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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 831 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

repelling the enemy when he should appear. Forty-four guns were thus secured; of these the character, position, &c., were as followers: A 10-pounder Parrott and two other rifles, under Captain Maurin, on the right hand height, 200 or 300 yards from the river; next him, on the left, and 10-pounder Parrott, under Lieutenant Maddox. On his left, Captain Milledge had four 3-inch rifled and 12-pounder howitzer. Next to Captain Milledge, Captain W. H. Chapman was placed, with one rifle and one Napoleon. On the left of these, and on the brow of the cliff overlooking the ford, and to rake it and its approaches, Captain M. Johnson was placed with two 6-pounders and two howitzers. These dispositions were all below the road leading directly from the food, along a ravine, to the interior. Above that road Captain Kirkpatrick, with two 6-pounders and two 12-pounder howitzers, occupied the brow of the cliff to cross fire with Captain Johnson upon the ford and its approaches.

On Captain Kirkpatrick's left, and for a like purpose, was placed Captain Huckstep's battery of four 6-pounders. On an eminence to his left were planted two 10-pounder Parrotts, of Captain Braxton's battery. Still farther to the left, and on an elevation more commanding, though farther from the river, were located an effective 12-pounder Whitworth, under Captain Barnwell, my ordnance officer, and two 10-pounder Parrotts, under Captain Hardaway. Nearer to the river, and still to the left, positions were, by Colonel Long, assigned to a battery of four 6-pounders, to sweep the road on the opposite shore; and, to their left, two 10-pounder Parrotts, of a Louisiana battery (the names of their officers are not remembered). There being no favorable positions for other guns, the eleven remaining of the forty-four mentioned were removed beyond range, to be called up if required.

These arrangements had not been all completed, when, about 8 a.m. of the 19th, the enemy appeared on the distant heights opposite, and found our army entirely and safely across the ford, and on the Virginia side of the Potomac. They soon brought up and opened artillery much exceeding our in weight. Still, our rifles did excellent service in keeping at bay for hours the entire hostile host, artillery, cavalry, and infantry, which, in various positions, appeared; care being taken not to waste ammunition in mere long-range exchanges of shot. Our troops that had been briefly resting in the valleys were now ordered farther inland, to be out of reach of the shells, &c., so numerously hurled by the enemy, yet near enough to turn readily upon and perhaps destroy the adverse army should it force the passage of the river and take position between it and our forces.

From yourself, I received instructions to hold the position all that day and the night succeeding, unless the pressure should become too great, in which event I was, at my discretion, to withdraw after dark, it being most unlikely that a discreet commander would then risk the destruction of his entire army by getting it across in the night, and being assailed when in disorder next morning, with such a river behind him. Should I find it best at nightfall to withdraw, I was to follow the track of our army. I was informed also that two brigades of infantry would remain as a support to the ford, defending artillery (those of Generals Armistead and Lawton); these commanded, the former by Colonel Hodges and the latter by Colonel Lamar. They were to picket the ford, and, screening themselves as well as possible, to act as sharpshooters on the bank. I was by General Longstreet, requested to take charge of these brigades. I did so, and instructed the colonels commanding to keep their force at the ford strong, vigilant, and as well sheltered as occasion


Page 831 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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