War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0342 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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Numbers 85. Report of Lieutenant Col William Hays, U. S. Army, commanding Artillery Reserve, of the battle of Antietam and skirmish at Blackford's or Boteler's Ford.


Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., September 30, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report:

Early on the morning of the 16th instant I placed Captains Taft's and Langner's and Lieutenant Von Kleiser's and Lieutenant Wever's batteries of 20-pounder Parrott guns in position on a hill in rear of a nd near the bridge over the Antietam Creek, the position being in rear of and about the center of our line of battle. Soon after getting into position the enemy opened upon us a heavy fire from several guns. The firing was returned, and kept up briskly until the enemy stopped firing and withdrew his guns. In this engagement Major Arndt. commanding the First Battalion, New York Artillery, was mortally wounded (died on the 18th) while personally assisting at one of the guns. During the remainder of this day there was occasional firing, and about sunset our guns were brought to bear on the enemy's troops in front of General Hooker's command. Some time in the afternoon Captain Taft's and Lieutenant Von Kleiser's batteries were moved to the heights some distance to the left. Lieutenant Haylett's battery, D, Fifth Artillery, was placed at daylight on the 17th in the position occupied the previous day by Captain Taft's battery.

From early in the morning of the 17th, until late in the afternoon, captains Taft's and Langner's, Lieutenants Von Kleiser's, Wever's, and Hazlett's batteries fired at the enemy's batteries and troops whenever and wherever it could be done without risk to our own troops. These batteries were well served and the fire very effective. On the 19th, Captain Kusserow's and Captain Langner's batteries were engaged firing across the Potomac. Captains Gibson's, Robertson's, Tidball's, and Lieutenant Hains' batteries of horse artillery served with General Pleasonton's command. Lieutenants Benjamin's and Muhlenberg's and captain edwards' batteries were on duty with general Burnside's army, Lieutenant Butler's battery with general Couch, and van Reed's with general sykes.

Captain Graham's battery, K, First Artillery, was sent by general Porter to General Richardson's division. The battery was actively and warmly engaged and did good service. His loss in men, horses, and material was very great. For a more detailed account of the services of this battery, I call attention to his report, here with transmitted.

Lieutenant Miller's battery, g, Fourth Artillery, was on the 17th ordered to join general Sykes' division, but was not engaged with the enemy. All the officers acted with judgment and coolness, and the men were active and efficient. The behavior of all, both officers and men, was highly praiseworthy. the members of my staff, Dr. Gouley, medical director; Captains Sappington and Swift, assistant commissaries; Captain Suydam, quartermaster; Lieutenant Brownson, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant Gilliss, conductor of ambulances, all performed their respective duties well and efficiently.

The following is a list of the company officers present at the battle, viz:

Battery K, First Artillery, Captain W. M. Graham, commanding battery; First Lieuts. S. S. Elder and W. M. Maynadier; Second Lieutenant T. Von Michalowski.