brigade and Randol's battery farther to the left, occupying a piece of woods and covering the approaches in the direction of Harper's Ferry. This brigade subsequently connected with Burnside's corps on their left. During the day the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters and his scattering shot and shell were the only annoyances we received.
On the 17th some light batteries and cavalry, under General Pleasonton, were thrown across the Antietam via the turnpike bridge. Their position being one of great exposure, and General Pleasonton desiring some infantry to protect his guns, I sent the battalion of the Second and Tenth U. S. Infantry, under Captain J. S. Poland, Second Infantry, to his support. Subsequently, the ammunition of Pleasonton's batteries having been exhausted, I was ordered to relieve his guns by my own, and according (against my judgment) sent Randol's and Van Reed's batteries across the Antietam, and with them four additional battalions of regular infantry, under the command of Captain H. Dryer, Fourth Infantry. Randol, finding his horses exposed to the enemy's sharpshooters and his position untenable, very properly withdrew his battery. Van Reed was posted farther to the right. The battalion of the Second and Tenth Infantry was thrown forward as skirmishers, and, occupying a line far in advance of our artillery, compelled the cannoneers of the rebel battery to leave their guns. Few in number and unsupported, we were unable to bring them off. Soon after the enemy recovered them by the advance of a large infantry force. Dryer's infantry and Van Reed's battery were held across the Antietam until dark, when both were withdrawn to the east bank. The remainder of my division was unengaged on the 17th. The troops under Captain Dryer behaved in the handsomest manner, and, had there been and available force for their support, there is no doubt he could have crowned the Sharpsburg crest.
On the 18th of September my command continued in position on the cast bank of the Antietam. On the 19th the division and batteries moved through Sharpsburg and bivouacked near the Potomac opposite Blackford's Ford. Skirmishers were thrown out in front of each brigade and a desultory fire maintained with those of the enemy on the Virginia side. In the course of the day, Weed's battery was brought within easy range of the enemy's cannon covering the ford, and had the satisfaction of driving his gunners off, compelling the abandonment of several pieces, which subsequently fell into our hands.
On the 20th I was directed to cross the Potomac with a brigade and push it on the Charlestown road. I immediately put Major Lovell, Tenth Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, in motion, and, passing with him to the Virginia side, caused skirmishers to be deployed and the brigade to advance. I was also informed that cavalry had or would precede me in this movement. That arm of the service did not, however, reach the Virginia shore until my pickets were in close proximity to the advancing foe. Major Lovell occupied some woods a mile from the river, and had scarcely so when a dispatch from him gave the intelligence that the enemy, about 3,000 strong, with artillery, was rapidly approaching. I at once directed him to fall back slowly to the crest of the river bank and hold it.
I then ordered the Second and Sixth U. S. Infantry to occupy a belt of woods in front, sent for my Third Brigade, under Colonel Warren, to cross, and regiments of Morell's division, under Colonel Barnes, coming over at this time I requested the colonel to occupy the crest on the right of the road leading from the river and to connect with Lovell's right. These troops were making their way to Shepherdstown, to which point the colonel informed me he had been ordered.