Shortly after forming line in this place, I moved the brigade to the left about half a mile, by order of General Doubleday. Here we rested until late in the afternoon, when, by order of General Sumner, I placed the brigade in front line of battle-one of three lines then being formed. Our position was just below the crest of a hill, and immediately in rear of a long line of artillery. After being in position about half an hour, the enemy opened fire from a battery in front, throwing shell, several of which exploded over our line, but caused us no loss. The fire of the enemy was immediately responded to by our artillery, and was soon silenced. This ended the battle as far as our brigade was concerned. By my direction, the men lay on their arms until daylight, ready for action at a moment's notice.
The casualties in this brigade (a list of them is herewith transmitted*) were small. During the action the conduct of the officers and men under my command fully met my approbation. Major Grover, commanding the Seventh Indiana Volunteers; Major Pye, commanding Ninety-fifth New York Volunteers; Captain Williams, commanding Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Captain Young, commanding Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers, rendered very effective service in their respective commands. Lieutenant Healy, of the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, my acting assistant adjutant-general, was worthy of commendation.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
J. W. HOFMANN,
Lieutenant Colonel Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding Second Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Doubleday's Division.
Numbers 16. Reports of Colonel William P. Wainwright, Seventy-sixth New York Infantry, of the battle of South Mountain.
MIDDLETOWN VALLEY, SHEFFER'S HOUSE,
Near Mount Tabor, September 16, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of General Doubleday, that on the afternoon of the 14th instant, after the battalions had been moved up to the edge of the wood, the Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers passed through a line of troops under the command of General Patrick. The regiment formed with perfect steadiness on the extreme left. They were well in hand during the whole engagement, always obeyed the orders to fire and to cease firing readily, and although not many cartridges were expended, the repulse of an attempt to turn our left, which, in conjunction with the left wing of the Seventh Indiana Regiment, was brilliantly accomplished, and the orderly manner in which they afterward passed the line of troops coming up to relieve them, showed that they are fast becoming veteran soldiers.
I would again (as in a note sent yesterday afternoon by Surgeon Metcalfe) call the general's attention to the weakened state of the regiment. They went into action on this occasion with only forty files. Their loss was, so far as ascertained, 2 killed and 13 wounded-of the latter, 2 mortally.+ I doubt whether they can now furnish more than thirty files,
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 189.
+But see revised statement, p. 184.