War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0429 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania in front. The Seventeenth Michigan rushed down into the hollow, faced to the left, leaped over a stone fence, and took them in flank. Some of the supporting regiments over the slope of the hill fired over the heads of those in front, and after a severe contest of some minutes the enemy was repulsed, followed by our troops to the opposite slope and woods, forming their own position. Their battery in front of us was withdrawn, but the guns across the main pike played upon us heavily with shot and shell. Cook reopened his fire. Reno and Sturgis came up. The firing, except ;from artillery, had about ceased. Sturgis' regiments relieved my division in the front as soon as our ammunition was exhausted.

Sturgis opened with his artillery on the enemy's battery and troops across the main pike, and night came on. A large number of prisoners and the wounded were collected. After dark the enemy opened fire on Sturgis with musketry, in which the gallant and beloved Reno was killed, and a temporary confusion occurred until Sturgis; troops were handsomely rallied, and my division took position close up in their support. Still later a heavy fire of musketry opened on us, the enemy (as was learned from a prisoner) being re-enforced by a brigade of Whiting's division, and the troops were engaged until 10 o'clock the enemy was in full retreat, abandoning his wounded.

In mentioning names for commendation I would say that the coolness and gallantry of the commanding officers of brigades and regiments alike shine brightly. Colonel Welsh handled his brigade handsomely, and Colonel Christ performed his duty coolly and well. The Seventeenth Michigan, Colonel Withington, performed a feat that may vie with any recorded in the annals of war, and set an example to the oldest troops. This regiment had not been organized a single month, and was composed of raw levies. Scarcely less praise is due to the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania, Latent Colonel Curtin, for its bravery and dashing spirit, meeting the enemy's charge in front in full career. Captain Cook Deserves credit individually for his courage and perseverance under a disorganizing fire, for his activity in repairing the disaster to his battery, and bringing it to bear upon the enemy's infantry at the right moment. I am specially indebted to the assistance of Captain Robert A. Hutchins, assistant adjutant-general, and to Lieutenant Levi Brackett, Twenty-eight Massachusetts, aide-de-camp, in my efforts to keep the troops in hand and changing front under fire, and for their rapid delivery of orders.

Appended is a list of casualties.*

Respectfully,

O. B. WILLCOX,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Lieutenant Colonel LEWIS RICHMOND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS,

Mouth of Antietam Creek, Md., September 21, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit my report for the 17th instant. This division marched out of camp to the hills overlooking the Antietam, near the stone bridge, Sharpsburg road. My orders, received

---------------

*Embodied in revised statement, p. 186.

---------------