on the road to Sharpsburg. The brigade, being held in reserve to the force engaged in storming the bridge, was not brought directly in contact with the enemy until past meridian. Our victorious comrades having meanwhile driven the enemy from the bridge and banks of the creek, I was ordered to cross with my brigade to their relief. Arriving on the opposite side of the stream, and in compliance with verbal instructions from Brigadier-General Willcox, I moved my whole command over a steep hill, immediately charging the enemy and driving them rapidly in the direction of Sharpsburg, my troops advancing to the edge of the town and capturing the rebel Captain Twiggs and several soldiers.
Discovering that we had advanced beyond our supporting forces on our right, and also on our left, I withdrew my command to an orchard directly on the left of Colonel Christ, First Brigade of the division. We remained in this position until ordered back by the general commanding the division to the support of the forces then desperately engaged with the enemy, who were endeavoring to outflank us on our left. My command was exposed for several hours to a tremendous cross-fire from the artillery of the enemy, as well as a direct fire from their infantry, and riflemen in our front, yet they advanced with steadiness and rapidity, driving the enemy at all points and performing strictly the great duty devolved on them by the commanding general.
I had great difficulty in restraining the ardor of my troops, who seemed anxious to charge through the town and capturer the batteries beyond. Fighting as we did directly under the eyes of the general, I trust our conduct merited his approval. I commend my entire command for their gallantry and good conduct. Officers and men seemed to vie with each other in their deeds of bravery. A list of killed and wounded,* with reports of regimental commanders, are herewith inclosed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding Second Brigade.
Captain ROBERT A. HUTCHINS,
No. 145. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gerhardt, Forty-sixth New York Infantry, of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam.
HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH Regiment NEW YORK STATE VOLS.,
Camp near South Mountain Pass, September 16, 1862.
SIR: In obedience to orders of this day, I have the honor to report that the Forty-sixth Regiment New York State Volunteers moved from Middletown on the 14th instant in the morning at 8 o'clock, 369 enlisted men strong, besides 23 officers. The regiment was with the brigade and marched to the South Mountain, where it arrived abound noon. Here the Forty-sixth Regiment formed in line of battle on the left of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, under a very heavy fire of shot and shell. The regiment covered themselves behind fences and hills till the order was given to advance. The regiment was ordered by mistake to the extreme left, but was soon recalled and took again their former position on the left of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers. As soon as the enemy commenced to assail us with musketry
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 196.