to Ransom's Brigade and gave orders to be in  readiness to join in an attack upon the Union right. "About 2 o'clock  Stonewall Jackson came along our lines.... He remarked to Colonel Ransom, as  he did to other colonels along the line, that with Stuart's cavalry and some  infantry he was going around the Federal right and get in their rear, and  added 'When you hear the rattle of my small arms, this whole line must  advance.' He wished to ascertain the force opposed, and a man of our regiment  named Hood was sent up a large tree, which he climbed carefully to avoid  observation by the enemy. Stonewall called out to know how many Yankees he  could see over the hill and beyond the East Woods. Hood replied: 'Whew! There  are oceans of them, General.' 'Count their flags,' said Jackson. This Hood  proceeded to do until he had counted 39, when the general told him that would do and to come down."

Longstreet's idea was an attack directly to the front. Lee sought to relieve  the pressure upon the center and right by turning McClellan's right. Jackson  contemplated both the turning movement and an attack in front. As elsewhere stated Jackson was disappointed at the partial success of McLaws'  attack and directed Stuart, who, with his cavalry, 13th Virginia and 24th  North Carolina, had been checked, well to the left and front, "to hold this  advance position, and that he would send all the infantry he could get in  order to follow up the success." These reinforcements were, says Stuart,  however, "directed to other parts of the field." But Jackson was not  discouraged; he believed the enemy had done their worst, were sorely punished,  and there was still the chance of an opportunity to sweep the Union right from  the field and gain a decisive victory.

General John G. Walker says: (Here Carman copies 4 paragraphs from Walker,

with one elision as follows:

"The Federal infantry assault having ceased...

"...he withdrew his order."

As soon as the order was given by Lee for the movement, Stuart massed his  cavalry to lead in its execution. Fitz Hugh Lee's Brigade was then in rear of  Jackson's left and near it was the 7th Virginia Cavalry of Munford's Brigade;  and Wade Hampton's Brigade was brought from the right. Hampton had acted as  rear-guard to McLaws in the march from Harper's Ferry and crossing the  Potomac, partly by Knott's Ford, at the mouth of the Antietam, and partly at  Shepherdstown Ford, reached the vicinity of Lee's headquarters about the  middle of the forenoon, and remained until about 1 p.m., when he moved rapidly  to the left, where Fitz Hugh Lee had already massed three of his regiments at  the Cox place, on the river road. Hampton formed on Lee's right, under cover  of the Nicodemus hill, upon which were several batteries of artillery,  slightly withdrawn from the crest of the hill.

In all Stuart had seven regiments of cavalry and nine guns from various  batteries, one of which was from Poague, two from Raines, and three from  Brockenbrough's, under Captain John Pelham, and, in addition, the batteries of  French and Branch, supported by the 48th North Carolina Infantry of Walker's  Division. The advance was made about 3 p.m., the 4th Virginia Cavalry leading.  The column, starting from Cox's, passed up the road, under cover of the high  ground on its right, until the advance reached New Industry, where it halted,  while the guns under Pelham turning to the right and moving a short distance  on the road, leading to the Hagerstown road at the toll-gate, turned to the  left and went into position on the high ground 900 yards from and directly  west of Doubleday's guns on the Poffenberger hill. Stuart's guns were greeted  with such a heavy fire as they took position that they were quickly used up  and forced to withdraw. Poague, who commanded one gun, says, "Along with 6 or  8 other guns, under the command of Major Pelham, an attempt was made to  dislodge the enemy's batteries but failed completely, being silenced in 15 or  20 minutes by a most terrific fire."

Hampton's Brigade moved but a short distance to the left before the head of  column was halted. Branch's and French's guns went into position on Nicodemus  hill about the time Pelham's guns were driven off, and were almost instantly  silenced, losing many killed and wounded, by Doubleday's guns, which turned  savagely upon them. The 48th North Carolina which had moved double- quick to  the left to support these guns was not engaged. Stuart, after halting his head  of column an hour or more, withdrew and gave up the intended movement on  McClellan's right, and the entire force fell back.

Stuart reports: "In this movement I was honored with the advance. In  endeavoring to pass up along the river bank, however, I found that the river  made such an abrupt bend that the enemy's batteries were within 800 yards of  the brink of the stream, which would have made it impossible to have succeeded  in the movement proposed, and it was accordingly abandoned." Jackson says: "In  the afternoon, in obedience to instructions from the commanding general, I  moved to the left with a view of turning the Federal right, but I found his  numerous artillery so judiciously established in their front and extending so  near the Potomac, which here makes a remarkable bend, as to render it  inexpedient to hazard the attempt.

 When Jackson returned to near the Dunkard Church he met General Walker and  told him of Stuart's failure, for the reason that he had found the Union right  "securely posted on the Potomac." Upon Walker's expressing surprise at this  statement, Jackson replied that he also had been surprised, as he had supposed  the Potomac much farther away; but he remarked that Stuart had an excellent  eye for topography, and it must be as he represented. He added: "It is a great  pity. We should have driven McClellan into the Potomac."

Considering the fact Stuart had been two whole days on the left, within a half  mile of the Potomac and the great bend in it, one wonders that he had not  informed himself of the situation on that flank. A single horseman could have  gone, unopposed, a half mile and viewed the ground at the bend, which was to  be plainly seen from Nicodemus hill, where he had his batteries.

As Stuart's unsuccessful movement ended Confederate operations on this part of  the field and we shall have no occasion to return to it, we may as well  briefly note such changes of position as were made during the afternoon. At  half past twelve Hood's Division, now reduced to less than 800 men, returned  to the West Woods and occupied them about 300 yards west of the church. Hays'  small brigade formed in Hood's rear. The 49th North Carolina and part of the  35th after the encounter with Irwin fell back to the position from which they  had charged Greene's flank, and the 46th North Carolina advanced from the west  edge of the woods and filled an interval between the 49th and Hood. Captain  Hudgins' company of the 30th Virginia and other skirmishers were ordered to  the east edge of the woods to pick off the Union cannoneers, who were tearing  the tree tops with shot and shell, but there was such a shower of canister  poured upon them and the range being to great for their arms they fell back  into the woods under shelter. J.R. Johnson's Virginia battery, which had  fallen back with Trimble's Brigade, early in the morning, returned to the  field about 2 p.m. and took position 300 yards to the right of and in advance  of Reel's barn, a cornfield in its immediate front. It relieved Fry's Battery  of H.P. Jones' battalion and immediately became severely engaged with Union  artillery and poured an incessant and annoying fire upon Irwin's and Brooks  brigades and upon Richardson's division, all efforts to silence it were  unavailing. For some time Johnson was alone but was afterwards joined by  D'Aquin's battery, which took position on his right. Both batteries were  engaged until dark, with very little infantry for support. The batteries were  on a point of a hill, the grass was burning around them, and when the  engagement became very hot the caissons were moved to the foot of the hill to  the left, near several haystacks. They retired at 8 o'clock.

Kershaw's and Barksdale's brigades, which, since their repulse, had been lying  under cover of the fences and ledges beyond the woods, moved to the left,  Barksdale forming on Early's right and Kershaw in the northern body of the  woods on the left of Armistead. Late in the day Major Lowe, commanding  Lawton's Brigade, came up with about 100 men and joined Early. Jackson's  Division and Semmes' Brigade were in reserve. Between 3 and 4 p.m., Cooke's  27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas, and Cobb's Brigade, all out of  ammunition, were relieved by Ripley's Brigade and fell back for food and  ammunition. A little after 4 p.m., Hood and Hays moved from the West Woods and  took position in the open ground opposite the mouth of the Sunken Road, and  supporting D.H. Hill, who was lying along the fences of the Hagerstown road.  About 5 p.m. the 27th North Carolina, 3rd Arkansas and Cobb's Brigade returned  to the field. Cobb's Brigade went to the left and joined Kershaw, and Cooke's  two regiments remained until sunset, near the southwest corner of the West  Woods, and the 48th North Carolina, returning from its participation in  Stuart's movement, formed along the fence on their left. At sunset Ransom's  Brigade moved from its position behind the rocky ledge to the right and  bivouacked for the night beyond Reel's. Barksdale gained ground to the right  and occupied the position vacated by Ransom; and Van Manning's Brigade entered  the woods and formed on Barksdale's right. As completed, from right to left,  this was the disposition of the Confederate left for the night: Hood's  Division and Hays' Brigade held the open ground opposite the Sunken Road;  Ripley's Brigade held from Hood's left to the West Wood's at a point about  (100?) yards west of the Hagerstown road, Manning's Brigade held the woods  west of the church; Barksdale and Early were behind the ledge that ran from  Miller's barn, and faced the Hagerstown road; Armistead was in the north part  of the middle woods, facing nearly north, his right in rear of Early's left;  Kershaw was in the north body of the woods, on the left of Armistead, facing  northeast, and Cobb's Brigade was on Kershaw's left, facing north. Semmes'  Brigade was in reserve near the A. Poffenberger place, and Ransom was in  reserve in Hood's rear. Jackson's Division was supporting the artillery, which  was under cover of the Hauser ridge ready to run onto it, at a moment's  notice, and Stuart's cavalry covered the interval between the left of the  infantry and the Potomac.

After Stuart's brief affair on the left there was quiet on this part of the  field, with the exception of cannonading on the right and a movement of a  regiment of Irwin's Brigade, connected with operations on the line of the  Sunken Road to which we now return.

Early in the afternoon, after General Richardson had been grievously wounded,  and (sic) Hancock was directed by McClellan, in person, to take command of his  division. Having received his orders from McClellan, and some instructions  from Sumner, he proceeded to the ground. Walker presents a graphic account of  his ride: "Among the galloping staffs which cross that bloody field in the  early afternoon, arousing the momentary expectations of renewed attack, is one  of especially notable bearing, at which men gaze long as it passes down the  jagged line of troops from right to left. At its head rides a general officer  whose magnificent physique, bold air, and splendid horsemanship are well  calculated to impress the beholder. Behind him ride a group of as dashing  aids-de-camp as the army knew. It is Hancock, sent for in haste, from his  brigade of the Sixth Corps, to take command of the division at whose head the  gallant Richardson had fallen, never to mount horse or draw sword more. It is  not amid the pomp of review, with bands playing and well- ordered lines, but  on the trampled battlefield, strewn with bloody stretchers and the wreck of  caissons and ambulances, the dead and dying thick around, the wounded still  limping and crawling to the rear, with shells shrieking through the air, that  Hancock meets and greets the good regiments he is to lead in a score of  battles. The lines are ragged from shot and shell; the uniforms are rent and  soiled from hedge, fence, and ditch; the bands are engaged in carrying off the  wounded, or assisting the regimental surgeons at their improvised hospitals;  scarcely 2,100 men remain with the colors of this fine, strong division." Hancock's instructions were to hold the position. He formed the troops  occupying one line of battle in close proximity to the enemy, who were then  again in position near Piper's house. The 14th Connecticut and a detachment  from the 108th New York, both under command of Colonel Dwight Morris, were in  reserve, the whole command numbering about 2,100 men, with no artillery.  Finding a considerable interval at a dangerous point between Meagher's and  Caldwell's brigades, the 14th Connecticut was placed there, and the detachment  of the 108th on the extreme left. Application was made for two batteries of  artillery to the different commanders within reach, and to the chief of  artillery, but none could be spared at that time. He was confident, however,  of holding the position as he had been instructed, notwithstanding the absence  of artillery and that the men were already suffering severely from the shells  of the enemy, for he had a firm reliance upon the good qualities of the  troops, but was too weak to make an attack, unless an advance was made on the  right, as he had no reserves, and his line was already enfiladed by the  enemy's artillery in front of the right wing, which was screened from the fire  of the Union guns on the right, by the West Woods, then in Confederate  possession. Soon after arriving on the ground a command of the enemy, probably  George T. Anderson's, was seen in line of battle, proceeded by skirmishers  advancing across his front, beyond Piper's house, and toward Pleasonton's  batteries and the regular infantry, that had been thrown across the Antietam.  He immediately sent a pressing message to Franklin for a battery and Hexamer's  Battery of Slocum's Division was ordered to report to him. Hexamer was then in the East Woods, to which he had retired after his affair  with the battery near the church. He quickly passed to the rear, went through  the low ground around Roulette's and then up and onto the open ridge, where  most of the infantry were lying just behind its crest. The enemy had been  sweeping the ridge with artillery and Hexamer took position near its top, very  near the spot where Graham's Battery had been driven, and opened fire. At each  discharge of the guns the rebound sent them down the hill and they were rolled  up again with the cheerful assistance of the infantry, more than willing to  give a helping hand to the "Jersey Dutchman." In a very short time the enemy's  infantry disappeared from view.

While Hexamer was thus engaged, perhaps a few minutes earlier, Captain Emory  Upton, Slocum's chief of artillery, rode to Irwin's Brigade and saw Hood's  Division and Hays' Brigade marching towards the Sunken Road from the woods  beyond the church. He suggested to Irwin that a battery should be placed in  front of the left of his brigade, and Irwin, after examining the ground  attentively, acquiesced, and not a moment could be lost, as "the enemy were  moving in front with the evident design of throwing a powerful column against  his left, and they could not be seen, except from that part of the line."  General Smith approved and Upton ordered up a battery which opened with three  rifled guns, "playing on the masses of the enemy with great effect for half an  hour," when the pieces were withdraw. These guns were relieved by Williston's  Battery of Napoleon guns, the fire of which Irwin reports as "terribly  destructive."

When Williston's Battery was in full play, Piper's orchard on the left and  front was occupied by D.H. Hill's skirmishers, whom, for the protection of the  battery, Irwin says, it was necessary to dislodge, and ordered Major Thomas W.  Hyde, commanding 7th Maine to send a company and drive them away. Hyde acted  promptly and had scarcely detached the company from the regiment when Irwin  rode up and exclaimed in near these words, "That is not enough , sir; go  yourself; take your regiment and drive them from those trees and buildings,"  pointing to the orchard and the Piper buildings. Hyde was perfectly astounded  at an order to do, with his 181 officers and men, what Richardson's and  French's Divisions had failed to accomplish, and asked Irwin to repeat his  order and point out the ground again. He did so, quite emphatically, in near  the same words, and added with an oath, "Those are your orders, sir." Irwin  repeated the order several times.

To the nearest point of the orchard was about 600 yards, to the nearest of the  Piper buildings, the barn, it was a half mile. Hyde faced his regiment to the  left and led it obliquely across the front of the skirmishers of Brooks'  Vermont brigade on his left, then, coming to a front, sent out skirmishers  from the edge of the cornfield and the hollow lying west of and near the  orchard he was ordered to clear. The regiment closely followed the skirmishers  and crossed the Sunken Road, which was so filled with dead and wounded that  the mounted officers had difficulty in crossing without permitting their  horses to step on them. Hyde says his horse "had to step on them to get over."  As soon as the road was crossed, the regiment was halted in the trampled corn  to straighten the line, and, being now under fire from the front and left,  Hyde gave the order to charge, directing the regiment on a point to the right  of Piper's barn. The line dashed forward with a cheer, at a double quick, ,  down into the cup shaped hollow. D.H. Hill's men in the orchard, on the left,  being flanked and in danger of being cut off, broke and ran, and those  directly in front, at the straw stacks and Piper's barn retreated, and at this  moment a line of Confederates rose up from the stone fences of the Hagerstown  road, which were to the right and front, and poured in a volley, which,  however, did not do much damage. At this Hyde ordered the regiment to oblique  to the left which brought it behind the ridge running from the barn to the  Hagerstown road, and somewhat protected from the fire from the stone fences,  and then forward and onto the ridge at the right of the barn. Hyde was riding  a few feet in front of his regiment and as he neared the crest of the ridge he  saw a line lying down, waiting for him at the ready and another body double  quicking down Piper's lane and making for his left to cut off retreat. It was but a short time before this that George T. Anderson had led his  brigade back from the ridge beyond Piper's farm, out of the range of Hexamer's  guns, and put it under cover of the ridge that Hyde was now mounting, and  around him were the broken divisions of D.H. Hill and R.H. Anderson, some  fragments with him were under cover of the ridge and others on the Hagerstown  road and in the Piper lane, all in more or less disorder. Hill was walking up  and down, giving words of encouragement to his already twice beaten command,  when he heard the fire of the skirmishers, and going to the crest of the  ridge, saw his own skirmishers running in and Hyde advancing, and called  Anderson's attention to it, and Anderson ordered his men to lie down and await  orders, Hill sending some men down the lane to gain Hyde's left. All this Hyde saw at a glance as his men were breasting the ridge. As he was  greatly outnumbered and saw no support coming, to avoid being surrounded, he  ordered his regiment to move by the left flank before any of it had come in  sight of Hill's men, and, moving double-quick, passed Piper's barn, went  through an opening in the fence, into the orchard and very close to the lane.  Here a new danger confronted him. After Hill's fight, at noon, Major H.A.  (Herbert?), commanding Wilcox's Brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Phil Cook of  the 4th Georgia, who had some of Ripley's men with him and some of A.R.  Wright's, came to the conclusion that they could be of some service on the  right, near the Boonsboro road, and went in that direction, but did not become  engaged; on returning along the ridge they saw Hill's skirmishers retreating  from the orchard, and reached Piper's lane, east of the house and opposite the  southeast corner of the orchard, just as Hyde passed through the fence and  into the southwest corner, and immediately opened fire. Hyde returned the  fire, then faced about and retreated up the hill into the orchard and formed  on a small crest, were he poured another volley into (Herbert's?) men, who  were hanging on his left, and faced George T. Anderson, who had now charged  from the ridge behind which he had been secreted.  Hyde was now exposed to a severe fire from three direction and the enemy  advancing upon him in force. He saw four battle-flags, and a battery opened  upon him with grape. Although somewhat shielded by the apple trees, he lost  here quite heavily. Hexamer's and Williston's batteries shelled the orchard,  which aided him some, but, having expended most of his ammunition, he ordered  a retreat; gave the enemy another volley as they attempted to follow, got  through the strong picket fences with difficulty and, closing up on the  colors, the regiment went back through the corn and across the Sunken Road;  received the hearty cheers of the Vermont brigade, and resumed the position  from which it had advanced. It had been gone about 30 minutes and lost 88 in  killed, wounded and missing.

When Irwin saw to what a serious engagement he had committed the Maine men, he  was very anxious to support them, but his orders were positive not to advance  his line, so he rode forward and requested the colonel of the right regiment  of Brooks' Brigade to support them, which he declined to do without orders  from Brooks. He then returned to his own line to ask for a support from the  rear, but in a few minutes "had the extreme pleasure of seeing the shattered  but brave remnant of the 7th Maine in good order return to my lines." He adds:  "No words of mine can do justice to the firmness, intelligence, and heroic  courage with which this regiment performed its dangerous task. Their killed  and wounded and their colors riddled by balls are the proud, yet melancholy,  witness of their valor."

In his "Following the Greek Cross," Hyde writes: "When we knew our efforts  were resultant from no plan or design from headquarters, but were from an  imposition of John Barleycorn in our brigade commander alone, I wished I had  been old enough, or distinguished enough, to have dared to disobey orders." The Confederate reports of this affair are meager. D.H. Hill says: A movement  of a rather farcical character now took place. General Pryor had collected  quite a respectable force behind a stone wall on the Hagerstown road, and  Colonel G.T. Anderson had about a regiment behind a hill immediately to the  right of this road. A Maine regiment came down to this hill wholly unconscious  that there were any Confederate troops near it. A shout and a volley informed  them of their dangerous neighborhood. The Yankee apprehension is acute; the  idea was soon taken in, and was followed by the most rapid running I ever  saw." George T. Anderson says: "General Hill...called my attention to a line  of the enemy advancing apparently to attack us. Suffering them to come near  us, I ordered my command to charge them, which they did in splendid style and  good order, killing and wounding many of the enemy, taking several prisoners,  and routing the remainder. We could not pursue them as far as I wished,  because of the severe fire of artillery directed against us from long range  guns that we could not reach. In this charge parts of Wilcox's, Featherston's,  and Pryor's brigades participated with mine." 

The artillery fire referred to by Anderson and which checked his pursuit of  the 7th Maine came from the batteries of Hexamer and Williston in front and  from Hains' Battery, just in advance of the middle bridge. Williston opened  upon Anderson as he charged from the ridge and followed him into the orchard,  firing over the heads of the Maine men when they rallied in the orchard.  Hexamer saw the preparations made to meet Hyde and opened upon Herbert as he  approached Piper's lane from the south and continued it when he pursued Hyde  through the orchard. The fire of both Williston and Hexamer inflicted some  casualties upon Hyde, but it did much to enable him to rally and make an  orderly retreat.

Hexamer was now out of ammunition and, being relieved by Woodruff's Battery,  went back to the East Woods. Williston remained in position until dark and  then went back to Mumma's orchard. When Woodruff took position it was on the  right of Hancock's left brigade, with orders not to fire except in reply to a  Confederate battery or in case of an attack by them. Late in the evening  Lieutenant A.C.M. Pennington, with a section of Tidball's Battery of horse  artillery, took position on an elevated ridge on Hancock's left and engaged a  Confederate battery near some stacks beyond the Hagerstown road, doing  material service by precision of fire in concealing the weakness of the  position. Pickets were thrown out as far as possible, a very short distance,  for D.H. Hill's skirmishers were again advanced to the northern part of the  orchard.

French's Division, which had opened the fight in the (forenoon?), on this part  of the field, had gone by detachments to the rear and, with the exception of  the 14th Connecticut and 108th New York, was in the vicinity of the Roulette  place, as a reserve and Owens' Rhode Island battery, which from the vicinity  of the Clipp house had been directed late in the day to fire a few shots  toward the corner of the woods near the church, was advanced beyond Brooks'  left and took position on the knoll where the right of Kimball's Brigade had  done its fighting.

On the extreme right Sumner mad dispositions to support the powerful line of  artillery on the Poffenberger hill, two guns of Hampton's Battery were moved  from the barn farther to the right and front and Captain John A.(Hazard's)  Rhode Island battery went into position at the northwest corner of the East  Woods. When Williston's Battery was sent to the front and left to strengthen  Irwin, Wolcott's Maryland Battery was moved from its position north of the  Smoketown road and took the ground vacated by Williston. Late in the day  Wolcott sent four guns of his battery a little to the left to break up a cross  fire of the enemy upon him by which several of his horses had been lost. About  5:30 p.m. Greene's Division and Gordon's Brigade of the twelfth Corps were  ordered by McClellan to the support of the left of Franklin's Corps, south of  the Smoketown road. These movements completed the dispositions for the night  from the extreme right of the Union line to its center and the troops lay upon  their arms, amid the dead and wounded, of the most bloody contest in history. Hooker, with the First Corps, numbering 8,619 infantry, opened the battle at  daybreak and was repulsed with a loss of 399 killed 1978 wounded, an aggregate  of 2377, or 27 1/2 per cent of those engaged. Mansfield followed with the  Twelfth Corps, numbering 7,239 infantry, and drove the enemy with a loss of  274 killed and 1371 wounded, an aggregate of 1645, or 22 772/100 per cent of  the number engaged. Sedgwick, with his division of 5437 infantry, was then  engaged and repulsed with a loss of 369 killed and 1572 wounded, an aggregate  of 1941 or 35 1/4 per cent. All those losses were incurred in four hours, at,  north, and east of the Dunkard Church, and mostly within a half mile of it. French's Division went into action at the Sunken Road, with 5740 infantry, and  had 299 killed and 1315 wounded, an aggregate of 1614, or a trifle over 28  percent of the numbers engaged. Richardson's Division followed French's with  4039 infantry, and had 209 killed and 936 wounded, an aggregate of 1145, or  over 28 per cent.

In these successive attacks the Union troops, not including Irwin's Brigade,  numbered (31,000?) infantry, of whom 1550 were killed and 7172 wounded, an  aggregate of 8722 killed and wounded, being a little over 28 per cent of the  number engaged.

 The Confederate forces meeting these successive attacks, and attacking in  return, were Jackson's Division of 1784 infantry; Ewell's Division of 3904;  Hood's Division of 2,000; G.T. Anderson's Brigade of 590; McLaws' Division of  2823; Walker's Division of 3764; R.H. Anderson's Division of 3672; and D.H.  Hill's Division of 5449, an aggregate of 23, 986 infantry.

The losses in these commands were: Jackson's Division 597 killed and wounded,  or 33 1/2 per cent; Ewell's Division 1296 or 32 1/5 per cent; Hood's Division  915 or 40 and 3/4 per cent; McLaws' Division 1068 or 37 83/100 per cent;  Walker's Division 1006 or 26 73/100 per cent; R.H. Anderson's Division, 1110  or 30 22/100 per cent; D.H. Hill's Division 1716 or 31 1/2 per cent; and G.T.  Anderson Brigade 85 or 14 1/2 per cent. Of these 1304 were killed and 6489  wounded, an aggregate of 7793 killed and wounded, being 32 49/100 per cent of  the 23,986 engaged. Some regiments lost as low as 10 percent, others exceeded  50, and at least two reached 85 per cent. 

In all, on both sides 55,950 infantry were engaged on this part of the field,  with a loss 2854 killed and 13,661 wounded, an aggregate of 16,515, or 30 per  cent of the number engaged. Including the loss in the artillery and in Irwin's  Brigade, the killed and wounded numbered about 17,200. More than three-fourths  of this loss occurred in the less than four and a half hours fighting from 6  a.m. to nearly 10.30 a.m., and within 1,100 yards of the Dunkard Church; all  of it occurred by 1 o'clock in the afternoon and within 1,200 yards of the  church. Referring to the action, closing about half past ten, and of the field  over which Hooker, Mansfield and Sedgwick had fought, which was about 1,500  yards in length, with an average width of about 900 yards, an area of about  300 acres; upon which over 13,500 had fallen, General Tidball truly says: "No  other equal area on the American continent has been so drenched in human  blood."

The Middle Bridge: Daybreak to Dusk


The V Corps and the Advance of Pleasonton's Cavalry Division

by Ezra A. Carman (originally Chapter 20)

At daybreak of the 17th the bold bluff bordering the east bank of the Antietam  was crowned with 46 heavy, long range guns. North of the Keedysville road were  the batteries of Wever, Langner, and Kusserow--20-pounder Parrott guns--and  soon after daybreak Hazlett's Battery of Parrott guns was placed in the  position occupied on the preceding day by Taft's, von Kleiser and Weed.  Durell's Battery was put on Weed's left early in the morning and Benjamin's  was still farther to the left and rear, overlooking Sharpsburg and the country  below it. They swept most of the ground between them and the Union troops.  They were well-served, especially the guns of Benjamin's Battery, whose field  of fire was extensive, reaching as far as the Dunkard Church. From early  morning until late in the day these batteries engaged the enemy's guns and  fired upon their infantry, and their fire was very destructive upon the  divisions of Ewell, Jackson, Hood and D.H. Hill, and inflicted much loss on  the Confederates who were contending against the advance of French and  Richardson at the Sunken Road. The batteries on the extreme left were  supported by Burnside's Ninth Corps, those in the center and on the left by  Porter's Fifth Corps.

 Sykes Division held the line and supported the artillery south of the  Keedysville road, three batteries of reserve artillery--Graham's, Miller's and  Van Reed's--being in rear of Buchanan's Brigade, which was on the right of the  division; Lovell's Brigade was on the left of Buchanan's, Warren's small  brigade of two New York regiments and Randol's Battery were to the left and  rear, covering the approaches in the direction of Harper's Ferry and  connecting with the right of Burnside. About 9 a.m. Morell's Division relieved  Richardson, on the right of Sykes. Waterman's and A.P. Martin's batteries were  thrown forward, onto the bluff, the former joining in the fire of the heavy  guns. Not including Humphreys Division which did not reach the field until the  morning of the 18th, Porter's strength as reported by McClellan was 12,930,  and, including the Reserve Artillery, he had 78 guns.

Pleasonton's cavalry division bivouacked on the night of the 16th in the west  suburbs of Keedysville. While the battle was raging on the right the heavy  batteries were already engaged, but Pleasonton's cavalry and Porter's infantry  were idle. One of McClellan's staff says: "During these operations the clamor  of the artillery along the whole line of battle was incessant. We could hear  the distant muttering of musketry from the flanks, but Sumner's movement had  evidently come to a stand. This produced a lull in the battle within out  sight, and I had leisure to remark upon the headquarters group immediately  about me. In the midst was a small redan built of fence rails, behind which  sat General Fitz John Porter, who, with a telescope resting on the top rail,  studied the field with unremitting attention, scarcely leaving his post during  the whole day. His observations he communicated to the commander by nods,  signs, or in words so low toned and brief that the nearest by-standers had but  little benefit from them. When not engaged with Porter, McClellan...was  intently watching the battle...and conversing with surrounding officers and  giving his orders in the most quiet undertones.... Everything was as quiet and  punctilious as a drawing-room ceremony."

From this position McClellan viewed the progress of the action at the Sunken  Road, with a studied calmness of manner that scarcely concealed the underlying  excitement, and, when affairs seem to (sic) going well, exclaimed: "By George,  this is a magnificent field, and if we win this fight it will cover all our  errors and misfortunes forever." Up to this time not an infantry soldier or  cavalryman had crossed the middle bridge that morning, nor had a demonstration  been made beyond it, nor any action taken to relieve the pressure on the  right, but Pleasonton had been ordered forward, and was then moving on the  road in the direction of the bridge with six regiments and a squadron of  cavalry, and the batteries of Gibson, Tidball, Hains, and Robertson. He was  under orders to take position beyond the bridge and support the left of  Sumner's line. Finding the enemy had a crossfire of artillery on the bridge,  and sharpshooters covering it, he first threw forward cavalry skirmishers, and  then advanced Tidball's Battery by piece to drive off the sharpshooters with  canister.

The advance was led by Captain S.B.M. Young, with a squadron of the 4th  Pennsylvania Cavalry, followed by Lieutenant W.N. Dennison's section of  Tidball's Battery. On nearing the bridge the column came under the fire of the  Washington Artillery on Cemetery hill, and of H.P. Jones' batteries on the  ridge, north, but Young pushed on, dashed across the bridge, passed the  pickets of the 12th U.S. Infantry, that had crossed the night before, and  charged up the long hill to its crest, 675 yards from the bridge, and, as he  reached this point, still in the road, a shell was exploded in his ranks,  killing and mortally wounding four men. Young immediately deployed on either  side of the road and engaged the Confederate infantry near the west foot of  the ridge, under cover of the stone fences lining the road.

This body of infantry was a detachment of Colonel George T. Anderson's  Brigade, under command of Captain H.D.D. Twigg, 1st Georgia Regulars. Late in  the afternoon of the 16th Twiggs had been ordered to take charge of this  detail of 85 to 100 men, and do picket duty between Sharpsburg and the  Antietam. He took position to the east of the town, on a rise of ground about  midway between the Antietam and the Keedysville road, and threw out  skirmishers. He was not recalled to join his brigade, when it moved to the  left, on the morning of the 17th, and when an officer of the advanced picket  post reported the approach of cavalry and artillery, he selected 20 of his  best sharpshooters and hastened to the road, placing his men behind the stone  fences on either side of it, at the foot of the hill, and when Young appeared  opened fire upon him with such effect as to drive him back. Young again  advanced and attacked. By this time Dennison's section of artillery came up  and was pushed forward to the highest point of the road; it had scarcely  unlimbered when Twigg, who had now called up his reserve and assembled his  entire force behind the stone fences, drove the cannoneers from their guns,  and it was with much difficulty that they were withdrawn from their exposed  position and, while withdrawing, the Confederate batteries on Cemetery hill  dropped shell and solid shot among the men and guns.

Meanwhile, Young was skirmishing with Twiggs, whose men were well protected,  and Colonel Childs came up with the main body of the 4th Pennsylvania, which  he halted before reaching the crest of the ridge, while he went forward, on  the right of the road, to reconnoiter. He immediately saw that the place was  not proper for cavalry and was returning to report the fact to Pleasonton and  to bring up support to Young and the artillery, and, when on or very near the  road, a few yards east of the crest, was struck by a cannon shot, fell from  his horse, and died within an hour.

The other two sections of Tidball's Battery had already followed Childs and  his regiment and, turning to the right were run by hand up the ridge, too a  point about 160 yards from the road and immediately opened fire upon the  enemy's batteries on the ridge beyond; Dennison's section following. Hains'  Battery followed Tidball and formed on his left, one section north of the  road, the other on its left.

 It came into action under a heavy fire of artillery, directed particularly  upon the right section, and was annoyed by Twiggs' men, who were in good rifle  range. Robertson's Battery followed Hains and went into position 80 yards to  his left and rear, coming immediately under fire of the guns on Cemetery hill.  Gibson's Battery followed Robertson and took position between him and Hains.  Pleasonton says the plan of sending forward cavalry skirmishers and advancing  Tidball's Battery by piece "in a short time succeeded in clearing the front  sufficiently to obtain positions for Gibson's, Robertson's, Tidball's and  Hains' batteries, who opened upon the enemy with good effect, having a direct  fire in front and an enfilading fire in front of Sumner's Corps on the right,  and supporting the left of Burnside's Corps, the distance to Sumner's Corps  being nearly a mile, and something greater to that of Burnside, my force being  the only one in front, connecting the two corps."

Meanwhile Twiggs was keeping up his fire upon the batteries, especially  Tidball, which, from its advanced and more exposed position, presented a good  target, until a battery beyond the Antietam, probably Weed's, enfiladed his  position and he retreated precipitously, some of his men halting under cover  of some haystacks and a stone fence near the position from which he had  advanced, where, joined by some of the 17th South Carolina, they renewed their  fire and remained until driven back by the advance of the 2nd and 10th U.S.  Infantry.

The cavalry followed the artillery across the bridge under a terrific fire of  artillery, by which many saddles were emptied, and formed in rear of the horse  batteries. The 4th Pennsylvania until relieved by the advance of the regular  infantry, remained on the right of the road, and the 5th U.S. Cavalry formed  on its left. On the left of the road were the 6th and a squadron of the 8th  Pennsylvania, 3rd Indiana, 8th Illinois and 1st Massachusetts. Some of the  regiments were beyond the Newcomer barn and close up to Robertson's Battery;  others on the left and rear of the barn within a few yards of the Antietam.  All were under fire; shell and spherical case exploded over them and solid  shot, directed at the batteries, skipping over the elevation in front, dropped  among them. One of the officers thought the round shot were endowed with  military intelligence: "As they came to a certain point of the ridge in front  and missed their mark, they evidently saw the cavalry under the hill and began  to descend into the ranks, and everybody ducked their heads." The position of the cavalry was certainly an uncomfortable one. Most of the  shot and shell directed at the batteries in front, flew over the heads of the  artillerymen and dropped into its ranks, while it could do absolutely nothing,  not even see the enemy; and the nature of the ground, fences, and ravines was  such as to have made efficient action as cavalry very difficult, if it had  been called upon to repel an attack on the guns. Several times during the day  the men mounted and drew sabers, as all supposed, to charge, but were  dismounted again without attempting anything. The fire of Lee's artillery was  fierce, and, together with that of the Union guns in the immediate rear, made  a noise infernal and deafening. The historian of the 1st Massachusetts says:  "the air was full of shot and shell, which had the curious effect of putting  the men to sleep. Everywhere could be seen groups of men fast asleep." General John C. Tidball, in the "Journal of the Military Service Institution,"  Vol. 12 (1891), p. 955, says: "The cavalry that had crossed the bridge,  finding itself greatly exposed and without the power of acting, took shelter  in hollows and under the banks of the creek. At this period of the war the  cavalry had not yet fallen into the hands of those who knew the proper use to  make of it." Another, a gallant young cavalry officer later in the war, says:  "It is one of the surprising features of this surprising battle that the  Federal cavalry, instead of being posted, according to the practice of the  centuries, on the flanks of the infantry, was used throughout the day in  support of its own horse batteries, in rear of the Federal center, and in a  position from which it would have been impossible for it to have been used as  cavalry, or even to have emerged mounted."

The horse batteries crossed the Antietam and went into position on the ridge  just after Lee had given directions to his chief of artillery to put his most  powerful batteries along the crest in front of Sharpsburg, and engage those  beyond the Antietam that were so annoying his infantry, but before this could  be effected the 24 pieces of Pleasonton opened such a spirited and accurate  fire, as not only to prevent the establishment of other batteries in their  front, but to drive under cover those already there, and as occasion offered  they they directed their fir to the right upon the Confederates opposing  Richardson and French and to the left upon the troops confronting Burnside.  Although Twiggs had been driven from their immediate front these batteries  were still annoyed by sharpshooters of Evans' Brigade, that, under cover of  the stone and rail fences, rock ledges in the fields and other protection,  kept up a severe fire upon them, especially Tidball's, that the cavalry  skirmishers were not able to silence, and Pleasonton called upon Captain M.M.  Blunt of the 1st Battalion, 12th U.S. Infantry, then at the bridge, to advance  a line of skirmishers and drive them away from Tidball's front, which was  immediately done by Captain Frederick Winthrop. Soon after this General Sykes  ordered Blunt's battalion to advance to Tidball's support and Winthrop  deployed his company in skirmishing order down the road and in the fields  south of it, to the left of the battery, the battalion moving in the field as  a support.

When Sykes ordered Blunt forward from the bridge, he ordered the 2nd and 10th  U.S. Infantry (consolidated), under command of Lieutenant John S. Poland, to  cross the Antietam and support Blunt. Poland crossed over, filed to the left,  and came up to Blunt's Battalion on the (level?) near the stream. Advancing  beyond Winthrop's skirmishers he deployed seven companies as skirmishers to  the left of the batteries, holding five companies in reserve. The entire  battalion was south of the road.

While Poland was doing this the horse batteries ran out of ammunition and were  relieved by two batteries of Porter's Corps; Robertson and Gibson being  relieved by Lieutenant A.M. Randol, commanding Battery E and G (consolidated),  1st U.S. Artillery. Gibson, after replenishing ammunition, took position on  the bluff east of the Antietam and on the north side of the road, where he  remained during the day. One section of Robertson's Battery, under command of  Lieutenant Albert O. Vincent, moved northwest about 860 yards and took  position on the left of Richardson's Division, where, as we have seen, it  became engaged and remained until relieved by Graham's Battery, when it  recrossed the Antietam. Battery K, 5th U.S. Artillery, Lieutenant William E.  Van Reed, relieved Tidball and Hains, taking position about 75 yards north of  the road. Sykes reports that it was against his judgment that he sent Randol's  and Van Reed's batteries across the Antietam, and with them (four?) additional  battalions of regular infantry, under the command of Captain Hiram Dryer.  We give place to an incident along Morell's line east of the Antietam. The  historian of the 118th Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Corn Exchange Regiment)  says:  "At noon the combat raged in all its fierceness. It was near this hour when  General McClellan, with his huge and imposing staff, rode upon the ground  occupied by our division. The deep and abiding enthusiasm that habitually  followed him, promptly greeted him. Shout, yells, and cheers of appreciation  rent the air. This unusual noise, so loud that it was borne above the din of  battle, to the enemy's line, brought on a vigorous and persistent shelling.  Regardless of the flying, bursting missiles, there he sat astride his splendid  charger, glass in hand, calmly reviewing the mighty hosts, whose discomfiture  with his trusted legions he was bent upon that day accomplishing. Intent, no  doubt, on securing some permanent advantage at this particular point, he  turned suddenly to Colonel Webb, of his staff, who subsequently won  imperishable fame in command of the Philadelphia brigade at Gettysburg, and  after a few moments of hurried instructions, dispatched him on his mission  down into the valley--down into the very jaws of death. The smoke of the  conflict soon engulfed him, and he was lost to view entirely."

Where Webb went on his mission, into the "very jaws of death," on the peaceful  side of the Antietam is not of record, but it was soon thereafter, that Poland  was seen leading his men down to the road from the left and thence across the  bridge and expectations ran high that now the Fifth Corps was to advance and  engage the enemy, and thus relieve the pressure on the right and pierce the  center; but these expectations were not realized.

Poland was soon followed by the 2nd Battalion, 14th U.S. Infantry, Captain  D.B. McKibbin. McKibbin says he was ordered to move at 1 p.m. to support some  batteries. After crossing the stream he marched up the road some distance,  filed to the right, halted his command under the crest of a knoll, relieving  the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, in support of a battery in front, and sent one  company, under Captain Horace K. Thatcher, as skirmishers, to relieve those of  the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Captain Young, and these became engaged  with the skirmishers of Twiggs and those of Evans' Brigade. Upon being  relieved by McKibbin the Pennsylvania Cavalry fell back to the Newcomer barn. As the advance of the regular infantry practically relieved the cavalry from  any further duty on this part of the field we shall here dispose of it and  dismiss it from our narrative. At 1 p.m. the squadron of the 8th Pennsylvania  recrossed the bridge, marched up the east bank of the Antietam, recrossed to  the west side at Neikirk's and took position with a squadron of the 12th  Pennsylvania Cavalry on high ground southwest of Kennedy's, near where  Richardson formed for his advance. The two squadrons were here engaged in  gathering stragglers, upon which duty they remained until night, when they  rejoined their division near Keedysville. At 3 p.m., the 1st Massachusetts  moved across the road to the right and marched about 500 yards to the cover of  a ridge where it remained free from casualty or any apparent duty until late  in the day when it recrossed the upper Antietam. Under McClellan's order of 4  p.m., to send two squadrons to report to Meade, the 3rd Indiana and 8th  Illinois moved up the west bank of the Antietam and bivouacked in rear of the  right wing of the infantry. The 5th United States, 4th and 6th Pennsylvania  remained until the horse batteries were withdrawn and accompanied them to the  bivouac near Keedysville.

The cavalry was not as usefully employed as it should have been, and  Pleasonton was disgusted at the enforced inaction; McClellan gives it these  few words, and they tell the whole story: "The cavalry had little field for  operations during the engagement, but was employed in supporting the horse  batteries in the center, and in driving up stragglers, while awaiting  opportunity for other service." We return to the regular infantry. At 2 p.m. Sykes ordered Captain Hiram Dryer, commanding 4th U.S. Infantry, to  cross the bridge with his regiment and the 1st Battalion of the 14th, Captain  Harvey W. Brown, and take command of the regular infantry on that side of the  stream, consisting, in all, of the 2nd and 10th, 4th, 1st Battalion of the  12th, and the two battalions of the 14th. The command aggregated about 140  men; 400 in the 2nd and 10th; 320 in the 4th; 280 in the 12th, and 640 in the  14th. Dryer's orders were to "support the batteries and to dislodge the enemy  from certain haystacks in a field on the right (left) of the road." Meanwhile Randol's Battery had retired. As soon as it had taken position,  relieving Gibson and Robertson, it opened a fire of spherical case upon the  flank of a Confederate battery on Cemetery hill, which soon retired out of  range. Being somewhat annoyed by the enemy's skirmishers, who were behind the  stone fences and hidden in the cornfield in his front, Randol had Poland  advance his skirmishers to the front of the guns, which was some relief. But  as his position was an unfavorable one for the use of his guns he was directed  by Pleasonton to retire; Sykes says he "very properly withdrew his battery."  He was engaged but a short time, had no losses, and resumed his position with  the reserve, beyond the Antietam.

Dryer had now come up, it was nearly or quite 3 o'clock when he crossed the  Antietam, and Van Reed's Battery was the only one in position, but, in a very  few minutes, Tidball, who had fed his men and horses and replenished his  ammunition, returned to his former (position) on Van Reed's right, and both  became engaged with such Confederate batteries as had the temerity to show  themselves, and fired at such bodies of infantry as came within view,  especially upon D.H. Hill's men, on the Piper farm, and those that were  opposing Burnside, who had now crossed the lower bridge and was advancing on  Sharpsburg. It was about 3 o'clock when Pleasonton asked McClellan for more  infantry, and at 3.30 p.m., his request was thus answered by the chief of  staff: "General McClellan directs me to say he has no infantry to spare.  Confer with Major General Porter, and if he cannot support your batteries,  withdraw them."

About 3.30 p.m., under Pleasonton's orders, the right section of Tidball's  Battery, in charge of Lieutenant A.C.M. Pennington, advanced about 650 yards  to the right and front, and took position on the left and front of  Richardson's Division and engaged a battery west of the Hagerstown road and a  few yards north of where Piper's lane intersects it.

With the 4th U.S. Infantry and the 1st Battalion of the 14th Dryer advanced  over the Newcomer ridge, in column, exposed to a severe fire, and halted on  the right of Poland's command, which had been deployed as skirmishers, with  the right resting on the road, between the crest of the hill occupied by the  artillery and the end of the Sunken Road. Dryer ordered Poland to advance with  his skirmishers to the front and left, and take possession of some haystacks  in a field about 150 yards to the front and 300 yards to the left of the road.  At the same time Lieutenant C.H. Carlton was directed to deploy to the three  leading companies of the 4th Infantry, about 120 men, to the right of the road  and advance near the crest of a ridge about 250 yards in front, Dryer using  the remaining five companies of the regiment as a support. Poland and Carlton  moved promptly to their allotted work and Dryer deployed his five companies on  the right of the road and the 1st Battalion of the 14th on the left, its right  resting on the road.

Before following the advance of this thin line, let us note what had been  transpiring in its front and what it has to encounter. Early in the morning  Cemetery hill was occupied by the batteries of Squires, Miller and Bachman,  and, on the extension of the ridge, north of the road, where the four  batteries of H.P. Jones' Battalion. These seven batteries were supported by  the brigades of George T. Anderson, Garnett, and Evans. During the forenoon  Miller's Battery and a section of Bachman's, with George T. Anderson's  Brigade, were sent to the left, and Jones' guns, that could not cope with the  heavier guns beyond the Antietam, were retired under cover of the ridge, and  one battery was sent to the left. During the forenoon Jones again ascended the  ridge with three batteries and at noon these were in position: Squires'  Battery of four guns, one section of Bachman's, the three batteries of Jones,  with Boyce's Battery farther to the left with D.H. Hill. This artillery was  supported by Garnett's Virginia brigade of 260 men and Evans' South Carolina  brigade of 280 men. Garnett was on Cemetery hill, in rear of the artillery. He  says, "as far as practicable the command was sheltered in a hollow in rear of  the artillery...where for four or five hours it was subjected to an almost  uninterrupted fire of solid shot, shell, and spherical case, from the guns  beyond the Antietam, by which a number of men were killed and wounded, which  casualties were borne by the troops with remarkable firmness and steadiness."  All this was before noon, after which he was ordered forward on the brow of  the hill to annoy the artillery, and where he was more exposed than in his  former position, and suffered considerably. "At length," says Garnett, "for  some cause unknown to me, a large portion of the pieces were withdrawn, and I  moved my command farther back to a more secure place."

Evans small South Carolina brigade was divided. On the evening of the 16th the  Holcombe Legion and 17th South Carolina, both under command of Colonel F.W.  McMaster, not numbering over 100 officers and men, were sent to the right and  front of Cemetery hill, to Sherrick's lane, and Twiggs' detail from George T.  Anderson's Brigade took post on their left and front. Everything was quiet  until about 1 p.m. of the 17th, when Twiggs and the skirmishers were driven in  and rallied on the left, some of Twiggs' men stopping at the haystacks and at  a stone fence near them. Soon after this McMaster was informed by an officer  of Squires' Battery that a Union battery had proved quite destructive to  Squires, and that he would be compelled to discontinue firing unless it was  silenced, upon which McMaster "immediately sent out about 25 volunteers, who  silenced the battery of the enemy for some time." Three regiments of Evans'  Brigade, the 18th, 22nd, and 23rd, under command of Colonel P.F. Stevens, were  on the left of the road, supporting the batteries that, from time to time,  were pushed forward to the crest of the ridge and almost as quickly obliged to  fall back before the fire of the guns beyond the Antietam, and, later in the  day, by those of the horse batteries. The 18th South Carolina, under command  of Colonel William Wallace, was on the left, acting as a support to Boyce's  Battery; the 23rd, Captain S.A. Durham, and 22nd, Major H. Hilton, were near  the road and in front of the artillery, and for a great part of the time  between the fire of the contending batteries, and exposed to the heavy and  continuous shelling of the Union guns, but, being deployed in skirmishing  order, sought cover and did not suffer much loss. When Pleasonton's horse  batteries advanced and used canister upon them, the skirmishers fell back, but  as the fire ceased they again went cautiously forward, but not as far as the  advanced position from which the canister had driven them.

D.H. Hill says it was about 4 o'clock, Anderson says it was earlier, "and  Burnside's corps was moving to attack our right. A heavy column was advancing  up the Boonsboro Pike, and I ordered up some 200 or 300 men, under command of  Colonel G.T. Anderson, to the knoll commanding Sharpsburg, but they were  exposed to an enfilade fire from a battery near the church on the Hagerstown  pike, and compelled to retire." The position on the ridge, vacated by  Anderson, was soon occupied by portions of Colquitt's and Garland's brigades.  It will be remembered that when Colquitt and Garland were disposed of by  Greene's Division, early in the day, some of the men were rallied on Rodes'  left, in the Sunken Road, but many of them continued their retreat to  Sharpsburg. Captain Garrett, 5th North Carolina, went into town, hoping to get  up with them, and met General Lee in the street, to whom he reported the  misfortune that had befallen them, and asked for directions. Lee ordered him  to rally all the stragglers he could, without regard to what command they  belonged and report with them to General Evans. Only about 50 men of his own  regiment could be found, but, with the assistance of others, about 150 men  were rallied and carried up to Evans, on the ridge north of town. These were  formed in line, under Garrett's command, along with other stragglers, and all  placed under command of Colonel Alfred Iverson of the 20th North Carolina.  Evans reports that, with the assistance of his staff and after considerable  exertion, he succeeded in collecting about 250 men and officers, whom he  formed into two commands, and placed them under the command of Colonels  Colquitt and Iverson of D.H. Hill's Division. These small commands supported  the three regiments of Evans' Brigade.

Meanwhile Bachman's two guns, running out of ammunition, had withdrawn from  Cemetery hill, and the line of the ridge was held by Squires' Battery of four  guns, south of the road, supported by Garnett's Brigade of 260 men and  McMaster's command of about 190 men, including Twiggs. On the left of the road  were twelve guns of H.P. Jones' Battalion; Boyce's Battery, now reduced to 2  guns, and 1 gun of Bondurant's Battery. These 15 guns were supported were  supported by Colquitt, Iverson and Evans, with about 430 men. In all there  were 19 guns and about 870 infantry in Dryer's front, when he was forming for  an advance, but, before the advance was ordered, Colonel Stephen D. Lee, came  up with 10 guns, under Longstreet's orders to take position on the right and  left of the road, relieving Colonel Walton's Washington Artillery. Four guns  of Moody's Battery were placed on the right of the road, between it and  Squires' Battery; two guns of Jordan's Battery on the left of the road and  about 150 yards from it, two guns of Parker's some distance to the left of  Jordan's, and a gun of Rhett's Battery on a ridge of the Hagerstown road about  600 yards from the main street of the town. Parker's guns were somewhat late  in coming up, and when moving to position some if not all of Jones' guns were  retiring. Jones' 12 guns were not all on the ridge at the same time. During  the afternoon his batteries had relieved each other by turns but all were  available.

Before Lee's guns took position on the east slope of Cemetery hill, Captain  Hugh P. Garden's South Carolina Battery of 6 guns crossed the Burnside bridge  road. About the same time Jenkins' South Carolina Brigade of 755 officers and  men, under command of Colonel Joseph Walker, crossed the Burnside bridge road  from the west and was held in support of Squires' Battery and the right  section of Moody's. Garden's Battery and Jenkins' Brigade were engaged  principally, if not wholly, with Burnside's troops, and are not to be included  among those who opposed Dryer's advance, but, by their presence on Garnett's  right, they gave his men moral support.

When Colonel Lee put Moody's guns in position, on the edge of a cornfield,  Garnett sent the 56th Virginia, 40 men, to protect them from the Union  sharpshooters. The Virginians advanced into the standing corn, and became  immediate engaged with Poland's skirmishers, now advancing.

Captain Dryer had halted in the ravine separating the two parallel ridges and  ordered the two commands of Poland and Carlton to advance, as skirmishers, on  either side of the road. Poland had 400 men and Carlton 120, and it was this  line of 520 men, that went forward over open ground, against 20 to 25 guns,  favorably posted on a commanding ridge and supported by 870 infantry. The  advance of Poland and Carlton was made at the same moment, but we first  consider that of Poland. When Poland was ordered to take the haystacks on his  left and front, five companies of his command were in reserve. These he  deployed on his right, in skirmishing order, and the entire line, quite a long  (one), went forward, ascended the slope of a hill and, under a heavy fire of  canister from Squires' and Moody's guns in front, and some guns beyond the  road on the right, and from Garnett's skirmishers, pushed over the high  ground, passed the haystacks, where some of Twiggs' men and others of the 17th  South Carolina were captured, drove back McMaster, who, at the same time was  attacked on the right by the advance of Burnside, and, reaching Sherrick's  lane, halted under the cover of the fence and became closely and sharply  engaged. He had advanced about 385 yards. The right of the line, not hearing  the order to halt at the lane fence, went some distance beyond and, Poland  reports, "by well directed fire compelled the enemy's cannoneers to leave  their guns. At this juncture the fire from our own batteries compelled them to  fall back to the fence, as their shells fell short." Referring to this advance  on Moody's guns, Colonel S.D. Lee says: "At one time their infantry was within  150 yards of our batteries, when, by a charge of our supporting infantry, they  were driven back." Poland's right rested on the road to Sharpsburg and  extended to the left, along the lane fence, about 450 yards in the direction  of Sherrick's house. After reaching this position the Confederates in his  front were reinforced; Garnett advanced his entire brigade, its left in front  and on the flanks of the two left guns of Moody's Battery, in the cornfield;  and the 56th Virginia, then in front, was recalled to a position on the left  of the brigade, close to the road. The fighting now became general along the  entire line of the brigade, which was in very open order, covering ground  around to the southern slope of the hill.

Carlton deployed his three companies of the 4th U.S. Infantry, as skirmishers  on the right of the road, advanced through a small triangular shaped cornfield  of about (three?) acres, lying adjacent to the road, and, driving some of  Evans' skirmishers before him, gained the crest of some high ground about 150  yards beyond the cornfield, and on a line with Poland, who was on the left of  the road. Here the skirmishers were immediately halted until Dryer could  position his supports.

When Poland and Carlton had gained some distance Dryer advanced the five  companies of the 4th Infantry to the west part of the triangular cornfield,  and concealed them as much as possible in the tall corn, and Brown's Battalion  of the 14th Infantry advanced in line to the protection of a deep ravine, on  the south side of the road, opposite the mouth of the Sunken Road. The 2nd  Battalion of the 14th advanced beyond the batteries and took position in a  ravine, on the right of the 4th, with skirmishers thrown to the crest of the  ridge in its front. It was under a heavy fire of shot and shell , but, being  well sheltered, had one man only wounded. The 4th on its left, on higher  ground, suffered some casualties. The 4th and the two battalions of the of the  14th made no farther advance, and the fighting was done by Poland's and  Carlton's skirmishers, whom Dryer, with his three battalions had closely  supported, and halted only when Poland was brought to a stand in front of the  enemy's artillery and infantry.

When Evans saw the advance of Carlton's skirmishers, with a front of 300  yards, followed by their support, he ordered Colquitt, Iverson, and his own  men forward. Captain Garret of the 5th North Carolina, who was near the left  of Iverson's line says, says D.H. Hill ordered the attack upon a regiment of  the enemy "which was maintaining a doubtful contest with a small body of our  own troops." They had not advanced far before the skirmishers of the 22nd  South Carolina were driven in upon the main line, closely followed by  Carlton's men, and the engagement became general. At first Carlton was forced  to yield some ground, but quickly recovered it, and opened such a telling fire  that Colquitt and Iverson were soon driven from the field. We again quote  Garrett: "We moved up in line and soon engaged them with spirit, and forced  them, for a moment, to give back. Very soon, however, the left of the line, of  which my command formed part, gave way, and being left with but few men from  my regiment, I ordered them to retire and form behind a large rock in the  field, about 50 yards distant. This was done, and, by determined conduct of  those few men, the regiment of the enemy was held in check for twenty-five or  thirty minutes. After feeling our strength, however, he began to advance, and  I ordered the men to retreat." They went entirely off the field and scattered  in the streets of Sharpsburg, where the rest of Iverson's men and a part of  Colquitt's had preceded them. Colquitt refers to a small party of his command,  under Lieutenant Colonel W.H. Betts, 13th Alabama, who "was directed to deploy  as skirmishers along the crest of a hill upon which the enemy was advancing  and did so with good effect, keeping back a large force by their annoying fire  and the apprehension, excited by their boldness, that they were supported by a  line in rear." Under the elastic pen and poetic license of D.H. Hill this  statement of Colquitt's assumes these grotesque proportions: "About 30 men  under Lieutenant Colonel W.H. Betts, 13th Alabama, remained as support to my  division batteries. (?) The Yankee columns were allowed to come within easy  range, when a sudden stream of grape and canister drove them back in  confusion. Betts' men must have given them a very hot fire, as Burnside  reported that he had met three heavy columns on the hill. It is difficult to  imagine how 30 men could so multiply themselves as to appear to the frightened  Yankees to be three heavy columns." As a matter of fact Betts was detached on  the left of Colquitt's line, in support of some guns, beyond the right of  Carlton's advance, and opposed only by a few men, who faced in his direction.  Carlton's right being refused to conform to the curvature of the hill over  which he was advancing, and, connecting on the right with the skirmishers of  McKibbin's battalion, one company of which was thrown forward from the ravine  where it had halted and as McKibbin reports, under Captain Thatcher, "were  actively engaged during part of the afternoon." As to Burnside he was entirely  beyond the road and his right never came within canister range of Hill's guns. The three South Carolina regiments of Evans' Brigade soon followed Colquitt  and Iverson. Colonel Stevens, who was with these regiments, seeing his men  falling rapidly, while Carlton was still advancing, and apprehensive of being  flanked, ordered them to fall back to the stone fence on the Hagerstown road.  Colonel Wallace, commanding the 18th South Carolina, reports that Boyce's  Battery, which it had been supporting, having retired under orders from  Colonel Stevens, his regiment was deployed as skirmishers, and advanced over  the hill to repel the advance of a heavy body of skirmishers thrown forward by  the enemy. The direction of his advance was toward the Sharpsburg road, and by  a rapid movement he gained a rail fence running nearly parallel with the road.  "This position," he says, "we held against a very largely superior force of  the enemy for a considerable time, when Colonel Stevens, who was upon the left  of our line, seeing the left was beginning to suffer severely, ordered the  whole line to retreat to a stone fence some distance in our rear and upon the  road running in a northwesterly (north) direction from Sharpsburg. This  retreat was accomplished under a sharp fire of musketry and artillery, from  which the regiment suffered some damage. Almost immediately the regiment was  reduced to a handful of men." Boyce's Battery, as stated by Wallace, fell back  before engaging the infantry; Jordan's two guns were well protected by the  ridge and did not suffer from infantry fire, but were so severely shelled by  artillery that they remained in action not to exceed 30 minutes and withdrew  as Carlton's men were advancing and the Confederate infantry was giving way.  Everything was now clear in Carlton's immediate front; he had advanced to with  450 yards of the Lutheran Church and partially crowned the crest of the ridge  from which he could look into Sharpsburg, and was still advancing, when he was  opened upon by a fire of canister and musketry, full upon his left flank, from  two of Moody's guns and Garnett's infantry, south of the road. Garnett and  S.D. Lee had been standing in the tall corn, observing Poland's advance and  had not seen Carlton's approach on the left of the road and were not aware of  it, until their attention was attracted to the rattling skirmishing fire,  when, looking in that direction, they saw the blue-coated regulars directly on  their flank and the Confederates in retreat. Lee turned Moody's two guns upon  them and Garnett faced a few men of the 56th Virginia to the left and sent a  few rifle shots down the line, and at the same moment Carlton received an  order from Dryer to fall back, under cover, on a line with Poland, who was  still holding his position in the Sherrick lane, and to whom and Garnett we now return.

When Garnett advanced his brigade to the support of Moody's guns the 56th and  28th Virginia, about 100 men, were placed in the corn, on the left and in  advance of Moody's left section, which was on open ground, just in rear of the  corn; on the right of this section were the 19th and 18th Virginia, about 120  men, also in the corn, and deployed four to five feet apart, in single line;  in rear of Moody's right section, which was in the right and rear of the 18th  Virginia, was the 8th Virginia, about 20 men only. The 56th, 28th and part of  the 19th Virginia were faced east and engaged Poland's right and center, a  part of the 19th and all of the 18th and 8th engaged Poland's left and the  advance of Burnside. Reports agree that the entire was severely engaged and  lost heavily. Garnett reports that he was "called upon to deplore the loss of  many brave spirits." Colonel Hunton, 8th Virginia, says he lost one half his  men. Major Cabell, 18th Virginia, reported a loss of over one third and that  the "entire color guard was either killed or wounded." The losses in the other  regiments was large.

Some of Poland's men were quite well sheltered in the lane, under cover of the  fence and the inequalities of the ground, but the greater part of them were  much exposed; all kept up a cool and constant fire, and Dryer was about to  charge Moody's Battery in Poland's front, when he was ordered to withdraw. Dryer had been ordered across the Antietam, against the judgment of Sykes, his  division commander, to support Pleasonton's guns, drive the enemy from their  front, and take the haystacks on the left of the road, and this was the extent  to which it was intended his men should be employed. "They were, however,"  says Porter, "diverted from that service, and employed to drive the enemy's  skirmishers to their reserves." When it was seen that Dyer had exceeded his  instructions, and advancing on either side of the road, with the evident  intention of carrying the ridge, upon which could been seen from beyond the  Antietam 18 guns and what appeared to be two full regiments; there was some  apprehension, and at this moment came a note from Captain Blunt, commanding  1st Battalion, 12th U.S. Infantry. Dryer had ordered Blunt to move forward and  support him in an advance, and Blunt sent the note to Sykes, stating that  Blunt was about to make an attack and that he (Blunt) did not understand that  he had been sent over the Antietam for that purpose, and asked for  instructions. Sykes was very much annoyed and immediately ordered Lieutenant  W.H. Powell of Buchanan's staff, to ride over to Dryer with orders not only to  suspend assault, but to withdraw his troops to the ridge upon which were  Pleasonton's batteries and maintain a defensive position. Powell rode fast and  found Dryer in the road, at the intersection of the Sherrick lane, where he  had just given an order to Poland to push forward, when he saw the troops on  the right of the road advance, and was about the order the 4th Infantry  forward. When Powell delivered his orders Dryer asked if there might not be  something left to his discretion; when informed that the order was imperative,  he ordered Carlton to withdraw, as we have seen, and wheeling his horse about,  rode off after Poland, whose left had now been joined by Burnside's advance  from the lower bridge.

When Powell gave the order for Dryer to withdraw the Confederates had  abandoned the ridge north of the road and were then abandoning Cemetery hill.  When Burnside's men approached from the lower bridge, Garden's Battery left  its position and went through Sharpsburg; soon after, Squires' Battery, now  coming under the fire of Burnside's skirmishers, went down a ravine southwest  to the road leading to the lower bridge, and turning to the right went through  the streets of Sharpsburg. Jenkins' Brigade was driven back from the apple  orchard on the southeastern slope of the hill. All on Garnett's left and right  had gone, and it was but a few minutes after he had seen Carlton fall back  that he discovered that the extreme right had been turned and was giving way  and that "a number of Yankee flags appeared on the hill in rear of the town  and not far from our only avenue of escape." Deeming the brigade in imminent  danger of being captured he ordered a retreat, and as the main street of the  town was commanded by the Union artillery, his infantry passed, for the most  part, to the north of the town along the cross-street, and in this direction  he found "troops scattered in squads from various parts of the army, so that  it was impossible to distinguish men of the different commands." Moody's left  section was withdrawn without difficulty and retreated through the main street  of the town, but the right section had some difficulty, was slow in getting  under way, and perceiving this and that the guns were in danger from Poland's  men and the advance of Burnside's Corps, Major Cabell, commanding the 18th  Virginia, who had moved back some 50 yards, halted his small regiment, faced  it about, moved back into the corn and waited until the guns were moved off,  then rejoined his brigade. It is this movement which is thus referred to by  Poland in his report: "the enemy advanced a regiment to protect the withdrawal  of their guns from the hill directly in front of our left. This regiment was  driven back, but their object had been effected." While Poland was engaged  with Garnett's retiring troops, the 79th New York and 17th Michigan of  Willcox's Division, Ninth Corps, came up and fired a few shots at the retiring  18th Virginia, and the left of his line being relieved by the 17th Michigan,  Poland assembled his regiment on the center files. It was while thus engaged  that Dryer came up and ordered him to withdraw a short distance, halt his  command under shelter of the ridge over which he had charged and await a  supply of ammunition. He had lost 54 men killed and wounded. Carlton had lost  about half that number--together their losses were about 85 of the 95 men  killed, wounded and missing of the 5th Corps. Garnett's loss was 78 killed and  wounded, about one third of the number he had engaged. The loss sustained by  the Confederates opposing Carlton cannot be definitely stated.

As Pleasonton records it, it was nearly 4 o'clock, after his batteries with  "renewed vigor and energy" had driven the enemy's batteries from their  position in front that a heavy column of dust could be seen moving behind  Cemetery ridge towards Sumner's left. He directed the fire of the batteries  into the dust, and "soon the development of the enemy's line of battle, fully  a mile long, could be seen bearing down on Richardson's Division, then  commanded by Hancock." Hancock called for some guns to assist him; none could  be spared at the moment, but Pleasonton "directed the fire of some 18 guns  upon the enemy's line in front of him for twenty minutes, when he had the  satisfaction of seeing "this immense line" first halt, deliver a desultory  fire and then "break and run to the rear in the greatest confusion and  disorder." A section (Pennington's) of Tidball's Battery was immediately  advanced to the crest of a hill several hundred yards to the front, and in  front of the infantry of Hancock's left.

We cannot identify this immense column of Confederates moving to the left, the  drift, if any, at this hour, was in the opposite direction. We know that small  bodies of D.H. Hill's men were keeping up a desultory affair with Richardson  and about the time indicated by Pleasonton, George T. Anderson, with 200 to  300 men, moved from left to the right upon the ridge, but seeing, as he  reports, no enemy, and being enfiladed by a battery on his left, moved back  again to the ridge near Piper's barn, but we cannot identify any body "fully a  mile long," bearing down on Richardson. However, Pleasonton's success in  breaking this immense line; the additional success of Dryer in advancing far  to the front on either side of the Sharpsburg road, and Burnside's advance,  driving the enemy back, convinced Pleasonton that the field was open for an  advance to Cemetery ridge, to which point he desired to forward his batteries,  to obtain an enfilading fire upon the enemy in front of Burnside and enable  Sumner to advance to Sharpsburg. So satisfied was he that this could be done  that, at 4 o'clock, he sent a request to Porter for a division to support his  advance, accompanied by a report that both Burnside and Sumner were driving  the enemy and that he desired to take advantage of the opening and advance to  the ridge. Porter could not spare the division; in fact he did not have it.  Earlier in the day Warren's Brigade had been sent to support Burnside and at 4  p.m., while Pleasonton was framing his request, the brigades of Griffin and  Stockton of Morell's Division had gone to the right to support Sumner. Parts  of two other brigades were already with Pleasonton. Moreover, Porter says:  "Between the dispatching and receiving of that call the tide of battle had  changed. Our troops on the left, under Burnside, had been driven from the  heights which they had so gallantly crowned, while those on the immediate  left, under Sumner, were held in check. The army was at a stand. I had not the  force asked for, and could not, under my orders, risk the safety of the  artillery and center of the line, and perhaps imperil the success of the day  by further diminishing my small command, not then 4,000 strong--then in the  front line and unsupported, and protecting all our trains." Palfrey justifies  Porter's action in "not complying with the request of an officer who was not  even a corps commander, who was his inferior in rank, and whose request had  not received the approval of the general commanding." It appears, however,  that Porter at 5 p.m. sent this dispatch to Sykes: "Burnside is driving the  enemy. Please send word to the command you sent to Pleasonton, to support his  batteries, and let him drive them."

Meanwhile Van Reed's Battery, which arrived on the field about 2 o'clock,  relieving Hains', after expending 400 rounds of ammunition, was relieved in  turn by Hains' at 5 o'clock, and recrossed the Antietam. Hains put all his  guns on the right of the road, directing their fire against Confederate  infantry, entirely, and principally against those on the Piper farm, who were  then engaging the 7th Maine, by which fire they suffered severely, both in  advancing and falling back. At dusk both Tidball and Hains recrossed the  Antietam. The 5th United States, 4th and 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry followed the  artillery and all joined their division near Keedysville. Dryer remained in  his advanced position until the artillery had been withdrawn, when he marched  back, waited until the cavalry had crossed and then went over the bridge at  7.30 p.m., carrying with him his dead and wounded. Sykes reports that Dryer's  troops "behaved in the handsomest manner, and had there been an available  force for their support, there is no doubt he could have crowned the  Sharpsburg crest." Before Dyer retired the Confederates re-occupied the ground

from which they had been driven.

It will be remembered that early in the action, in fact before Carlton's and  Evans' men had become engaged, Boyce's two guns had been retired under cover  of the ridge and between it and the Hagerstown road, but commanding the crests  of the two hills in front. It appears that when Stevens, with his South  Carolinians, was driven back to the Hagerstown road he had forgotten Boyce and  his guns, but he soon recalled the fact. He says: "Perceiving that my retreat had left unsupported a section of Boyce's  artillery, which I had not before seen, I again resumed my position, and,  bringing up Boyce's battery, opened fire with musketry and artillery upon a  line of the enemy advancing on the right of the road. The line was broken and  driven back. Colonel Walker, of Jenkins' brigade, having sent for artillery, I  ordered Captain Boyce to his support. It was now late in the evening, and my  men having nearly exhausted their ammunition, I left general instructions and  sought the ordnance officer. Before I could get more ammunition my men had  fallen back, in accordance with instructions, and, finding them scattering in  town, I marched to the rear and bivouacked for the night." Captain Boyce reports: "Colonel Stevens advanced...with a few skirmishers to  the crest of the hill, and, finding the ground not occupied by the enemy  immediately beyond, signaled me to advance. I went forward and placed my guns  on the hill within canister range of the enemy. A few shots drove him beyond  the range of canister. I afterward used solid shot, cutting down his flag and  driving him back. Having occupied this important position but a few minutes,  an order came, from some source, for me to recross the road near the place  occupied by me when I received my first order in the morning to go into  battle. I crossed over the road, as ordered, but could find no one there to  give me any information as to who gave the order or what was required. This  was late in the afternoon, and the battle soon after ended." Boyce went  through the town and bivouacked with his (Evans') brigade. Evans says his  little command gallantly drove the enemy, 4th U.S. Infantry, from his cover in  the cornfield and caused him to retreat in confusion, leaving a number of dead  and two stands of colors, the latter having been shot down by a well directed  fire of Captain Boyce's Battery. It is difficult to reconcile this statement  with the fact that the 4th Infantry did not leave their colors and that Dryer  reported he carried off his dead and wounded.

Parker's Battery of 2 guns, under Lieutenant J. Thompson Brown, appears to  have come on the field about the time the infantry and some artillery were in  retreat. Brown says he went about 500 or 600 yards north of the road and  passed the major of two batteries, who had been unable to hold the hill and  was retiring. The officer inquired where he was going, and having been  informed, he ordered him back saying that he had not been able to hold the  hill and it would be folly for his section to attempt it. Thompson (sic)  replied that he was under orders from Colonel Lee and passed on, taking  position in a depression of the ground between two trees, an old excavation or  ice-house in the ground, and firing over the hill at the 4th Infantry. "I  remember," he writes, "seeing the standard bearer shot down and the staff shot  off near the colors, and while he was lying down he raised the colors up on a


When Dryer recrossed the Antietam, the 18th Massachusetts of Morell's Division  crossed to the west side, established headquarters and a reserve at the  Newcomer Mill, and advanced a strong picket line to the ridge where the  batteries had been engaged during the day. In the "Century Magazine" for October 1886, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M.  Anderson writes that, late in the afternoon of the 17th, he was talking with  his brigade commander, Colonel Buchanan, when an orderly brought a note from  the senior officer in command of the regular infantry beyond the Antietam,  stating in effect that there was but one Confederate battery and two regiments  in front of Sharpsburg, connecting the wings of Lee's army, that he proposed  to charge the battery, but asked instructions. Buchanan sent the note to  Sykes, who, at the time, was talking with McClellan and Porter, some yards  away, sitting on their horses between Taft's and Weed's batteries. After the  war Anderson asked Sykes why an advance was not made upon Dryer's report.  Sykes replied that he remembered the circumstances very well and that he  thought McClellan was inclined to order in the Fifth Corps but that when he  spoke of doing so, Porter said: "Remember, general, I command the last reserve of the last army of the Republic."

In the "Century" for January, 1887, Porter says that no such note as Captain  Dryer's report was seen by him and no such discussion for using the reserves  took place between him and McClellan.

In a private letter of January 31, 1899, Anderson says the incident occurred  at sunset, two hours after the Pleasonton report and request and recalls that  while he was talking with Buchanan, in front of his battalion, a shell  exploded in a pile of cracker boxes, when Buchanan remarked that it was "the  quickest distribution of hard-tack he had ever seen," and that at the time  they were watching the movement of a body of Confederate troops from their  center to left to attack Burnside and Buchanan received the note and, after  reading it, said: "Dryer reports center very weak and wants leave to attack,"  then sent the note to Sykes, and he saw the note delivered to Sykes, and  Buchanan said: "Fall in your men, our turn has come at last," but no order was  given to advance. Anderson further says that when Dryer returned that evening  he blamed Blunt for not making the attack with him, as he proposed, without  orders.

There is no record of such a paper being sent by Dryer, either in his own  report or in those of his brigade or division commander, nor elsewhere in the  official records. Colonel W.H. Powell, then a lieutenant and adjutant- general  of Buchanan's Brigade, intimates that such a note may have been received by  Buchanan, but, if so, it was after Sykes had ordered the withdrawal of Dryer  and while he was carrying the order of withdrawal. In the "Century" for March  1887, Powell writes: "Gallant and impetuous as Dryer always was, he could not  remain idle, and it was observed that he was pushing forward on each side of  the pike towards the crest occupied by the enemy, with a view, as afterwards  understood, to charge and take a battery there. Having observed this, and  knowing it was not the intention, nor could we afford, at this particular  time, to make any forward movement on center, I reported this to General Sykes  and Buchanan, who were together at the time, and I was directed by General  Sykes to proceed at once to the advanced position which Captain Dryer had  obtained (being within 300 to 400 yards of the enemy's batteries) and direct  him to withdraw his troops immediately to the original position at the head of  the bridge, and then report in person to General Sykes. During my absence at  the front, I believe, the note in question was received. When Dryer reported,  those who were present know that the interview was in no wise a subject of  consultation....It was confidently believed, however, by the two brigades of  regular infantry that if they had been thrown forward at any time towards the  close of the day, supported by Morell's Division, they could have carried the  center, and thus could have enabled General Burnside to drive the enemy from  the field on the left." General Sykes comes to a similar conclusion. After  paying a high compliment to the behavior of Dryer's men he says, "had there  been an available force for their support, there is no doubt he could have  crowned the Sharpsburg crest."

General Porter has been severely and unjustly blamed for his inaction at  Antietam. All the operations at the middle bridge were ordered by McClellan.  He ordered Pleasonton across the stream; he ordered a part of Porter's  infantry to Pleasonton's support. Being present he was responsible for the  action or want of action of Porter.

Burnside's Bridge: Daybreak to Dusk


by Ezra A. Carman (originally Chapter 21)

We approach the concluding scenes of the day, the end of a disjointed battle.  While Pleasonton's batteries and a few regulars of Porter's Corps were engaged  in advance of the middle bridge, Burnside's Ninth Corps was engaged at the  lower bridge and on the high ground between it and Sharpsburg, but there was  no cooperation in the movement. It is necessary to repeat the plan of battle.  In his preliminary report of the battle, made October 15, 1862, McClellan  says:

"The design was to make the main attack upon the enemy's left--at least to  create a diversion in favor of the main attack, with the hope of something  more by assailing the enemy's right--and, as soon as one or both of the flank  movements were fully successful, to attack their center with any reserve I  might then have on hand." In his elaborate report, dated August 4, 1863, but not made public until some  months later, he says:

"My plan for the impending general engagement was to attack the enemy's left  with the corps of Hooker and Mansfield, supported by Sumner's and, if  necessary, by Franklin's, and, as soon as matters looked favorably there, to  move the corps of Burnside against the enemy's extreme right, upon the ridge  running to the south and rear of Sharpsburg, and, having carried their  position, to press along the crest toward our right, and, whenever either of  these flank movements should be successful, to advance our center with all the  forces then disposable."

Burnside's understanding was that, when the attack by Hooker, Sumner, and  Franklin should be progressing favorably, he "was to create a diversion in  favor of the main attack, with the hope of something more." General Cox, to  whom Burnside communicated his understanding of the part the Ninth Corps was  to take in the action, says: "It would also appear that Hooker's movement was  at first intended to be made by his corps alone, taken up by Sumner's two  corps (2nd and 12th) as soon as he was ready to attack and shared in by  Franklin if he reached the field in time, thus making a simultaneous oblique  attack from out right by the whole army except for Porter's corps, which was  in reserve, and the Ninth Corps, which was to create the "diversion" on our  left and prevent the enemy from stripping his right to reinforce his left. It  is hardly disputable that this would have been a better plan than the one  actually carried out. Certainly the assumption that the Ninth Corps could  cross the Antietam alone at the only place on the field where the Confederates  had their line immediately upon the stream which must be crossed under fire by  two narrow heads of column, and could then turn to the right along the high  ground occupied by the hostile army before that army had been broken or  seriously shaken elsewhere, is one which would hardly be made until time  dimmed the remembrance of the actual positions of Lee's divisions upon the  field."

Colonel William F. Biddle, in a highly laudatory article on McClellan, says  that the movement planned and persistently ordered across the bridge as a  "forlorn hope."

McClellan visited Burnside position on the 16th and, after pointing out to him  the proper dispositions to be made during the day and night, informed him that  he would probably be required to attack the enemy's right on the following  morning.

The Confederate artillery opened fire early on the morning of the 17th and was  replied to by all of Burnside's guns in position and others on his right and  Durell's Pennsylvania battery of Sturgis' Division, supported by the 21st  Massachusetts, was advanced to the crown of the bluff overlooking the  Antietam, and took position on the left of Weed's Battery and the enemy's guns  were soon silenced. The fire of Benjamin, Durell and others was then directed  to the right, at the Confederates engaged with Hooker and Mansfield, around  the Dunkard Church and, though the distance was from 3200 to 3600 yards, it  was quite accurate and very effective. To meet what Sturgis reports as a heavy  concentration on the right and center Clark's Battery (E, 4th U.S.), was sent  forward to a position on Durell's left. The batteries of McMullin, Muhlenberg,  and Cook were advanced to positions on Benjamin's left and somewhat to the  front and to Benjamin's Battery was added two guns of Simmonds'. Willcox was  brought up and held in reserve.

While this artillery fire was going on and some of the troops being shelled out of the exposed positions to which, owing to McClellan's fault, they had  been conducted in darkness the night before, Burnside received the following  from McClellan: (Here Carman pastes the unsigned note of 9/16 from OR's: "The general commanding has learned....")

This was not, on McClellan's part, a very judicious or auspicious opening of  the day on the left, and probably had no bearing upon subsequent events, but  we note it to show the state of mind at army headquarters. Burnside did not  permit it to affect his determination to do all that the situation and the  country required of him, and replied: (Here Carman pastes Richmond to Williams  from OR's:

"Your dispatch of yesterday this moment received....") About 7 o'clock, Burnside received an order to make his dispositions to carry  the stone bridge over the Antietam but to await further orders before making  the attack. In accordance with these instructions Cox was directed to advance  the whole corps to the ridge nearest the stream and hold it, keeping the  troops under cover as much as possible. 

Early in the morning Rodman's Division was northeast of the stone bridge;  Harland's Brigade lying east of the road that ran past the Rohrback house to  Porterstown, its left opposite the Rohrbach orchard. Fairchild's Brigade, on  the left of Harland's, was in the northeast part of a cornfield that ran down  the road skirting the Antietam. It had been put in position in the darkness  and when morning came, found itself exposed to the fire of Eubank's Battery  across the Antietam, by which it suffered many casualties before it could  change position, which was almost immediately done, the brigade moving up the  ridge in the rear and under cover of the woods. Harland followed later.  Sturgis' Division was on the right of Rodman and on both sides of the road  that led from Rohrbach's to Porterstown, with Crook's Ohio Brigade on its  right front, a short distance northeast of Rohrbach's. Willcox's Division was  in rear of Sturgis, as a reserve, and Ewing's Ohio brigade was with Rodman.  Burnside had directed that, in case of an attack on the bridge, Crook should  make it; as a compliment to Cox's Kanawha division for its brilliant conduct  at South Mountain. Crook threw forward two companies as skirmishers before  whom some Confederate skirmishers, who had been sent across the bridge,  retired, and all awaited orders to go forward.

Meanwhile, Burnside and Cox were watching the contest on the right. From the  high ground occupied by them they saw the struggle between the East Woods and  West Woods, and around the Dunkard Church, and cheered every well aimed shot  that Benjamin sent in that direction, and they saw the advance of French's  Division to the Sunken Road, and at this time Colonel Sackett, of McClellan's  staff, rode up and handed Burnside this order: (Here Carman pastes the 9.10  from OR's.)

In his official report, made October 15, 1862, McClellan says: "Burnside's  corps...was entrusted with the difficult task of carrying the bridge over the  Antietam, near Rohrbach's farm, and assaulting the enemy's right, the order  having been communicated to him at 10 o'clock a.m." Burnside says: "At 10  o'clock I received an order from the general commanding to make the attack."  Cox says the order was received at the time French was engaged at the Sunken  Road, and: "The manner in which we had waited, the free discussion of what was  occurring under our eyes and our relation to it, the public receipt of the  order by Burnside in the usual and business-like form, all forbid the  supposition that this was the reiteration of a former order." Immediately upon  receipt of the order Burnside directed Colonel Kingsbury, with the 11th  Connecticut, to move forward as skirmishers and drive the enemy from the head  of the bridge, and instructed Cox to detail Crook's Brigade, supported by  Sturgis' Division, to make the assault and, the bridge was carried, to deploy  to the right and left and take the heights above it. Rodman was ordered to  cross at a ford below and join the column to be thrown over the ridge. Directly opposite the east end of the bridge is a bluff rising at an angle of  over 35 degrees a height of 110 feet, wooded on the top and on the east, but  open on its western slope. About 300 yards below the bridge another hill,  plowed at the time, rises at an angle of 35 degrees to a height of 110 feet  above the Antietam. At a point on the road 260 yards below the bridge a farm  road--Rohrbach's--runs northerly through the ravine separating these two hills  from, to the Rohrbach farm house, thence to the Porterstown road. East and  south of the second hill and 375 yards below the bridge was a cornfield of  some 30 to 35 acres, on a sloping hill side, the southwest corner of which  came down to the stream where the road leaves it to go southeast over a high  ridge and on to Rohrersville. In this cornfield is a ravine from which the  ground ascends southerly 180 to 190 feet above the stream, and on this  elevation were placed the batteries of Benjamin, McMullin, C.P. Muhlenberg,  Roemer and Cook, commanding a view of the field and overlooking the bridge,  900 yards distant. From the southwest corner of the cornfield, which came down  to the road where the Antietam begins to make a graceful sweep to the west, to  the bridge is 375 yards. The road turns square to the left to pass the bridge,  which is 175 feet in length and but 12 feet wide. Cox gives an excellent  decryption of the bridge and its surroundings:

"The bridge itself is a stone structure of three arches, with stone parapet  above, this parapet to some extent masking the approach to the bridge at  either end. The valley in which the stream (runs?) is quite narrow, the steep  slopes on the right bank approaching quite to the water's edge. On this slope  the roadway is scarped, running both ways from the bridge end, and passing to  the higher lands above by ascending through ravines above and below, the other  ravine being some 600 yards above the bridge, the turn about half that  distance below. On the hill side immediately above the bridge was a stone  fence, running parallel to the stream; the turns of the roadway were covered  by rifle pits and breastworks made of rails and stone, all of which defenses,  as well as the woods which covered the slope, were filled with the enemy's  infantry and sharpshooters. Besides the infantry defenses, batteries were  placed to enfilade the bridge and all its approaches. The crest of the first  hill above the bridge is curved toward the stream at the extremes, forming a  sort of natural tete-du-pont. The next ridge beyond somewhat higher, though  with less regularity, the depression between the two being but slight, and the  distance varying in places from 300 to 700 yards."

McClellan, after stating in his report that Burnside had been given a  "difficult task," says: "The valley of the Antietam at and near the bridge is  narrow, with high banks. On the right of the stream the bank is wooded, and  commands the approaches both to the bridge and the ford. The steep slopes of  the bank were lined with rifle-pits and breastworks of rails and stones.  These, together with the woods, were filled with the enemy's infantry, while  there batteries completely commanded and enfiladed the bridge and ford and  their approaches."

The bridge was defended by about 400 men of Toombs Brigade, supported on the  right by a regiment of 110 men of Drayton's Brigade and a company of Jenkins'  Brigade. The 20th Georgia, Colonel John B. Cummings, rested its left about 40  yards above the bridge with skirmishers on the left, some 200 yards  overlooking the Antietam, and, in a good position, among some trees on the  immediate bank of the stream, was a company of the 20th Georgia. On the right  of this regiment, about two-thirds way up the bluff and nearly opposite the  head of the bridge, was a quarry from which the bridge could be raked its  entire length. Twenty-five to 30 men were in this quarry. On the right of the  20th was the 2nd Georgia, Lieutenant Colonel William R. Holmes, prolonging the  line down the stream about 300 yards below the bridge, where it curves sharply  to the west, opposite the point where the Rohrersville road leaves it and  ascends a sharp ridge. Thus the greater part of the line was placed below the  bridge. This disposition was adopted because the road to the bridge on the  opposite side of the stream ran from below up the bank, near the water, for  over 300 yards. Colonel H.L. Benning, 17th Georgia, had immediate command of  these two regiments. The line was on the crest of the bluff, well sheltered  and hidden by the trees, and strengthened by rail fences, fallen trees, and  everything that could give protection. Farther to the right was the 50th  Georgia, Lieutenant Colonel F. Kearse, of Drayton's Brigade, about 100 men,  which held a line on the right of the 2nd Georgia. It was deployed in a very  open order to guard a blind plantation road leading to a ford in the bend of  the Antietam between the right of the 2nd Georgia and Snavely's Ford. Between  the 2nd and 50th Georgia was half a company of Jenkins' South Carolina  brigade, and on the right of the 50th, was the other half of this company,  overlooking and observing Snavely's Ford. Toombs was in general command of the  whole line. On a ridge about 500 yards in rear was Richardson's Battery of the  Washington Artillery but, finding that it was too far in rear to render  service in defending the passage of the bridge, Toombs obtained Eubank's  Battery of Colonel S.D. Lee's Battalion, which took position in his rear and  about half way between the stream and Richardson. Until near noon Eshleman's  Battery was on Richardson's right. The batteries on Cemetery hill had complete  range of the bridge and the road to Sharpsburg and, after its passage,  inflicted many casualties upon the troops that had crossed.

Toombs minimizes the strength of his position, but says: "Its chief strength  lay in the fact that, from the nature of the ground on the other side, the  enemy were compelled to approach mainly by the road which led up to the river  for near 300 paces parallel with my line of battle and distant therefrom from  50 to 150 feet, thus exposing his flank to a destructive fire the most of that  distance."

Cox ("Battles and Leaders of the Civil War," Vol. II, p. 650), says: "I do not  hesitate to affirm that the Confederate position was virtually impregnable to  a direct attack over the bridge; for the column approaching it was not only  exposed at point-blank range to the perfectly covered infantry of the enemy  and two batteries which were assigned to the special duty of supporting  Toombs, and which had the exact range of the little valley with their  shrapnel, but if it should succeed in reaching the bridge its charge across it  must be made under a fire plowing through its length, the head of the column  melting away as it advanced, so that as every soldier knows, it could show no  front strong enough to make an impression on the enemy's breastworks, even if  it should reach the other side. As a desperate sort of diversion in favor of  the right wing, it might be justifiable, but I believe that no officer or man  who knew the actual situation at that bridge thinks a serious attack upon it  was any part of McClellan original plan. Yet, in his detailed official report,  instead of speaking of it as the difficult task the original report had called  it, he treats it as little different from a parade or march across, which  might have been done in half an hour."

Cox had immediate command of the Ninth Corps during the battle. On the  afternoon of the 16th, when expecting a battle, he remained with his division,  desiring to lead it, and urged Burnside to assume the immediate command of the  corps, to which Burnside objected "that as he had been announced as commander  of the right wing of the army composed of two corps, his own and Hooker's, he  was unwilling to waive his precedence or to assume that Hooker was detached  for anything more than a temporary service," but that he would assist Cox in  every way he could, till the crisis of the campaign should be over. Cox was an earnest and gallant soldier but new to the Army of the Potomac, and  three of the divisions were strangers to him. He had conducted a very  successful and brilliant campaign in the Kanawha Valley, West Virginia, in the  summer of 1861, and had a well disciplined and good division, that, under his  command, had done good and brilliant service at South Mountain, and, to  anticipate, he handled the Ninth Corps well at Antietam.

It would have been better had he handled it alone. It has been well said that  "Burnside became a mere receiver and transmitter of orders to the commander of  the Ninth Corps, and on the other hand it may easily be believed that so good  a soldier as Cox would have shown more activity and accomplished more, if he  had felt himself really the commander of the corps. With Burnside close to  him, he probably felt as if he were the mere tactical leader of the corps, not  thinking for it, but simply seeing that it executed orders which came to him  from or through Burnside." It can be stated upon unquestionable authority that  had he felt that he was in responsible command he would not have depended upon  reconnaissances made by McClellan's engineers and aides for knowledge of the  crossings of the stream, but would have ascertained that matter in person, and  that he would have had two divisions at Snavely's Ford, before 10 o'clock on  the morning of the 17th, ready to cross when McClellan gave the order to  attack. However, this was not to be; we take things as we find them, and  continue the narrative.

It had been determined that Crook's Brigade should lead in the attack on the  bridge and that Sturgis' Division should support it. It was thought that by  advancing part of Sturgis' command to the plowed field below the bridge, it  could cover the advance of Crook, who could make a straight dash down the hill  directly opposite the bridge and carry it, and orders were given accordingly;  Crook preceded by the 11th Connecticut, as skirmishers, to assault the bridge.  The 11th Connecticut was then detached from its brigade, and went forward to  the crest of the hill east of the Rohrbach road, where it was halted and a  battery put in position near it, that shelled the opposite bank of the  Antietam. When the artillery firing ceased the regiment went down the plowed  hill, crossed the Rohrbach road near the stream, and, in skirmishing order,  with a reserve, went over a wooded spur, and, under a severe fire, pushed for  the bridge. The left of the line reached the creek opposite the end of the  Rohrbach road, and the right gained the level ground at the foot of the hill  opposite the bridge; Captain Giswold, on the left, endeavored to lead his men  across the creek and was mortally wounded in the water; on the right Colonel  Kingsbury was severely and then mortally wounded, while leading the reserve  toward the bridge, and, after a short but gallant effort, in which it lost  over one third of its men, the regiment fell back.

The 11th Connecticut was soon followed by Crook, who seems to have  misunderstood the orders under which he was acting, as he says they were "to  cross the bridge over Antietam Creek after General Sturgis had taken the  bridge," but upon his arrival in the vicinity he found that Sturgis had not  arrived, so he sent the 11th Ohio ahead as skirmishers, in the direction of  the bridge. Early in the morning, before the general advance had been ordered,  two companies of the 11th Ohio, were sent forward as skirmishers on the wooded  bluff, to watch the enemy closely and give notice of any movement made by  them. They were fired upon as they made their appearance on the west side of  the bluff, fell back under cover and returned the fire upon the Georgians  beyond the creek. This was prior to the advance of the 11th Connecticut, and  when that advance was made, the two companies were on the right of it, and  still skirmishing. Crook's Brigade consisted of the 11th, 28th and 36th Ohio,  attached to it was a Kentucky Battery, commanded by Captain Seth J. Simmonds.  One section of this battery had been detached to Benjamin, one remained with  the brigade. When Crook received his orders he was a short distance northeast  of Rohrbach's. He advanced, left the 36th Ohio in Rohrbach's orchard, and went  down the road with the 11th and 28th, halting in the road about 200 yards from  the house. Four companies of the 28th Ohio were sent over the wooded hill on  the right, as skirmishers, and as they approached the open field looking down  on the bridge, the fire from the opposite bank of the stream was so severe  that they fell back and rejoined the regiment on the Rohrbach road. Five  companies of the 28th were now ordered to place in position, on the crest of  the wooded hill overlooking the bridge, two guns of Simmonds' Battery, and  Crook, ordering the 11th Ohio to advance on the bridge, led the other five  companies of the 28th, by the right flank over the wooded hill to co-operate  with the 11th in a charge on the bridge, but lost direction and, instead of  coming out at the bridge, went down the hill and came to within 50 yards of  the creek, at a point where there was a bend in the stream and a ford about  (?) yards above the creek, where seeking shelter under a low sandy ridge and  fence, he engaged the Confederate skirmishers opposite and remained until the  bridge had been carried by Sturgis' Division. When Crook led the five  companies of the 28th to the right, the 11th Ohio was formed in line on the  left of the road, on the side of the plowed hill, and advanced, but, under  conflicting orders, it became broken, the right wing moving across the road to  the wooded hill, where the two companies had remained as skirmishers, while  the left wing moved straight down the open hill to its base, about 100 yards  from the creek, where it came under severe fire of infantry and artillery.  Lieutenant Colonel Coleman, commanding the regiment, was mortally wounded, the  ranks were thrown into confusion, and Major Lyman J. Jackson, finding himself  in a useless and very exposed position, moved with a part of the regiment to  the right, recrossed the field and the Rohrbach road, under cover of the fire  of some of the 11th Connecticut, who had held on to the fences bordering the  stream, and halted at a point of the hill opposite the bridge, where he  reunited his command, formed under cover, and kept up fire until he was  ordered to retire and join the 36th Ohio in the Rohrbach orchard. Crook  handled his command badly, his loss was trifling, and he reported to Cox that  he had his hands full and could not approach closer to the bridge. Crook's movement having failed, Sturgis was ordered to take the bridge.  Intending to act as a support to Crook and take advantage of any success  gained by him, he had moved his division to the left and front, in such  position that it could make a quick dash up the road, skirting the stream, to  the bridge. Nagle's Brigade lay nearest the bridge. The 2nd Maryland,  Lieutenant Colonel J.E. Duryea, had marched down a stock lane from Rohrbach's  and halted, with its right at the southwest corner of the cornfield, 375 yard  below the bridge; the 6th New Hampshire, Colonel S.S. Griffin, was at the side  of the stock lane, in rear of the 2nd Maryland, and under cover of the plowed  hill immediately west. The 48th Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Joshua K. Sigfried,  marched down through the corn to a small log building, in the southwest  corner, near the 2nd Maryland; and the 9th New Hampshire, Colonel Enoch A.  Fellows, went down through the corn to the fence bordering the road and opened  fire upon the enemy's skirmishers across the stream. Ferrero's Brigade  followed Nagle's and took position in the cornfield, three regiments about 200  yards from its western edge, the 35th Massachusetts on their left and rear, on  a hill side overlooking them. Some of the batteries were engaged when Crook  was making his movement, but now all the guns that could be brought to bear  opened a furious fire upon the west head of the bridge and the wooded heights  below it, and further preparations were made to carry the bridge.

Rodman's Division, supported by Ewing's Brigade, had been directed to cross at  the ford below the bridge. General Cox says: "Burnside's view of the matter was that the front attack at the bridge was so  difficult that the passage by the ford below must be an important factor in  the task; for if Rodman's Division should succeed in getting across there, at  the bend of the Antietam, he would come up in rear of Toombs, and either the  whole of D.R. Jones' Division would have to advance to meet Rodman, or Toombs  must abandon the bridge...and Rodman was ordered to push rapidly for the  bridge. (?) We were constantly hoping to hear something of Rodman's advance by  the ford, and would gladly have waited for some more certain knowledge of his  progress, but at this time McClellan's sense of the necessity of relieving the  right was such that he was sending reiterated orders to push the assault. Not  only were these forwarded to me, but to give additional weight to my  instructions Burnside sent direct to Sturgis urgent messages to carry the  bridge at all hazards."

Nagle had taken position before the failure of Crook's attack; soon after it  cessation Sturgis ordered him forward, up the road to the bridge. The movement  was initiated by the 48th Pennsylvania, which had left it place near the log  building in the cornfield, moved to the right over the slope of the plowed  field, crossed the Rohrbach road and formed line on the wooded knoll in front  of the bridge, near where the 11th Ohio had been engaged, and from which they  were now retiring, and where five companies of the 28th Ohio were getting two  of Simmonds' guns in position. Here the regiment opened fire upon the  Confederates beyond the stream.

To lessen the long stretch of the road along which it was necessary to move,  under flank fire of the enemy, within easy pistol shot, the 2nd Maryland was  counter-marched up the lane, about 200 yards to where the 6th New Hampshire  had halted, and, under cover of the plowed hill, the two regiments, about 150  men each, were formed for the charge. It required but a few moments, when,  side by side, with bayonets fixed, they went down the hill for its southwest  corner. The Rohrbach road was fenced with stout chestnut posts and rails, and  was quite high, . The officers ran ahead, soon removed a short panel and as  the head of the 2nd Maryland came to the opening it met with such a withering  fire that the leading files began to shrink and elbow out of the ranks, but  the vehement commands and the example of the officers steadied the ranks, the  line straightened up and charged up the road toward the bridge under a severe  front and flank fire. About midway from where they had struck the road and the  bridge the road bends slightly to the right; upon reaching this point the head  of the column came under the fire of the Georgians posted in the quarry, just  south of the head of the bridge, and those on the brow of the bluff, behind  rail barricades and trees, not over 100 yards distant, and fully one third of  the Maryland men went down, but the regiment still went on and had reached to  within 250 feet of the bridge when the right wing was so shattered that the  survivors fell back and sought such cover as the fences, logs and trees  afforded. The left wing essayed a farther advance, but it, too, was checked  and sought cover. The 6th New Hampshire severely suffered before it cleared  the opening in the fence, but it was close on the heels of the 2nd Maryland,  and met the same fate; it was badly shattered, sought cover and opened fire  across the stream, in which it was joined by the Maryland men. The 9th New  Hampshire followed the charging regiments as far as the Rohrbach road, where  it halted; its left about 100 yards from the road which ran to the bridge, the  right extending up the road in which it had halted, and all well covered from  the fire beyond the creek, which was answered by crawling up the hillside and  delivering an accurate and constant fire.

Cox now ordered Sturgis to take two regiments from Ferrero's Brigade, which  had not been engaged, and make a column by moving them by the flank, side by  side, so that when they passed the bridge they could turn to right and left,  forming line as they advanced on the (rear?). As the effort along the main  road had been so disastrous it was determined that these two regiments should  charge from the hill opposite the bridge where Crook had made his futile  attempt. This charge was to be supported by artillery on the right, and on the  left by infantry lying along the road below the bridge--2nd Maryland, 6th and  9th New Hampshire, and 21st Massachusetts--the 35th Massachusetts to follow  the two charging regiments. Under Cox's instructions Ferrero selected the 51st  Pennsylvania, Colonel John F. Hartranft, and the 51st New York, Lieutenant  Colonel Robert B. Potter. The two regiments piled their knapsacks in the  cornfield, filled their canteens from the spring near the road, marched out of  the corn, went over the lower plowed hill, crossed the Rohrbach road, and  ascended the eastern slope of the wooded knoll that looked down upon the  entrance to the bridge, and formed behind the 48th Pennsylvania, at a point  where a dip in the ground concealed them from view, the 51st Pennsylvania on  the right. The two regiments had about 335 officers and men each.

Meanwhile Simmonds' two guns had been placed in position, supported by five  companies of the 28th Ohio, and opened fire upon the heights above the far end  of the bridge; Clark's Battery (E, 4th U.S.) of six guns, was brought down the  north side of the hill and opened fire at the same time, and a battery in rear  of Clark, probably Taft's, added its fire. The 21st Massachusetts, Colonel  William S. Clark, about 150 men, moved from the cornfield, took position  behind the fence at the foot of the plowed hill and engaged the enemy's  skirmishers beyond the stream. When everything was ready a heavy skirmishing  fire was opened all along the bank of the stream, the guns were active with  canister and shell, and the two regiments, led by Hartranft, sprang from  cover, passed over the 48th Pennsylvania, and, side by side, went down the  hill by the flank, straight for the bridge, a little over 300 yards distant,  and were met by such a severe fire that the progress of the columns was  checked. When going down the hill, the company commanders, at least some of  them, of the 51st Pennsylvania, came to the conclusion that it would be  impossible for the two regiments to charge in a body across such an  exceedingly narrow structure as they saw before them, and changed their course  to the right and, before Hartranft could stop them, gained a stone fence  running north from the bridge abutment, and parallel to the creek, when, under  good cover, they opened fire across the stream. Potter, at the head of the  51st New York, perceiving this movement and fearing that his exposed flank  would lose very heavily, under the concentrated fire of the enemy, brought his  regiment forward into line and then obliqued to the left, down to the road, on  the edge of the stream below the bridge, where a rail fence offered some  cover, and joined the 51st Pennsylvania in a rapid fire across the stream,  principally upon the quarry near the far end of the bridge. When Colonel Clark  of the 21st Massachusetts saw this condition of affairs he double quicked his  regiment along the road and formed on the left of the 51st New York, where he  was joined by a company of the 35th Massachusetts.

After firing in this position a few minutes and perceiving a slackening in the  Confederate fire, and that some of them were leaving, Potter became satisfied  that a rush would carry the bridge, and suggested to Hartranft that it be  made, but the latter replied that his men had received so heavy a fire that it  would be very difficult to get them to leave cover, upon which Potter asked  permission to lead his own regiment over, which was granted. Potter  communicated his order to his nearest company commander on the right and,  rushing toward the bridge, waved his sword for the regiment to follow, and it  started on the run. When it reached within a few feet of the bridge, the 51st  Pennsylvania, which had seen the enemy in its front retiring by two's and  three's, and spurred by the action of the New York men, ran by the left flank  through a gateway in the fence, close to the bridge, and the regiments, side  by side, their colors close together, crossed the bridge amid the most  enthusiastic cheering from every part of the field from which they could be  seen. Upon clearing the bridge the two regiments turned to the right and  halted in the road leading to Sharpsburg. Toombs' men fell back, some were  taken prisoners, and a few sharpshooters were found in the trees, who could  not make their escape.

The 21st Massachusetts did not cross the bridge at this time, as it was out of  ammunition, but the 35th Massachusetts, was close upon the heels of the of the  two charging regiments. It had followed them from the cornfield, after a brief  interval, and skirting the base of the plowed hill, passing along the rear of  the 21st Massachusetts, crossed the Rohrbach road, made a short halt on the  wooded hill, then went out of the woods by the flank, but seeing the forces  below engaged along the banks of the stream, it was ordered in line to join in  the firing, but the movement was scarcely completed when the charge for the  bridge was seen, upon which it came at once into column and rushed across the  bridge, close upon the heels of the two 51sts, the third regiment to cross,  and turning to the right, passed the two regiments and formed in the road, on  their right, about 1 p.m. Nagle's Brigade quickly followed; the 48th  Pennsylvania, which had been on the bluff and over which the 51st Pennsylvania  moved in its charge, went down the hill close behind the 35th Massachusetts,  crossed the bridge, turned to the left, ascended the heights by a very rough  farm road and threw out skirmishers to the front and left, those on the left  going down the stream until they met the advancing skirmishers of Rodman's  Division, which had crossed the Antietam at Snavely's Ford. The 6th and 9th  New Hampshire followed the 48th Pennsylvania across and up the road on the  left, came under heavy artillery fire and formed line under cover of the ridge  beyond, upon which skirmishers were deployed, who became warmly engaged with  those of the enemy about 350 yards distant, covered by a stone fence. Eubank's  Confederate Battery had been driven from the field by the furious fire of the  Union artillery about 10 a.m. Richardson's Battery remained until Toombs fell  back, when it went down the Otto lane and then through Sharpsburg, but Brown's  Battery, about 900 yards to the front and right of where Nagle's men had  halted, poured in a rapid fire of shell and shrapnel. At the same time the  Confederate guns on Cemetery hill threw their shell and shrapnel into the  ranks of the men lying in the road near the bridge, killing and wounding many;  among those killed was Lieutenant Colonel Thomas S. Bell, 51st Pennsylvania.  About the time the bridge was carried Crook crossed his five companies of the  28th Ohio at the ford 350 yards above and covered the Sharpsburg road, where,  later, he was joined by the rest of his brigade, which crossed at the bridge.  Captain H.F. Devol's company of the 36th Ohio was sent to the right of the  road, on the high ground overlooking Sherrick's to dislodge some skirmishers,  who were giving much annoyance.

Very soon after crossing the bridge, and while Nagle's Brigade was going up  the road on the left and taking position, the 35th Massachusetts was ordered  to ascend the heights on the right. About 75 yards above the bridge is a  ravine beyond is a very bold hill overlooking the road and stream. The  regiment was ordered up this hill. It started in line of battle, the left in  the ravine, climbing with difficulty high rail fences and the steep ground,  soon swung into column and moving by the right flank as it neared the top.  When it reached the bare brow of the hill Brown's Battery opened fire upon it,  killing and wounding several, and it fell back under the brow of the hill and  lay down in a grass field. Soon after the 21st Massachusetts came up and  formed on its left. The 51st Pennsylvania and 51st New York remained for a  time in the road near the bridge.

Sturgis' artillery followed his infantry across the bridge. We left Durell's  Battery early in the morning engaged on the bluff overlooking the Antietam,  from which position it went back to near where Benjamin was using his long  range guns, and two guns were advanced to assist Simmonds and Clark in  silencing the enemy at the head of the bridge, but did not get in action  before the bridge was carried, when they went down the hill, crossed the  bridge and up the road to the right and began to ascend the ravine, by which  the left of the 35th Massachusetts had gone up the bluff. No favorable  position could be found for the guns and they returned to the bridge, then up  the road to the left and joined the other four guns which had crossed the  bridge and taken a position on a ridge 450 yards nearly west of the bridge and  overlooking a deep valley beyond which about 900 yards from the battery the  ground rises from 40 to 60 feet higher, and along which runs the road from  Sharpsburg to the mouth of the Antietam and Harper's Ferry. At first the two  guns of the battery were on the right of Clark's, these were brought to the  left and the battery united, its left about 25 yards from the northeast corner  of a 40 acre cornfield, through which ran a deep ravine south to the Antietam  at Snavely's Ford. When the battery went into position it became hotly engaged  with Brown's Battery on the right and front. Clark's Battery while going into  position on the right of Durell's four guns, two of Durell's being on his  right, was greeted with a rapid fire of spherical case from Brown's guns.  Lieutenant W.L. Baker was killed, Captain Clark severely wounded and compelled  to leave the field, and the command devolved upon Sergeant C.F. (Merkel?), who  fought the battery the rest of the day with skill and courage.

In the several efforts to carry the bridge, the Union loss was about 500; that  of the Confederates in defending it about 120, and they held it until the  colors of the 51st Pennsylvania and 51st New York were upon it, when most of  the Georgians retreated, but the commander of the 2nd Georgia, Lieutenant  Colonel Holmes, appealing to some of his men to follow him, ran down to the  bank of the stream, and with a cry of defiance shook his sword in the faces of  the Union men and fell pierced by many bullets. Thus fell, says Colonel  Benning: "a good officer, and as gallant a man, I think, as my eyes ever  beheld." Benning pays this tribute to his men: "during the long and terrible  fire not a man, except a wounded one, fell out and went to the rear--not a  man."

Scant justice has been done the brave men who fought at the Burnside bridge.  It is true that there was not such a holocaust of dead as on other parts of  the field, but the fighting was brilliant. Allan, the historian of the Army of  Northern Virginia, writes: "There was no part of the bloody field of  Sharpsburg which witnessed more gallant deeds both of attack and defense than  did the Burnside bridge. (?) A fierce contest was waged for its possession.  (?) The 500 Federal soldiers who lay bleeding or dead along the eastern  approach to the bridge were witnesses to the courage of the assaults. On the  Confederate side of the stream Toombs' two small regiments held their ground,  and threw back assault after assault with a coolness and tenacity unsurpassed  in history."

There has been much unjust criticism at the delay in taking the bridge. The  events narrated followed each other in quick succession and were as  energetically pushed as were the movements on any other part of the field.  General Cox says: "The successive efforts had been made as closely following  each other as possible. Each had been a fierce combat; in which the men, with  wonderful courage, had not easily accepted defeat, and even when not able to  cross the bridge had made use of the walls at the end, the fences, and every  tree and stone as cover, while they strove to reach with their fire their  well-protected and nearly concealed opponents. The lulls in the fighting had  been short, and only to prepare new efforts. Nearly three hours had been spent  in a bitter and bloody contest across the narrow stream. The severity of the  work was attested by our losses." Confederate reports confirm Cox's statements  and show the condition of affairs on that side. Colonel Benning, who was in  immediate command of the 2nd and 20th Georgia, after giving their position,  without supports and the general line of battle nearly or quite three quarters  of a mile in rear, says: "In this forlorn condition were the two regiments  when the fight opened in earnest. At this time the enemy's infantry, aided by  the fire of many pieces of artillery, opened on our whole line as far up as  the bridge. It was bold and persevering. The enemy came to the creek. The fire  not only from their infantry, but from the artillery, was incessant, the  artillery being so placed that it could fire over the heads of the infantry.  It was met by a rapid, well directed, and unflinching fire from our men, under  which the enemy, after a vain struggle broke and fell back. This attack was  followed by two similar ones from apparently fresh bodies of troops, and with  like results, the last of the two extending above the bridge to the upper part  of our line. At length, toward 12 o'clock, the enemy made preparations for a  still more formidable attack. A battery was placed in position from which it  could command at almost an enfilade the whole face of the hill occupied by our  troops. Soon it opened fire, and the infantry, in much heavier force than at  any time before, extending far above as well as below the bridge, again  advanced to the attack. The combined fire of the infantry and artillery was  terrific. It was, however, withstood by our men until their ammunition was  quite exhausted, and until the enemy had gotten upon the bridge and were above  and below fording the creek. I then gave the order to fall back."

The position to which the Georgians retired was a stone fence about 900 yards  in rear, some of them went farther to the south and skirmished with the  advance of Rodman's Division, which had crossed at Snavely's Ford. There is no doubt that an earlier appearance of Rodman on this part of the  field would have rendered unnecessary much of the great loss sustained in the  successive attacks on the bridge. His delay is partly attributable to the want  of knowledge of the fords. On the 16th McClellan's engineer officers made  reconnaissances for fords and gathered information regarding them, and  Burnside was informed by them that there was a ford less than a half mile  below the bridge, and when Rodman's Division was led to its bivouac that night  Fairchild's Brigade was supposed to be opposite this ford. Cox says all the  orders for the movement of troops were based on the reports of the engineer  officers. Burnside reports that in the morning, after the preliminary  movements were made and before the general advance was ordered, "Rodman's  Division, with Scammon's Brigade in support was opposite the ford, some  three-quarters of a mile below the bridge." Cox reports that it was "about  one-third of a mile below the bridge." In reality the nearest ford below the  bridge, the one referred to by the engineer officers--was two-thirds of a  mile, and was impracticable, not properly situated, being at the foot of a  steep bluff, rising more than 160 feet, over which it would have been almost  impossible to deploy infantry against a skirmish line; and the passage of the  ford would have consumed much time. It was not until after Rodman had been  ordered to advance, about 10 o'clock, from the heights to which he had retired  early in the morning, and had marched some distance that he became aware of  the fact that the only ford by which he could cross was a mile distant--as the  crow flies from his starting point--and that he would be required to march two  miles over very rough ground to reach it. This was Snavely's Ford 680 yards  below the ford indicated in the orders of the day. It does seem probable that  had one or two of the regiments of Pleasonton's cavalry been used on this  flank, some good results would have followed, not only in finding and crossing  the ford, but protecting Rodman's flank from its surprise and disaster later  in the day.

Rodman's Division consisted of two brigades commanded by Colonels Harrison S.  Fairchild and Edward Harland. Fairchild had the 9th New York (Hawkins'  Zouaves), 89th and six companies of the 103rd New York. To this brigade was  attached a battery of naval howitzers, under command of Captain J.R. Whiting,  9th New York. Harland had the 8th, 11th and 16th Connecticut, and 4th Rhode  Island. Battery A, 5th U.S. Artillery, Lieutenant Charles P. Muhlenberg, was  attached to the division, but did not accompany it to the left, nor did the  11th Connecticut. The division was followed by the 12, 23rd and 30th Ohio of  Scammon's Brigade. Scammon being in command of the Kanawha division, his  brigade was commanded by Colonel Hugh Ewing, 30th Ohio. The entire force  numbered about 3,200 officers and men.

Rodman moved from his position on the high ridge at 10.30 a.m., crossed the  Rohrersville road about 1000 yards below the bridge, marched some 500 yards  after crossing the road, and halted opposite the great bend in the Antietam,  where the course of the stream changes from due south to west. Whiting's five  guns were put in position to shell the wooded bluff opposite the ford by which  it was proposed to cross, and shelled the road and woods on the opposite side  of the creek, driving the enemy from their positions. This fire of Whiting's  enfiladed the line of Georgians, at and below the bridge, and the annoyance it  caused them is referred to in some of their reports. Meanwhile skirmishers had  gone down to the creek and Rodman had come to the conclusion that this ford  was not one that could be crossed and directed Colonel Harland to make further  reconnaissance. Harland says: "I then sent out two companies of skirmishers  from the 8th Connecticut Volunteers to discover, if possible, a ford by which  the creek could be crossed." These two companies were under command of Captain  C.L. Upham. The bank of the stream was quite heavily wooded, with dense  undergrowth, but Upham soon reported that he had found a practicable ford, and  the column, Fairchild's Brigade in advance, marched down to it. Whiting's  Battery supported by the 8th Connecticut, was put in position on a hill just  below the ford to cover the crossing. Much time had been lost and it was  nearly 1 o'clock. Cox says the winding of the stream made Rodman's march much  longer than was anticipated, and that, in fact, he only approached the rear of  Toombs' position from that direction about the time when the last and  successful charge upon the bridge was made, between noon and 1 o'clock. From Snavely's Ford to the bridge, in a direct line, a little east of north,  it is 1275 yards. When the head of column halted on the hill overlooking the  ford, at an elevation of 100 feet, it had an extensive view of a stretch of  country toward the front and right, and above the bushes and over the trees,  could be seen the smoke of the contest at the ridge and the charge of the 51st  Pennsylvania and 51st New York, and while the contest was in progress  Fairchild's Brigade, the 9th New York leading, marched by the left flank, down  an old trail or wood road and entered the stream; which is about 75 feet wide,  with a swift and strong current, the water hip deep. At the far side was a  meadow, partly plowed, beyond which the ground rose gradually to a stone  fence, running parallel to the stream and about 165 yards from it, and on the  right the high, steep wooded bluff, the eastern part of which commanded the  ford 680 yards above Snavely's.

When partly across the ford the 9th New York received the fire of Confederate  skirmishers--the company from Jenkins' Brigade and some of the 50th  Georgia--who were behind the stone fence, by which some men were wounded, but,  without replying to it, the column moved on, reached the opposite bank, and,  filing to the right came under shelter of the wooded bluff. The regiment then  faced to the left and began the ascent of the bluff, which was very steep,  rocky and covered with a tangled undergrowth. Rodman was with the regiment,  which broke into detachments right and left, to avoid impassable places, also  to drive therefrom any of the enemy, who might be secreted in the woods, and  in this manner, overcoming many difficulties, reached the summit of the bluff,  185 feet above the Antietam, closely followed by 103rd and 89th New York, and  the entire brigade , marching by the right flank, near the bank of the stream,  meet the advancing skirmishers of the 48th Pennsylvania, and made a junction  with the troops who had forced the bridge. Under a very severe artillery fire  from the enemy's guns in the direction of Sharpsburg the brigade halted in a  depression of the ground in rear of Durell's and Clark's batteries.

 Harland followed Fairchild and while the latter was making his difficult way  up the bluff, on the right, the 4th Rhode Island crossed the creek under fire  of the enemy behind the stone fence, filed to the left on open ground, then  one company to the front and one to the left as skirmishers, and advancing  drove the enemy from the stone fence and formed behind it, and almost  immediately received a musketry fire from the left, which was almost  immediately silenced by Whiting's guns across the creek. The 16th Connecticut  followed the 4th Rhode Island and moved to support its left. Two companies  were sent to the left, beyond the Snavely buildings and were deployed behind  the stone and rail fences of the road leading to Myers' Ford, and at the foot  of a bluff, upon which was a large cornfield, in which Munford had his cavalry  skirmishers, who advancing to the brow of the bluff, opened fire, and  Eshleman's Louisiana battery, about 600 yards to the right and front dropped  shrapnel among them. Some casualties resulted and the skirmishers were ordered  back to the regiment, which moved to the right along the rear of the 4th Rhode  Island, which, as soon as the 16th Connecticut had passed, moved to the right  and formed under cover. The 8th Connecticut now came up and the brigade  marched up the ravine and to the right, the two Connecticut regiments forming  in Fairchild's rear, and the 4th Rhode Island farther to the left in the woods  near the creek. Ewing's Ohio brigade followed Harland, came under fire of  Eshleman's guns and, marching under cover, halted some distance below the  bridge, thus forming the extreme left of the line, and it was 2 o'clock. After the infantry had crossed the ford, Whiting went over with his five guns,  under a fire of shrapnel from Eshleman's Battery but found it impracticable to  follow the infantry. His guns were brass navy howitzers, 12-pounders, two  rifled and three smooth bore, each gun hauled by two horses and the trail  guided by a man on each side with a rope fastened to it, going down hill the  men had to hold the gun back with a rope. There were no limbers, the  ammunition being carried in an army wagon, together with the rifles of the  men, who, when not acting as artillery, served as infantry. After crossing the  stream Whiting found the ground too rough for the movement of his guns, he  could not supply them with ammunition and was ordered to recross the stream  and rejoin the command by way of the bridge. He followed the bank of the  stream, under the bluff, to the right, and crossed at the ford 680 yards above  Snavely's. When nearing the bridge Burnside was met, who ordered Whiting to  leave his guns behind, under guard, get the rifles from the wagons, cross the  bridge and report to Cox, all of which was done, but it was late in the day. Three divisions of the Ninth Corps had now been thrown across the Antietam and  formed in one curved line; the left resting on the stream, at its bend below  the bridge, the right on the Sharpsburg road, close to the stream, 300 yards  north of the bridge. Sturgis' Division, supported by Crook's Brigade, was on  the right; Rodman's Division, supported by Ewing's Brigade on the left. It  would have been well if they had been in condition to go forward; both  Burnside and Cox say they were not: "The ammunition of Sturgis and Crook's men  had been nearly exhausted, and it was imperative that they should be freshly  supplied before entering into another engagement. Sturgis also reported his  men so exhausted by their efforts as to be unfit for an immediate advance." On  this Cox, who had accompanied the troops across the bridge, sent to Burnside  the request that Willcox's Division be sent over, with an ammunition train,  and that Sturgis' Division be replaced by the fresh troops, remaining,  however, on the west side of the stream as support to the others. "This was  done as rapidly as was possible," says Cox, "when everything had to pass down  the steep hill road and through so narrow defile as the bridge." Meanwhile  McClellan, abandoning effort on every other part of the field and holding  Pleasonton in check, was sending Burnside pressing orders to advance, but  offered him no assisting hand, although in his order of 9.10 a.m. he gave him  the positive assurance that when he should have uncovered the middle bridge he  would be supported, and, if necessary, on his own line of attack. Pleasonton  had crossed the middle bridge, there was no obstacle to the prompt support of  Burnside, the way was open, and when Pleasonton suggested lending a helping  hand it was determined not to do so. 

Willcox's Division, which had now been joined the three regiments detached the  night before for service on Elk Ridge and was about three-fourths of a mile  from the bridge, went up the road, over the bridge and along the Sharpsburg  road to near where it leaves the creek and turn northwest. The division had  two brigades commanded by Colonel B.C. Christ and Thomas Welsh, of the 50th  and 45th Pennsylvania respectively. In Christ's Brigade were 28th  Massachusetts, 17th Michigan, 79th New York, and 50th Pennsylvania. Webb had  the 8th Michigan, 46th New York, 45th and 100th Pennsylvania. Captain Asa  McCook's 8th Massachusetts battery accompanied the division; Benjamin's  Battery remaining east of the Antietam. The head of the division crossed the  bridge about 2 o'clock. Crook's Brigade was in support. After Willcox had  crossed the bridge, the 51st Pennsylvania and 51st New York, which had  remained in the road near the bridge, ascended the high ground and took  position on the left of the 21st and 35th Massachusetts, the line being in  rear of Rodman's right.

The road from the bridge to Sharpsburg runs along an open hollow or ravine,  which winds along to the village, overlooked by the heights to the right and  left. Once on the heights, the country is rolling and with many field fences,  some of which were of stone. The Confederate skirmishers were posted behind  these fences as well as haystacks, which also, with orchards and cornfields,  served to conceal their lines. Batteries of field guns commanded the road and  hollow down to the Antietam and the whole plateau above was swept by cross  fire of artillery. Such was the character of the ground over which Willcox was  obliged to pass, but we must now get a more extended view of the field over  which the entire Ninth Corps is to move and the Confederate dispositions to  hold it.

If the reader consults the map he will see that that portion of the field of  battle south of Sharpsburg and west of the Antietam is included by the  Boonsboro and Harper's Ferry roads, running at nearly right angles to each  other and the southeast quarter of the village lies in the angle. Cemetery  hill lies east of the village and descends sharply east and south, on the  south to a broad ravine, or hollow, through which runs a spring-branch from  the village to the Antietam, which it reaches about 375 yards above the  bridge. The road to the bridge runs over the southwest slope of the hill, then  crosses the spring-branch and follows it on the west side until it reaches the  Antietam, which it follows and overlooks to the bridge. From the hollow south  of Cemetery hill the ground again rises to a ridge running southwest gradually  widening to a plateau along which runs, south, the road from Sharpsburg to  Harper's Ferry. From the hollow through which runs the branch and the road to  the bridge are ravines running southwest, gradually narrowing and terminating  before reaching the Harper's Ferry road. These ravines are deep near the  hollow with rounded beds and capable of concealing an entire army corps. The  plateau along which runs the road to Harper's Ferry is 40 to 70 feet higher  than the ridge upon and behind which the Ninth Corps deployed, completely  commands it, and is favorable to the movement of artillery. )From this road to  the Antietam, where the bridge crosses, is (1360?) yards, and it is 940 yards  from the road to where the batteries of Durell and Clark took position. The  intervening ground was open, with plowed ground, grass fields and cornfields. The defense of this part of the field was entrusted to General D.R. Jones's  Division of six brigades--Toombs', Drayton's, Garnett's, Jenkins', G.T.  Anderson's and Kemper's--the Washington Artillery Battalion of four  batteries--Squires', Miller's, Richardson's and Eshleman's--Frobel's Battalion  of Hood's Division, three batteries--Garden's and Bachman's of South Carolina  and Reilly's of North Carolina--Eubank's Battery of S.D. Lee's Battalion, and  Brown's Battery (Wise Artillery) of D.R. Jones's Division, in all 9 batteries  aggregating 40 guns.

The position selected for Jones' Division and the artillery was Cemetery hill  and the ridge running southwest to the Harper's Ferry road, the right of the  division and the entire army--Kemper's brigade--being about 175 yards from the  Harper's Ferry road. There were some changes of position made earlier in the  day, but at 3 o'clock when the Ninth Corps was about to advance Jones' had on  Cemetery hill, 4 guns of Moody's Battery, 4 guns of Squires', 6 guns of  Garden's and the brigades of Garnett and Jenkins. Moody's guns and 2 of  Squires' with Garnett's Brigade were engaged with the Union advance from the  middle bridge, while 2 of Squires' guns and all of Garden's were firing at the  troops that had crossed the Burnside bridge; and in advance, on the southeast  slope of the hill were the 17th South Carolina and Holcombe Legion, of Evans'  Brigade, with a detachment, under Captain Twiggs, of G.T. Anderson's Brigade.  Across the Burnside bridge road and the spring-branch, on the crest of the  ridge running southwest and a short distance to the right of the southwest  corner of Avey's orchard were Brown's 4 guns and 2 of Reilly's, and about 100  yards in rear of a stone and rail fence that ran on the crest of the ridge  were the brigades of Drayton and Kemper, in a deep ravine, and now on the  point of ascending to the fence above them. The number of men at this time  with the two brigades was about 560. The 15th South Carolina, Colonel W.D.  DeSaussure, of Drayton's Brigade, was deployed as skirmishers, covering the  ravine and road to the bridge. In front of this position, about 750 yards  southeast, near the middle of a 40 acre cornfield, were the 15th Georgia,  Colonel W.T. Millican, and 17th Georgia, Captain J.A. McGregor, of Toombs'  Brigade, and five companies of the 11th Georgia, Major F.W. Little, of G.T.  Anderson's Brigade, all under command of Colonel H.L. Benning. What was left  of the 500 men who had defended the bridge joined Benning a few minutes later.  About 450 yards in rear of Benning, deployed along a rail fence bounding a  small cornfield on the east, and about 230 yards from the Harper's Ferry road,  was the 7th Virginia, 113 men, Captain Philip S. Ashby, and 340 yards, farther  to the right, behind a stone fence on the Harper's Ferry road, was the 24th  Virginia, 150 men, Colonel W.R. Perry. About 375 yards in front of the 24th  Virginia was Captain B.F. Eshleman's Battery of 4 guns. Richardson's Battery  which had been driven back at 1 p.m. and retreated through Sharpsburg, when  Toombs abandoned the bridge, had one gun disabled, but his section of  howitzers was put in position on the west of the Harper's Ferry road a short  distance south of Sharpsburg, where, a little later, Richardson, having  received ammunition and repaired his disabled gun, joined his howitzer section  and reported to Toombs. To the right and rear of the line was Munford's  Cavalry Brigade, Munford having his headquarters at the Blackford house,  where, at this hour, he greeted A.P. Hill, whose advance was coming upon the  field. D.R. Jones had for the defense of his line, the extreme right of the  army, about 2785 infantry, 430 artillery, with 28 guns, and the cavalry of  Munford, but Garnett's Brigade, of 260 men and 6 guns, had their hands full  with the Union troops moving from the middle bridge upon the eastern slope of  Cemetery Hill. During the engagement about to open, and about at its opening,  A.P. Hill came upon the field with 3300 infantry and four batteries of  artillery; and batteries, sections of batteries and single guns which had been  in action earlier in the day, on the left and in the center and had been  disable or expended ammunition, were hastened to the threatened point, and  thrown into position under the supervision of General Lee. About mid-day  General Lee had sent this message to General Pendleton, commanding the Reserve  Artillery at Shepherdstown Ford:

 "If you have fifteen or twenty guns, suitable for our purpose, which you can  spare, the general desires you to send them, with a sufficiency of ammunition.  You must not take them from the fords if essential to their safety. Send up  the stragglers. Take any cavalry about there and send up at the point of the  sword. We want ammunition, guns, provisions."

Pendleton could not collect the stragglers, he sent up but little ammunition,  and it was not until the engagement had closed that one battery arrived at  Sharpsburg. Not a battery, not an infantry soldier, save as stragglers, did  Lee take from his left or center to strengthen his right, he depended upon  D.R. Jones and A.P. Hill, to whom he gave general directions, and upon such  disabled batteries and single guns as could be gathered, and to the movement  of these he gave personal attention.

We now return to the deployment of Willcox's Division and the General advance  on Sharpsburg. Willcox's head of column had crossed the bridge at 2 o'clock  and, upon arriving where the road leaves the creek and goes to Sharpsburg,  deployed his command. Christ's Brigade filed across the hollow on the right,  under artillery fire, and formed under a high bluff, on a narrow strip of low  level ground bordering the Antietam, and Captain Devol's company of the 36th  Ohio, which had been skirmishing in advance, on the right of the road, fell  back and rejoined its regiment. After the formation of the corps line, but  before the general advance was ordered, Christ's Brigade scaled the steep  bluff and drew up on the crest of the high ground, the 79th New York,  Lieutenant Colonel Morrison, deployed in double skirmish line, the 50th  Pennsylvania, 28th Massachusetts, and 17th Michigan in line of battle, in  order named from left to right. Here it was subjected to a severe fire from  Garden's and Squires' guns in front, and suffered from a wicked enfilading  fire from Brown's and Reilly's guns on the left, and the men, lying down,  sought such shelter as the ground afforded, which, on the left, was very  slight. Welsh formed on the heights to the left of the road, deploying the  100th Pennsylvania as skirmishers and forming the other three regiments in  line, 45th Pennsylvania on the right, 46th New York, in center, and 8th  Michigan on the left. In going forward to position the left of the line passed  over the 35th Massachusetts of Sturgis' Division and when halted, waiting for  the order to advance, the left regiment was about 100 feet on the immediate  right of the 9th New York, the right regiment of Rodman's Division., and also  about 160 feet in its rear. These movements were made under fire from the  moment Christ began to cross the hollow or a man appeared at the crest of the  high ground on either side of the road.

The disposition of the corps line being completed about 3 p.m., in accordance  with instructions received from McClellan, Cox was now directed by Burnside,  who had crossed the bridge to assist Cox and hasten matters, to move forward  with the whole command, except Sturgis' Division, which was held in reserve,  in the order in which they were formed and attack Sharpsburg and the heights

on the left.

Meanwhile the Confederates kept up an incessant fire of artillery and, having  the exact range of the valley and the ravines, their shells came in very fast,  causing much annoyance and numerous casualties, notwithstanding the men were  kept lying on the ground near the crests of the hills while the changes in the  line and the partially new formation, after the arrival of Willcox's Division,  were being made.

In the formation as made Willcox's Division was on the right, Christ's Brigade  north and Welsh's Brigade south of the road leading to Sharpsburg, with  Crook's Brigade in support to Willcox. Rodman's Division was on the left,  Fairchild's Brigade joining Willcox, and Harland's Brigade having the left,  with Ewing's Brigade as a support or reserve. Sturgis' Division was to hold  the crest of the hill above the bridge. It was determined that Willcox,  supported by Crook, should move directly upon Sharpsburg, and that Rodman,  supported by Ewing, should follow the movement of Willcox, first dislodging  the enemy in their immediate front, and then inclining to the right, so as to  bring the left wing in echelon on the left of Willcox.

The order to advance was given by Cox at 3.15 p.m., and responded to in the  most cheerful and gallant manner, officers and men moving with the greatest  enthusiasm and, on the right and in the center, carrying everything before  them.

The move was made as nearly simultaneous as such movements are generally made  and we follow it from right to left, first accompanying Willcox in his  successful advance to the edge of the town and the expulsion of the  Confederate from Cemetery hill, and then returning to the advance of  Fairchild's Brigade of Rodman's Division.

 We left Christ's Brigade on the high ground east of the road, with the 79th  New York deployed in double line as skirmishers. When the order was given to  advance this regiment went forward and in its movement came upon the left of  Poland's 2nd and 10th United States, and with its assistance drove back  McMaster's small command (17th South Carolina, Holcombe Legion and Twiggs'  detachment) to the small apple orchard on the southern slope of Cemetery hill  and to the stone house and mill on the road to Sharpsburg, and when within 300  yards of the Confederate guns on Cemetery hill found that the brigade had  failed to follow, but had halted, and that Poland's orders would not permit  the further advance of the 2nd and 10th United States, upon which the regiment  was halted and, lying down, continued its fire upon Moody's two guns and their  infantry support. The brigade had halted because of the very severe enfilading  fire of the artillery on the left, in addition to the artillery fire on  Cemetery hill and that of Garnett's and Jenkins' infantry. Welsh had not yet  come up on the left and for a few minutes, until he did come up, Christ was  exposed to a fire of round shot, shell and canister by which he suffered  severely.

Welsh had a greater distance to move and over much more difficult ground. His  brigade preceded by the 100th Pennsylvania as skirmishers and supported by  Crook's Ohio brigade, went forward, the 45th Pennsylvania on the right, 46th  New York in the center, and 8th Michigan on its left. The 45th Pennsylvania  and 46th New York, swept over the hill in their front, down into the ravine  and then up the hill to the Otto buildings and apple orchard, the 45th  Pennsylvania passing either side of the barn. On the left, the 8th Michigan,  in starting, became involved with the 9th New York, a few files going with it,  but, swinging to the right with its brigade the entire line after a short,  sharp encounter, assisted by Crook, drove part of the 15th South Carolina of  Drayton's Brigade, deployed as skirmishers, from a stone fence, beyond the  ravine, and 130 yards from the Otto barn, and then descended into the ravine.  Here the troops were somewhat crowded and the 45th Pennsylvania moved by the  right flank out of the ravine, crossed the stone fence from which the 15th  South Carolina skirmishers had been driven and the entire brigade became  engaged with these and Jenkins' Brigade, which had taken position in the  orchard on the slope of Cemetery hill, and with McMaster's command, which,  driven back by Welsh and Poland had rallied in the orchard and occupied the  stone house and stone mill on the road.

Meanwhile a section of Cook's Massachusetts battery under Lieutenant J.H.  Coffin, was brought forward. The battery had crossed the Antietam with  Willcox, four guns were halted in the road near the bridge, and two under  Coffin, went forward up the road, Coffin says: "200 yards in advance of the  column." He went from the road, to the left, up the Otto lane and taking  position in the orchard, near the barn, opened with shell upon the artillery  on Cemetery hill and upon Jenkins' Brigade and McMaster, in the orchard. As we  have said in the preceding chapter, Squires' two rifled guns, after shelling  Willcox's advance from the bridge, had been withdrawn, because out of  ammunition, and Jenkins' Brigade, which was suffering (there?), then advanced  "some 400 yards in an apple orchard, under a heavy fire of artillery and small  arms." Colonel Joseph Walker, commanding the brigade, threw out the 1st, 5th  and 6th South Carolina and engaged Christ on his left, and the Palmetto  Sharpshooters and 2nd South Carolina Rifles in front and to the right to meet  Welsh and "from this position," says Walker, "we continued to pour a  destructive fire into the ranks of the enemy, a short range."

Garden's South Carolina battery of 12-pounders, which had been placed east of  the road, just north of the stone house, in full view of the long range guns  beyond the Antietam, came under their accurate and destructive fire that they  could not return, but opened upon Willcox's infantry as it crossed the bridge  and during its advance up the road, over the hill, and while ascending the  elevation on which the battery was posted. Garden's ammunition had now run  out; Lieutenant S.M. Pringle had been mortally wounded, several men wounded  and many horses killed, one of his guns dismounted, the carriage being  entirely destroyed, another rendered useless by the bursting of a shell, and  the remaining guns were run down the hill by hand to a ravine in the rear, the  disabled guns were then hauled off, the horses attached, and the entire  battery entering the road, one gun with out wheels, but dragging the ground,  went through Sharpsburg, barely escaping the men of Welsh's Brigade, who had  now reached Avey's orchard, almost in its rear, and some of whom were running  forward to the street down which it retired.

Meanwhile Welsh had pressed forward; the 45th Pennsylvania obliqued across the  road and, with the assistance of Christ, who had now advanced to the  Sherrick's lane, on his right and rear, on high ground, and the forward  movement of the rest of the brigade on the left, forced Jenkins' Brigade back  and the 45th, supported by a part of the 100th Pennsylvania, after a sharp and  severe fire from the stone mill and house, by which it lost several men,  carried them and took a number of prisoners, among them Captain Twiggs, who  had been wounded. Meanwhile Fairchild had driven back Kemper and Drayton, and  as Jenkins was over the hill and out of sight, Welsh moved his entire brigade  forward and to the left, into Avey's orchard where he joined a part of  Fairchild, and prepared to engage Jenkins, who was now seen on his right and  enfilading him, and to advance into the town. Skirmishers were then thrown  forward to the first street and some of them went beyond, one of whom was  killed in the street running north from Avey's house.  

Jenkins' Brigade fell back over the hill about 300 yards to the edge of the  town and changed front to the right, parallel and close to the Burnside bridge  road, his right looking down the first street of the town, and the entire  brigade overlooking the low ground beyond which was Avey's orchard. Walker  gives reasons for falling back to this position: "Perceiving that the enemy  had advanced three heavy columns some 400 yards in rear of the brigade and to  the right across a ravine leading up from the creek, and was steadily driving  back the brigades of Generals Kemper and Drayton, I moved the brigade into  line parallel with the turnpike (bridge road) and ravine and near to the  latter, and opened a destructive enfilade fire upon the enemy." This position  the brigade maintained; its day's losses were 26 killed and 184 wounded. Among  the killed were two captains of the Palmetto Sharpshooters; five officers were  seriously wounded, two of whom were commanding regiments.

Jenkins' Brigade having been driven out of range, Coffin now directed the fire  of his two guns on the right section of Moody's Battery and at the same time  Christ, who had been severely engaged with Jenkins and also suffering from the  fire of Moody's section and its supporting infantry, charged it with the 17th  Michigan (this being the regiment immediately in front), supported by the 50th  Pennsylvania and 28th Massachusetts, but when within 100 yards of the guns,  which were then retiring, and covered by a hill which prevented the advance  from shooting either the horses or their riders, the guns escaped, and the  charging party was ordered back, an order very reluctantly obeyed the 17th  Michigan, who saw that Cemetery hill had been abandoned, but Christ "did not  deem it prudent to advance after the artillery had retired, for the reason  that the woods were lined with sharpshooters" and he could only have exposed  his command without gaining anything, so the charging party was withdrawn and  remained with the brigade, until the entire command was ordered to fall back. As stated in the preceding chapter the pressure of the regular infantry on the  Boonsboro and Sharpsburg road, the advance of Willcox's Division and  Fairchild's Brigade from the south and in rear forced Garnett and S.D. Lee to  abandon Cemetery hill. Both claim that they could have held ground against the  advance of the regular infantry, but that the movement to their right and rear  endangered their escape. S.D. Lee made an effort to check this Union movement  and to support Jenkins' Brigade.

Just before he withdrew Moody's Battery, Lee requested Captain T.H. Carter to  take position with his battery about 130 yards in Moody's rear and, facing  Cox's advance, open fire upon it. Carter had been engaged earlier in the  afternoon at the Sunken Road, and just before receiving Lee's request had,  with three rifled guns of his own battery and the assistance of two rifled  guns of Brooks' South Carolina battery, under Lieutenant William Elliott,  opened fire "upon and imposing force of Yankees" which had "advanced in fine  style" upon the right of D.R. Jones' Division. Carter moved to the position  designated by Lee, on the hill about 100 yards south of the Sharpsburg road  and 300 yards east of the Lutheran Church, and overlooking Jenkins' Brigade,  but before he could get his guns in position, there was such a heavy reverse  artillery fire poured upon him from the long-range guns beyond the Antietam,  that he found the position untenable, and Lee advised him to withdraw. A  little later, Colonel Walker, having sent for artillery to assist his brigade,  Boyce's South Carolina battery then on Cemetery ridge, north of the road, was  ordered to report to him. Boyce crossed the road, east of the church, as  ordered, but could find no one there to give him information as to who gave  him the orders or what was required. Boyce says: "This was late in the  afternoon, and the battle soon ended."

In its early advance, Willcox's Division was closely supported by Crook's  Brigade which moved on the left of the road. It assisted in driving the  skirmishers of the 15th South Carolina from the stone fences behind Otto's  and, when Welsh moved forward, the 28th and 36th Ohio charged across the  ravine, under a heavy fire of artillery from the front and left, from which  Colonel Melvin Clarke of the 36th was killed, in the ravine, parts of the two  regiments went beyond the stone fence but were soon recalled to it, and the  11th Ohio was halted in Otto's lane, south of the barn, to command the ravine  leading to the left, where A.P. Hill's attack was now developing. We have now  accompanied Willcox and Crook to their extreme advance, have seen the  artillery and Garnett's Brigade abandon Cemetery hill, Jenkins' Brigade driven  back to the edge of the town and now return to Fairchild's Brigade, that  advanced on Willcox's left, and of which we have had an occasional glimpse, as  its movements assisted Welsh and stopped the enfilading artillery fire that  temporarily checked Christ.  Fairchild's Brigade was composed of the 9th New York (Hawkins' Zouaves),

Lieutenant Colonel Edgar A. Kimball; 89th New York, Major Edward Jardine, of  the 9th, and 103rd New York, Major Benjamin Ringold. It was a well drilled,  disciplined brigade and had seen much and varied service in North Carolina and  elsewhere, and carried into the battle about 940 officers and men. In coming  upon the field it took position immediately in rear of the advanced high ridge  upon which were the batteries of Clark and Durell, its right about 200 yards  south of the Otto house and about 100 feet from the left of Willcox's  Division, its left opposite the northeast corner of the 40 acre cornfield. The  9th New York was on the right, its left in rear and very close to Clark's  Battery and, with it, under a merciless fire of shot and shell, killing and  wounding a number of men, and of which Lieutenant M.J. Graham, of the 9th,  says that Clark's Battery "did not appear to do so much in the way of firing,  as it seemed to me that every time they would get fairly at work, the rebels  would concentrate such a fire on them as to silence them, and the men would be  obliged to lie down in such shelter as they could get, until the weight of the  enemy's fire was directed to another part of the line. Their 'park' was on a  lower level, and almost in line with, and in rear of the battery, and it  caught a good deal of the fire that missed the battery. The practice of the  rebel artillerymen was something wonderful in its accuracy; they dropped shot  and shell right into our line repeatedly. They kept the air fairly filled with  missiles of every variety. (?) The shrapnel or canister was very much in  evidence. (?) I watched solid shot--round shot--strike with what sounded like  an innocent thud in front of the guns, bounding over battery and park, fly  through the tree tops, cutting some of them off so suddenly that they seemed  to me they lingered for an instant for an instant undecided which way to fall.  These round shot did not appear to be in a hurry. They came along slowly and  deliberately, apparently, and there appeared no horror in them until they hit  something."

Clark's Battery and the 9th New York were not alone the recipients of this  artillery fire, it was received on the left by Durell's Battery also, and the  other regiments of the brigade, the 103rd New York being in the center of the  line, between Clark and Durell, though a little retired, under the crest of  the ridge, and the 89th in rear of Durell's Battery, which was on the ridge a  few yards to the right of the 40 acre cornfield. The fire poured upon this  line came from six guns of Brown's and Reilly's batteries, on the heights  between it and Sharpsburg and from Richardson's Battery beyond the Harper's  Ferry road, which, earlier in the day, occupied the position now held by  Clark's Battery.

All this time, while the firing was increasing in severity and its range more  accurate, the field officers were walking up and down the rear of the line,  waiting impatiently for the order to advance. At length General Rodman came  up, and, after surveying the Confederate position for a moment, sent forward a  company of each regiment as skirmishers, these had scarcely gone forward and  engaged the skirmishers of the 7th Virginia, behind a stone fence, when  Willcox was seen to move on the right, and Rodman ordered Fairchild to  advance; the regimental commanders received and repeated the order, the men  sprang to their feet and under the heavy artillery fire went on to and down  the ridge; the 9th New York being the battalion of direction, the objective  point Brown's and Reilly's six guns and the bold elevation upon which they  were in position, the distance being about 800 yards from Clark's Battery. It  descended the slope and went over the fences of Otto's lane. The 89th on the  left passing to the right of the cornfield, while the 9th on the right,  becoming slightly involved with the 8th Michigan of Welsh's Brigade which had  advanced at Manly at the same time, but this was promptly rectified, the  Michigan swinging to the right, and the entire brigade, went down into a  plowed ravine under fire of artillery and skirmishers of the 7th Virginia,  and, after advancing about 200 yards, Fairchild ordered a charge and, with a  wild hurrah, the men started on a double quick, ascended out of the ravine and  went over the stone and rail fences that extended along the west edge of the  40 acre cornfield down to the Burnside bridge road at Otto's, captured the  skirmishers of the 7th Virginia at the fence and drove the regiment to the  left and back to the Harper's Ferry road, receiving its fire but not returning  it. As they climbed the fence shell fell fast along the whole line from the  batteries in front and from McIntosh's Battery that had come upon the field  and taken position at the Blackford house about 1500 yards to the left. One  shell killed 8 men of the 9th New York and round shot carried away men's heads  and crashed through their bodies, reminding one of the officers, at the  moment, of Lannes' description of the battle of Austerlitz: "I could hear the  bones crack in my division like glass in a hailstorm." A few yards beyond the  fence and in a depression the brigade was halted to rest and dress the line,  although dressing was not necessary, for the moment the line halted every man  was in his place, but it had been much shortened, and its dead and wounded  marked the steps of its advance. Full one fourth of the brigade had fallen. No  enemy save the 7th Virginia was yet to be seen and another elevation was  before it. With but a moment to draw breath it again went forward under the  fire of the merciless guns, now using both shell and canister, making great  gaps in the line, and descended into a slight vale, halted a minute or two to  draw breath and gather strength for the final struggle with a foe whom they  had not yet seen, but who were known to be at the crest of the hill, in  support to the six guns, that were yet exploding shrapnel into the ranks. Turner's Gaphis hill is a broad spur of the plateau along which runs the  Harper's Ferry road, and terminates at the spring-branch which runs from the  town through a ravine to the Antietam. From this spring-branch there was a  stone fence running southwest on this hill or spur, bounding Avey's orchard on  the east, for a distance of 300 yards to its highest point, which is over 80  feet higher than the spring-branch, when a stout post and rail fence continues  in the same southwest direction. This elevation is some 70 feet higher than  the depression where Fairchild had now halted to draw breath. Kemper's and  Drayton's brigades had been lying in a ravine beyond this spur, and 100 yards  from the fence, well sheltered from artillery fire. Brown's Battery was still  engaging Clark's Battery, which, by its fire, was covering Fairchild's  advance, when, knowing that Fairchild was advancing, Kemper and Drayton  ordered their men up the hill to the fences. Kemper was on the right, his  left, the 11th Virginia, Major Adam Clement, rested at the point where the  stone and rail fences united; and on its right was the 1st Virginia, Colonel  W.H. Palmer, and on the right of the 1st, was the 17th Virginia, Colonel M. D.  Corse. The three regiments had an aggregate of about 210 officers and men.  Drayton's Brigade, formed on Kemper's left, the right of the 51st Georgia at  the point where the stone and rail fences united, its left the 15th South  Carolina, Colonel W.D. DeSaussure, extending down the hill in skirmishing  order, and principally employed in opposing the advance of Welsh. On the  immediate left of the 51st Georgia was the 3rd South Carolina Battalion of 17  men. The brigade numbered about 380 men; the aggregate of the two brigades  about 590 officers and men. They came into position under a severe fire from  Clark's guns and from those of Benjamin beyond the Antietam, by which Captain  J.T. Burke and Lieutenant F.B. Littleton of the 17th Virginia were killed.  Fairchild was now reported advancing up the hill; Captain J.S. Brown of the  battery was wounded, and his four guns, moving to the right, across the field,  gained the Harper's Ferry road and went through Sharpsburg. Reilly's two guns  went through a gateway of the fence and through the town, and the Union  artillery soon ceased firing. Kemper's men rested their rifles on the lower  rails of the fence and Drayton's on top of the stone wall. The hill shut out  the view but the commands of the Union officers, the clanking of equipment,  and the steady tramp of the approaching line was easily distinguishable. Fairchild made but a brief halt, and in beautiful line, as well dressed as on  parade, the brigade began the ascent of the hill, at a quick step, but the  line had been much shortened and did not now number over 700 men, nearly a  third had fallen. Not a shot had been fired, but the muskets were loaded and  bayonets fixed, and the orders were that not a shot was to be fired until  orders were given to do so, then to deliver a volley and charge with the  bayonet. Brown's and Reilly's guns were now getting out of the way, but the  line was enfiladed by Richardson's Battery on the left, and Clark's friendly  guns were firing over it at the enemy on the hill top. Clark's fire soon  ceased and as the brigade appeared at the crest of the hill, and the clear sky  showed behind the heads and shoulders of the men, there was a crash of  musketry from Kemper and Drayton that sent down scores of men in every  regiment, and was particularly destructive to the 9th New York, that had come  up in front of the stone fence, behind which and about 50 yards distant was  the right of Drayton's Brigade. The entire color guard of that regiment went  down and the colors lay on the ground. "one or two of the men staggered to  their feet and reached for the colors, but were shot down at once. Then there  was what seemed a spontaneous rush for them by a dozen or more from several  companies, who were shot down in succession as each one raised his flag. The  flags were up and down, up and down, several times in a minutes. Lieutenant  Sebastian (Geyers?) was hit just as he picked up one of them." The men had now  lain down and opened fire. At last Captain Adolphus (Libaire?) seized one of  the colors, and, swinging it around his head, shouted to his company, to get  up and follow him; Captain Lawrence Leahy seized the other color; the entire  regiment rose to its feet, and, officers in front, charged to the stone fence,  across which there was short struggle, in which bayonets were used, and  Drayton's men were routed, some of them captured, and the rest pursued through  Avey's orchard, where Welsh came up, on the right. Some of Drayton's men  escaped by the ravine to the Harper's Ferry road. Some of the 9th New York  with others of Welsh's Brigade pushed clear into Sharpsburg, one was killed in  the street, a number were captured. There were still about 100 men left in the  regiment and these Kimball rallied on the colors at the fence, and with  difficulty recalled those who had gone down the ravine. The 103rd New York, in  the center, in its advance and from the first volley, lost over one half of  its men, and did not reach the fence in the final charge, but halted within 50  feet of it, when it was seen that the enemy had retreated. On the left the  89th New York had a severe engagement with the right of Kemper's line, which  it overlapped. Colonel Corse, commanding the 17th Virginia (9 officers and 46  men), the extreme right, says he "engaged the enemy at a distance of 50 or 60  yards," and that his regiment "came directly opposite the colors of the  regiment to which it was opposed, consequently being overlapped by them, as  far as I could judge, at least 100 yards." The historian of that regiment  says: "The first thing we saw appear was the gilt eagle that surmounts the  pole, then the top of the flag, next the flutter of the stars and strips  itself, slowly mounting, up it rose, then their hats came in sight , still  rising the faces emerged, next a range of curious eyes appeared, then such a  hurrah as only the Yankee troops could give, broke the stillness, and they  surged against us. 'Keep cool men, don't fire yet,' shouted Colonel Corse, and  such was their perfect discipline that not a gun replied, but when the  bayonets flashed against the hill-top, the 46 muskets exploded at once, and  sent a leaden shower full in the breasts of the attacking force, not over 60  yards distant. It staggered them, it was a murderous fire, and many fell, some  of them struck for the rear, but the majority sent us a stunning volley, and  but for the fence, there would have been hardly a man left alive. The rails,  the posts, were shattered by the balls, but still it was a deadly one, fully  one half of the 17th lay in their tracks, the balance that is left, load and  fire again, and for about ten minutes the unequal struggle is kept up...the  combatants not over 30 yards apart. (?) Our colonel falls wounded, every  officer except five (2?) of the 17th is shot down, of the 46 muskets 35 (24)  are dead, dying or struck down," and the 89th New York rushing to the fence 10  of the Virginians are captured, and then escaped. Colonel Corse was taken  prisoner, but, soon after, was rescued by Toombs' Brigade. All of Kemper's  Brigade had now been routed.

 As a regiment, the 89th, with its colors, remained at the fence, but many men  went over and down into the hollow and up to a rock ledge on the other side,  some pushed forward up the hill to the edge of the town and not much over 300  yards from the town square. The entire regiment would have gone forward, but  some Confederates were rallying with the apparent intention of turning its  left upon which Major Jackson charged with the bayonet and drove them to the  Harper's Ferry road, and then fell back under orders and rejoined the brigade  which was ordered to withdraw to the ravine near Otto's, about 400 yards in  the rear. The men went back with curses on their lips for those who had  mismanaged affairs on this part of the field and Kimball reports, "with tears  in their eyes at the necessity which compelled them to leave the field they  had so dearly won."

From the time of its advance to the rout of the Confederates from the fences  the brigade occupied about 30 ,minutes and lost nearly half its men. Including  the few men lost early in the morning and before the charge 87 were killed,  321 wounded and 47 missing, an aggregate of 455, or 48 4/10 per cent of the  940 carried into action. The 9th New York had 373 in action, as officially  reported, 45 were killed, 174 wounded, 14 missing, an aggregate of 235, or 63  per cent; the historian of the regiment says it had 54 killed (including  mortally wounded), 158 wounded, and 28 missing, an aggregate of 240, or 64 1/3  per cent. The 103rd New York lost 117 or 58 1/2 per cent, and the 89th New  York 103, or 28 per cent.

The Confederate loss was not so heavy, the fences were a great protection, the  total loss of Drayton and Kemper was 102 killed and wounded and 20 missing,  the greatest loss was that of the 17th Virginia 8 killed, 23 wounded and 10  missing, an aggregate of 41, or over 74 1/2 per cent; in killed and wounded  alone, 56 1/3 per cent.  

D.R. Jones, the Confederate division commander reports that "The enemy  advanced in enormous masses to the assault of the heights. Sweeping up to the  crest, they were mowed down by Brown's Battery, the heroic commander of which  had been wounded but a few moments before. They over came the tough resistance  offered by the feeble forces opposed to them and gained the heights. (?)  Kemper and Drayton were driven back through the town. The 15th South Carolina,  Colonel DeSaussaure, fell back very slowly and in order, forming the nucleus on which the brigade rallied."

All was now confusion in the town; artillery was dashing to the rear, through  the rough and narrow streets, stragglers from the left, in squads, men of  Garland's and Colquitt's brigades, who had been driven from Cemetery ridge by  the 4th United States Infantry, men of Kemper and Drayton, and Garnett who  were retreating from Cemetery hill, filled the streets, broken in  organization; Jones, Kemper, Drayton, Garnett and other officers endeavoring  to rally them. Earlier in the afternoon General Lee had been near Reel's  directing affairs on the left and at the Sunken Road. When the advance of the  Ninth Corps became serious he rode to the high ground near his headquarters,  where he met A.P. Hill and gave him instructions, and ordered every gun that  had wheels and horses to the south of the town; now that his right was broken,  he directed that every man that could be gathered should be sent out on the  Harper's Ferry road, to unite with Toombs, who had been ordered to join  Kemper's right, and he rode into town and gave his personal assistance in  stopping stragglers and rallying the broken commands. Drayton's men were  rallied on the colors of the 15th South Carolina, in the road, just out of  town, a few men of Kemper's Brigade were rallied on their colors, which were  conspicuously displayed in the road, and Toombs was seen coming down the road,  as the 8th Connecticut mad its appearance on the high ground from which Kemper  had been driven but a little nearer the road and farther south. When the order was given Rodman's Division to advance, Harland's Brigade was  on the left of Fairchild, the 8th Connecticut, on its right, a little to the  left and rear of Fairchild, overlooking the northeast corner of the 40 acre  cornfield, the 16th Connecticut in the cornfield, into which it had entered at  the northeast corner, and the 4th Rhode Island approaching to move on the left  of the 16th Connecticut. When making dispositions fro the advance, Major  Thomas W. (Lion?) of the staff, who had carried instructions to the left of  the line, rode up to Harland and reported and reported that he and officers of  Scammon's Brigade had seen Confederate infantry (Gregg's Brigade) forming on  the left, which fact Harland reported to Rodman and then ordered his brigade  forward. The 8th Connecticut wheeled slightly to the right, passed to the  right of the cornfield, its right in rear of Fairchild's left, which preceded  it a few minutes, but the 16th Connecticut, apparently, did not hear the order  to advance, and Harland sent an aid to hasten them, and, when moving down the  hill, suggested to Rodman that the 8th Connecticut, when at the foot at the  hill and under cover from the artillery fire pouring on it, should halt and  wait for the 16th Connecticut and 4th Rhode Island to come up, but Rodman  ordered the continued advance of the regiment, , saying he would bring up the  two regiments, so Harland kept on with the 8th Connecticut, and began firing  at some skirmishers who appeared on his left. The two regiments not yet coming  up Harland turned to see if they were advancing and saw instead some

Confederate infantry--the 7th and 37th North Carolina--rapidly advancing on  his left flank, upon which, Rodman having ridden ahead to Fairchild, ordering  the 8th Connecticut to continue its advance, he put his spurs to his horse and  rode back to hasten the advance of the 16th. The 8th Connecticut, under a  scattering flank fire from the North Carolina skirmishers, moved on and soon  came under the fire of McIntosh's South Carolina battery, but was somewhat  protected, as it was moving under cover of the hill upon which the battery had  just gone into position, though it suffered some casualties.

McIntosh's Battery was the advance of A.P. Hill's Division. After crossing the  Potomac it preceded the infantry, came by the road from Blackford's Ford and,  when nearing Blackford's house, near the Harper's Ferry road, left one  howitzer and all its caissons and, with a Napoleon and two rifles, took  position on the right of and near the Blackford house, and, after firing two  or three shots at Fairchild's Brigade, moving to the left, was ordered by A.P.  Hill to report Kemper on the left of a cornfield and support the right of  Jones' Division. The guns were limbered up and went at a gallop directly  across the fields and came into the Harper's Ferry road at the northwest  corner of what is known in the Confederate reports as the "narrow cornfield"  and then moved up the road a few yards, in the direction of Sharpsburg, to a  gate in the plank fence, where it waited in the road for Brown's Battery,  leaving the field, to come out. Some of the men suggested that it was not a  proper place for a battery, where another had been driven out, but McIntosh  replied that he had been directed to go in there and fight and ordered the  battery forward. It went through the gate as soon as Brown's guns had cleared  it, and, obliquing to the right, took position 100 feet on the left of the  narrow cornfield and 100 yards fro the road, the guns not quite to the crest  of the ridge. When taking this position there was seen about 300 yards to the  left and front, Kemper's small brigade, huddled together behind a fence,  firing upon Fairchild's Brigade, which was rapidly advancing, and about the  time the guns began firing, less than three minutes after they were in  position, Kemper's men were run over by Fairchild. In coming into position  McIntosh came under fire of the Union Artillery posted on the high ground from  which Rodman had charged, to which he responded with vigor and while so  engaged, himself working one of his guns, for the battery was short-handed, he  saw the colors of the 8th Connecticut and occasionally the heads of the men as  they approached under the hill, moving diagonally across his front from right  to left, and opened fire upon them. McIntosh says the advancing columns  "halted and lay down for some minutes when they began their advance again" and  gradually came into view and as they approached to within 60 yards of his  guns, as all his horses, but two, had been shot, he ordered the men to save  themselves and abandoned the guns.

It was not the entire 8th Connecticut that McIntosh saw approaching him, it  passed to his left, but the left company, under Captain C.L. Upham, that had  been detached, while advancing, to take the battery, from which the gunners  had apparently been driven, as, at the time, the battery was silent. But as  Upham was crossing the field, ascending the hill and nearing the guns,  apparently at the very moment McIntosh was abandoning them, his attention was  called to troops approaching his left and rear through the narrow cornfield,  upon which, without reaching the guns, he fell back. Upham says: "They came up  company or division front and deployed on reaching the fence at the edge of  the field, each division opening fire as soon as it came into line. We fell  back to our regiment which changed front and engaged them." The Confederate  force was the 7th and 37th North Carolina, whose skirmishers had been annoying  the 8th Connecticut as it advanced.

When Upham rejoined his regiment it had gained the high ground to the left of  where Fairchild fought. Fairchild had swung off to the right and down hill, in  pursuit of Kemper and Drayton, and had then been ordered to fall back, but his  dead and wounded marked the ground over which he had fought. Save those dead  and wounded there was not a Union soldier in sight. The regiment was alone,  over half a mile in advance of the position from which it had charged and with  no support. It was 120 yards from the Harper's Ferry road and nearly parallel  to it, and on its right front, in the road, were small remnants of Kemper's  and Drayton's brigades that had retreated to a deep cut of the road, and,  looking to the left was seen Toombs' Brigade, coming at a double quick down  the road.

When Toombs fell back from the bridge to the stone fences he was joined by the  15th and 17th Georgia of his brigade and 5 companies of the 11th Georgia,  under Major F.H. Little of George T. Anderson's Brigade. The 2nd and 20th  Georgia were then ordered to the rear for ammunition, and the two fresh  regiments into the 40-acre cornfield. Little's battalion was posted by Toombs  behind a stone fence on the right of the two regiments, and Little reports  that skirmishers were sent out and brisk firing began and that his skirmishers  were driven in, the enemy's advancing to within 125 yards of him, a full line  of battle drawn up in rear. He quietly awaited their advance, but the efforts  of the Union officers to move them forward were unavailing. The skirmishers  encountered by Little were those of the 48th Pennsylvania and the (movement?)  seen by him of a full line of battle, were those of Nagle's Brigade taking  position after crossing the bridge.

When A.P. Hill's Division was announced as approaching the field Toombs was  directed, that as soon as Gregg's Brigade arrived and relieved him, to move  his command to the right of his own division to the right in the direction of  Sharpsburg; before Gregg arrived he received an order to move immediately to  meet the enemy, who had already begun his attack on Jones' Division. He  quickly put his command in motion, and fell back to the Harper's Ferry road,  where he was met by another order to hasten his march as the enemy had broken  the line of Jones' Division and were nearly up to the road without a  Confederate soldier in front. At this point Toombs was joined by the 20th  Georgia, and the entire command went double-quick along the road, passed the  7th Virginia, which had fallen back before the advance of Fairchild, and in a  short time the head of the line passed the "narrow cornfield," saw McIntosh's  three abandoned guns, and the 8th Connecticut "standing composedly in line of  battle," about 120 yards from the road, apparently waiting for support, on the  very ground Toombs had been ordered to occupy. Colonel Benning reports that  "neither in their front nor far to their right was a man of ours to be seen,  but three abandoned guns of ours were conspicuous objects about midway between  the road and the enemy's line." Little's battalion was in advance, followed by  the 17th Georgia, Captain J.A. McGregor, 15th, Colonel William T. Millican,  and a large part of the 20th in rear. All, however, made but a short line, and  Benning, when he thought the rear had not quite cleared the cornfield, for he  did not desire to see the enemy to see how short his line was, halted the head  of his line opposite the right of the 8th Connecticut, and ordered it to begin  firing: "the rest of the line as it came up joined in the fire. The fire soon  became general. It was hot and rapid. The enemy returned it with vigor, and  showed a determination to hold their position stubbornly."

Meanwhile General Rodman had fallen. He had gone forward with the 8th  Connecticut, rode ahead to where Fairchild was engaged, saw the 8th  Connecticut coming up and started to meet it, or to go for the rest of the  brigade, when he was shot through the breast and fell from his horse. No one  saw him fall, but two of Upham's men--Seth D. Bingham and T.H. (Hanley?)--  were falling back from the advance on McIntosh's guns, to rejoin their  regiment, they heard his cry for help, went to him and took him to a sheltered  position under the hill, from which he was moved across the Antietam to  Roulette's house, where he died some days later.

While Toombs was engaging the 8th Connecticut, the 16th Connecticut and 4th  Rhode Island were (being?) engaged a half mile in the rear of the 8th, in the  40-acre cornfield, to which, in order to preserve the sequence of events, we  now return. This 40-acre cornfield , covered at the time with dense corn, has  running through it, from the northwest to the southeast corner a deep ravine.  From its northeast corner the ground descends directly to the ravine, but in  the southwest part of it there is a plateau, from which the ground descends  quite abruptly 30 to 40 feet. The west edge of the field was bounded, the  greater part of its extent, by a stone wall, broken in places by rail fences,  and beyond this, between the high ground on which runs the Harper's Ferry  road, there is quite a valley, lower by nearly 50 feet than the road. In the  cornfield 130 yards from the stone fence on the west and parallel to it, is a  stone ledge, upon which was an old board fence, partially thrown down and  (negligent?), and its line was marked by trees. Seen through the dense corn  and smoke of combat it had the appearance of a stone fence and is so called in  the Confederate reports.

The 16th Connecticut, Colonel Francis Beach, 760 men, had entered the  cornfield at its northeast corner and moved to the bottom of the ravine, where  skirmishers under Captain (Barber?) were thrown out up the hill to the edge of  the plateau in the southwest part of the field. It did not advance with the  8th Connecticut and soon an order was received from Rodman to swing to the  left to face Gregg's Brigade, of A.P. Hill's Division, then approaching. A.P. Hill's Division had remained at Harper's Ferry until the morning of the  17th, when, at half-past six, he received orders from General Lee to march to  Sharpsburg. Leaving Thomas' Brigade to complete the removal of the captured  property he put his division in motion at half-past seven, marched up the  Virginia side of the river, crossed at Blackford's Ford and, after an  exhausting march of 17 miles, the head of his column arrived upon the field at  2.30 p.m. Hill reported in person to General Lee, by whom he was warmly  greeted and who exclaimed: "General Hill I was never so glad to see you, you  are badly needed, put your force in on the right as fast as they come up."  Hill then rode to D.R. Jones, who gave him such information of the character  of the ground as was necessary, and then rode to the Blackford house, where he  met the advance of his division coming upon the field by the ford leading from  the ford. McIntosh's Battery had already taken position near the Blackford  house, where it fired a few shots and was then sent forward to strengthen  Jones' right. The infantry now came up and were rapidly thrown into position.  Pender and Brockenbrough on the extreme right, looking to the road crossing  the Antietam near its mouth, Branch, Gregg and Archer extending to the left to  make continuation with D.R. Jones's Division. Hill says: "Braxton's  Battery...was placed upon a commanding point on Gregg's right; Crenshaw and  Pegram on a hill to my left, which gave them a wide field of fire. My troops  were not in a moment too soon. The enemy had already advanced in three lines,  had broken through Jones' Division, captured McIntosh's Battery, and were in  the full tide of success."

Hill's Division did not come upon the field in a body. As soon as one brigade  crossed the river and climbed up its slippery bank, it was hurried forward,  without waiting to allow the men to wring the water from their clothing and  socks, or for the brigade immediately following, by which it came that the  brigades arrived at the front, at varying intervals, not of many minutes,  however, for they were small and promptly handled. It is impossible to say in  what order the brigades arrived, but we first follow Gregg. The appearance of  McIntosh's Battery had attracted the attention of the Union artillery and guns  were trained in that direction, so, when Gregg's Brigade appeared, passing the  Blackford house and nearing the Harper's Ferry road, it came under artillery  fire from the guns beyond the Antietam and (as) well as those west of it, upon  which it inclined to the right, (went) down under cover, then, changing  direction to the left, crossed the Harper's Ferry road and formed line about  250 yards beyond it. The 14th South Carolina, Lieutenant Colonel W.D. Simpson,  the leading regiment, was thrown out to the right, behind a stone fence,  nearly at right angles to the brigade line, to protect that flank, and was so  far beyond the Union left that it was not engaged. Gregg formed three  regiments in line, the 1st South Carolina, Colonel D.H. Hamilton, on the  right; the 12th South Carolina, Colonel Dixon Barnes, in the center, and the  13th South Carolina, Colonel E.O. Edwards, on the left. The first South  Carolina Rifles, Lieutenant Colonel James M. Perrin, was held in reserve. The  four regiments numbered about 750 men.

Pegram's Battery closely supported Gregg, and went into position a few yards  east of the Harper's Ferry road and 355 yards a little north of west from the  southwest corner of the 40 acre cornfield that Gregg was about to enter. It  was on a very commanding position, giving a wide range of fire, that was  immediately opened, principally upon the Union infantry, on the ridge beyond  the cornfield. Braxton's Battery was put in position in rear of Gregg's right,  130 yards east of the Harper's Ferry road, 450 yards a little south of west of  the cornfield, and 270 yards on Pegram's right. It followed Pegram in opening  fire upon the Union infantry. We anticipate in saying that later, about 4.30  p.m., one gun of Pegram's Battery and 2 rifled guns of Braxton's were moved to  the extreme right, on a hill, about 280 yards due north of Snavely's barn,  giving them an enfilading fire and, as reported by Hill's chief of artillery,  were worked "with beautiful precision and great effect, upon the infantry of  the enemy until nightfall closed the engagement."

Gregg's skirmishers, who had been thrown to the front, were now withdrawn and  Gregg ordered his three regiments to advance into the cornfield that crowned a  bold hill in his front and drive back the enemy, whom the skirmishers had  reported as advancing through the corn. They advanced, went quickly over an  intervening ravine and up the hill and struck the southwest corner of the  cornfield; the 13th South Carolina under a misapprehension of orders, halted  at the stone fence bordering the cornfield on the west, while the 1st and 12th  went over the fence, both at the south and west sides of the field, moved  northeast about 120 yards, driving back the skirmishers of the 16th  Connecticut, and, reaching the highest part of the field, halted and opened  fire upon the troops in the ravine at the foot of the hill and, also, upon  those on the high, open ground beyond the corn, who were seen advancing, but  the 12th South Carolina halted for a few minutes only on the left of the 1st,  when, the Union skirmishers having fallen back to the old fence that ran  through the corn, it charged down the hill upon the 16th Connecticut, which  was then changing front beyond the low rock ledge and fence. The Connecticut  skirmishers were driven from the fence, but the main body, though somewhat  disordered, returned the fire with such spirit that the 12th South Carolina  was checked and, coming under this fire in front and on both flanks, was,  almost immediately after reaching the fence, compelled to fall back to prevent  being flanked on the right, and the Union line again advanced to the fence.  Barnes again charged with the 12th but was again repulsed by the combined fire  of the 16th Connecticut and the 4th Rhode Island and, the movement of the  Rhode Island regiment threatening his right, he fell back in some disorder  carrying with him part of the left of the 1st South Carolina but quickly  rallied in the southwest corner of the corn.

We left Harland riding back to this cornfield to hasten the advance of the  16th Connecticut. His horse was shot from under him before he had gone far,  which delayed his arrival. He found that the regiment, by an order of Rodman,  had changed front to the left and was heavily engaged and perceiving that the  right of the 12th South Carolina was exposed ordered Colonel Beach to change  the front of the 16th Connecticut to strike it; "which change was effected,  though with some difficulty, owing to the fact that the regiment had been in  service but three weeks, and the impossibility of seeing but a small portion  of the line at once." It was this change of front of the 16th Connecticut and  its attack, and the appearance of the 4th Rhode Island that caused the 12th  South Carolina to fall back in some disorder, but, almost immediately after  this, both the 16th Connecticut and 4th Rhode Island were flanked in turn, and  driven from the field.

The 4th Rhode Island, Colonel W.H.P. Steere, 247 men, entered the cornfield by  the right flank, under fire of the Confederate artillery in full view, and  descending into the ravine came into line on the left of the 16th Connecticut,  which was in some confusion, engaging the second advance of the 12th South  Carolina, and crowding to the left, and rendering it almost impossible to  dress the line, which had become somewhat disordered in advancing through the  corn, but its appearance assisted forcing back the 12th South Carolina and in  compelling the 1st to move farther to the right, and throw back it three right  companies, fearing a movement on that flank. In this position the 1st South  Carolina opened fire on the 4th Rhode Island. At this moment the Rhode Island  men mistook the colors of the 1st South Carolina for a Union flag, ceased  firing, and Lieutenants George E. (Curtis?) and George H. Watts volunteered to  go forward, through the dense corn, and ascertain what was in front. Placing  themselves on each side of the regimental colors, carried by Corporal Thomas  B. Tanner, they went up the hill to within 20 feet of the enemy when they were  fired upon and Tanner killed. (Curtis?) seized the colors and ran back  followed by Watts and the orders given to open fire and Steere sent Lieutenant  Colonel (Curtis?) to the 16th Connecticut, to see if it would support him in a  charge up the hill, but the corn being very thick and high Curtis could find  no one to whom to apply and returned to Steere to report that they must depend  upon themselves, and Steere sent him to the rear for support. But before he  could get back the crisis had come.

The 1st South Carolina, which was engaging the 4th Rhode Island, was running  out of ammunition and about to fall back, when the 1st South Carolina Rifles,  which had been held in reserve, was now sent forward by Gregg to sweep thee  field on the right and, ascending to the crest of the hill in its front and  coming up on the right of the 1st South Carolina , saw the 4th Rhode Island  which had turned the right of the 1st South Carolina, and was delivering a  destructive fire on its flank. The Rifles advanced a short distance beyond the  first, then forward to his right, so as to completely turn the left flank of  the 4th Rhode Island and delivered a destructive fire before its presence  seemed to be realized. The Rhode Island men attempted to return the firs, but  so great was the disorder into which they and the 16th Connecticut had been  thrown that, after a short, sharp fire, both were thrown into hopeless  confusion, broke, and fell back, the Rifles capturing 11 prisoners, among them  Captain Caleb T. Brown, 4th Rhode Island, who had been wounded. Colonel Harland, referring to the action of the 16th Connecticut, says: "The  right of the enemy's line, which was concealed in the edge of the cornfield,  opened fire. Our men returned the fire and advanced, but were forced to fall  back. Colonel Beach rallied them and returned to the attack, but they were  again driven back, this time out of the cornfield beyond the fence. Here they  were again rallied, but as it was impossible to see the enemy; and the men  were under fire for the first time, they could not be held."

Lieutenant Colonel Curtis of the 4th Rhode Island reports that his regiment  was outflanked and enfiladed: "The regiment on our right now broke, a portion  of them crowding on our line. Colonel Steere ordered the regiment to move out  of the gully by the right flank, and I left him to carry the order to the  left, of which wing I had charge, the Colonel taking the right. (?) The  regiment began the movement in an orderly manner, but, under the difficulty of  keeping closed up in a cornfield, the misconception of the order on the left  and the tremendous fire of the enemy...the regiment broke. Colonel Steere was  severely wounded in the left thigh after I left him to report on the left the  order to leave the cornfield." An attempt was made to rally on Muhlenberg's  Battery, which, some distance back from the cornfield, now opened with shell  and canister upon the South Carolinians, in the southwest part of the  cornfield, but before many could be collected the battery retired, when the  efforts became unavailing. A few men rallied on the left of the 51st  Pennsylvania and continued fighting until their ammunition was exhausted, when  they recrossed the Antietam and rejoined their regiment and brigade. The loss  of the 16th Connecticut was 42 killed, 143 wounded; that of the 4th Rhode  Island 21 killed and 77 wounded.

As the 4th Rhode Island and 16th Connecticut were giving way, Ewing's  Brigade--12th, 23rd and 30th Ohio--was charging toward the stone wall in  front. This brigade was in support of the left of Rodman's Division, and when  that division was ordered forward was lying down behind the ridge from which  it advanced. Upon the report that the Confederates were massing on the left  the brigade moved in that direction about a quarter of a mile and then  directly back to the point from which it had started, and, without a halt,  came into line to the left and charged; the 23rd Ohio, Major J.M. Comly and  30th Ohio, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Jones, sweeping over the crest, between  Clark's and Durell's batteries, then over the fence, down into the valley and  up to the stone fences that ran along the west side of the cornfield and  extended far to the north. The 23rd on the right, made its advance over open  ground, 375 yards, under fire of artillery and musketry, and came to the fence  on the right of the ravine, where it cuts the corner of the 40 acre cornfield,  its left very near it, and its right extending up the hillside to higher  ground. The 30th Ohio started over open ground, gained ground to the left and  entered the corn as it went down hill, passed some men of the 16th  Connecticut, who were still in the hollow, passed over their dead and wounded,  and, under a severe fire that had been poured upon it from the moment it moved  to the charge, which continued and increased as it advanced, reached the stone  fence at the west edge of the corn. It was on a hillside sloping to the north,  its left on the highest part of the hill and 240 yards from the southwest  corner of the corn; its right at the base of the hill, close to the ravine,  beyond which was the 23rd Ohio. Its entire front was covered by the stone  fence.

 Both regiments reached the fence about the same moment and saw, in the open  field before them, the enemy, upon whom they opened fire, and leaving them  here for a moment we return to the 8th Connecticut and the troops now  encountered by the two Ohio regiments.

In Benning's desire to front the right of the 8th Connecticut he had carried  his line so far that his rear had passed 100 yards beyond the narrow  cornfield, but he was in an excellent, well sheltered position in the road,  which, at this point, ran in a cut, much lower than the bank in front, and on  the left were parts of Kemper's and Drayton's brigades. The entire line  engaged the 8th Connecticut with some spirit, inflicting upon it much loss,  and, in addition to this fire in its front, it was suffering from a fire upon  its left flank and rear, which caused it to change the front of its left wing.  This flank and rear fire came from the 7th and 37th North Carolina of Branch's  Brigade.

When Branch's Brigade came upon the field by the road passing Blackford's, a  battery opened upon it, upon which it turned sharply to the right, down hill,  then resumed its first course and after the leading regiment, the 7th North  Carolina, had fired two or three volleys at a regiment beyond the cornfield,  crossed the Harper's Ferry road and marched east until the 8th Connecticut was  seen, marching in line northwest, upon which skirmishers were sent out and the  7th North Carolina, Colonel Edward S. Haywood, and 37th North Carolina,  Captain W.G. Morris, were detached and sent on the double quick to the left,  north, the 7th on the right. The (running?) skirmishers soon opened fire upon  the moving 8th Connecticut, and the two regiments followed by the flank. The  37th, on the left, went through the lower part of the "narrow cornfield," and  the 7th over open ground on its right, and both came into line, behind the  fence on the northern edge of the cornfield and the fence continuing east from  it. The fence was approached as Upham was advancing to seize McIntosh's guns  and opened fire upon the left and rear of the 8th Connecticut, not quite 300  yards distant, which caused it to make a partial change of front. This fire  and that of the enemy in the road was more than the Connecticut men could  stand. Richardson's Battery from across the road now opened upon them and,  after an engagement of less than 30 minutes, losing nearly one half its men  (34 killed and 139 wounded) and with no hope of support, the regiment was  ordered to retreat. Toombs and Benning say it retreated in confusion but  officer of the 37th North Carolina testify that it "held ground quite  stubbornly, fought splendidly, and went off very deliberately, firing back at  the 37th and waving its flag." Officers of the regiment admit that some of the  men retreated without halting to fire, but contend that a greater part of them  stopped several times to fire at the enemy in the corn. While the 37th North  Carolina was engaged a volley was poured into its right flank, also upon the  flank of the 7th, from the fence of the 40 acre cornfield, by which some men  of the latter were killed and wounded and some men of the 37th wounded, upon  which the 7th immediately fell back, soon followed by the 37th. We shall see  them later.

When the 8th Connecticut was seen leaving the field Toombs ordered pursuit,  and his men, with those of Kemper and Drayton, a mere handful, climbing the  bank and board fence, advanced to near where the regiment had stood, and  Toombs ordered a charge over the hill, but Benning, who was a better soldier,  thought otherwise. He says: "We could not see what was below the crest of the  hill, but I knew a very large force of the enemy must be somewhere below it,  for I had from our last position seen three or four successive long lines of  them march out from the bridge. I therefore suggested to General Toombs the  propriety of halting the line, as its numbers were so small and it had no  supports behind it, just before it reached the crest of the hill, and sending  to the crest only the men armed with long-range guns. This suggestion he  adopted."

As Toombs was about to leave the road Archer's Brigade came up on his right.  This brigade, composed of the 1st Tennessee (Provisional Army), Colonel Peter  Turney; 7th Tennessee, Major S.G. Sheppard; 14th Tennessee, Colonel William A.  McComb; and 19th Georgia, Major James H. Neal, reached the field with less  than 400 men, and turning to the left, marched right in front on the road to  Sharpsburg, and formed line of battle, faced by the rear rank, in the road,  the "narrow cornfield" of 150 yards width, extending along its immediate  front; Toombs being in the road a few yards to the left and about to go  forward. Skirmishers were immediately thrown into the cornfield and the  brigade, scaling a board fence, went forward under a scattering fire, through  the tall corn 225 yards to its eastern edge, overlooking open, plowed ground,  but when the two left regiments--14th and 7th Tennessee--reached this advanced  position, the others were found to have fallen back to the road, from which,  meanwhile, Toombs had advanced. The 37th North Carolina, in falling back from  the fences, under the enfilading fire received by it, had halted in the corn,  and Archer's two right regiments, hearing the commands of the officers of that  regiment to fall back, mistook these orders as for themselves, the corn was so  dense that nothing could be seen, and fell back to the road. Archer, who was  ill and very weak and had ridden in an ambulance, assuming command of his  brigade, only, because he was on the soil of his native state, had not yet  left the road. As quickly as possible he reformed line in the road and again  the two regiments advanced through the corn to where the 14th and 7th  Tennessee had halted, when the entire line, Toombs following on the left,  charged over a plowed field 300 yards to the stone fence of the cornfield,  behind which were the 23rd and 30th Ohio. Archer was met by a withering fire  that caused him much loss; Colonel McComb was wounded and nearly one third of  his brigade stricken down, but, with the assistance of Gregg on his right,  Archer drove back the 23rd and 30th Ohio and halted at the fence. It was the assistance given by Gregg that caused the retreat of the two Ohio  regiments, without it, they could have held their position against the front  attack of Archer and Toombs. When the two regiments reached the fence three of  Gregg's regiments were in the southwest part of the cornfield and one behind  the same fence, but on the other side and a few yards to the left of the 30th,  but none of them were visible and but one, the 1st S.C Rifles, was firing and  as this was so far to the left and supposed to be taken care of by the 12th  Ohio, which it thought was moving on that flank, no attention was paid to it,  and as the fence was reached fire was opened upon Archer. Major George H.  Hildt of the 30th, reports: "Our men were at this time utterly exhausted from  the effect of the double-quick step across the plowed field, and their fire  was necessarily slow and desultory for several minutes. As soon, however, as  our first volley had been given, and our colors rested at the wall, a  withering fire was directed upon us from our left flank, and from which we  suffered most severely." Its left company was on the crown of the elevated  ground from which there was a rapid descent to the ravine on the right, beyond  which was the 23rd Ohio on open ground.

Major Comly of the 23rd Ohio from the elevated position where he was standing  saw what he took to be a Union line advancing on the left and toward the rear  of the 30th and at the same time he saw that the 30th was still in position  and that it was opening fire upon this supposed Union line and gave his men  orders not to fire upon it, although it was rapidly approaching and within  easy range. But, when a volley came down the flank and rear of the 30th, and  enfiladed the 23rd, all doubt vanished and Ewing ordered Comly to change front  perpendicularly to the rear, which was quickly done, and Lieutenant Colonel  Jones was ordered to fall back with the 30th and form on the left of the 23rd.  Jones, who was on the right of the 30th gave the order to move by the right  flank and join the 23rd, which order was not heard, except by the four right  companies, which moved in that direction, the remaining companies still  holding position at the wall. Lieutenant Reese R. (Furbay?} of Ewing's staff  was sent with orders to these companies to fall back, but was killed before  reaching them, and they remained a few minutes longer, until the enemy's fire  upon their flank could not be borne, two color bearers had been killed,  Archer's Brigade was at the fence, it was now discovered that the right of the  regiment had gone, and the six companies fell back to the ravine, where they  found a few men of the 16th Connecticut.

Archer's men gained the stone fence just as the Ohio men abandoned it; in fact  Archer's left reached the fence abandoned by the right wing of the 30th before  its left fell back and a few men charging over it, captured Lieutenant Colonel  Jones, commanding the 30th. Archer soon came up and ordered his entire  brigade, now reduced to less than 300 men, to charge into the cornfield, an  order that was promptly responded to, but, when less than 100 yards in the  corn, it was met by such a severe fire from the six companies of the 30th  Ohio, and the few Connecticut men, who had rallied with them, in the ravine,  that it was driven back with loss and lay down behind the stone fence. There is a strong probability that some of the loss sustained by Archer's  Brigade was inflicted by the 12th South Carolina, which, not perceiving  through the dense corn that the Ohio men had fallen back, was still firing in  that direction. When the firing came from the ravine the 12th South Carolina  charged for the third time, and was met by a volley from the Ohio men, who  immediately retreated through the corn and up the hill from which they had  advanced, the 12th South Carolina following up to the north fence of the corn,  and firing upon the retreating troops. In this last charge, Colonel Barnes of  the 12th South Carolina was mortally wounded, and the command devolved on  Major W.H. Corkle, who remained at the fence until near sunset, when he fell  back to the top of the hill, and then over the stone fence on the right of the  13th South Carolina, which had maintained its position during the entire  engagement.

When the six companies of the 30th Ohio fell back out of the cornfield the  other four companies and the 23rd Ohio were not in sight. This withdrawal had  been hastened by the advance of Toombs' Brigade, charging on the left of  Archer's, and fell back down the ravine leading to the Burnside bridge road,  at Otto's spring, and the regiments when united bivouacked a little north and  west of the bridge and about 100 yards from it.

We have said that the 23rd Ohio was hastened from its position by the advance  of Toombs' Brigade. This is true only as to a part of Toombs. At Benning's  suggestion Toombs halted his brigade just before reaching the crest of the  hill from which the 8th Connecticut had been driven. Those men who were armed  with long-range guns were advanced to the crest and opened fire on the  retreating Connecticut men, and 2 guns of Richardson's Battery were ordered up  and opened fire upon the retreating infantry and Coffin's section of  artillery, which, after the retreat of Garnett and Moody's guns from Cemetery  hill, had moved from Otto's orchard to a position south of it, where the guns  were turned upon Archer's and Toombs' infantry seen in the narrow cornfield  and on the open ground north of it. Not deeming this position a good one  Coffin moved farther to the left, "on a high eminence overlooking the enemy's  infantry" and here he came under the fire of Richardson's guns about 650 yards  distant.

 Meanwhile Garnett had joined Drayton in the road. Having reached the rear of  the town and hearing that Toombs had reinforced the right "and restored the  fortunes of the day in that quarter," he gathered as many men as he could get  to follow him, not over a small company, and joined Drayton in the road, just  after Toombs advanced from it. Archer was now moving forward. Drayton and  Kemper occupied the fence from which Fairchild had driven them, and Toombs'  15th and 20th Georgia charged forward to the fence and opened fire upon the  retreating infantry--23rd and 30th Ohio--and Coffin's guns, and, with the  assistance of Richardson's guns, compelled Coffin to fall back through the  ranks of the 35th Massachusetts, which was moving to the front, to the  position from which the 9th New York had charged. Coffin says his guns worked  "with terrible effect" and fell back when "ammunition was exhausted." Toombs desired "to pursue the enemy across the river" but had no artillery  available and was about to content himself "to occupy the position at the  bridge from which he had been driven." But the Union line, forming in his  front, prevented this, perceiving which Toombs, leaving a small reserve with  Colonel Benning, ordered the rest of his command down to the stone fence,  following himself, and opened a hot fire with the 35th Massachusetts, on the  hill about 300 yards opposite, during which Colonel Millican of the 15th  Georgia was killed. Toombs reached the stone fence about the time Archer, on  his right, was being driven out of the cornfield, and was soon followed by  Branch's Brigade.

We have seen that when Branch's Brigade came upon the field the 7th and 37th  North Carolina were pushed forward and engaged the left and rear of the 8th  Connecticut and fell back under an enfilading fire on their right, probably  from the 23rd Ohio, just before Archer charged. After these two regiments went  forward, or about the time they were ordered forward, A.P. Hill came down the  hill from the direction of Sharpsburg and seeing, nearly 200 yards beyond  Toombs' right, an unsupported battery west of the road, nearly opposite the  southwest corner of the cornfield, and not knowing, apparently, that the 7th  and 37th were moving or about to move in that direction, for they were below  the ridge out of view, ordered Colonel James H. Lane, 28th North Carolina, who  was in rear of the brigade and had not crossed the Harper's Ferry road, to  hasten up the road and support this battery, as Union skirmishers were  reported moving on it through the corn. Lane quickly led his regiment up the  road until he came to the corner of the cornfield, where he halted in the road  and in front of the battery, but did not become engaged. The 7th and 37th were  then engaged with the 8th Connecticut though, himself in a deep cut in the  road and they at the foot of a hill beyond and screened by the corn, Lane did  not see them, at least he has no recollection of seeing them, but did see the  advance of the 23rd and 30th Ohio and the movement of the 12th, and soon after  Archer passed him and charged through the narrow cornfield. Though Lane did  not see the two North Carolina regiments and had no recollection of seeing  Archer's Brigade, Major W.J. Montgomery of the 28th, saw Archer pass and make  his charge and from the high, open ground in front of the right of the  regiment, saw the 7th and 37th North Carolina, advance from the position to  which they had fallen back, cross the trail of Archer's Brigade over the  plowed field and, swinging to the right go forward. In swinging to the right  they came under the artillery fire that threw the left of the 7th into some  confusion, but they charged up to the fence on Archer's left, the 7th coming  in on the right of Toombs' men and at the northwest corner of the corn;  Captain Morris, commanding the 37th, went over the fence on the right of the  7th, into the corn by the right flank, and fired at some retreating troops,  met a warm fire, and immediately fell back as he saw the 33rd North Carolina  come up and pass his left flank.

The 18th North Carolina, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Purdie, and 33rd North  Carolina, Lieutenant Colonel R.F. Hoke, that had immediately preceded the  28th, halted 200 yards east of the Harper's Ferry road as a reserve. Hoke,  seeing the 7th and 37th going forward, the second time, followed without  orders, passed closely in rear of Archer, at the fence, crossed the ravine and  came into line on the left of Toombs, and the moment he passed the left of the  37th, that regiment came out of the corn, followed him and formed on his  right. The 18th was halted by General Branch in a hollow in Archer's rear, and  Branch rode forward to the high ground and fence where lay the 12th and 13th  South Carolina of Gregg's Brigade, and had some conversation with Colonel  Edwards and Major McCorkle. Raising his field glasses to get a better view of  the Union line on the ridge beyond he was shot in the head and instantly  killed.

Meanwhile Colonel Lane had been ordered to rejoin the brigade. He came up in  Archer's rear as Branch was being carried off the field and was notified that,  as senior officer, he was in command of the brigade. It was after sunset, and  he found the 7th, 37th, and 33rd regiments posted behind the stone fence, and  the 18th sheltered in a hollow in Archer's rear. He ordered the 28th to the  left of the line, but the order was delivered to the 18th, which was posted to  the left behind a rail fence, a portion of it being broken back to guard  against a flank movement. The 28th was placed on the left of the 7th, in an  opening caused by the withdrawal of Toombs' men, who were ordered to the left  and bivouacked on Cemetery hill.

Meanwhile, the remainder of A.P. Hill's Division had come upon the field.  Pender's Brigade followed Branch and was ordered by Hill to the extreme right  "looking to a road which crossed the Antietam near its mouth." It was in an  open field on Gregg's right, and not actively engaged. During the engagement  it was moved from the right to the center, did not become engaged and, after  sunset, bivouacked on Branch's left. Brockenbrough's Brigade was the last of  the infantry to arrive; was thrown to the right, and the 40th Virginia sent to  support the guns of Pegram and Braxton on the hill near Snavely's. It was not  engaged and after dark was withdrawn and bivouacked south of the town near the  stone mill. Crenshaw's was the last of Hill's batteries to reach the field and  "took position on a hill in front of Captain McIntosh from which, disregarding  the enemy's artillery, he directed his fire entirely at their infantry." When McIntosh's guns were saved the men returned to them, bringing up the one  gun which had been left behind, and opened fire, and batteries other than  those of A.P. Hill's Division had arrived and were arriving and, by General  Lee's orders, thrown in front (of Cox), along the high ground lying west of  the Harper's Ferry road and south of Sharpsburg. Eshleman's Battery we have  seen opposing the advance of Rodman's at Snavely's Ford, after which it  received orders to hold the enemy in check until arrived, and Pender soon came  to its support, and the battery "kept up a moderate shelling of the woods near  the ford until night." It was on the right of the entire line of batteries and  south of the road leading past the Blackford's house. Two guns of Miller's  Battery had been withdrawn from the engagement at the Sunken Road because out  of ammunition. Miller had replenished ammunition and "was returning to his  former position, when he was directed by General lee to an elevated and  commanding position on the right and rear of the town, when General A.P. Hill  had just begun his attack." He was about 170 yards west of the Harper's Ferry  road and south of the narrow cornfield. Captain Richardson with his section of  Napoleons and a 10-pounder Parrott gun of Squires' Battery, under Lieutenant  J.M. Gailbraith, went to the right, near the guns under Miller, opened fire  and continued in action until nightfall. Richardson's section of howitzers, at  the same time, as we have seen, being assigned by Toombs a position near his  brigade, and opening upon the men of the Ninth Corps and continuing the fire  until they were out of range. At the time D.R. Jones' Division was giving way,  Lieutenant J.A. Ramsay, with two rifled guns of Reilly's North Carolina  battery came on the field from the artillery park near Lee's headquarters, and  hurried into position on the right near Richardson and about 170 yards west of  the narrow cornfield. He took position as Hill's men came up. Somewhat later  Captain Squires, who had quit Cemetery hill, because out of ammunition for his  section of rifled guns, having refilled his limber chests and reported to  Toombs was, with his two guns, and a section each of the Maryland Light  Artillery (Dements' Battery) and Reilly's Battery, sent to the right, but, as  the Union attack had been repelled, they were not brought into action, and  about the same time, a gun each of Cutshaw's Battery and Chew's Battery of  horse artillery dashed up. On the outskirts of the town and 450 yards west of  the Harper's Ferry road, Bachman's four guns were placed on a commanding hill,  and 600 yards in Bachman's rear and 450 yards southeast of Lee's headquarters  two rifled guns of Read's Georgia battery were placed in position, by Lee's  order, to bear upon the enemy across "some fields over on the right of the  road." Bachman and Read were not engaged, being held in reserve. Some of these  guns were in position when Cox advanced, others came up as Hill arrived and  some came later, nearly all were engaged and the judicious posting of this  artillery, aggregating, with Hill's batteries, 43 guns, made Lee's right very  strong.

We return to the 12th Ohio. It had about 200 men and was commanded by Colonel  C.B. White. By Ewing's order it was to go forward with the 23rd and 30th to  the stone fence. Before moving, however, it was reported that the enemy were  moving around the left and it was ordered to form line at right angles with  the 30th, move down to the cornfield and engage the enemy's flanking column,  then seen in the southwest corner of the cornfield. It reached the northeast  corner of the cornfield but before it could close up on the left of the 30th,  came under a heavy fire of shell and spherical case that threatened its  destruction, and immediately Gregg's Brigade, about 375 yards distant, in the  southwest corner of the corn, opened fire upon it. A Union battery in the rear  now opened in reply to the Confederate battery, probably Pegram's, and the  regiment was directly in the line of fire of the two batteries and on the high  point of ground between them, receiving shots from both, and to add to its  discomfiture a regiment of raw troops that had taken position on the left of  the battery, apparently mistaking it for the enemy, or endeavoring to reach  the enemy in the corn beyond, opened fire; fortunately the fire was wild and  too high. The regiment was ordered to lie down to escape the rain of shot and  shell that was sweeping across its position and Colonel White called on a  volunteer to go back to the regiment and battery and explain the situation;  Sergeant John M. Snook performed the service, and White undertook to move the  regiment to the left, out of immediate range of the two batteries and less  exposed to the fire of Gregg's infantry. The order was misunderstood by the  companies on the left, and resulted in an oblique move to the southeast,  towards the Antietam, which came near resulting in a break of the  regiment--but it was rallied at a fence, where it was as fully exposed both to  the fire of artillery and musketry, as in its first position, and, after some  effort on the part of the officers, it advanced to the east edge of the  cornfield, about the length of the regiment to the left of its original  position. Here it remained exchanging fire with the 1st South Carolina Rifles,  until, being relieved by a regiment of Sturgis' Division, which was now taking  position on the left of the corps line, it fell back to the brow of the hill  in front of the bridge and rejoined its brigade.

When disaster came to Harland's two regiments in the cornfield, the extreme  left of the Ninth Corps, Cox was in the center of his line, near Clark's  Battery, watching the progress of affairs on the right. He saw Willcox's and  Crook's successful advance, the brilliant charge of Fairchild's Brigade and  the advance of the 8th Connecticut. He also saw the movement of the 7th and  37th North Carolina on the flank and rear of the 8th Connecticut, the advance  of Toombs and Archer on the Harper's Ferry road; two regiments of Branch in  near support to Gregg, and the movement of Pender towards his left. He saw  also the Confederate batteries hastening into position on the high ridge near  the Harper's Ferry road, and open fire, and concluded "that it would be  impossible to continue the movement to the right, and sent instant orders to  Willcox and Crook to retire the left of their line, and to Sturgis to come  forward into the gap made in Rodman's. The troops on the right swung back in  perfect order; Scammon's Brigade hung on at the stone wall with unflinching  tenacity till Sturgis had formed on the curving hill in rear of them, and  Rodman's had found refuge behind."

In his official report Cox says: "The mass of the enemy on the left still  continued to increase; new batteries were constantly being opened upon us, and  it was manifest the corps would, without reinforcements, be unable to reach  the village of Sharpsburg, since the movement could not be made to the right  whilst the enemy exhibited such force in front of the extreme left, and the  attack both to the right and left at once would necessarily separate thee  wings to such an extent as to imperil the whole movement unwarrantably. The  attack already having had the effect of a most powerful diversion in favor of  the center and right of the army, which by this means had been able to make  decided and successful advances, and no support at the time four our exhausted  corps, I ordered the troops withdrawn from the exposed ground in front to the  cover of the curved hill above the bridge, which had been taken from the enemy  earlier in the afternoon. This movement was effected shortly before dark, in  perfect order and with admirable coolness and precision on the part of both  officers and men."

Let us see how the movement was conducted. Sturgis' Division was ordered  forward to fill the gap in the line caused by the advance of Rodman. This  division, after being relieved by Willcox, had been placed behind the ridge  from Which Rodman advanced; Ferrero's Brigade on the right, Nagle's on the  left. Just before and while advancing to the position vacated by Rodman the  8th Connecticut was attacked and driven back by Toombs, Kemper, Drayton, and a  part of Branch, and the 23rd and 30th Ohio forced to retreat from the stone  fence, by the advance of Toombs, Archer and Branch on their front and Gregg on  their left flank. Ferrero's Brigade, nearest Cox, advanced to the position  vacated by Fairchild, and about this time Durell's and Clark's batteries,  having fired their last round of ammunition, retired and Coffin's two guns  retreated under the fire of Richardson's Battery and Toombs' musketry. The 35th Massachusetts. on Ferrero's right, was ordered forward by Cox in  person. It was lying down 100 yards in rear of the ridge. It rose to its feet  and moved a short distance, when Coffin's section came dashing back at full  speed, breaking the line for a moment, but the men closed up, obliqued a  little to the left, then charged with a hurrah, on the double quick over the  hill from which the 9th New York had charged, and down the slope, passing some  broken commands, to the rail fences of Otto's lane, where it halted in a very  exposed position, laid its rifles on the fence rails and opened fire. In front  was a plowed field through which ran a deep ravine, sloping up to a stone wall  300 yards distant, behind which were the enemy, and on the left front, 150 to  250 yards distant, was the 40 acre cornfield. Beyond the stone wall on rising  ground, and at a distance varying from 600 to 1200 yards were Confederate  batteries. The first fire of the 35th was a rattling volley, then at will. The  21st Massachusetts, 51st New York, and 51st Pennsylvania advanced on the left  of the 35th, and, having more experience in war, did not descend the west  slope of the ridge, but laid down just under its crest, a few yards back from  the lane, and the entire brigade line came under heavy artillery fire, and a  rattling fire of musketry from the stone fence and cornfield in front and on  the left. A portion of the 4th Rhode Island rallied on the left of the 51st  Pennsylvania. An officer of the brigade says: "It was now nearly dark and the  enemy jumped the fence with their colors and endeavored to advance but were  driven back." This refers to the 37th North Carolina or Archer's Brigade,  probably both.

Of Nagle's Brigade, on the left, the 2nd Maryland and 6th New Hampshire were  held in reserve near the bridge; the 45th Pennsylvania was in rear, as second  line to the 51st Pennsylvania, and the 9th New Hampshire, which had been in  the rear, near Muhlenberg's Battery, was now advanced nearly to the left of  the 51st Pennsylvania, overlooking the cornfield and on the right of the 12th  Ohio, which was still engaged. Here it laid down to avoid the heavy artillery  fire poured upon it. It was covered by Muhlenberg's Battery a few yards in its  rear, Muhlenberg being supported by the 11th Connecticut of Harland's Brigade,  the other regiments of the brigade returning to their bivouac beyond the  Antietam. Soon the ammunition of the 51st Pennsylvania gave out, and the 48th,  crawling forward, relived it, and it fell back to the position from which the  48th had advanced and replenished ammunition. Very soon after this, about  sunset, the 12th Ohio fell back and the 9th New Hampshire soon followed, both  under a heavy artillery fire from the batteries in front and from the three  guns of Pegram and Braxton near Snavely's, the 9th New Hampshire went back in  some disorder, most of it men recrossing the Antietam by the ford below the  bridge, the remainder being rallied about half way between the cornfield and  the bridge. It was now dark and the 2nd Maryland and 6th New Hampshire were  sent forward as skirmishers on the left, overlooking the corn, and remained  all night. On the right of the division line the 35th Massachusetts, though  exposed to a most terrific fire of artillery and musketry, during which it  lost 3 officers and 45 men killed and 160 wounded, remained until near dark,  when, under orders, it fell back, under a shower of musketry, went down to the  bridge, then up the road to the left and bivouacked. The 51st Pennsylvania,  having replenished ammunition again went forward and occupied that point of  the ridge beyond which the 35th Massachusetts had fought, and the 51st New  York was relieved by an Ohio regiment of Crook's Brigade, now taking position  to relive Sturgis, who was massing his division on the left. The 21st  Massachusetts, after seeing everything on its right fall back and the 51st New  York, on its left, relieved, fell back to the high ground just above the ridge  and joined its brigade. Ferrero says of his brigade: "firing every round they  had in their boxes, they quietly placed themselves on the ground in their  position, and remained until other regiments had formed in front to relieve  them, when by my orders they retired in good order from the field, and again  marched to the banks of the creek." In marching to the banks of the Creek  Ferrero joined the other brigade of the division, which formed the extreme  left resting on the creek below the bridge, and the troops relieving him and  forming the center of the line were Crook's regiments supported by Ewing's  rallied command.

It was under cover of Sturgis' advance to the ridge vacated by Rodman that  Willcox and Crook were withdrawn. It was half past 4; Willcox was about out of  ammunition, for the wagons had not been able to accompany the forward  movement, and his advance was halted "partly in the town and partly on the  hills," to allow his men to take some breath and to fetch up some cartridges,  when he received Cox's order to fall back, upon which he sent an order to  Fairchild, on his left, as we have seen, to withdraw to the ravine near  Otto's. Here Fairchild, with the 11th Ohio of Crook's Brigade, faced to the  left to meet the advance of Toombs and Archer, but these being held back by  Sturgis, who had now formed on the ridge, Fairchild soon moved down the road  to the bridge and halted in the roadway. 

Willcox then withdrew to the position from which he had made his final  advance, every regiment marching back in perfect order, Crook's Brigade which  had remained at the stone fence in advance of Otto's and was about to advance  when Willcox was ordered to withdraw, now fell back and relieved Sturgis, who  fell back to the left; and the line, as thus established, covered the Burnside  bridge, Sturgis' Division in front, on the left, supported by Fairchild; the  Kanawha Division, under Colonel Scammons, in the center, Crook's large brigade  in front, supported by Ewing, and Willcox's Division on the right.  Muhlenberg's Battery and the 11th Connecticut recrossed the Antietam and  bivouacked with the other three regiments of Harland near Rohrbach's. The 4  guns of Cook's Battery, which had been halted in the road, when Coffin went  forward with his section, counter-marched about 4 p.m., went up the road to  the left of the bridge and opened fire near the cornfield, where they were  subjected to a cross fire from the enemy's batteries and infantry. The fire  from the corn was very severe. After firing several rounds, while Sturgis was  taking his position on the left, the approach of darkness compelled the  cessation of operations, but the guns were charged with canister and the men  lay with them.

Cox expressed his satisfaction with the manner in which his divisions were  handled: "The movements were accurate as those of a parade, and the systematic  order with which they were executed made the spectacle in the heat of the  battle a grand and inspiring one." No corps commander on the field displayed  more tactical ability than Cox, both in the attack and the dispositions  quickly made when reverse, for which he was not responsible, came to his left. Cox reports that these dispositions were made "shortly before dark," and  elsewhere says: "The men of the Ninth Corps lay that night upon their arms,  the line being one which rested with both flanks near the Antietam, and carved  outward upon the rolling hill tops which covered the bridge and commanded the  plateau between us and the enemy. With my staff I lay upon the ground behind  the troops, holding our horses by the bridles as we rested, for our orderlies  were so exhausted that we could not deny them the same chance for a little  broken slumber."

An instance of comradeship and thoughtful devotion to duty may here be noted.  As the sun was setting, a regimental commissary sergeant, of 18 years, who had  remained with the trains in camp, east of the Antietam, approached the  Burnside bridge with a loaded wagon. Loaded ammunition wagons were going  forward, as far as the bridge, and empty ones were returning; empty ambulances  were going and loaded ones were coming back, wounded men were finding their  way to the rear, shells were exploding, and he was cautioned of danger and  advised not to proceed, and a general officer, passing to the rear, ordered  him to turn back but, when he had passed by, the young soldier crossed the  bridge, went up the road to the left, turned to the right, and, halting at the  bivouac of the 23rd Ohio, under the artillery fire, distributed to his  comrades cooked rations and coffee. There was no finer exhibition of  thoughtful duty than that given by this youthful soldier--William McKinley. It  was recognized by promotion and was the beginning of a brilliant career. The Confederates did not venture an attack upon Cox's position but, content  with having repulsed him, kept up a brisk artillery and musketry fire until  dark, when it gradually ceased and the battle of Antietam was ended. A.P. Hill's Division rested for the night along the stone fences running  northerly from the large cornfield to the Burnside bridge road; Kemper and  Drayton in its rear, in the position occupied earlier in the day . Toombs was  on Cemetery hill on Hill's left; Jenkins' Brigade again advanced to the apple  orchard and threw out skirmishers beyond Sherrick's lane, and Garnett's small  command re-occupied Cemetery hill. At dark Carter's Battery was sent by  General Lee to occupy the hill and guard the road leading from the middle  bridge.

The loss of the Ninth Corps was 24 officers and 414 men killed; 98 officers  and 1698 men wounded; 2 officers and 113 men missing, an aggregate of 2249.  Rodman's Division suffered the most severely, and the heaviest percentage of  loss was Fairchild's Brigade. Crook's Brigade suffered least, it had 73  killed, wounded, and missing.

The loss in A.P. Hill's Division, in its short, sharp, and successful  encounter, was 66 killed, 332 wounded, and 6 missing, an aggregate of 404. The  loss in D.R. Jones' Division, the day (alone?), and including the loss in its  engagement with the regular infantry on the Keedysville road, was about 75  killed, 450 wounded, and 40 missing, an aggregate of 565; or a total loss in  the two division of 969. The loss of the artillery not belonging to these  divisions would increase the loss to over 1000.

The conduct of the battle on the Union left has given rise to much heated  discussion, in which McClellan, Fitz-John Porter and Burnside have been  severely condemned, McClellan and his friends contending that for Burnside's  tardiness, "the victory might have been much more decisive." In this chapter  we have given in some detail, Burnside's movements; in the preceding chapter  we have treated of Porter's, it remains to say a few words of McClellan, who  has been criticized for his failure in uniting what he could spare from  Franklin's corps to Porter's, and supporting Burnside's attack by a movement  along the Keedysville road directly towards Sharpsburg. 

McClellan passed nearly the entire day on the high ground at Pry's house,  where he had his headquarters and where, Palfrey says, he "had some glasses  strapped to the fence, so that he could look in different directions." Early  in the day Colonel Sackett, of his staff, was sent with an order to Burnside  to push across the bridge, and Sackett was directed to remain with Burnside,  to see that the order was promptly executed and to give him assistance. Other  messengers went from headquarters to Burnside urging haste in the execution of  this movement. Before noon McClellan sent Pleasonton across the Antietam by  the middle bridge to support Sumner's fight at the Sunken Road and, about  noon, sent two batteries of Porter's corps and some of Porter's infantry to  support them and drive back the Confederate skirmishers, who had been annoying  Pleasonton's guns. Sykes says these were sent against his (Sykes) judgment and  Porter complained that the infantry were diverted from the service of  supporting the batteries and were "employed to drive the enemy's skirmishers  to their reserves." At 1 o'clock information was received that the bridge had  been carried, and their was a lull along the whole line from right to left,  the fighting on the extreme right had ceased, and that at the Sunken Road was  confined to artillery.

A short time before the bridge was carried McClellan sent Colonel Key of his  staff to inform Burnside that he desired him to push forward with the utmost  vigor, take the bridge with the bayonet, and carry the enemy's position on the  heights; that the movement was vital to success; that this was the time he  must not stop for loss of life, if a great object could thereby be  accomplished, that if, in his judgment, the attack would fail, to inform him  so at once, that his troops might be withdrawn and used elsewhere on the  field. The bridge was now carried, and Key quickly returned with Burnside's  reply that he would soon advance and go up the hill as far as a battery of the  enemy, on the left, would permit. Key was immediately sent back to Burnside  with preemptory orders to advance at once. "At this time," says W. F. Biddle,"  Colonel Key carried an order in McClellan's handwriting relieving Burnside on  the spot and placing General Morell in command, to be used if Burnside did not  instantly advance and fight."

Captain Hiram Dryer was now ordered across the middle bridge with additional  battalions of regular infantry, with directions to take command of all of  Porter's troops there. After sending Key on the second mission to Burnside,  McClellan "towards the middle of the afternoon, proceeding to the right, found  that Sumner's, Hooker's and Mansfield's corps had met with serious  losses,...and the aspect of affairs was anything but promising." McClellan  says: "At the risk of greatly exposing our center, I ordered two brigades from  Porter's corps, the only available troops, to reinforce the right." Franklin  was chafing to attack with the Sixth Corps, but Sumner had forbidden it and  expressed to McClellan "the most decided opinion against another attempt  during that day to assault the enemy's position in front, as portions of our  troops were so much scattered an demoralized. In view of these circumstances,"  says McClellan, "after making changes in the positions of some of the troops,  I directed the different commanders to hold their positions, and, being  satisfied that this could be done without the assistance of the two brigades  from the center, I countermanded the order, which was in course of execution." While McClellan was absent on the right, where there was no fighting, and  where he had determined that own his own part, so far as he could prevent,  there should be none, Porter and Sykes were discontinuing movements that would  have helped Burnside. We have already stated, in the preceding chapter that,  about 3 p.m. Pleasonton asked McClellan for more infantry. He received this  reply: (Here Carman pastes Marcy to Pleasonton 3.30 from OR's, entire.) The tenor of the dispatch and the surrounding circumstances indicate that it  was not dictated by McClellan, who was absent, but that it was made upon the  responsibility of the chief of staff, who had remained at headquarters, for  certainly it would be very singular that McClellan, if present, would have  referred Pleasonton to Porter, when Porter, himself, was at headquarters, a  word to whom would have decided the matter, without having the reply go to  Pleasonton and then another message to porter, all of which would have  consumed nearly an hour of very precious time; and it is still more singular  that either McClellan, Porter or Marcy would consent to the withdrawal of the  batteries at the very moment Burnside was advancing; the natural conclusion  would be that all would have united in supporting them strongly to assist  Burnside. But it was not so; both Porter and Sykes had very reluctantly sent  their artillery and infantry across the Antietam, they were not disposed to do  more; and a half an hour later Pleasonton was ordered by McClellan to send  some of his cavalry to the right, where it was employed in gathering  stragglers of the First Corps.

Pleasonton saw the weakness of the Confederate line in his front, and the  advance of Burnside on Sharpsburg and believing that there was a good opening  for him to advance his batteries to Cemetery Hill and ridge and there assist  Burnside, acted upon the suggestion made by the chief of staff, in his note of  3.30 p.m.; and, at 4 p.m. sent a request to Porter for a division to support  his advance. Porter says he did not receive the request until after Burnside  had been repulsed, that he did not have the division and could not, under his  orders, imperil the success of the day by diminishing his small command. Not  only were troops withheld from Pleasonton, but, soon after this, Sykes, who  saw the regulars, under Dryer, advancing in fine style upon Cemetery Hill and  ridge, and making close connection with Burnside's right, withdrew them and  reprimanded their commander for exceeding his instructions. In justice to  Porter it may be stated that at 5 p.m. he sent this dispatch to Sykes,  elsewhere quoted: "Burnside is driving the enemy. Please send word to the  command you sent to Pleasonton to support his batteries, and let him drive  them."

Colonel Sackett, who had been directed to remain with Burnside waited until  his troops were well under way up the heights and then returned to  headquarters, where he found Porter, McClellan being away on the right and it  was past 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and it was not long after this that the  check and repulse of was witnessed.  Soon after Sackett's arrival at headquarters McClellan returned from the right  and was a quite witness to the check given Burnside and his withdrawal to the  bridge, and at this time General R.E. Lee was rallying his broken commands in  the streets of Sharpsburg. McClellan made such dispositions of the troops on  the right as to satisfy him that it "was safe without the assistance" of  Porter's two brigades from the center, and under these circumstances one would  suppose he could have spared some of Porter's troops to assist Burnside, who  was seen to be hard pressed, but he did not use a man of them, and, when  Burnside called for assistance, replied that he had no infantry to give him.  There was at this time a correspondent of the New York Tribune at McClellan's  headquarters, who wrote that evening that, while Burnside was being checked  and then falling back: "McClellan's glass for the last half hour has seldom  been turned from the left. He sees clearly enough that Burnside is  pressed--needs no messenger to tell him that. His face grows darker with  anxious thought. Looking down into the valley where 15,000 (about 10,000)  troops are lying, he turns a half-questioning look on Fitz-John Porter, who  stands by his side, gravely scanning the field. They are Porter's troops  below, are fresh and only impatient to join in this fight. But Porter slowly  shakes his head, and one may believe that the same thought is passing through  the minds of both generals, 'They are the only reserve of the army; they  cannot be spared.' McClellan mounts his horse, and with Porter and a dozen  officers of his staff, rides away to the left in Burnside's direction. Sykes  meets them on the road, a good soldier, whose opinion is worth taking. The  three generals talk briefly together. Burnside's messenger rides up. His  message is, 'I want troops and guns. If you do not send them, I cannot hold my  position half an hour.' McClellan's only answer for the moment is a glance at  the western sky. Then he turns and speaks very slowly. 'Tell General Burnside  this is the battle of the war. He must hold his ground at any cost. I will  send him Miller's Battery. I can do nothing more. I have no infantry.' Then as  the messenger was riding away, he called him back. 'Tell him if he cannot hold  his ground, then the bridge, to the last man! Always the bridge! If the bridge  is lost, all is lost.' The sun is already down; not half an hour of daylight  is left."

 Five minutes after this, upon a report that the enemy was retreating, this  dispatch was sent: (Here Carman pastes Marcy to Burnside, 6.15 p.m., OR's,  entire) 

McClellan's reasons for not using Porter's corps, are given in his official  report: "This corps filled the interval between the right wing and General  Burnside's command, and guarded the main approach from the enemy's position to  our trains of supply. It was necessary to watch this part of out line with the  utmost vigilance, lest the enemy should take advantage of the first exhibition  of weakness here to push upon us a vigorous assault for the purpose of  piercing our center and turning our rear, as well as to capture or destroy our  supply trains. Once having penetrated this line, the enemy's passage to our  rear could have met with feeble resistance, as there were no reserves to  reinforce or close up the gap. (?) Continually under the vigilant watch of the  enemy, this corps guarded a vital point."

Porter shared McClellan's views as to the great importance of his position, in  guarding the trains, and that any diminution of his force, for offensive  operations, would endanger their safety and imperil the army. It is  inconceivable that these two soldiers could seriously suppose that Lee would  think of putting a column of attack against McClellan's center, snugly  ensconced behind the Antietam and a bold bluff bordering it, a position  approached only over open ground for nearly a mile, covered by a direct and  cross-fire of 80 guns, of 120, if necessary, then by head of column, cross a  narrow bridge, so entirely commanded by the heights looking down upon it, from  either side of the road, that an officer of ordinary spirit with 2,000 men,  could have successfully have defended it against 20,000 men of the very best  Lee had in his army; it is conceivable only upon the theory that they supposed  Lee had such an overwhelming force that he could afford a great sacrifice for  the desperate venture. In fact Lee never entertained a thought of McClellan's  trains and, in striking contrast to McClellan, cared for and defended his own  by putting every man on the fighting line.

 One of the defects of McClellan as a commander was his overestimate of his  adversary's numbers. It began with his campaign in western Virginia, it was  with him on the Peninsula, and he had been not a week on his Maryland campaign  that we find (sic) estimating Lee's army at 120,000, and at Antietam he  believed that he was greatly outnumbered. If he had substantial reasons for  this belief at all: "prudence of the commonest kind would have forbidden any  attack at all": especially is it true that, after Sedgwick's repulse on the  right and Franklin's enforced inaction, the persistent urging of Burnside to  advance from the high ground at the bridge, without supporting him on the line  of the Sharpsburg road, was a stupendous crime. If it had any justification it  was that such a movement was necessary to save the right from a disastrous  defeat, and this is the view taken by General Cox, who, as commander of the  9th Corps on the field, was in a position to know, and has thus written of  Porter's reserve and the failure of McClellan to use it: "As troops are put in  reserve, not to diminish the army, but to be used in a pinch, I am deeply  convinced that McClellan's refusal to use them on the left was the result of  his continued conviction through all the day after Sedgwick's defeat, that Lee  was overwhelmingly superior in force, and was preparing to return a crushing  blow upon our right flank. He was keeping something in hand to cover a  retreat, if that wing should be driven back. Except in this way, also, I am at  a loss to account for the inaction of our right during the whole of our  engagement on the left. Looking at our part of the battle as only a strong  diversion to prevent or delay Lee's following up his success against Hooker  and the rest it is unintelligible. I certainly so understood it at the time,  as my report witnesses, and McClellan's report supports this view. If he had  been impatient to have our attack delivered earlier, he had reason for double  impatience that Franklin's fresh troops should assail Lee's left  simultaneously with ours, unless he regarded action there as hopeless, and  looked upon our movement as a sort of forlorn-hope to keep Lee from following  up his advantages." 

Longstreet says McClellan's plan of battle was not strong, "the handling and  execution were less so. Battles by the extreme right and left, divided by a  river, gave us the benefit of interior lines, and it was that that saved the  Confederate army, for it became manifest early in the day that his reserves  were held at the bridge No. 2, which gave us freer use of our inner lines." He  also says: "We were so badly crushed that at the close of the day 10,000 fresh  troops could have come in and taken Lee's army and everything it had." The battle was a succession of disjointed attacks and stubborn resistance to  them. It began with the advance of the First Corps at daybreak and the  fighting of this corps was over when the Twelfth Corps became engaged at 7.30  a.m., and this corps, without any assistance from the first, except Patrick's  small brigade, fought alone and drove the enemy across the Hagerstown road a  little before 9 o'clock. At 9 o'clock Sumner came up with one division, went  forward and was repulsed with great loss. Palfrey says this one division  (Sedgwick) "might as well have been another county for any direct aid it  received from the rest of the Army of the Potomac," but Palfrey is in error,  for support and aid was given it by the greater part of the Twelfth Corps. The  other two divisions of Sumner became engaged later, and not simultaneously,  and not in close connection with Sedgwick, and not until this fighting was  nearly over on the right did Burnside become seriously engaged. General Sumner  testified before the Committee on the Conduct of the War: "I have always  believed that, instead of sending these troops into that action in details, as  they were sent, if General McClellan had authorized me to march these 40,000  men on the left flank of the enemy, we could not have failed to throw them  right back in our front of the other divisions of our army on our left.  Burnside's, Franklin's and Porter's corps, as it was, we went in, division  after division, until even one of my divisions was forced out. The other two  drove the enemy and held their positions."

Franklin's Sixth Corps arrived near Keedysville a little after 10 a.m. and "it  was first intended to keep this corps in reserve on the east of the Antietam  to operate on either flank or on the center, as circumstances might require;  but on nearing Keedysville the strong opposition on the right, developed by  the attacks of Hooker and Sumner, rendered it necessary at once to send this  corps to the assistance of the right wing." Had Franklin's entire corps, or  one division of it, been pushed across the middle bridge, and seized the ridge  overlooking Sharpsburg, as it could have done, Lee would have had his hands  full in guarding his center, without any offensive operations against  McClellan's right. It is futile, however, to speculate on what might have  done. McClellan was content that he had handled his army with great skill. Both McClellan and Lee considered Antietam their greatest battle. In a home  letter written the day after, McClellan says, "Those in whose judgment I rely  tell me that I fought the battle splendidly, and that it was a master piece of  art." History will not accept this view of a battle in the conduct of which  more errors were committed by the Union commander than in any other battle of  the war: it will accept the opinion of the Confederate historian: "Whatever  may be thought or said of the strategy which led to the battle of Sharpsburg,  the conduct of that battle itself by Lee and his principal subordinates seems  absolutely above criticism. Had Lee known all that we know now of the Federal  plans and forces, it is difficult to see how he could have more wisely  disposed or more effectively used the means he had at hand. The utmost tension  existed at different points of his lines during the day. He had no reserves,  but so judiciously were the Confederate troops handled that their obstinate  courage was sufficient everywhere to prevent any serious loss of position." Between daybreak and the setting sun of September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest  day of American history. Ninety three thousand men of kindred blood (56,000  Union and 27,000 Confederate), and 520 guns engaged in the desperate struggle,  and when the sun went down and mercifully put an end to the strife, 3654 were  dead, and 17,292 wounded. About 1779 were missing, some of whom were dead, but  most of whom were carried as prisoners from the field. Every state from the  great lakes on the north to the Gulf of Mexico, on the south; from the  Atlantic to the Mississippi, and, with the exception of Iowa and Missouri,  every state watered by the Mississippi, contributed to this carnival of death  and suffering.

Palfrey has most beautifully written: "As the sun sank to rest on the 17th of  September, the last sounds of battle along Antietam Creek died away. The  cannon could at last grow cool, and unwounded men and horses could enjoy rest  and food, but there were already thousands sleeping the sleep that knows no  waking, and many times as many thousands were suffering all the agonies that  attend on wounds. The corn and trees, so fresh and green in the morning, were  reddened with blood and torn by bullet and shell; and the very earth was  furrowed by the incessant impact of lead and iron. The blessed night came, and  brought with it sleep and forgetfulness and refreshment to many, but the  murmur of the night wind, breathing over fields of wheat and clover, was  mingled with the groans of the countless sufferers of both armies. Who can  tell, who can imagine, the horrors of such a night, while the unconscious  stars shone above, and the unconscious river went rippling by?"

Union Order of Battle






First Brigade: Col. WALTER PHELPS, jr.

22d New York, Lieut. Col. John McKie, jr.: 121 Trained troops

24th New York, Capt John D. O'Brian: combined with 22nd NY

30th New York, Col. William M. Searing: 128 Trained troops

84th New York (14th Brooklyn), Maj. William H. de Bevoise: combined with 30th NY

2d U. S. Sharpshooters, Col. Henry A. V. Post: 184 Elite troops

Second Brigade: Lieut. Col. J. WILLIAM HOFMANN

7th Indiana, Maj. Ira G. Grover: 220 Trained troops

76th New York: Col. William P. Wainwright: 289 Trained troops

95th New York, Maj. Edward Pye: combined with 76th NY

56th Pennsylvania: Lieut. Col. J. William Hofmann: 218 Trained troops

Third Brigade: Brig. Gen. MARSENA R. PATRICK

21st New York, Col. William F. Rogers: 150 Trained troops

23d New York, Col. Henry C. Hoffman: 259 Trained troops

35th New York, Col. Newton B Lord: 252 Trained troops

80th New York (20th Militia), Lieut. Col. Theodore B. Gates: 150 Trained troops

Fourth (Iron) Brigade: Brig. Gen. JOHN GIBBON

19th Indiana, Col. Solomon Meredith: 268 Crack troops

2d Wisconsin, Col. Lucius Fairchild: 172 Crack troops

6th Wisconsin, Lieut. Col. Edward S. Bragg: 314 Crack troops

7th Wisconsin, Capt. John B. Callis: 190 Crack troops

Artillery: Capt. J. ALBERT MONROE

New Hampshire Light, First Battery, Lieut. Frederick Edgell: 6 Napoleons, 121 Trained troops

1st Rhode Island Light, Battery D, Capt. J. Albert Monroe: 6 Napoleons, 105 Trained troops

1st New York Light, Battery L, Capt. John A Reynolds: 6 Ordnance, 84 Trained troops

4th United States, Battery B: Capt. Joseph B. Campbell: 6 Napoleons, 100 Crack troops


First Brigade: Brig. Gen. ABRAM DURYEA

97th New York, Maj. Charles Northrup: 203 Trained troops

104th New York, Maj. Lewis C. Skinner: 282 Trained troops

105th New York, Col. Howard Carroll: 298 Trained troops

107th Pennsylvania, Capt. James Mac Thomson: 190 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Col. WILLIAM A. CHRISTIAN

26th New York, Lieut. Col. Richard H. Richardson: 211 Trained troops

94th New York, Lieut. Col. Calvin Littlefield: 235 Trained troops

88th Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. George W. Gile: 235 Trained troops

90th Pennsylvania, Col. Peter Lyle: 271 Trained troops

Third Brigade: Brig. Gen. GEORGE L. HARTSUFF

12th Massachusetts, Maj. Elisha Burbank: 334 Trained troops

13th Massachusetts, Maj. J. Parker Gould: 301 Trained troops

83d New York (9th Militia), Lieut. Col. William Atterbury: 288 Trained troops

11th Pennsylvania, Col. Richard Coulter: 235 Trained troops


1st Pennsylvania Light, Battery F, Capt. Ezra W. Matthews: 4 Ordnance, 66 Trained troops

Pennsylvania Light, Battery C, Capt. James Thompson: 4 Ordnance, 55 Trained troops


First Brigade: Brig. Gen. TRUMAN SEYMOUR

1st Pennsylvania Reserves, Col. R. Biddle Roberts: 225 Veteran troops

2d Pennsylvania Reserves, Capt. James N. Byrnes: 223 Veteran troops

5th Pennsylvania Reserves, Col. Joseph W. Fisher: 241 Veteran troops

6th Pennsylvania Reserves, Col. William Sinclair: 314 Veteran troops

13th Pennsylvania Reserves (1st Rifles), Col. Hugh W. McNeil: 275 Veteran troops

Second Brigade: Col. ALBERT MAGILTON

3d Pennsylvania Reserves, Lieut. Col. John Clark: 211 Veteran troops

4th Pennsylvania Reserves, Maj. John Nyce: 281 Veteran troops

7th Pennsylvania Reserves, Col. Henry C. Bolinger: 285 Veteran troops

8th Pennsylvania Reserves, Maj. Silas M Baily: 253 Veteran troops

Third Brigade: Lieut. Col. ROBERT ANDERSON

9th Pennsylvania Reserves, Capt. Samuel B. Dick: 264 Veteran troops

10th Pennsylvania Reserves, Lieut. Col. Adoniram J. Warner: 160 Veteran troops

11th Pennsylvania Reserves, Lieut. Col. Samuel M. Jackson: 179 Veteran troops

12th Pennsylvania Reserves, Capt. Richard Gustin: 220 Veteran troops


1st Pennsylvania Light, Battery A, Lieut. John G. Simpson: 4 Napoleons, 94Trained troops

1st Pennsylvania Light, Battery B, Capt. James H. Cooper: 4 Ordnance, 100 Trained troops

5th United States, Battery C, Capt. Dunbar R. Ransom: 4 Napoleons, 101 Crack troops



First Brigade: Brig. Gen. JOHN C. CALDWELL.

5th New Hampshire, Col. Edward E. Cross: 319 Trained troops

7th New York, Capt. Charles Brestel: 322 Trained troops

61st New York, Col. Francis C. Barlow: 121 Trained troops

64th New York, Lieut Col Nelson A. Miles: 233 Trained troops

81st Pennsylvania, Maj. H. Boyd McKeen: 319 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Brig. Gen. THOMAS F. MEAGHER

29th Massachusetts, Lieut Col. Joseph H. Barnes: 380 Veteran troops

63d New York, Col. John Burke: 341 Veteran troops

69th New York, Lieut. Col. James Kelly: 317 Veteran troops

88th New York, Lieut. Col. Patrick Kelly: 302 Veteran troops

Third Brigade: Col. John R. BROOKE

2d Delaware, Capt. David L. Stricker: 310 Trained troops

52d New York, Col. Paul Frank: 120 Trained troops

57th New York, Lieut. Col. Philip J. Parisen: 309 Trained troops

66th New York, Lieut. Col. James H. Bull: 303 Trained troops

53d Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. Richards McMichael: 317 Trained troops


1st New York Light, Battery B, Capt. Rufus D. Pettit: 6 10-lb Parrotts, 112 Trained troops

4th U. S., Batteries A and C, Lieut.Evan Thomas: 6 Napoleons, 215 Crack troops


First Brigade: Brig. Gen. WILLIS A. GORMAN.

15th Massachusetts, Lieut. Col. John W. Kimball: 606 Trained troops

1st Minnesota, Col. Alfred Sully: 477 Veteran troops

34th New York, Col. James A. Suiter: 311 Veteran troops

82d New York (2d Militia), Col. Henry W. Hudson: 339 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Brig. Gen. OLIVER O. HOWARD

69th Pennsylvania, Col. Joshua T. Owen: 486 Trained troops

71st Pennsylvania, Col. Isaac J. Wistar: 470 Veteran troops

72d Pennsylvania, Col. DeWitt C. Baxter: 601 Trained troops

106th Pennsylvania, Col. Turner G. Morehead: 462 Veteran troops

Third Brigade: Brig. Gen. NAPOLEON J. T. DANA

19th Massachusetts, Col. Edward W. Hinks: 418 Trained troops

20th Massachusetts, Col. William R. Lee: 400 Trained troops

7th Michigan, Col. Norman J. Hall: 402 Trained troops

42d New York, Lieut. Col. George N, Bornford: 345 Trained troops

59th New York, Col. William L. Tidball: 381 Green troops


1st Rhode Island Light, Battery A, Capt. John A. Tompkins: 6 10-lb Parrotts, 120 Veteran troops

1st United States, Battery I, Lieut. George A. Woodruff: 6 Napoleons, 124 Crack troops


First Brigade: Brig. Gen. NATHAN KIMBALL

14th Indiana, Col. William Harrow: 320 Trained troops

8th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Franklin Sawyer: 341 Trained troops

132d Pennsylvania, Col. Richard A. Oakford: 750 Green troops

7th West Virginia, Col. Joseph Snider: 340 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Col. DWIGHT MORRIS.

14th Connecticut, Lieut. Col. Sanford H. Perkins: 751 Green troops

108th New York, Col. Oliver H. Palmer: 750 Green troops

130th Pennsylvania, Col. Henry I. Zinn: 690 Green troops

Third Brigade: Brig. Gen. MAX WEBER

1st Delaware, Col. John W. Andrews: 708 Green troops

5th Maryland, Maj. Leopold Blumenberg: 550 Green troops

4th New York, Lieut. Col. John D. McGregor: 540 Green troops


1st New York Light, Battery G, Capt. John D. Frank: 6 Napoleons, 123 Green troops

1st Rhode Island Light, Battery B, Capt. John G. Hazard: 6 Napoleons, 131 Trained troops

1st Rhode Island Light, Battery G, Capt. Charles D. Owen: 6 Ordnance, 115

Green troops



First Brigade: Col. JAMES BARNES.

2d Maine, Col. Charles W. Roberts: 173 Crack troops

18th Massachusetts, Lieut. Col. Joseph Hayes: 282 Veteran troops

22d Massachusetts, Lieut. Col. William S. Tilton: 166 Veteran troops

1st Michigan, Capt. Emory W. Belton: 152 Veteran troops

13th New York, Col. Elisha G. Marshall: 160 Veteran troops

25th New York, Col. Charles A. Johnson: 153 Veteran troops

118th Pennsylvania, Col. Charles M. Prevost: 737 Green troops

Second Brigade: Brig. Gen. CHARLES GRIFFIN.

2nd District of Columbia, Col. Charles M. Alexander: combined with 9th MA

9th Massachusetts, Col. Patrick R. Guiney: 379 Veteran troops

32d Massachusetts, Col. Francis J. Parker: 315 Trained troops

4th Michigan, Col. Jonathan W. Childs: 288 Crack troops

14th New York, Col. James McQuade: 300 Crack troops

62d Pennsylvania,Col. Jacob B. Sweitzer: 435 Trained troops

Third Brigade: Col. T. B. W. STOCKTON.

20th Maine, Col. Adelbert Ames: 788 Green troops

16th Michigan, Lieut. Col. Norval E. Welch: 122 Trained troops

12th New York, Capt. William Huson: 159 Veteran troops

17th New York, Lieut. Col. Nelson B. Bartram: 124 Trained troops

44th New York, Maj. Freeman Conner: 120 Trained troops

83d Pennsylvania, Capt. Orpheus S. Woodward: 123 Trained troops


Massachusetts Light, Battery C, Capt. Augustus P. Martin: 6 Napoleons, 132 Veteran  troops

1st Rhode Island Light, Battery C, Capt. Richard Waterman: 6 Napoleons, 97 Trained troops

5th United States, Battery D, Lieut. Charles E. Hazlett: 6 mixed guns, 117 Crack troops


1st United States, Capt. John B. Isler: 234 Elite troops


First Brigade: Lieut. Col. ROBERT C. BUCHANAN

3d United States, Capt. John D. Wilkins: 197 Veteran troops

4th United States, Capt. Hiram Dryer: 318 Veteran troops

12th United States, First Battalion, Capt. Matthew M. Blunt: 155 Veteran troops

12th United States, Second Battalion, Capt. Thomas M. Anderson: 128 Veteran troops

14th United States, First Battalion, Capt. W. Harvey Brown: 310 Veteran troops

14th United States Second Battalion, Capt. David B. McKibbin: 331 Veteran troops

Second Brigade: Maj. CHARLES S. LOVELL.

1st United States, Capt. Levi C. Bootes: 182 Veteran troops

2d and 10th United States, Capt. John S. Poland: 402 Veteran troops

11th United States, Maj. De Lancey Floyd-Jones: 249 Veteran troops

17th United States, Maj. George L. Andrews: 309 Veteran troops

Third Brigade: Col. GOUVERNEUR K. WARREN.

5th New York, Capt. Cleveland Winslow: 208 Veteran troops

10th New York, Lieut. Col. John W. Marshall: 315 Veteran troops


1st United States, Batteries E /G, Lieut. Alanson M. Randol: 4 Napoleons, 97 Crack troops

5th United States, Battery I, Capt. Stephen H. Weed: 4 Ordnance, 101 Crack troops

5th United States, Battery K, Lieut. William E. Van Reed: 4 Napoleons, 99 Crack troops


1st Battalion NY Light, Bty A, Lieut. Bernhard Wever: 4 20-lb Parrotts, 110 Veteran troops

1st Battalion NY Light, Bty B, Lieut. Alfred v. Kleiser: 4 20-lb Parrotts, 112 Veteran troops

1st Battalion NY Light, Bty C, Capt. Robert Langner: 4 20-lb Parrotts, 87 Veteran troops

1st Battalion NY Light, Bty D, Capt. Charles Kusserow: 6 32-lb Howitzers, 117 Veteran troops

NY Light, Fifth Battery, Capt. Elijah D. Taft: 4 20-lb Parrotts, 105 Veteran troops

1st United States, Battery K, Capt. William M. Graham: 6 Napoleons, 107 Crack troops

4th United States, Battery G, Lieut. Marcus P. Miller: 6 Napoleons, 111 Crack troops



First Brigade: Col. ALFRED T. A. TORBERT

1st New Jersey, Lieut. Col. Mark W. Collet: 308 Veteran troops

2d New Jersey, Col. Samuel L. Buck: 283 Veteran troops

3d New Jersey, Col. Henry W. Brown: 291 Veteran troops

4th New Jersey, Col. William B. Hatch: 331 Veteran troops

Second Brigade: Col. JOSEPH J. BARTLETT

5th Maine, Col. Nathaniel J. Jackson: 299 Veteran troops

16th New York, Lieut. Col. Joel J. Seaver: 343 Trained troops

27th New York, Lieut. Col. Alexander D. Adams: 311 Trained troops

96th Pennsylvania, Col. Henry L. Cake: 304 Trained troops

Third Brigade: Brig. Gen. JOHN NEWTON

18th New York, Lieut. Col. George R. Myers: 292 Trained troops

31st New York, Lieut. Col. Francis E. Pinto: 319 Trained troops

32d New York, Col. Roderick Matheson: 317 Trained troops

96th Pennsylvania, Col. Gustavus W. Town: 339 Trained troops

Artillery: Capt. EMORY UPTON.

Maryland Light, Battery A, Capt. John W. Wolcott: 8 Ordnance, 137 Veteran troops

New Jersey Light, Battery A, Capt. William Hexamer: 6 10-lb Parrotts, 119 Veteran troops

2d United States, Battery D, Lieut. Edward B. Williston: 6 Napoleons, 115 Crack troops


First Brigade: Brig. Gen. WINFIELD S. HANCOCK

6th Maine, Col. Hiram Burnham: 329 Trained troops

43d New York, Maj. John Wilson: 390 Trained troops

49th Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. William Brisbane: 317 Trained troops

137th Pennsylvania, Col. Henry M. Bossert: 681 Green troops

5th Wisconsin, Col. Amasa Cobb: 397 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Brig. Gen. W. T. H. BROOKS

2d Vermont, Maj. James H. Walbridge: 307 Veteran troops

3d Vermont, Col. Breed N. Hyde: 322 Veteran troops

4th Vermont, Lieut, Col. Charles B. Stoughton: 372 Veteran troops

5th Vermont, Col. Lewis A. Grant: 366 Veteran troops

6th Vermont, Maj. Oscar L. Tuttle: 402 Veteran troops

Third Brigade: Col. WILLIAM H. IRWIN

7th Maine, Maj. Thomas W, Hyde: 181 Veteran troops

20th New York, Col. Ernest von Vegesack: 680 Trained troops

33d New York, Lieut. Col. Joseph W. Coming: 380 Trained troops

49th New York, Lieut. Col. William C. Alberger: 268 Trained troops

77th New York, Capt. Nathan S. Babcock: 177 Trained troops

Artillery: Capt. ROMEYN B. AYRES.

Maryland Light, Battery B, Lieut. Theodore J. Vanneman: 6 Ordnance, 123 Trained troops

New York Light, 1st Battery, Capt. Andrew Cowan: 4 Ordnance, 112 Veteran troops

5th United States, Battery F, Lieut. Leonard Martin: 6 mixed guns, 125 Crack troops


First Brigade: Brig. Gen. CHARLES DEVENS, Jr.

7th Massachusetts, Col. David A. Russell: 301 Trained troops

10th Massachusetts, Col. Henry L. Eustis: 352 Trained troops

36th New York, Col. William H. Browne: 292 Trained troops

2d Rhode Island, Col. Frank Wheaton: 265 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Brig. Gen, ALBION P. HOWE

62d New York, Col. David J. Nevin: 318 Trained troops

93d Pennsylvania, Col. James M. McCarter: 299 Trained troops

98th Pennsylvania, Col. John F. Ballier: 317 Trained troops

102d Pennsylvania, Col. Thomas A. Rowley: 360 Trained troops

139th Pennsylvania, Col. Frank H. Collier: 649 Green troops

Third Brigade: Brig. Gen. JOHN COCHRANE

65th New York, Col. Alexander Shaler: 323 Trained troops

67th New York, Col. Julius W. Adams: 259 Trained troops

122d New York, Col. Silas Titus: 617 Green troops

23d Pennsylvania, Col. Thomas H. Neill: 284 Veteran troops

61st Pennsylvania, Col. George C. Spear: 307Trained troops

82d Pennsylvania, Col. David H. Williams: 298 Trained troops


New York Light, Third Battery, Capt. William Stuart: 6 mixed guns, 108 Trained troops

1st Pennsylvania Light, Battery C, Capt. Jere McCarthy: 4 10-lb Parrotts, 108 Trained troops

1st Pennsylvania Light, Battery D, Capt. Michael Hall: 4 10-lb Parrotts, 101 Trained troops

2d United States, Battery G, Lieut. John H. Butler: 4 Napoleons, 101 Crack troops



First Brigade: Col. BENJAMIN C. CHRIST

28th Massachusetts, Capt. Andrew P. Caraher: 217 Trained troops

17th Michigan, Col. William H. Withington: 525 Green troops

79th New York, Lieut. Col. David Morrison: 193 Trained troops

50th Pennsylvania, Maj. Edward Overton: 370 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Col. THOMAS WELSH

8th Michigan, Lieut. Col. Frank Graves: 435 Trained troops

46th New York, Lieut. Col. Joseph Gerhardt: 278 Trained troops

45th Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. John I. Curtin: 560 Trained troops

100th Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. David A. Leckey: 356 Trained troops


Massachusetts Light, Eighth Battery, Capt. Asa M. Cook: 6 mixed guns, 117 Trained troops

2d United States, Battery E, Lieut. Samuel N. Benjmin: 6 20-lb Parrotts, 129 Crack troops


First Brigade: Brig. Gen. JAMES NAGLE

2d Maryland, Lieut. Col. J. Eugene Duryea: 167 Trained troops

6th New Hampshire, Col. Simon G. Griffin: 157 Trained troops

9th New Hampshire, Col. Enoch Q. Fellows: 710 Green troops

48th Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. Joshua K. Sigfried: 390 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Brig. Gen. EDWARD FERRERO

21st Massachusetts, Col. William S. Clark: 158 Trained troops

35th Massachusetts, Col. Edward A. Wild: 750 Green troops

51st New York, Col. Robert B. Potter: 338 Trained troops

51st Pennsylvania, Col. John F. Hartranft: 333 Trained troops


Pennsylvania Light, Battery D, Capt. George W. Durell: 6 10-lb Parrotts, 123 Crack troops

4th United States, Battery E, Capt. Joseph C. Clark, jr: 4 10-lb Parrotts, 118 Crack troops



9th New York, Lieut. Col. Edgar A. Kimball: 375 Crack troops

89th New York, Maj Edward Jardine: 368 Trained troops

103d New York, Maj Benjamin Ringold: 202 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Col. EDWARD HARLAND

8th Connecticut, Lieut. Col. Hiram Appelman: 375 Trained troops

11th Connecticut, Col. Henry W. Kingsbury: 430 Green troops

16th Connecticut, Col. Francis Beach: 739 Green troops

4th Rhode Island, Col. William H. P. Steere: 247 Trained troops


5th United States, Battery A, Lieut. Charles P. Muhlenberg: 6 Napoleons, 123 Crack troops


First Brigade: Col. HUGH EWING

12th Ohio, Col. Carr B. White: 200 Veteran troops

23d Ohio, Maj. James M. Comly: 360 Veteran troops

30th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Theodore Jones: 342 Veteran troops

Second Brigade: Col. GEORGE CROOK

11th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Augustus H, Coleman: 430 Trained troops

28th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Gottfried Becker: 719 Green troops

36th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Melvin Clarke: 739 Green Trained troops


Ohio Light Artillery, First Battery, Capt. James R. McMullin: 6 10-lb James, 129 Veteran troops

Kentucky Lt Artillery, Simmonds' Bty, Capt. S. Simmonds: 3 10-lb Parrotts, 98 Veteran troops

2nd New York Light, Battery L, Capt. Jacob Roemer: 6 Ordnance, 98 Green troops



First Brigade: Brig. Gen. SAMUEL W. CRAWFORD

10th Maine, Col. George L. Beal: 297 Trained troops

28th New York, Capt. William H. H. Mapes: 220 Trained troops

46th Pennsylvania, Col. Joseph F. Knipe: combined with 28th NY l24th

Pennsylvania, Col. Joseph W. Hawley: 655 Green troops

125th Pennsylvania, Col. Jacob Higgins: 689 Green troops

128th Pennsylvania, Col. Samuel Cressdale: 650 Green troops

Third Brigade: Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. GORDON

27th Indiana, Col. Silas Colgrove: 409 Trained troops

2d Massachusetts, Col. George L. Andrews: 488 Trained troops

13th New Jersey, Col. Ezra A. Carman: 630 Green troops

107th New York, Col. R. B. Van Valkenburgh: 850 Green troops

Zouaves d'Afrique, Pennsylvania: combined with 2nd MA 3d Wisconsin, Col.

Thomas H. Ruger: 340 Trained troops


First Brigade: Lieut. Col. HECTOR TYNDALE

5th Ohio, Maj. John Collins: 161 Veteran troops

7th Ohio, Maj. Orrin J. Crane: 120 Veteran troops

66th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Eugene Powell: 122 Veteran troops

28th Pennsylvania, Maj. Ario Pardee, jr.: 650 Trained troops

Second Brigade: Col. HENRY J. STAINROOK

3d Maryland, Lieut. Col. Joseph M. Sudsburg: 158 Veteran troops

102d New York, Lieut. Col. James C. Lane: 163 Veteran troops

111th Pennsylvania, Maj. Thomas M. Walker: 253 Veteran troops

Third Brigade: Col. WILLIAM B. GOODRICH

3d Delaware, Maj. Arthur Maginnis: 126 Trained troops

Purnell Legion Maryland, Lieut. Col. Benjamin L. Simpson: 204 Trained troops

60th New York, Lieut. Col. Charles R. Brundage: 226 Trained troops

78th New York, Lieut. Col. Jonathan Austin: 221 Trained troops

Artillery: Capt. CLERMONT L. BEST

Maine Light, 4th Battery, Capt. O'Neil W. Robinson: 6 Ordnance, 109 Trained troops

Maine Light, 6th Battery, Capt. Freeman McGilvery: 4 mixed guns, 90 Trained troops

1st New York Light, Battery M, Capt. George W. Cothran: 6 mixed guns, 129 Trained troops

New York Light, 10th Battery, Capt. John T. Bruen: 6 Napoleons, 121 Trained troops

Pennsylvania Light, Battery E, Capt. Joseph M. Knap: 6 10-lb Parrotts, 105 Trained troops

Pennsylvania Light, Battery F, Capt. Robert B. Hampton: 4 10-lb Parrotts, 85 Trained troops

4th United States, Battery F, Lieut. Edward D. Muhlenberg: 6 Napoleons, 101 Crack troops


First Brigade: Maj. CHARLES J. WHITING

5th United States, Capt. Joseph H. McArthur: 169 Veteran troops

6th United States, Capt. William P. Sanders: 186 Veteran troops

Second Brigade: Col. JOHN F. FARNSWORTH

8th Illinois, Maj. William H. Medill: 219 Veteran troops

3d Indiana, Maj. George H. Chapman: 184 Trained troops

1st Massachusetts, Capt. Casper Crowninshield: 234 Trained troops

8th Pennsylvania, Capt. Peter Keenan: 255 Trained troops

Third Brigade: Col. RICHARD H. RUSH

4th Pennsylvania, Col. James H. Childs: 299 Trained troops

6th Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. C. Ross Smith: 266 Veteran troops

Fourth Brigade: Col. ANDREW T. McREYNOLDS

1st New York, Maj. Alonzo W. Adams: 295 Trained troops

12th Pennsylvania, Maj. James A. Congdon: 309 Green troops

Fifth Brigade: Col. BENJAMIN F. DAVIS

8th New York, Col. Benjamin F. Davis: 258 Trained troops

3d Pennsylvania, Lieut. Col. Samuel W. Owen: 302 Trained troops

Horse Artillery 2d United States, Battery A, Capt. John C. Tidball: 6 Ordnance, 121 Elite troops

2d United States, Batteries B and L, Capt. James M. Robertson: 4 Ordnance, 116 Crack troops

2d United States, Battery M, Lieut. Peter C. Hains: 6 Ordnance, 127 Crack troops

3d United States, Batteries C and G, Capt. Horatio G. Gibson: 6 Ordnance, 132 Crack troops

Confederate Order of Battle






Kershaw's Brigade: Brig. Gen. J. B. KERSHAW

2d South Carolina, Col. John D. Kennedy: 253 Elite troops

3d South Carolina, Col. James D. Nance: 266 Elite troops

7th South Carolina, Col. D. Wyatt Aiken: 317 Elite troops

8th South Carolina, Lieut. Col. A. J. Hoole: combined with 7th SC

Cobb's Brigade: Lieut. Col. C. C. SANDERS

16th Georgia, Lieut. Col. Henry Thomas: 124 Veteran troops

24th Georgia, Maj. R. Mcmillan: 172 Veteran troops

Cobb's (Georgia) Legion, Lieut. Col. L. Glenn: combined with 24th Ga

15th North Carolina, Lieut. Col. William MacRae: 166 Veteran troops

Semmes' Brigade: Brig. Gen. PAUL J. SEMMES

10th Georgia, Capt. P. H. Loud: 147 Crack troops

53d Georgia, Lieut. Col. Thomas Sloan: 134 Crack troops

15th Virginia, Capts. E. M. Morrison: 128 Crack troops

32d Virginia, Col. E.B. Montague: 160 Crack troops

Barksdale's Brigade: Brig. Gen. WILLIAM BARKSDALE

13th Mississippi, Lieut. Col. Kennon McElroy: 202 Elite troops

17th Mississippi, Lieut. Col. John C. Fiser: 270 Elite troops

18th Mississippi, Maj. J. C. Campbell: 186 Elite troops

21st Mississippi, Capt. John Sims: 200 Crack troops

Artillery: Maj. S. P. HAMILTON

Manly's (North Carolina) battery, Capt. B.C. Manly: 1 Ordnance, 32 Veteran troops

Pulaski (Georgia) Artillery, Capt. J.P. W. Read: 2 mixed guns, 78 Veteran troops

Richmond (Fayette)Artillery, Capt. M. C. Macon: 2 10-lb Parrotts, 48 Veteran troops

Richmond Howitzers, (1st Co.), Capt. E. S. McCarthy: 2 10-lb Parrotts, 33 Veteran troops

Troup (Georgia) Artillery, Capt. H. H. Carlton: 2 10-lb Parrotts, 27 Veteran troops


Wilcox's Brigade: Col. ALFRED CUMMING

8th Alabama, Maj. H. Herbert: 120 Crack troops

9th Alabama, Maj. J. Williams: 201 Crack troops

10th Alabama, Capt. G. Wheatly: 222 Crack troops

11th Alabama, Maj. John Sanders: 185 Crack troops

Mahone's Brigade: Col. WILLIAM A. PARHAM

6th Virginia, Capt. J. Ludlow: combined with Pryor's Brigade

12th Virginia, Capt. J. Llewellyn: combined with Pryor's Brigade

16th Virginia, Maj. F. Holliday: combined with Pryor's Brigade

41st Virginia, CO unknown: combined with Pryor's Brigade

61st Virginia, CO unknown: combined with Pryor's Brigade

Featherston's Brigade: Col. CARNOT POSEY

12th Mississippi, Col. W. Taylor: 246 Veteran troops

16th Mississippi, Capt. A.M. Feltus: 242 Veteran troops

19th Mississippi, Col. N. Harris: 281 Veteran troops

2d Mississippi Battalion, Maj. W. Wilson: 139 Veteran troops

Armistead's Brigade: Brig. Gen. LEWIS A. ARMISTEAD

9th Virginia, Capt. W. Richardson: 182 Veteran troops

14th Virginia, Col. J. Hodges: combined with 9th VA

38th Virginia, Col. E. Edmonds: 232 Veteran troops

53d Virginia, Capt. W. Pollard: combined with 38th VA

57th Virginia, CO unknown: combined with 38th VA

Pryor's Brigade: Brig. Gen. ROGER A. PRYOR

14th Alabama, Maj. J. Broome: 141 Elite troops

2d Florida, Col. W. Ballantine: 240 Elite troops

5th Florida, Col. John Hately: 181 Elite troops

8th Florida, Lieut. Col. G. Coppens: combined with 5th FL

3d Virginia, Col. Joseph Mayo: 121 Elite troops

Wright's Brigade: Brig. Gen. A. R. WRIGHT

44th Alabama, Lieut. Col. Charles Derby: 163 Crack troops

3d Georgia, Capt. R. Nisbit: 231 Crack troops

22d Georgia, Col. Robert Jones: combined with 3rd GA

48th Georgia, Col. William Gibson: 127 Crack troops

Artillery: Maj. JOHN S. SAUNDERS

Donaldsonville (Louisiana) Artillery (Maurin's battery) : 3 mixed guns, 51 Crack troops

Huger's (Virginia) battery: 2 mixed guns, 39 Veteran troops

Moorman's (Virginia) battery: 2 10-lb Parrotts, 44 Veteran troops

Thompson's (Grimes') (Virginia) battery: 3 mixed guns, 53 Veteran troops

Chapman's (Virginia) battery: 2 mixed guns, 39 Veteran troops


Benning's Brigade: Col. HENRY L. BENNING

2d Georgia, Lieut. Col. William R. Holmes: 141 Elite troops

20th Georgia, Col. J. B. Cumming: 245 Elite troops

50th Georgia, Lieut. Col. F. Kearse: 161 Elite troops

Toombs' Brigade: Brig. Gen. ROBERT TOOMBS

11th Georgia, Maj. F.H. Little: 184 Crack troops

15th Georgia, Col. W. T. Millican: combined with 11th GA

17th Georgia, Capt. J. A. McGregor: 130 Crack troops

Drayton's Brigade: Brig. Gen. THOMAS F. DRAYTON

51st Georgia, CO unknown: 120 Crack troops

15th South Carolina, Col. W. D. DeSaussure: 217 Crack troops

3rd South Carolina Battalion, Maj. George James: combined with 15th SC

Pickett's Brigade: Brig. Gen. R. B. GARNETT

8th Virginia, Col. Eppa Hunton: 141 Elite troops

18th Virginia, Maj George C. Cabell: 121 Elite troops

19th Virginia, Col. J. B. Strange: combined with 18th VA

28th Virginia, Captain Wingfield: combined with 8th VA

56th Virginia, Col. William D. Stuart: combined with 8th VA

Kemper's Brigade: Brig. Gen. J. L. KEMPER

1st Virginia, Col. W. Palmer: 159 Elite troops

7th Virginia, Maj. Arthur Herbert: combined with 1st VA

11th Virginia, Maj. Adam Clement: 139 Elite troops

17th Virginia, Col. M. Corse: combined with 11th VA

24th Virginia, Col. W. Perry: 128 Elite troops

Jenkins' Brigade: Col. JOSEPH WALKER

1st South Carolina (Volunteers), Lieut. Col. D. Livingston: 207 Elite troops

2d South Carolina Rifles, Lieut. Col. R. Thompson: 209 Elite troops

5th South Carolina, Capt. T. C. Beckham: 309 Elite troops

6th South Carolina, Lieut. Col. J. M. Steedman: combined with 5th SC

4th South Carolina Battalion, Lieut. W. F. Field: combined with 5th SC

Palmetto (South Carolina)

Sharpshooters, Capt. A.H. Foster: combined with 5th SC

Anderson's Brigade: Col. GEORGE T. ANDERSON.

1st Georgia (Regulars), Col. W. J. Magill: 129 Elite troops

7th Georgia, Col. G. Carmichael: 197 Elite troops

8th Georgia, Col. John Towers: combined with 7th Ga

9th Georgia, Lieut. Col. John Munger: 152 Elite troops


Wise (Virginia) Artillery (Brown's battery): 4 6-lb Smoothbores, 81 Crack troops


Walker's Brigade: Col. VAN H. MANNING

3d Arkansas, Capt. John W. Reedy: 367 Elite troops

27th North Carolina, Col. J. R. Cooke: 325 Trained troops

46th North Carolina, Col. E. D. Hall: 320 Trained troops

48th North Carolina, Col. R. C. Hill: 742 Green troops

30th Virginia, Lieut. Col. Robert Chew: 262 Crack troops

French's (Virginia) battery, Capt. Thomas French: 3 10-lb Parrotts, 77 Veteran troops

Ransom's Brigade: Brig. Gen. ROBERT RANSOM, Jr.

24th North Carolina, Lieut. Col. John L. Harris: 415 Trained troops

25th North Carolina, Col. H. M Rutledge: 347 Trained troops

35th North Carolina, Col. M. W. Ransom: 401 Trained troops

49th North Carolina, Lieut. Col. Lee M. McAfee: 448 Trained troops

Branch's Field Artillery (Virginia), Captain Branch: 3 mixed guns, 76 Veteran troops


Hood''s Brigade: Col. W. T. WOFFORD

18th Georgia, Lieut. Col. S. Z. Ruff: 255 Elite troops

Hampton (SC) Legion, Lieut. Col. M. W. Gary: combined with 18th GA

1st Texas, Lieut. Col. P. A. Work: 226 Elite troops

4th Texas, Lieut. Col. B. F. Carter: 204 Elite troops

5th Texas, Capt. L N.M. Turner: 176 Elite troops

Law's Brigade: Col. E. M. LAW

4th Alabama, Lieut. Col. O K. McLemore: 270 Elite troops

2d Mississippi, Col. J. M. Stone: 303 Elite troops

11th Mississippi, Col. P. F. Liddell: 267 Elite troops

6th North Carolina, Maj. Robert F. Webb: 319 Crack troops

Artillery: Maj. B. W. FROBEL

German Artillery (South Carolina), Capt. W. Bachman: 6 mixed guns, 76 Elite troops

Palmetto Artillery (South Carolina), Capt. H. R. Garden: 4 mixed guns, 69 Elite troops

Rowan Artillery (North Carolina), Capt. James Reilly: 5 mixed guns, 89 Crack troops


17th South Carolina, Col. F. W. McMaster: 169 Veteran troops

18th South Carolina, Col. W. H. Wallace: combined with 17th SC

22d South Carolina. Lieut. Col. T. C. Watkins and Maj. M. Hilton: combined with 17th SC

23d South Carolina. Capt. S. A. Durham: 124 Veteran troops

Holcombe (South Carolina) Legion, Col. P. F. Stevens: combined with 23rd SC

Macbeth (South Carolina) Artillery, Capt. R. Boyce: 6 6-lb Smoothbores, 115 Elite troops

ARTILLERY Washington (Louisiana)

Artillery: Col. J. B. WALTON

1st Company, Capt. C. W. Squires: 4 10-lb Parrotts, 76 Elite troops

2d Company, Capt. J. B. Richardson: 2 Napoleons, 37 Elite troops

3d Company, Capt. M. B. Miller: 4 Napoleons, 79 Elite troops

4th Company, Capt. B. F. Eshleman: 4 mixed guns, 86 Elite troops

Lee's Battalion: Col. S. D. LEE

Ashland (Virginia) Artillery, Capt. P. Woolfolk, jr. : 2 10-lb Parrotts, 54 Elite troops

Bedford (Virginia) Artillery, Capt. T. C. Jordan: 2 mixed guns, 44 Elite troops

Brooks (South Carolina) Artillery, Lieut. William Elliott: 2 10-lb Parrotts, 52 Elite troops

Eubank's (Virginia) battery, Capt. J. L. Eubank: 2 mixed guns, 46 Elite troops

Madison (Louisiana) Light Artillery, Capt. G. V. Moody: 4 mixed guns, 73 Elite troops

Parker's (Virginia) battery, Capt. W. W. Parker: 2 Ordnance, 49 Elite troops



Lawton's Brigade: Col. M. DOUGLASS

13th Georgia, Capt. D. Kidd: 361 Trained troops

26th Georgia, CO unknown: 188 Veteran troops

31st Georgia, Lieut. Col. J. T. Crowder: 145 Veteran troops

38th Georgia, Capt. W. Battey: 123 Veteran troops

60th Georgia, Maj. W. Jones: 154 Veteran troops

61st Georgia, Col. John Lamar: 242 Veteran troops

Early's Brigade: Brig. Gen. JUBAL A. EARLY

13th Virginia, Capt. F. V. Winston: 123 Crack troops

25th Virginia, Capt. R. Lilley: 142 Crack troops

31st Virginia, CO unknown: 310 Veteran troops

44th Virginia, Capt. D. Anderson: 182 Veteran troops

49th Virginia, Col. William Smith: 211 Veteran troops

52d Virginia, Col. M. G. Harman: 170 Veteran troops

58th Virginia, CO unknown: combined with 31st VA

Trimble's Brigade: Col. JAMES A. WALKER

15th Alabama, Capt. I. B. Feagin: 227 Elite troops

12th Georgia, Captain Rodgers: 143 Crack troops

21st Georgia, Maj. Thomas C. Glover: 173 Crack troops

21st North Carolina, Captain Miller: 179 Veteran troops

1st North Carolina Battalion: cobined with 21st GA

Hays' Brigade: Brig. Gen. HARRY T. HAYS

5th Louisiana, Col. Henry Forno: 124 Elite troops

6th Louisiana, Col. H. B. Strong: 121 Elite troops

7th Louisiana, CO unknown: 125 Elite troops

8th Louisiana, Lieut. Col. T. Lewis: 120 Elite troops

14th Louisiana, CO unknown: 133 Elite troops

Artillery: Maj. A. R. COURTNEY

Courtney (Virginia) Artillery (Latimer's battery): 2 Ordnance, 39 Trained troops

Johnson's (Virginia) battery: 4 6-lb Smoothbores, 108 Crack troops

Louisiana Guard Artillery (D'Aquin's battery) : 3 mixed guns, 67 Crack troops

Staunton (Virginia) Artillery (Garber's battery) : 2 6-lb Smoothbores, 47 Crack troops


Branch's Brigade: Brig. Gen. L. O'B. BRANCH

7th North Carolina, Col. E. Haywood: 127 Veteran troops

18th North Carolina, Lieutenant Colonel Purdie: 129 Veteran troops

28th North Carolina, Col. James Lane: 169 Veteran troops

33d North Carolina, Lieut. Col. R. Hoke: 190 Veteran troops

37th North Carolina, Capt. W. Morris: 164 Veteran troops

Gregg's Brigade: Brig. Gen. MAXCY GREGG

1st South Carolina (Prov. Army), Col. D.H. Hamilton: 187 Elite troops

1st South Carolina Rifles, Lieut. Col. James M. Perrin: 225 Crack troops

12th South Carolina, Col. Dixon Barnes: 230 Crack troops

13th South Carolina, Col. O. E. Edwards: 193 Crack troops

14th South Carolina, Lieut. Col. W.D. Simpson: 212 Crack troops

Field's Brigade: Colonel John M. BROCKENBROUGH

40th Virginia, Lieut. Col. Fleet Cox: 162 Crack troops

47th Virginia, Lieut. Col. John Lyell : 139 Crack troops

55th Virginia, Maj. Charles Lawson: 141 Veteran troops

22d Virginia Battalion, Maj. E. Tayloe: 155 Crack troops

Archer''s Brigade: Brig. Gen. J. J. ARCHER

5th Alabama Battalion, Captain Hooper: combined with 1st TN

19th Georgia, Maj. J. H. Neal: 122 Crack troops

1st Tennessee (Prov. Army ), Col. Peter Turney: 120 Elite troops

7th Tennessee, Maj. S. G. Shepard: 121 Crack troops

14th Tennessee, Lieut. Col. J. W. Lockert: 125 Crack troops

Pender's Brigade: Brig. Gen. WILLIAM D. PENDER

16th North Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel Stowe: 202 Crack troops

22d North Carolina, Maj. C. C. Cole: 189 Crack troops

34th North Carolina, Lieut. Col. J. McDowell: 161 Crack troops

38th North Carolina, CO unknown: 155 Crack troops

Thomas' Brigade: Col. EDWARD L. THOMAS

14th Georgia, Col. R. W. Folsom: 157 Veteran troops

35th Georgia, CO unknown: 190 Veteran troops

45th Georgia, Maj. W. L. Grace: 178 Veteran troops

49th Georgia, Lieut. Col. S. M. Manning: 209 Veteran troops

Artillery: Lieut. Col. R. L. WALKER

Crenshaw's (Virginia) battery: 4 mixed guns, 89 Elite troops

Fredericksburg (Virginia) Artillery (Braxton's battery): 2 Ordnance, 79 Elite troops

Pee Dee (South Carolina) Artillery (McIntosh's battery): 3 mixed guns, 86 Elite troops

Purcell (Virginia) Artillery (Pegram's battery): 4 mixed guns, 83 Elite troops


Winder's Brigade: Col. A. J. GRIGSBY

4th Virginia, Lieut. Col. R. D. Gardner: 148 Elite troops

5th Virginia, Maj. H. J. Williams: combined with 4th VA 27th Virginia, Capt. F. C. Wilson: 133 Elite troops

33d Virginia, Capt. Golladay: combined with 27th VA

Taliaferro's Brigade: Col. E. T. H. WARREN

47th Alabama, Col. James Jackson: 203 Elite troops

48th Alabama, Col. J. Sheffield: combined with 47th AL 10th Virginia, CO unknown: 120 Elite troops

23d Virginia, CO unknown: 221 Elite troops

37th Virginia, Lieut. Col. John Terry: combined with 23rd VA

Jones' Brigade: Col. B. T. JOHNSON

21st Virginia, Capt. A. C. Page: 132 Elite troops

42d Virginia, Capt. R. W. Withers: combined with 21st VA 48th Virginia,

Captain Candler: 139 Elite troops

1st Virginia Battalion, Lieut. C. A. Davidson: combined with 48th VA

Starke's Brigade: Brig. Gen. WILLIAM E. STARKE

1st Louisiana, Lieut. Col. M. Nolan: 221 Elite troops

2d Louisiana, Col. J. M. Williams: 121 Elite troops

9th Louisiana, Col. Leroy Stafford: 139 Crack troops

10th Louisiana, Capt. H. D. Monier: 129 Crack troops

15th Louisiana, Col. Edmund Pendleton: 155 Veteran troops

Coppens' (LA) battalion, CO unknown: combined with 10th LA

Artillery: Maj. L. M. SHUMAKER

Alleghany (Virginia) Artillery (Carpenter's battery): 3 mixed guns, 74 Elite troops

Brockenbrough's (Maryland) battery: 3 mixed guns, 76 Elite troops

Danville (Virginia) Artillery (Wooding's battery): 2 mixed guns, 52 Elite troops

Hampden (Virginia)Artillery (Caskie's battery): 1 10-lb Parrott, 32 Veteran troops

Lee (Virginia) Battery (Raine's battery): 2 Ordnance, 54 Elite troops

Rockbridge (Virginia) Artillery (Poague's battery): 1 10-lb Parrott, 39 Elite



Ripley's Brigade: Brig. Gen. ROSWELL S. RIPLEY

4th Georgia, Col. George Doles: 320 Veteran troops

44th Georgia, Capt. Key: 162 Veteran troops

1st North Carolina, Lieut. Col. H.A. Brown: 410 Veteran troops

3d North Carolina, Col. William L. De Rosset: 547 Trained troops

Rodes' Brigade: Brig. Gen. R. E. RODES

3d Alabama, Col. C. A. Battle: 144 Elite troops

5th Alabama. Maj. E. L. Hobson: 150 Elite troops

6th Alabama, Col. J. B. Gordon: 165 Elite troops

12th Alabama, Col. B. B. Gayle: 172 Elite troops

26th Alabama, Col. E. A. O'Neal: 144 Elite troops

Garland's Brigade: Col. D. K. McRAE

5th North Carolina, Capt. T. M. Garrett: 197 Veteran troops

12th North Carolina, Capt. S. Snow: combined with 5th NC

13th North Carolina, Lieut. Col. Thomas Ruffin, jr.: 143 Veteran troops

20th North Carolina, Col. Alfred Iverson: 187 Veteran troops

23d North Carolina, Col. D. H. Christie: 225 Trained troops

Anderson's Brigade: Brig. Gen. GEORGE B. ANDERSON

2d North Carolina, Col. C. C. Tew: 255 Elite troops

4th North Carolina. Col. Bryan Grimes: 194 Elite troops

14th North Carolina, Col. R. T. Bennett: 523 Veteran troops

30th North Carolina, Col. F. M. Parker: 250 Elite troops

Colquitt's Brigade: Col. A. H. COLQUITT

13th Alabama, Col. B. D. Fry: 310 Crack troops

6th Georgia, Lieut. Col. J.M. Newton: 261 Crack troops

23d Georgia, Col. W. P. Barclay: 282 Veteran troops

27th Georgia, Col. L. B. Smith: 287 Veteran troops

28th Georgia, Maj. T. Graybill: 180 Veteran troops

Artillery: Major PIERSON

Hardaway's (Alabama) battery, Capt. R. A. Hardaway: 3 mixed guns, 64 Crack troops

Jeff Davis (Alabama) Artillery, Capt. J. W. Bondurant: 4 mixed guns, 72 Crack troops

Jones' (Virginia) battery, Capt. William B. Jones: 4 6-lb Smoothbores, 69 Veteran troops

King William (Virginia) Artillery, Capt. T. H. Carter: 5 mixed guns, 87 Veteran troops


Cutts' Battalion: Lieut. Col. A. S. CUTTS Blackshears' (Georgia) battery: 5 6-lb Smoothbores, 88 Veteran troops

Irwin (Georgia) Artillery (Lane's battery): 4 mixed guns, 65 Veteran troops

Lloyd's (North Carolina) battery: 3 6-lb Smoothbores, 58 Green troops

Patterson's (Georgia) battery: 6 mixed guns, 95 Veteran troops

Ross' (Georgia) battery: 4 mixed guns, 71 Veteran troops

Jones' Battalion: Maj. H. P. JONES

Morris (Virginia) Artillery (R. Page's battery): 4 6-lb Smoothbores, 81 Crack troops

Orange (Virginia) Artillery (Peyton's battery): 5 mixed guns, 87 Veteran troops

Turner's (Virginia) battery: 4 6-lb Smoothbores, 58 Crack troops

Wimbish's (Virginia) battery: 3 6-lb Smoothbores, 41 Crack troops


Cutshaw's (Virginia) battery: 1 Ordnance, 30 Veteran troops


Hampton's Brigade: Brig. Gen. WADE HAMPTON

1st North Carolina, Col. L. S. Baker: 237 Veteran troops

2d South Carolina, Col. M. C. Butler: 258 Trained troops

10th Virginia, CO unknown: 235 Veteran troops

Cobb's (Georgia) Legion, Lieut. Col. P. Young: combined with JD Legion Jeff.

Davis Legion, Lieut. Col. W. T. Martin: 154 Crack troops

Lee's Brigade: Brig. Gen. FITZ. LEE

1st Virginia, Lieut. Col. L. Tiernan Brien: 219 Elite troops

3d Virginia, Lieut. Col. John T. Thornton: 234 Elite troops

4th Virginia, Col. Williams C. Wickham: 214 Elite troops

5th Virginia, Col. T. L. Rosser: 208 Elite troops

9th Virginia, Col. W.H.F. Lee: 229 Elite troops

Robertson's Brigade: Col. THOMAS T. MUNFORD

2d Virginia, Lieutenant-Colonel Burks: 179 Elite troops

7th Virginia, Capt. S. B. Myers: 214 Crack troops

l2th Virginia, Col. A. W. Harman: 223 Crack troops

17th Virginia Battalion: 120 Veteran troops


Chew's (Virginia) battery: 3 Ordnance, 63 Elite troops

Hart's (South Carolina) battery: 4 Ordnance, 74 Elite troops

Pelham's (Virginia) battery: 6 mixed guns, 87 Elite troops