resting on the road and the left of the Forty-sixth New York Regiment extending toward the command of General Cox. I then caused two companies of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment Volunteers to be moved forward to the top of the hill as skirmishers, who soon discovered the enemy's infantry in great force and his artillery completely commanding and shelling the woods. Heavy masses of infantry, covered by trees and stone fences, supported the artillery.
At-p. m. we received an order form General Willcox to advance and silence the battery on the road at all hazards. At this time the firing between the skirmishers, and the enemy becoming very rapid, I immediately put the Fort-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment in motion at double-quick up the hill. Arriving in the crest, it encountered the enemy, also advancing. The battle became very fierce at this juncture. The Seventeenth Michigan Volunteers, of Colonel Christ's brigade, and also a part of Willcox's division, advancing on our right, also became hotly engaged, and took the rebels in flank. The Forty-sixth New York moved on the left of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, connecting with the troops of General Cox's command. The One hundredth Pennsylvania were held in reserve, and followed up in support of our front.
Notwithstanding the terrific fire from infantry and artillery, together with a raking fire from a battery near the turnpike, our troops continued to advance, utterly regardless of the slaughter in their ranks, until, having destroyed the advanced troops of the enemy, he was compelled to give way and retreat with his artillery and infantry in great confusion down the hill. Many prisoners, a number of whom were wounded, were captured by my command at the stone fence near the road, and were turned over for safe-keeping to the supporting forces on our left and rear-say 150 prisoners. The ammunition of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers having become expended, they used the bayonet with success, and having become considerably exhausted by their extraordinary exertions, I withdrew my command as fast as relieved by troops of General Sturgis' command.
I append herewith the reports of the regimental commanders, with lists of the killed and wounded.* My officers and men were enthusiastic and brave. Where all are so meritorious it would be unjust to designate individuals. I will only add that the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania, of my brigade, and the Seventeenth Michigan, of the First Brigade, sustained the brunt of the battle with a bravery and constancy seldom equaled in modern warfare.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
Captain ROBERT A. HUTCHINS,
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FIRST DIV., NINTH ARMY CORPS,
September 19, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that the brigade under my command, comprising the Forty-fifth and One hundredth Pennsylvania, the Forty-sixth New York, and the Eighth Michigan Volunteer Regiments, left camp on the morning of the 17th of September, 1862, and marched in the direction of the bridge across the Antietam Creek
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 186.