War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0236 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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flank. After marching a short distance there was a momentary halt. During this halt the division column was cut in front of this brigade by a body of troops moving to our left.

It was now quite dark. When the troops had passed, I found that the brigade of General Patrick had moved on unobserved by me in the darkness. After endeavoring in vain to ascertain the direction taken by his brigade, I applied to General Hooker for instructions, and was by him directed to take possession and hold a piece of wood extending along the Sharpsburg road. While in the act of placing my command in the position indicated, I was met by you and informed that the position was already occupied by General Patrick, by direction of General Doubleday, and that General Doubleday's instructions to me were to place my command near the road, my right resting on the left of General Patrick's command and my left connecting with the troops of General Meade. Having made these dispositions and thrown out pickets to the front, communicating, with those of the troops on our right and left, the men were ordered to lie on their arms.

At 5 o'clock on the morning of the 17th, I directed my brigade battery, the First New Hampshire, consisting of six 12-pounder howitzers, under the command of Lieutenant Edgell, to be placed on the right of the brigade; the left of the adjoining brigade breaking to the rear to allow room for the operation of the battery. I had five pieces placed in the field and one in the road, to enable us to enfilade the enemy should he approach from our right or left. The battery had scare been placed in position when the enemy opened fire upon us from a battery placed in a corn-field, some 800 yards to our front and left. Our battery replied immediately, firing evidently with good effect for one hour, when the battery of the enemy was withdrawn beyond the range of the guns of ours. The firing ceased. At about 10 o'clock the battery was, by order of General Hooker, removed to a position beyond this brigade. During the time it was with us the officers and men acted with the utmost energy and spirit, whilst I observed at the same time that the best order pervaded the battery.

Before the First New Hampshire Battery was removed, a section of rifled guns, under command of Lieutenant

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, was, by order of General Hooker, posted in a corn-field, about 200 yards in front of the right of this brigade. In compliance with an order from General Hooker, I sent the Ninety-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, under command of Major Pye, to support these guns, which, as soon as they were in position, opened fire upon the enemy, who had withdrawn beyond the range of the howitzers, and soon drew the fire from the enemy-partially the object of stationing the guns in that position. During this time the brigade was stationed in the position assigned it the night before. They were lying close to the fence and well sheltered.

About 11.30 o'clock, by order of General Doubleday, I moved the brigade to our front and left about 300 yards, and posted the section of rifled guns in front of the line. As soon as the guns were in position, they opened upon the enemy, who replied with shell and musketry. The brigade had been in this position about half an hour, when a large cavalry force was passing in rear of a narrow strip of wood, evidently attempting to attack us in flank; on the right a heavy body of infantry, much larger than my own, immediately followed. Under these circumstances I retired to a corn-field in rear, some 200 yards, and reformed line of battle. This position I deemed a strong one, as it would have been necessary for the enemy to pass over a clear field, unprotected from our fire, had he advanced upon it.