Numbers 257. Report of Brigadier General Nathan g. Evans, C. S. Army, commanding brigade and division, of operations September 14-17.
HEADQUARTERS EVANS' BRIGADE,
Near Winchester, Va., October 13, 1862.
MAJOR: In pursuance to the written instructions of the major-general commanding, I beg leave to report the action of my command in the recent engagements in Virginia and Maryland:*
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On August [September] 14 my division was ordered to support the command of Brigadier-General Rodes, on the left of the road near South Mountain. On marching my brigade up the mountain on our extreme left, I was informed that the two brigades under the immediate command of Brigadier-General Hood had been detached, by order of the major general commanding, to support our right, and I was further ordered to hold my position on the left; that re-enforcements would be sent. On my arrival at the summit of the mountain, the skirmishers of the enemy were met, supported by several of his batteries that commanded my position. I directed Colonel Stevens, commanding brigade, to push over the summit and engage the enemy, then firing on General Rodes' troops, retiring. Colonel Stevens soon became engaged with a much superior force, two columns of the enemy advancing rapidly upon his small command. This force, however, was bravely met, and the position held until the troops on my right had retired, leaving my brigade nearly surrounded by the enemy. I then directed my troops to retire, firing, to the east side of the mountain, which was done in good order.
During the night I received an order to march in the direction of Sharpsburg, and my division ordered to act as rear guard, which duty was performed until our arrival at the Antietam River on the evening of September 15.
On the morning of the 16th, General Hood, with his two brigades, was detached and sent to the support of Major Gen D. H. Hill, leaving me but two brigades-Colonel Anderson's and Evans' brigades. During the day my command was held as support to Colonel Walton's artillery; also with orders to defend the brigade over the Antietam; and my skirmishers were engaged throughout the day with the sharpshooters of the enemy.
On the morning of the 17th, the enemy attacked our right [left] in force, and about noon Colonel Anderson's brigade was detached to support General Hood, then supporting Major General D. H. Hill on the right [left].
About 2 p. m. I was ordered to rally the troops then flocking to the town from our right [left] and bring them into action. After considerable exerting, with the assistance of my entire staff, I succeeded in collecting about 250 men and officers, whom I formed into two commands, and placed them, respectively, under the command of Colonels Colquitt and Iverson, of Major General D. H. Hill's division.
At 3 o'clock, observing the enemy approaching my position (directly on the left of the road), also attempting to cross the bridge on my right, I ordered an advance, Colonels [A. H.] Colquitt and [Alfred] Iverson on the left with Boyce's battery, and Colonel Stevens on the right, supported by two batteries of Colonel S. D. Lee's battalion (who came timely
* Portions here omitted are printed in Series I, Vol. XI, Part II, p. 962. and Series I, Vol. XII, Part II. pp. 627-629.