War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0428 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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vised me to keep my command where it was, near the main pike or Cumberland road, and consult with General Pleasonton as to taking a position. Found General Pleasonton near his batteries on the left slope of the mountain. The general indicated an attack along the slope of the mountain on the right of the main pike, and, leaving Benjamin's battery with him, I marched my division to the front, and there formed, Welsh's brigade, the One hundredth Pennsylvania, under Lieutenant Colonel Leckey, leading as skirmishers, and was about to march Christ's brigade through the woods higher up the slope, when I was ordered by General Burnside to withdraw my division and march up by the Sharpsburg road, and take up a position near Cox. Found the latter to the left of the road some few hundred yards, skirmishing on the wooded slope with the enemy. The Sharpsburg road here crosses South Mountain near a hollow called Shriver's Gap. The mountain inclines down toward the main pike, and just where the Sharpsburg road Crosses the slope it winds around to the left, but up to this point it runs straight. The right of the road looks down on the main pike; the left is covered by the eastern slope of the mountain.

At General Cox's request I sent two regiments, viz, Eighth Michigan, Lieutenant-Colonel graves, and Fiftieth Pennsylvania, Major Overton, to follow up his line, and was proceeding to take up a position on his right, when I was ordered by General Reno to take e position overlooking the main pike to our right. I planted a section of Cook's battery near the turn of the road, and opened fire on enemy's battery across the main pike. After a few good shots, the enemy unmasked a battery on his left, over Shriver's Gap, from a small field enveloped by woods. He threw canister and shell, and drove Cook's cannoneers and drivers down the road with their limbers. Cook gallantly remained with his guns. Cook here lost 1 man killed, 4 wounded, and 2 horses killed. The attack was so sudden, the whole division being under this fire (a flank fire), that a temporary panic occurred until I caused the Seventy-ninth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison, and Seventeenth Michigan, Colonel Withington, on the extreme left, to draw across the road, facing the enemy, who were so close that we expected a charge to take Cook's battery. The Seventy-ninth and Seventeenth here deserve credit for their coolness and firmness in rallying and changing front under a heavy fire.

I now made a new disposition of the division, viz: The rear, Seventy-ninth up in front and left of Cook's pieces, and Seventeenth on right and little in rear; Seventy-ninth as skirmishers along whole line, supported by Forty-fifth Pennsylvania, Latent-Colonel Curtin; connected Welsh's brigade with Cox's right, and stretched Christ's brigade from Wels and across the road, holding the One hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Leckey, in reserve, and moved up my whole command under cover of the hillside.

Meantime the enemy's guns continued to play on us, killing and wounding at all points, but few in number. We lay silent and kept concealed. Our picket officers reported the enemy in heavy force of regiments in rear of their skirmishers.

I soon received orders from General Reno and McClellan to silence the enemy's battery at all hazards. Sent picket report to Reno, and was making disposition to charge, moving the Seventeenth Michigan so as to cross the hollow and flank the enemy's guns, when the enemy charged out of the woods on their side directly upon our front in a long, heavy line, extending beyond our left to Cox's right. I instantly gave the command "Forward", and we met them near the foot of the hill,