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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 1020 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA., Chapter XXXI.

some 3 miles distant, on our left. I felt reluctant to order up Ripley and Rodes from the important positions they were holding until something definite was known of the strength and design of the Yankees. About 7 o'clock they opened a fire upon our right, and pushed forward a large force through the dense woods to gain a practicable road to our rear. Garland's brigade wa sent in to meet this overwhelming force, and succeeded in checking it and securing then road from any further attack that day. This brilliant service, however, cost us the life of that pure, gallant, and accomplished Christian soldier, General Garland, who had no superiors and few equals in the service. The Yankees on their side lost General Reno, a renegade Virginian, who was killed by a happy shot from the Twenty-third North Carolina. Garland's brigade was badly demoralized by his fall and the rough handling it had received, and, had the Yankees pressed vigorously forward, the road might have been gained. Providentially, they were ignorant of their success or them selves too much damaged to advance. The Twentieth North Carolina of this brigade, under Colonel Iverson, had attacked a Yankee battery, killed all the horses, and driven off the cannoneers. This battery was used no more that day by the yankees. Anderson's brigade arrived in time to take the place of the much-demoralized troops of Garland. There were two mountain roads practicable for artillery on the right of the main turnpike. The defense of the farther one had cost Garland his life. I was now intrusted to Colonel [T. L.] Rosser, of the cavalry, who had reported to me, and who had artillery and dismounted sharpshooters. General Anderson was intrusted with the care of the nearest and best read. Bondurant's battery, was judged adequate to the task. There was, however, a solitary peak on the left, which, if gained by the Yankees, would give them control of the ridge commanding the turnpike. The possession of this peak was, therefore, everything to the Yankees, but they seemed slow to perceive it. I had a large number of guns from Cutts' artillery placed upon the hill on the left of the turnpike, to sweep the approaches to this peak. From the position selected, there was a full view of the country for miled around, but the mountain was so steep that ascending columns were but little exposed to artillery fire. The artillerists of [A. S.] Cutts' battalion behaved gallantly, but heir firing Anderson. Rodes was sent to the left, to seize the peak already mentioned, and Ripley was sent to the right to support Anderson. Several attempts had been made previous to this, by the Yankees, to force a passage through the woods on the right of and near the turnpike, but these were repulsed by the Sixth and Twenty-seventh Georgia and Thirteenth Alabama, of Colquitt's brigade.

It was now past noon, and the yankees had been checked for more than five hours; but it was evident that they were in large force on both sides of the road, and the Signal Corps reported heavy masses at the foot of the mountain. In answer to a dispatch from General Longstreet, I urged him to hurry forward troops to my assistance. General Drayton and Colonel G. T. Anderson came up, I think, about 3 o'clock, with 1,900 men, and I felt anxious to beat the force on my right before the Yankees made their grand attack, which I feared would be on our left. Anderson, Ripley, and Drayton were called together, and I directed them to follow a path until they came in contact with Rosser, when they should change their flank, march into line of battle, and sweep the woods before them. To facilitate their movements, I brought up a battery and made


Page 1020 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA., Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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