War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0437 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

and well. On the 16th firing of the enemy for some time was pretty sharp, but no one was injured. On the 17th we were fired at but little, and without effect, except two horses killed. Private Drimer was accidentally wounded in the hand by a piece of friction-primer. Two guns became unserviceable from the vent-pieces wearing out.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAMUEL N. BENJAMIN

First Lieutenant Second Artillery, Commanding Battery

Captain ROBERT A. HUTCHINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 143. Reports of Colonel Benjamin C. Christ, Fiftieth Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam.

HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., NINTH ARMY CORPS,

Near Antietam Creek, Md.

SIR: I respectfully submit the following report of the action of my command at the battle of South Mountain, on Sunday, September 14, 1862:

Leaving our encampment on the morning of the 14th, we proceeded along the Hagerstown road to a point near the base of the mountain, where we were considerably annoyed by the shot and shell of the enemy until we filed off on the road to the left that led us directly to the top of the mountain. Before reaching the summit, I was ordered to form in line of battle on the right of the road, but before this movement was completed the enemy opened a battery, which commanded this road. Cook's battery, which was just being placed in position at this time, received this fire directly in front, and from its great severity they were obliged to retire with their caissons, leaving two of their pieces in danger of being taken by the enemy. The Seventy-ninth New York Volunteers, Colonel Morrison, was immediately ordered to the front on the left of the road, and the Seventeenth Michigan, Colonel Withington, on the right of the road, to protect these pieces.

The enemy held their position for some considerable time, and fired their shot and shell with terrible effect until about 2 o'clock, when he commenced the attack with his infantry. From the previous disposition of my command, it was impossible for me to give my attention to the whole. I therefore led forward the Seventeenth Michigan on the right of the road, while Colonel Welsh advanced on the left with the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania and Forty-sixth New York Volunteers. Supported by the Seventy-ninth New York, the Seventeenth Michigan moved steadily forward until they arrived within good range, and then opened a fire on the enemy with terrible effect, piling the road and field with his dead and wounded, and finally completely routing him, driving him in the utmost confusion across the field into the woods, and capturing a number of prisoners.

Under any circumstances the conduct of both officers and men of this regiment was worthy of the highest commendation, but especially so when taking into consideration that they were mustered into service as late as the 21st of August, 1862, and that this was their first engagement.