Numbers 110. Reports of Major General Henry W. Slocum, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, of the battles of Crampton's Pass and Antietam.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS, Camp in the Field, September 24, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submitting the following report of the action of this division in the engagement at Crampton's Pass on the 14th instant:
The division encamped on the night of the 13th about 3 miles east of Jefferson, on the road leading from Urbana to Jefferson. At daylight on the 14th instant the division left camp, moved through Jefferson, and at 12 m. met the pickets of the enemy near Burkittsville. Colonel Bartlett, commanding the leading brigade, at once deployed the Ninety-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers as skirmishers, who drove in the enemy's pickets and advanced to the village. The other regiments of the division were then advanced to a position about half a mile east of the village, where they were completely concealed from the view of the enemy and covered from the fire of his artillery. Wolcott's First Maryland Battery was then advanced to a point to the left of the infantry, and replied to the enemy's artillery until preparations for the attack of the infantry were completed.
At 3 p.m. the column of attack was formed in the following order: The Twenty-seventh Regiment New York Volunteers deployed as skirmishers, followed at a distance of 200 yards by the Fifth Maine and Sixteenth New York Volunteers in line of battle; the brigadier of General Newton and Colonel Torbert followed, each brigade being in two lines, the regiments in line of battle and the lines 200 yards from each other; the Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, of Bartlett's brigade, which had advanced into the village, formed in rear, and joined the column as it advanced; the One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers was held as a reserve at the point where the column was formed. As soon as the advance began, the enemy opened with a heavy and well-directed artillery fire, but the troops advanced steadily, every line in the entire column preserving its alignment with as much accuracy as could have been expected at a drill or review. The line of skirmishers soon drew the fire of the enemy's infantry, which appeared in strong position in rear of a stone wall, which afforded them an admirable cover.
The position and strength of the enemy having been ascertained, the skirmishers were withdrawn, and Colonel Bartlett led the first line to a point within 300 yards of the enemy's line. A severe engagement ensued, the enemy having greatly the advantage in position, and being aided at least eight pieces of artillery posted on the sides of the mountain. The position of this pass and its approaches rendered it evident that in the attempt to carry it reliance was to be placed mainly upon the infantry. I had, therefore, left all the artillery of the division in rear, but fearing that the stone wall behind which the enemy had taken cover would prove an insurmountable obstacle to the advance of my lines, I at once used every effort to bring forward a battery, with the view of driving the enemy from his position. But before the battery was fairly in position this obstacle had been overcome by a most gallant charge of the infantry, and the enemy were fleeing in confusion up the mountain, closely pursued by every regiment of the division except the one in reserve, each vying with the other in the pursuing. The enemy made another stand at the crest of the mountain, but was speedily dispersed