duty was handsomely performed, the regiment, about 300 strong, fording the river (some 300 yards in width and 3 feet in depth) in face of the enemy's infantry fire, and forming on the opposite side, advancing and delivering its fire with such effect and determination as to cause the brigade opposing it to fall back in great confusion.
It was now getting quite dark, and the regiment only succeeded in finding two pieces of artillery and several caissons, or parts of caissons. After remaining on the opposite bank some two or three hours it was recalled. The regiment lost 1 man killed (Coral. John Gordon) and 7 men wounded.
The next morning (the 20th), as soon as it was light enough to see, the Fourth Michigan and Sixty-second Pennsylvania crossed the river with some horses from Battery D, Fifth Artillery, commanded by First Lieutenant Hazlett, and brought back three guns, several caissons and one battle-flag, picked up on the field, returning to camp about 8 o'clock a. m. On the 21st, 23rd, and 24th two more pieces, several caissons, and two forges were brought into camp from the other side of the river, the enemy having been compelled to leave them here and there through the woods, in the fields, and along the roads, and some 300 stand of small-arms.
On the 27th, four regiments of the brigade, not far from 2,000 strong, crossed the river as guard to three mule teams, for the purpose of obtaining hay, by order of Major-General Morell, commanding division, but nothing of importance occurred, the command returning in the afternoon, having succeeded in safely escorting the three wagons back with small loads of hay.
Nothing save the usual guard and picket duty occurred from this date up to the period calling for the operations of the Second Brigade.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Brigade.
Major FRANCIS S. EARLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Morell's Division.
Numbers 91. Report of Brigadier General George Sykes, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, of the battle of Antietam, skirmish at Blackford's or Boteler's Ford, and action near Shepherdstown.
HEADQUARTERS SYKES' DIVISION,
Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., September 30, 1862.
SIR: My division left Middletown about 10 a. m. on the 15th instant, crossed the South Mountain, and reaching the east bank of the Antietam River, took position behind some hills on the left of the turnpike leading direct to Sharpsburg. My skirmishers were thrown at once to the front and occupied the crest of the river bank. The batteries were massed in rear of Buchanan's brigade. Some apprehension being entertained that the enemy would destroy the bridge over the Antietam, the officer in command of the skirmishers was directed to watch it closely and frustrate any attempt thus made.
Early on the 16th Weed's and Benjamin's batteries (3-inch and 20-pounders) were established on the heights behind which my infantry lay, and opened a lively cannonade upon such of the enemy as could be seen. The return fire ranging near Warren's camp, I moved his