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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 1032 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

occupying the heights to the south. While taking position, General Hill arrived, and with him Brigadier-General Drayton's command. General Hill directed General Anderson's and my command to extend still farther on the road, making room for General Drayto's troops, and that the attack should be made as soon as all were in position. General Anderson's and my own brigade got into position on the road, and General Drayton's command was rapidly forming when the action commenced by the enemy attacking him in force. This he sustained for some time, General Anderson's and my own brigade pushing forward thought dense thickets and up very steep acclivities to outflank the enemy and come into General Drayton's force and my own, and sent a column of troops down the road as if to cut off the troops forming our right. In this object he was thwarted by two pieces of artillery belonging to Colonel Rosser's cavalry, which was speedily placed in position a short distance in our rear on the Braddock speedily placed in position a short distance in our rear on the Braddock road. A few well-directed shot and shell drove the enemy up the hill, leaving the road in our possession.

Meantime General Anderson had extended far to the right and come up with the enemy, with whom he had a short engagement. My own brigade had pressed up to within a short distance of the crest of the heights, and held its position under a noisy but comparatively harmless fire, but Anderson's brigade having extended far to the right, it was for time unsupported by any other troops. Soon after, Brigadier-General Hood's command came from the main pass, and, forming upon my left, the troops pressed up the road, driving the enemy before them until they occupied their first position and darkness put an end to the operations. I found soon afterward that General Anderson's command had been withdrawn at nightfall from the heights to the Braddock road.

Orders were received from Major-General Longstreet to renew the attack as early as practicable, and arrangements were in progress when further orders were received to move back to the main road and follow the army. The movement was made without confusion, and upon coming on the road near Boonsborough the route was taken following the main army to Sharpsburg.

Upon arriving on the west bank of the Antietam River, on the 15th, under orders from Major-General Longstreet (during the temporary absence of the division commander), I posted my own, Anderson's, and McRae's brigades on the heights overlooking the river, with the right resting on the road from Boonsborough to Sharpsburg, facing the river. The troops bivouacked during the remainder of the 15th and the 16th in this position.

On the morning of the 16th the enemy made his appearance in force in our front, and from about 9 o'clock until nightfall we were subjected to an annoying artillery fire.

During the evening I received orders to move my brigade to the left of our division, and take up a position to cover a road leading from our left to the turnpike leading from Sharpsburg to cover a road leading from our left to the turnpike leading from Sharpsburg to Hagerstown, and in support of certain batteries of artillery in our vicinity. The troops rested on their arms during the night of the 16th.

Early on the morning of the 17th, the skirmishers of Colonel Walker's brigade, of jackson's corps, immediately on my left, became engaged, and the enemy from his batteries on the eastern bank of the Antietam


Page 1032 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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