I take great pleasure in saying from my personal observation that the regimental commanders and field officers behave with great coolness and courage, and that the line officers, with rare exceptions, acquitted themselves with credit.
I regret to say that the casualties were very great amounting in all to a loss in killed, 89; wounded, 370; and missing, 109; total, 468 [568.]*
I shall not here perform the mournful task of mentioning by name those of my comrades who fell upon this disastrous field; that shall hereafter be done in a other form. Let me say here, however, their loss will be seriously felt in the brigade. "Green be their memories for ever."
As this is the first occasion of this brigade having fallen back in battle, I beg leave to state in its defense, and as a matter worthy of discussion in a military point of view, whether the disaster was not attributable to its having been placed in too great proximity to the other two lines, and thus, while intended to act as a reserve, subjected to as deadly a fire as those it was intended to support.
J. T. OWEN,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain E. WHITTELSEY,
Numbers 67. Report of Brigadier General Napoleon J. T. Dana, U. S. Army, commanding Third Brigade, of the battle of Antietam.
PHILADELPHIA, PA., September 30, 1862.
I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of the Third Brigade, under my command, at the battle of Antietam, on the 17th instant, up to the time when, under the disability of a painful wound, I was compelled to leave the field:
During the night of the 16th I received orders to have my brigade get breakfast early on the following morning and to be ready to march at daylight.
The regiments were accordingly ready, but orders were not received to march till 6.30 o'clock a. m., when I proceeded, in company with the First and Second Brigades, on my left and right respectively, to the right wing of the Army, where Hooker's corps was already engaged with the enemy;s left.
Having forded Antietam Creek and marched some distance beyond, the division was halted and formed in order of battle in three lines, the First Brigade composing the first line and my brigade the second. My line was composed from right to left as follows: Nineteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers, Fifty-ninth New York Volunteers, Forty-second New York Volunteers, Seventh Michigan Volunteers.
The division was ordered to advance, and I received directions to keep my line about 75 yards in rear of the first line.
After advancing through fields and inclosures under a fire of artillery
*But see revised statement, p. 192.