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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 1026 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

killed, 7 lieutenant-colonels wounded; 2 majors killed, 2 majors wounded. There were but 34 field officers present in the battles, and only 9 left when they were over. The mortality was equally great among company commanders, and several regiments were left under command of lieutenants. Still, the stubborn spirit of the men was not subdued. From 1,500 to 1,700 were gathered together, on the morning of the 18th, and placed in a position more sheltered than the one occupied the day before, and I think would have fought with determination, if not with enthusiasm, had the Yankees made an advance. Our Northern brethren were too much shattered to renew the contest, and that night we recrossed the Potomac.

The battle of Sharpsburg was a success so far as the failure of the Yankees to carry the position they assailed. It would, however, have been a glorious victory for us but for three causes:

First. The separation of our forces. Had McLaws and R. H. Anderson been there earlier in the morning, the battle would not have lasted two hours, and would have been signally disastrous to the Yankees.

Second. The bad handling of our artillery. This could not cope with the superior weight, caliber, range, and number of the Yankee guns; hence it ought only to heave been used against masses of infantry. On the contrary, our guns were made to reply to the Yankee guns, and were smashed up or withdrawn before they could be effectually turned against massive columns of attack. An artillery due between the Washington Artillery and the Yankee batteries across the Antietam on the 16th was the most melancholy farce in the war.

Third. The enormous straggling. The battle was fought with less than 30,000 men. Had all our stragglers been up, McClellan's army would have been completely crushed or annihilated. Doubtless the want of shoes, the want of wood, and physical exhaustion had kept many brave men from being with the army; but thousands of thieving poltroons had kept away from sheer cowardice. The straggler is generally a thief and always a coward, lost to all sense of shame; he can only be kept in ranks by a strict and sanguinary discipline.

List of casualties.

Command. Killed. Wounded Missing

Rodes' brigade 111 289 225

Ripley's brigade 110 506 124

Garland's brigade 46 210 187

Anderson's brigade 64 299 202

Colquitt's brigade 129 518 184

Artillery 4 30 3

Total 464 1,852 925

In this sad list we have specially to mourn many distinguished officers. Brigadier-General Garland was killed at South Mountain-the most fearless man I ever knew, a Christian hero, a ripe scholar, and most accomplished gentleman. Brigadier General G. B. Anderson was mortally wounded at Sharpsburg-a high-toned, honorable, conscientious Christian soldier, highly gifted, and lovely in all the qualities that adorn a man. Colonel C. C. Tew, Second North Carolina Regiment, was one of the most finished scholars on the continent, and had no superior as a soldier in the field. Colonel B. B. Gayle, Twelfth Alabama, a most gallant


Page 1026 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam)
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