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haps a portion of Jackson's, probably some i position, the corps in advance should be 30,000 in all.
placed in position for attack, and await We went into action with about 30,000 | my arrival. On reaching the advanced men, and our losses amounted to 1,568 ag- position of our troops, I found but two gregate, (312 killed, 1,234 wounded, and 22 divisions, Richardson's and Sykes's, in missing.)
position; the other troops were halted in On the next day I had the honor to re- the road; the head of the column some disceive the following very kind despatch from tance in rear of Richardson. his Excellency the President:
The enemy occupied a strong position “WAR DEPARTMENT,
on the heights, on the west side of Antie
tam creek, displaying a large force of in“Washington, Sept. 15, 1862—2.45 P. M.
fantry and cavalry, with numerous bat. “ Your despatch of to-day received. Godteries of artillery, which opened on our bless you, and all with you; destroy the columns as they appeared in sight on the rebel army if possible.
Keedysville road and Sharpsburg turnpike, “A. LINCOLN.
which fire was returned by Capt. Tidball's “ Maj. Gen. McClellar."
light battery, 2d United States artillery, “ANTIKTAM."
and Pettit's battery, 1st New York artil.
lery. On the night of the battle of South 'l'he division of Gen. Richardson, follow. Mountain, orders were given to the corps ing close on the heels of the retreating foe, commanders to press forward the pickets halted and deployed near Antietam river, at early dawn. This advance revealed the on the right of the Sharpsburg road. Gen. fact that the enemy had left his positions, Sykes, leading on the division of regulars and an immediate pursuit was ordered ; on the old Sharpsburg road, came up and the cavalry, under Gen. Pleasonton, and deployed to the left of Gen. Richardson, the three corps under Gens. Sumner, on the left of the road. Hooker, and Mansfield, (the latter of whom Antietam creek, in this vicinity, is crossed had arrived that morning and assumed by four stone bridges-the upper one on command of the 12th, Williams's corps,) the Keedysville and Williamsport road; by the national turnpike and Boonsboro'; the second on the Keedysville and Sharps. the corps of Gens. Burnside and Porter burg turnpike, some two and a half miles (the latter command at that time consist- below; the third about a mile below the ing of but one weak division, Sykes's) by second, on the Rohrersville and Sharps. the old Sharpsburg road, and Gen. Frank- burg road; and the fourth near the month lin to move into Pleasant valley, occupy of Antietam creek, on the road leading Rohrers ville by a detachment, and endeavor from Harper's Ferry to Sharpsburg, some to relieve Harper's Ferry.
three miles below the third. "The streanı Gens. Burnside and Porter, upon reach- is sluggish, with few and difficult fords. ing the road from Boonsboro' to Rohrers. After a rapid examination of the position, ville to re-enforce Franklin, or to move on I found that it was too late to attack that Sharpsburg, according to circumstances. day, and at once directed the placing of the
Franklin moved towards Brownsville batteries in position in the centre, and inand found there & force of the enemy, dicated the bivouacs for the different corps, much superior in numbers to his own, massing them near and on both sides of the drawn up in a strong position to receive | Sharpsburg turnpike. The corps were not him. At this time the cessation of firing all in their positions until the next mornat Harper's Ferry indicated the surrender ing after sunrise. of that place.
On the morning of the 16th, it was disThe cavalry overtook the enemy's caval covered that the enemy had changed the alry in Boonsboro', made a daring charge, position of his batteries. The masses of; killing and wounding a number, and cap- his troops, however, were still concealed turing 250 prisoners and two guns. behind the opposite heights. Their left and
Gen. Richardson's division of the 20 centre were upon and in front of the Sharpe. corps pressing the rear guard of the enemy burg and Hagerstown turnpike, hidden by with vigor, passed Boonsboro' and Keedys- woods and irregularities of the ground; ville, and came upon the main body of the their extreme left resting upon a wooded enemy, occupying in large force a strong eminence near the cross-roads to the north position a few miles beyond the latter of J. Miller's farm; their left resting upon place.
the Potomac. Their line extended south, It had been hoped to engage the enemy the right resting upon the hills to the south during the 15th. Accordingly, instructions of Sharpsburg, near Shaveley's farm. were given that if the enemy were over- The bridge over the Antietam, described taken on the march they should be attacked as No. 3, near this point, was strongly at once; if found ju heavy force and in covered by ritlemen protected by rifle-pits,
stone fences. &c., and enfiladed by artil. tion, which was promptly returned; their lery. The ground in front of this line con- fire was silenced for the time, but was fresisted of undulating hills, their crests in quently renewed during the day. In the turn commanded by others in their rear. | heavy fire of the morning, Maj. Arndt, On all favorable points the enemy's artil commanding first battalion first New York lery was posted and their reserves hidden artillery, was mortally wounded while from view by the hills, on which their line directing the operations of his batteries. of battle was formed, could maneuvre It was afternoon before I could move unobserved by our army, and from the the troops to their positions for attack, shortness of their line could rapidly re- being compelled to spend the morning in enforce any point threatened by our attack. reconnoitring the new position taken up Their position, stretching across the angle by the enemy, examining the ground, find. formed by the Potomac and Antietam, ing fords, clearing the approaches, and their flanks and rear protected by these hurrying up the ammunition and supply streams, was one of the strongest to be trains, which had been delayed by the found in this region of country, which is rapid march of the troops over the few well adapted to defensive warfare.
practicable approaches from Frederick. On the right, near Keedysville, on both These had been crowded by the masses of sides of the Sharpsburg turnpike, were | infantry, cavalry and artillery pressing on Sumner's and Hooker's corps. In advance, with the hope of overtaking the enemy on the right of the turnpike and near the before he could form to resist an attack. Antietam river, Gen. Richardson's division Many of the troops were out of rations on of Gen. Sumner's corps was posied. Gen. the previous day, and a good deal of their Sykes's division of Gen. Porter's corps was ammunition had been expended in the on the left of the turnpike and in line with severe action of the 14th. Gen. Richardson, protecting the bridge My plan for the impending general enNo. 2, over the Antietam. The left of the gagement was to attack the enemy's left line, opposite to and some distance from with the corps of Hooker and Mansfield, bridge No. 3, was occupied by Gen. Burn- supported by Sumner's, and if necessary side's corps.
by Franklin's; and, as soon as matters Before giving Gen. Hooker his orders looked favorably there, to move the corps to make the movement which will presently of Burnside against the enemy's extreme be described, I rode to the left of the line right, upon the ridge running to the south to satisfy myself that the troops were pro- and rear of Sharpsburg, and having carperly posted there to secure our left flank ried their position, to press along the crest from any attack made along the left bank towards our right; and whenever either of the Antietam, as well as to enable us of these flank movements should be sucto carry bridge No. 3.
cessful, to advance our centre with all the I found it necessary to make consider- | forces then disposable. able changes in the position of Gen. Burn About 2 p. X., Gen. Hooker, with his side's corps, and directed him to advance corps, consisting of Gen. Rickett's, Meade's to a strong position in the immediate and Doubleday's divisions, was ordered to vicinity of the bridge, and to reconnoitre cross the Antietam at a ford, and at bridge the approaches to the bridge carefully. No. 1, a short distance above, to attack, In front of Gen. Sumner's and Hooker's and, if possible, turn the enemy's left. corps, near Keedysville, and on the ridge Gen. Sumner was ordered to cross the of the first line of hills overlooking the corps of Gen. Mansfield (the 12th) during Antictam, and between the turnpike and the night, and hold his own (the 2d) corps Fry's house on the right of the road, were ready to cross early the next morning. On placed Capt. Taft's, Langner's, Von Kleiz- reaching the vicinity of the enemy's left, a er's and Lieut. Weaver's batteries of sharp contest commenced with the Penntwenty-pounder Parrott guns. On the sylvania reserves, the advance of Gen. crest of the hill in the rear and right of Hooker's corps, near the house of D. Milbridge No. 8, Capt. Weed's three-inch and ler. The enemy were driven from the strip Lieut. Benjamin's twenty-pounder bat- of woods where he was first met. The teries. Gen. Franklin's corps and Gen. firing Jasted until after dark, when Gen. Couch's division held a position in Pleas- Hooker's corps rested on their arms on ant valley in front of Brownsville, with a ground won from the enemy. strong force of the enemy in their front. During the night Gen. Mansfield's corps, Gen. Morell's division of Porter's corps consisting of Gen. Williams's and Green's was en route from Boonsboro', and Gen. divisions, crossed the Antietam at the same Humphrey's division of new troops en 1 ford and bridge that Gen. Hooker's troops route" from Frederick, Maryland. About had passed, and bivouacked on the farm daylight on the 16th the enemy opened a of J. Poffenberger, about a mile in rear of beavy fire of artillery on our guns in posi- ' Gen. Hooker's position. At daylight op
the 17th the action was commenced by the For about two hours the battle raged skirmishers of the Pennsylvania reserves. with varied success, the enemy endeavor. The whole of Gen. Hooker's corps was ing to drive our troops into the second Boon engaged, and drove the enemy from line of wood, and ours in turn to get posthe open field in front of the first line of session of the line in front. woods into a second line of woods beyond Our troops ultimately succeeded in which runs to the eastward of and nearly forcing the enemy back into the woods parallel to the Sharpsburg and Hagers- near the turnpike, Gen. Green with his two town turnpike.
brigades crossing into the woods to the This contest was obstinate, and as the left of the Dunbar church. During this troops advanced the opposition became conflict Gen. Crawford, commanding first more determined and the number of the division after Gen. Williams took comenemy greater. Gen. Hooker then ordered mand of the corps, was wounded and left up the corps of Gen. Mansfield, which the field. mored promptly toward the scene of ac-Gen. Green being much exposed and tion.
applying for re-enforcements, the thir. The first division, Gen. Williams's, was teenth New Jersey, twenty-seventh Ine deployed to the right on approaching the diana, and the third Maryland were sent enemy; Gen. Crawford's brigade on the to his support with a section of Knapp's right, its right resting on the Hagerstown battery. turnpike; on his left Gen. Gordon's brig- At about nine o'clock A. m. Gen. Sedg. ade. The second division, Gen. Green's, wick's division of Gen. Sumner's corps joining the left of Gordon's extended as arrived. Crossing the ford previously far as the burnt buildings to the north and mentioned, this division marched in three east of the white church on the turnpike. i columns to the support of the attack on During the deployment, that gallant vete- the enemy's left. On nearing the scene of ran Gen. Mansfield fell mortally wounded, ' action the columns were halted, faced to while examining the ground in front of his the front, and established by Gen. Sumner troops. Gen. Hartsuff, of Hooker's corps, in three parallel lines by brigade, facing was severely wounded, while bravely press- toward the south and west; Gen. Gorman's ing forward his troops, and was taken from 'brigade in front, Gen. Dana's second, and the field.
Gen. Howard's third, with a distance beThe command of the twelfth corps fell tween the lines of some seventy paces. apon Gen. Williams. Five regiments of The division was then put in motion and first division of this corps were new troops. moved upon the field of battle, under fire One brigade of the second division was from the enemy's concealed batteries on sent to support Gen. Doubleday.
the hill beyond the roads. Passing diagoThe one hundred and twenty-fourth nally to the front across the open space Pennsylvania volunteers were pushed and to the front of the first division of across the turnpike into the woods beyond Gen. Williams's corps, this latter division J. Miller's house, with orders to hold the withdrew. position as long as possible.
i Entering the woods on the west of the The line of battle of this corps was turnpike, and driving the enemy before formed, and it became engaged about seven them, the first line was met with heavy A. ., the attack being opened by Knapp's fire of musketry and shell from the enemy's (Pennsylvania,) Cothran's (New York,) / breastworks and the batteries on the hill and Hampton's (Pittsburg) batteries. To commanding the exit from the woods ; meet this attack the enemy had pushed a ' meantime a heavy column of the enemy strong column of troops into the open had succeeded in crowding back the troops fields in front of the turnpike, while he of Gen. Green's division, and appeared in occupied the woods on the west of the turn- rear of the left of Sedgwick's division. pike in strong force. The woods (as was | By command of Gen. Sumner, Gen. Howard found by subsequent observation) were faced the third line to the rear preparatory traversed by outcropping ledges of rock. to a change of front to meet the column Several hundred yards to the right and advancing on the left; but this line now rear was a hill which commanded the de- suffering from a destructive fire both in bouche of the woods, and in the fields front and on its left, which it was unable between was a long line of stone fences, to return, gave way towards the right and continued by breastworks of rails, which rear in considerable confusion, and was covered the enemy's infantry from our soon followed by the first and second musketry. The same woods formed a lines. screeu behind which his movements were' Gen. Gorman's brigade, and one regiconcealed, and his batteries on the hill and ment of Gen. Dana's, soon rallied and the rifle works covered from the fire of our checked the advance of the enemy on tbe artillery in front.
| right. The second and third lines now
formed on the left of Gen. Gorman's bri-| with an unwavering front and drove the gade, and poured a destructive fire upon enemy from their position about the houses. the enemy.
While Gen. Weber was hotly engaged During Gen. Sumner's attack, he or with the first line of the enemy, Geu. dered Gen. Williams to support him. French received orders from Gen. Sumner, Brig. Gen. Gordon, with a portion of his his corps commander, to push on with re. brigade, moved forward, but when he newed vigor to make a diversion in favor reached the woods, the left of Gen. Sedg-1 of the attack on the right. Leaving the wick's division had given way; and finding new troops, who had been thrown into himself, as the smoke cleared up, opposed some confusion from their march through to the enemy in force with his small com-corntields, over fences, &c., to form as a mand, he withdrew to the rear of the bat- reserve, he ordered the brigade of Gen teries at the second line of woods. As Kimball to the front, passing to the left of Gen. Gordon's troops unmasked our bat. Gen. Weber. The enemy was pressed teries on the left, they opened with canis-back to near the crest of the hill, where ter; the batteries of Cap. Cothran, Ist he was encountered in greater strengtb New York, and I, 1st artillery, commanded posted in a sunken road forming a natural by Lieut. Woodruff, doing good service. rifie-pit running in a northwesterly direcUnable to withstand this deadly fire in tion. In a cornfield in rear of this road front and the musketry fire from the right, were also strong bodies of the enemy. As the enemy again sought shelter in the the line reached the crest of the hill a woods and rocks beyond the turnpike. galling fire was opened on it from the
During this assault Gens. Sedgwick and sunken road and cornfield. Here a terrific Dana were seriously wounded and taken fire of musketry burst from both lines, and from the field. Gen. Sedgwick, though the battle raged along the whole line with twice wounded, and faint from loss of great slaughter. blood, retained command of his division The enemy attempted to turn the left of for more than an hour after his first wound, the line, but were met by the 7th Virginia animating his command by his presence. and 132d Pennsylvania volunteers and re
About the time of Gen. Sedgwick's ad- pulsed. Foiled in this, the enemy made a vance, Gen. Hooker, while urging on his determined assault on the front, but were command, was severely wounded in the met by a charge from our lines which drove foot and taken from the field, and Gen. them back with severe loss, leaving in our Meade was placed in command of his corps. I hands some three hundred prisoners and Gen. Howard assumed command after Gen. several stand of colors. The enemy having Sedgwick retired.
been repulsed by the terrible execution of The repulse of the enemy offered oppor the batteries and the musketry fire on the tunity to rearrange the lines and reorganize extreme right, now attempted to assist the the commands on the right now more or | attack on Gen. French's division by as. less in confusion. The batteries of the sailing him on his right and endeavoring to Pennsylvania reserve, on high ground, turn this flank, but this attack was met near J. Poffenberger's house, opened fire, and checked by the 14th Indiana and 8th and checked several attempts of the enemy Ohio volunteers, and by canister from to establish batteries in front of our right, Cap. Tompkin's battery, 1st Rhode Island to turn that flank and enfilade the lines. artillery. Having been under an almost
While the conflict was so obstinately continnous fire for nearly four hours, and raging on the right, Gen. French was push- the ammunition nearly expended, this dis ing his division against the enemy still vision now took position immediately befurther to the left. This division crossed low the crest of the heights on which they the Antietam at the same ford as Gen. had so gallantly fought, the enemy making Sedgwick, and immediately in his rear. no attempt to regain their lost ground. • Passing over the stream in three columns, / On the left of Gen. French, Gen. Richthe division marched about a mile from the ardson's division was hotly engaged. Har. ford, then facing to the left, moved in three ing crossed the Antietam about 9.30 A. Y. lines towards the enemy: Gen. Max We at the ford crossed by the other divisions ber's brigade in front ; Col. Dwight Mor- of Sumner's corps, it moved on a line rig's brigade of raw troops, undrilied, and nearly parallel to the Antictam, and moving for the first time under fire, in the formed in a ravinc behind the high grounds second, and Gen. Kimball's brigade in the overlooking Roulette's house; the 2d (Irish) third. The division was first assailed by a brigade, commanded by Gen. Meagher, on Gre of artillery, but steadily advanced, the right; the 3d brigade, commanded by driving in the enemy's skirmishers, and Gen. Caldwell, on his left, and the brigade encountered the infantry in some force at commanded by Col. Brooks, 53d Pennsyl. the group of houses on Roulette's farm. vania volunteers, in support. As the di. Gen. Weber's brigade gallantly advanced i vision moved forward to take its position
on the field, the enemy directed a fire of capturing over three hundred prisoners artillery against it, but owing to the irregu- and three stands of colars. larities of the ground did but little damage. The whole of the brigade, with the 57th
Meagher's brigade advancing steadily and 66th New York regiments of Col. soon became engaged with the enemy Brooks's brigade, who had moved these posted to the left and in front of Rou- regiments into the first line, now advanced lette's house. It continued to advance on with gallantry, driving the enemy before der a heavy fire'nearly to the crest of the them in confusion into the cornfield beyond hill overlooking Piper's house, the enemy the sunken road. The left of the division being posted in a continuation of the was now well advanced, when the enemy, sanken road and cornfield before referred concealed by an intervening ridge en to. Here the brave Irish brigade opened deavored to turn its left and rear. apon the enemy a terrific musketry fire. Col. Cross, 5th New Hampshire, by a
All of Gen. Sumner's corps was now change of front to the left and rear, engaged: Gen. Sedgwick on the right; brought his regiment facing the advancing Gen. French in the centre, and Gen. Rich- line. Here a spirited contest arose to ardson on the left. The Irish brigade gain a commanding height, the two opsustained its well-earned reputation. After posing forces moving parallel to each suffering terribly in officers and men, and other, giving and receiving fire. The 5th strewing the ground with their enemies as gained the advantage, faced to the right they drove them back, their ammunition and delivered its volley. The enemy nearly expended, and their commander, staggered, but rallied and advanced desperGen. Meagher, disabled by the fall of his ately at a charge. · Being re-enforced by horse shot under him, this brigade was the 81st Pennsylvania, these regiments ordered to give place to Gen. Caldwell's met the advance by a counter charge. brigade, which advanced to a short distauce Thč enemy fled leaving many killed, in its rear. The lines were passed by the wounded, and prisoners, and the colors of Irish brigade breaking by company to the the 4th North Carolina, in our hands. rear, and Gen. Caldwell's by company to! Another column of the enemy, ad. the front as steadily as on drill. Col. vancing under shelter of a stone wall and Brooks's brigade now became the second cornfield, pressed down on the right of the line.
division; but Col. Barlow again advanced " The ground over which Gens. Richard. the 61st and 64th New York against these son's and French's divisions were fighting troops, and with the attack of Kimball's was very irregular, intersected by numer. brigade on the right, drove them from this Ous ravines, hills covered with growing position. corn, enclosed by stone walls, behind which Our troops on the left of this part of the enemy could advance unobserved upon the line having driven the enemy far back, any exposed point of our lines. Taking they, with re-enforced numbers, made a advantage of this, the enemy attempted to determined attack directly in front. To gain the right of Richardson's position in meet this, Col. Barlow brought his two & cornfield near Roulette's house, where regiments to their position in line, and the division had become separated froin drove the enemy through the cornfield into that of Gen. French's. A change of front the orchard beyond, under a heavy fire of by the 52d New York and 2d Delaware musketry, and a fire of canister from two Volunteers, of Col. Brooks's brigade, under pieces of artillery in the orchard, and a Col. Frank, and the attack made by the battery further to the right, throwing shell 530 Pennsylvania volunteers, sent further and case shot. This advance gave us to the right by Col. Brooks to close this possession of Piper's house, the strong gap in the line, and the movement of the point contended for by the enemy at this 1320 Pennsylvania and 7th Virginia volun- part of the line, it being a defensible buildteers of Gen. French's division, before ing several hundred yards in advance of referred to, drove the enemy from the corn-the sunken road. The musketry fire at field and restored the line.
this point of the line now ceased. Holding The brigade of Gen. Caldwell, with Piper's house, Gen. Richardson withdrew determined gallantry," pushed the enemy the line a little way to the crest of a hill, back opposite the left and centre of this a more advantageous position. Up to this division, but sheltered in the sunken road, time the division was without artillery, they still held our forces on the right of and in the new position suffered severely Caldwell in check. Col. Barlow command: from 'årtillery fire which could not be ing the 61st and 64th New York regiments replied to. A section of Robertson's horse of Caldwell's brigade, seeing a favorable battery, commanded by Lieut. Vincent, 2d opportunity, advanced the regiments on artillery, now arrived on the ground and the left, taking the line in the sunken road did excellent service. Subsequently a in flank, and compelling them to surrender, battery of brass guns, coinmanded by Capt.