I return to the incidents occurring still farther to the right.
Between 12 and 1 p. m. General Franklin's corps arrived on the field of battle, having left their camp near Crampton's Pass at 6 a. m., leaving General Couch with orders to move with his division to occupy Maryland Heights. General Smith's division led the column, followed by General Slocum's.
It was first intended to keep this corps in reserve on the east side od the Antietam, to operate on either flank or on the center, as circumstances might require, but on nearing Keedysville the strong opposition on the right, developed by the attacks of Hooker and Sumner, rendered it necessary at once to send this corps to the assistance of the right wing.
On nearing the field, hearing that one of our batteries (A, Fourth U. S. Artillery), commanded by Lieutenant Thomas, who occupied the same position as Lieutenant Woodruff's battery in the morning, was hotly engaged without supports, General Smith sent two regiments to its relief from General Hancock's brigade. On inspecting the ground, General Smith ordered the other regiments of Hancock's brigade, with Frank's and Cowan's batteries, First New York Artillery, to the threatened position. Lieutenant Thomas and Captain Cothran, commanding batteries, bravely held their positions against the advancing enemy, handling their batteries with skill.
Finding the enemy still advancing, the Third Brigade of Smith's division, commanded by Colonel Irwin, Forty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was ordered up, and, passing through Lieutenant Thomas' battery, charged upon the enemy and drove back the advance until abreast of the Dunker Church. As the right of the brigade came opposite the woods it received a destructive fire, which checked the advance and threw the brigade somewhat into confusion. It formed again behind a rise of ground in the open space in advance of the batteries.
General French having reported to General Franklin that his ammunition was nearly expended, that officer ordered General Brooks with his brigade to re-enforce him. General Brooks formed his brigade on the right of General French, where they remained during the remainder of the day and night, frequently under the fire of the enemy's artillery. It was soon after the brigade of Colonel Irwin had fallen back behind the rise of ground that the Seventh Maine, by order of Colonel Irwin, made the gallant attack already referred to.
The advance of General Franklin's corps was opportune. The attack ofthe enemy on this position, but for the timely arrival of his corps, must have been disastrous had it succeeded in piercing the line between Generals Sedgwick's and French's divisions. General Franklin ordered two brigades of General Slocum's division, General Newton's and Colonel Torbert's, to form in column to assault the woods that had been so hotly contested before by Generals Sumner and Hooker. General Bartlett's brigade was ordered to form as a reserve. At this time General Sumner, having command on the right, directed further offensive operations to be postponed, as the repulse of this, the only remaining corps available for attack, would peril the safety of the whole army.
General Porter's corps, consisting of General Sykes' division of Regulars and Volunteers and General Morell's division of Volunteers, occupied a position on the east side of Antietam Creek, upon the main turnpike leading to Sharpsburg, and directly opposite the center of the enemy's line. This corps filled the interval between the right wing and General Burnside's command, and guarded the main approach from the enemy's position to our trains of supply. It was necessary to watch