Those that escaped field in the opposite direction from our advance, and sought refuge behind the trees, fences, and stone ledges nearly on a line with the Dunker Church, &c., as there was no resisting this torrent of death-dealing missives. I have since been informed by a division commander of Jackson's corps that the latter was waiting for some stragglers to arrive which had been left during his night march from Harper's Ferry, in anticipation of delivering an attack on my command.
The whole morning had been one of usual animation to me and fraught with the grandest events. The conduct of my troops was sublime, and the occasion almost lifted me to the skies, and its memories will ever remain near me. My command followed the fugitives closely until we had passed the corn-field a quarter of a mile or more, when I was removed from my saddle in the act of falling out of it from loss of blood, having previously been struck without my knowledge. While my wound was being examined by the surgeons, Sumner's corps appeared upon the field on my immediate right, and I have an indistinct recollection of having seen Sedgwick's division pass to the front. I do not think that I examined my watch that morning, but feel confident as to the time-10 o'clock a.m. I was carried to the rear at once, to the house of Mr. Pry, on the left bank of Antietam Creek.
Throughout the foregoing operations all of my officers and men of all arms, as well as the officers composing my staff, without a solitary exception, seemed to be emulous of each other in their eagerness to learn my wishes and execute my orders.*
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Sharpsburg, September 20, 1862.
Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
MY DEAR HOOKER: I have been very sick the last few days, and just able to go where my presence was absolutely necessary, so I could not come to see you and thank you for what you did the other day, and express my intense regret and sympathy for your unfortunate wound. Had you been wounded when you were, I believe the result of the battle would have been the entire destruction of the rebel army, for I know that, with you at its head, your corps would have kept on until it gained the main road. As a slight expression of what I think you merit. I have requested that the brigadier-general commission rendered vacant by Mansfield's death may be given to you. I will this evening write a private note to the President on the subject, and I am glad to assure you that, so far as I can learn, it is the universal feeling of the army that are the most deserving in it.
With the sincere hope that your health may soon be restored, so that you may again be with us in the field, I am, my dear general, your sincere friend,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
* Not finished.