War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0411 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

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proud, yet melancholy, witnesses of their valor. Alone and surrounded by the enemy, they fought until nearly all their cartridges were expended. They then delivered one fierce parting volley, closed their ranks around their color, and fell slowly back to the line of battle.

I cannot forbear calling the attention of the major-general commanding the division to the gallant soldier and gentleman, Major Thomas W. Hyde, who commanded the Seventh Maine. He led his regiment into action with spirit and courage, handled it under severe fire with judgment, and retired in compact order and with a steady front. Conduct like this requires soldierly qualities of the highest order.

The Twentieth New York Volunteers by its position was exposed to the heaviest fire in line, which it bore with unyielding courage and returned at every opportunity. The firmness of this regiment deserves very great praise. Colonel Von Vegesack was under fire with his men constantly, and his calm courage gave an admirable example to them. Each of their stand of colors is rent by the balls and shells of the enemy, and their killed and wounded is 145. This regiment was under my own eye in going into action and frequently

during the battle, and I take pleasure in strongly testifying to its bravery and good conduct. The Forty-ninth New York, led by its brave lieutenant-colonel, W. C. Alberger, charged with the brigade in the morning of the 17th, driving the enemy before it, and then took its place in line of battle, which it firmly held until it was relieved on the 18th. I greatly regret that Colonel Alberger was severely wounded in the face by a splinter of shell. This officer commanded his regiment with spirit and courage, of which no better evidence can be given than his honorable wound.

The Seventy-seventh New York and Thirty-third New York, under Captain N. S. Babcock and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph W. Corning, on my right, repulsed the enemy handsomely, and then took and held firmly their respective places in line of battle until relieved.

The splendid service of the battery of Lieutenant Martin, Fifth Artillery (part of the command of the often distinguished soldier, Captain R. B. Ayres), which was posted near my right, attracted the admiration of all who saw it in action. For several hours it engaged the enemy at short range and with deadly effect. It is but a matter of course that Captain Ayres and his command should receive the most marked and complimentary notice when under fire, but in this action i felt a particular interest in Lieutenant Martin's battery, for to its fire the safety of my brigade may be largely imputed. Had he not checked the heavy fire from the batteries of the enemy, they would have destroyed the greater part of my command.

This brigade charged the enemy at 10 a. m. on the 17th, drove them from their ground, which before had been severely contested, occupied and held it for twenty-six hours until relieved at noon the next day by General Couch's division. It was under fire constantly during this time in a most exposed position, lost 311 in killed and wounded, yet neither officers nor men fell back or gave the slightest evidence of any desire to do so. My line was immovable, only anxious to be launched against the enemy. I forbearcomment on such conduct. It will commend itself to the heart and mind of every true soldier.

The commandants of regiments deserve the warmest commendation. They bore all the peril with their men. They constantly encouraged them, and gave them the noblest example of steady bravery. The line officers emulated their superiors, and the list of casualties among them tells how faithfully they did their duty.

Asst. Surg. Richard Curran, Thirty-third New York Volunteers, was