Division, Ninth Army Corps, with which we were connected, held the extreme left of our line, and about 4 o'clock p. m. were ordered to advance to the support of General Willcox on our right, who had been repulsed. We did so, and held our position far in advance, until ordered to retire by General Rodman but not until we had lost over 50 percent, of our regiment. The fire from artillery and musketry was very severe, the regiment receiving fire in front and on both flanks. The conduct of both officers and men was all that could be asked for, and have to thank the officers for their active co-operation with me in the performance of their several duties. I will notice particularly the conduct of Private Charles Walker, of Company D, who brought the national colors off the field after the sergeant and every corporal of the color-guard were either killed or wounded.
Our loss was 34 killed,, 139 wounded, and 21 missing; total, 194.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. EDWARD WARD,
Major, Commanding Eighth Connecticut Volunteers.
General J. D. WILLIAMS.
Numbers 153. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph B. Curtis, Fourth Rhode Island Infantry, of the battle of Antietam.
HDQRS. FOURTH REGIMENT RHODE ISLAND VOLUNTEERS,
Mouth of Antietam Creek, September 22, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the battle of Sharpsburg on the 17th instant:
On the afternoon of the 16th, Harland's brigade, consisting of the Eighth, Eleventh, and Sixteenth Connecticut and Fourth Rhode Island, left the bivouac it had occupied on the left of the Sharpsburg road, and proceeded in a southwesterly direction, following the general course of the Antietam Creek, for 3 or 4 miles, and took up a position behind a range of hills covering a stone bridge which crossed the creek. The regiment lay upon its arms all night, having its front covered by its own pickets. The Fourth had the left of the brigade, line and upon its left lay Fairchild's brigade of Rodman's division. About an hour after light on the morning of the 17th, the enemy's pickets commenced firing upon those of the regiments upon our left, and shortly after they began shelling the whole division line, their range being very accurate. As soon as the firing commenced, the ranks were dressed and the men directed to lie down in their places. The three left companies, being in a more exposed position, were brought in rear of the rest of the battalion.
Orders were received from Colonel Harland to follow the other brigade to the left, but before that brigade could move, the enemy opened another battery on our right, enfilading our position with a fire of round shot, and completely commanding a little rise of ground on our left, which we should have been obliged to cross to roach the ground occupied by the other brigade. This fact was reported to Colonel Harland by an officer, who returned with orders for the regiment to move to the left and rear, thought some woods, in a direction to be indicated by Lieutenant Ives, of General Rodman's staff, who came back with him. The order was executed, the regiment moving by the left flank to the rear through a wooded gully, but partially concealed from the enemy,