War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0239 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

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dark, and the position of the enemy could be ascertained only from the flashes of his fire. Our men fired continually for about one hour and a half, when our ammunition gave out. We were at this moment relieved by the arrival of General Ricketts' division, and, by order of General Doubleday, we retired 10 paces to the rear, where the men slept on their arms, the enemy having retired shortly after the arrival of General Ricketts' troops. The conduct of the officers and men was all that could have been asked of them. There is every reason to believe that the fire of our regiment was very destructive to the enemy. This was made manifest by the number of dead that lay in the morning in front of the position that our regiment had occupied. The following is a list of casualties occurred during the action: Killed, 1; wounded, 11; missing, 3 (all enlisted men). I am under obligations to Lieutenant Healy, my acting adjutant, for valuable assistance rendered by him during the action. At 2 o'clock this morning, by direction of General Doubleday, I assumed, as senior officer, the command of the brigade, Captain Williams, of Company D, succeeding to the command of the regiment.

Respectfully, yours,

J. W. HOFMANN,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Captain HALSTEAD,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Doubleday's Brigade.

Numbers 18. Reports of Captain Frederick Williams, Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry, of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam.

HDQRS. FIFTY-SIXTH PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS,

Near Sharpsburg, Md., September 22, 1862.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 15th instant, while we still remained on the battle-field of the previous evening, I was placed in command of the Fifty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, in consequence of Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Hofmann, of this regiment, being in command of the brigade. About 8 o'clock a. m. we left the battle-field with the brigade, taking a southeasterly course. We soon struck the pike road to Hagerstown. Following the road for 1 1/2 miles, we encamped in a field to the right. Here we cooked coffee, and rested about two hours. We then took up our line of march for Sharpsburg, via Boonsborough. Arriving at Boonsborough, we took the pike road for Sharpsburg, which runs a little to the south of west from Boonsborough. We followed this road to within about 3 miles of Sharpsburg, when we were drawn up in line of battle to the right of the road, where we remained until dark, when we changed our position to the ridge on the left bank of the Antietam Creek. Here we bivouacked for the night. About 10 a. m. Tuesday, after receiving rations, we changed our position some half a mile nearer the road. Here we rested until about 5 p. m., when we forded the creek. After crossing, we were halted some fifteen or twenty minutes, when we were marched in a northerly direction, and shortly after dark took our position on General Meade's right. We were here drawn up in line close to the fence which borders the road. We lay on our arms all night, the line of pickets being about 40 yards in our front. Just at daylight a rebel battery planted in the