The whole force now in the wood moved forward, when its advance was suddenly checked by a terrific fire on the left and front. As before, the lines of our troops were broken and thrown into confusion. All were retiring rapidly before the enemy along the same line as in the preceding engagement, and I once more threw my brigade under the ledge, partly to rally the retiring troops and partly to hold with our remaining cartridges until order could be restored. But few of the troops rallied, however, and after holding my command here until the enemy were close upon our right flank, the brigade was withdrawn in an unbroken line to the wood on the other side of the road, and took position to arrest the flight of stragglers. From this wood, after about threequarters of an hour, we retired to a position near to and supporting the batteries in the open field, where we were joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Gates, of the Twentieth, who had been serving with Campbell's battery and had captured the battle-flag of one of the rebel regiments.
The troops under my command behaved in the most satisfactory manner, being perfectly cool and obedient to every word of command. Here, as at South Mountain and Groveton, Captain Kimball and Lieutenant Beckwith, of my staff, were invaluable, making up by their activity and energy the loss of my aide, Lieutenant Bouvier, seriously wounded at Groveton.
The casualties are as follows: Killed, 20; wounded, 180; missing, 17. A list of names is hereto appended.*
I am, captain, very respectfully, yours,
M. R. PATRICK,
Captain E. P. HALSTEAD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Division Headquarters.
Numbers 20. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Theodore B. Gates, Eightieth New York Infantry (Twentieth Militia), of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam.
HDQRS. TWENTIETH Regiment NEW YORK STATE MILITIA,
Near Sharpsburg, Md., September 20, 1862.
GENERAL: I beg leave to submit the following report of the operations of my command at South Mountain:
We marched with the brigade from the south bank of the Monocacy, Frederick, on the morning of the 14th instant, and reached Catoctin Creek about noon. Here we halted for an hour or more, when we were ordered forward, and, passing a short distance beyond the creek on the Great Western turnpike, we turned to the right and followed an obscure road along the foot of South Mountain for a mile, when we turned to the left, and I was ordered by General Patrick to support the Thirty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, which was thrown forward and up the mountain side, on the right of the turnpike, as skirmishers. I deployed my regiment, and followed the movement of the line of skirmishers, who advanced over the ridge of the mountain at that point and descended nearly to the turnpike. The skirmishers were recalled, and I was ordered to join the Twenty-first Regiment New York Volunteers with my command, which I did, finding it on the mountain side and
*Omitted; see revised statement, p. 189.