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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
Page 938 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

drove the enemy through and beyond it. The other regiments of my command continued steadily to advance in the open ground, driving the enemy in confusion from and beyond this guns. So far, we had been entirely successful and everything promised a decisive victory. It is true that strong support was needed to follow up our success, but this I expected every moment.

At this stage of the battle, a powerful Federal force (ten times our number) of fresh troops was thrown in our front. Our losses up to this time had been very heavy; the troops now confronting the enemy were insufficient to cover properly one-fourth of the line of battle; our ammunition was expense; the men had been fighting long and desperately and were exhausted from want of food and rest. Still, they held their ground, many of them using such ammunition as they could obtain from the bodies of our own and the enemy's dead and wounded. It was evident that this state of affairs could not long continue. No support was at hand. To remain stationary or advance without it would have caused a useless butchery, and I adopted the only alternative-that of falling back to the wood from which I had first advanced. The enemy followed very slowly and cautiously. Under direction of General Hood I reformed my brigade in the rear of Saint Mumma's Church (Dunkers' Chapel), and, together with the Texas Brigade, which had also retired, again confronted the enemy, who seemed to hesitate to enter the wood. During this delay re-enforcements arrived, and the brigade was relieved for the purpose of obtaining ammunition.

At 1 p. m., having been supplied with ammunition, I was again ordered to the field, and took position in the wood near the church. Here the brigade remained, under an incessant cannonade, until near nightfall, when it was move half mile nearer the town of Sharpsburg, where it lay during the night and the following day.

The good conduct of my brigade in this battle has not been surpassed by it in any previous engagement. Weak and exhausted as they were, and fighting against fearful odds, the troops accomplished and endured all that was within the limits of human capacity.

Our loss in proportion to the numbers engaged was extremely heavy. The officers suffered severely. Colonel Liddell, the gallant and beloved commander of the Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, fell, mortally wounded; Lieutenant-Colonel [S. F.] Butler, of the same regiment, receive a painful wound, and Major [T. S.] Evans was killed. Colonel Stone, Lieutenant-Colonel [D. W.] Humphreys, and Major [J. A.] Blair, of the Second Mississippi, were all wounded while leading that distinguished regiment in the charge. Major Webb, commanding Sixth North Carolina, Captain [S. McD.] Tate, an acting field officer of the same, and Captain [L. H.] Scruggs, commanding Fourth Alabama, received wounds while gallantly discharging their duty.

The members of my staff-Lieutenant Terrell, assistant adjutant-general, Captain Kirkman, Lieutenant Law, of the Citadel Academy, and Private Smith, Fourth Alabama-as usual, performed every duty bravely and efficiently.

I inclose a list* of casualties.

I am, captain, very respectfully,

E. M. LAW,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain W. H. SELLERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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* Embodied in tabular statement, p. 811.

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Page 938 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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