seriously wounded and compelled to retire to the rear, the charge of bayonets I had ordered on the left was arrested, and thus the brigade, instead of advancing and dispersing the column with the bayonet, stood and delivered its fire, persistently and effectually maintaining every inch of the ground they occupied, until Brigadier-General Caldwell, bringing up his brigade, enabled my brigade, after having been reduced to 500 men, to retire to the second line of defence.
Of other transactions on the battle-field in connection with the Irish Brigade I will not presume to speak. My horse having been shot under my as the engagement was about ending, and from the shock which I myself sustained, I was obliged to be carried off the field. It was my good fortune, however, to be able to resume my command early next morning.
For what occurred subsequently to my being carried away from the field I refer you, with proud confidence, not alone to my regimental officers, who remained on the field, but also to my ny eye-witnesses of superior rank who noticed the opportune action of the Irish Brigade on that day. By I cannot close this communication without specially mentioning the names of Captain Felix Fuffy, of the Sixty-ninth; Captains Clooney and Joyse, of the Eighty-eighth, who after distinguishing themselves by unremitting assiduity in the discharge of their duties in their commands throughout a very long and very exhausting campaign, fell with their feet to the rebels, with a glow of loyalty and true soldiership upon their dying features.
I have the honor to be, Captain, yours truly and respectfully,
THOMAS FRANCIS MEACHER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding the Irish Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Division Headquarters.
No. 49. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Fowler, Sixty-third New York Infantry, of the battle of Antietam.
Permit me, at this late day and in this apparently informal manner, to submit the following report of the action and conduct of the Sixty-third Regiment New York Volunteers in the late severe fight at Antietam on the 17th instant:
The official list of killed and wounded has, I understand, already been forwarded, but I deem it to be justice to the living and the dead that mention should be made of their heroism and bravery upon that fearful day. After the first advance from the meadow upon the plowed field, the colonel not being present, as a necessity I, without orders, assumed command.
It is now a solace to my mind, while suffering from my wound, to testify how gallantly and promptly each officer in his place and each company moved forward and delivered their fire in the face of the most destructive storm of leaden hail, that in an instant killed or wounded every officer but one and more than one-half the rank and file of the right wing. For a moment they staggered, but the scattered few quickly rallied upon the left, closing on the colors, where they nobly fought, bled, and died, protecting their own loved banner and their country's flag, until the brigade was relieved.