War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0457 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

and Colonel Steere sent me to the Sixteenth Connecticut to see if they would support us in charge up the hill, but the corn being very thick and high, I could find no one to whom to apply. I returned to fell the colonel that we must depend upon ourselves. He then sent to the rear for support. Before they could arrive, the enemy outflanked us with a brigade of infantry, which descended the hill to our left in three lines, one firing over the other and enfilanding us. The regiment on our right now broke, a portion of them crowding on our line. Colonel Steere ordered the regiment to move out of the gully, by the right flank, and I left him to carry the order to the left, of which wing I had charge, the colonel taking the right (the major being seek, and no adjutant, here were only two field officers to handle the regiment.) The regiment commenced the movement in an orderly manner, but, under the difficulty of keeping closed up in a corn-field, the misconception of their order on the left, and the tremendous fire of the enemy, consisting of musketry, shell, and grape, the regiment broke. Colonel Steere, as I afterward learned, was severely wounded in the left thigh, immediately after I left him to repeat on the left the order to leave the corn-field. An attempt wa made rally the regiment to the support of a battery at some distance back from the corn-field, but before many had been collected the battery retired, when the efforts became unavailing.

I desire to bring to your notice Lieutenants Curtis and Watts, who volunteered to carry the colors forward in the corn-field, and the following non-commissioned officers and privates: Sergeants Wilson, Company A; Coon, Company B; Morris, Company C; Corporals Leonard, Company A; Farley, Company C, and Privates McCann, Company B, and peck, Company C, who rallied, after the regiment was broken, on the left of the Fifty-first Pennsylvania, and continued fighting until all their ammunition was gone, when I ordered them to recross the river to regain the regiment. All the food the men had during the entire day was the very small quantities of salt pork and hard bread they were able to find in an abandoned camp, during the short rest after the morning.

The entire loss during the day was 21 enlisted men killed, 5 officers and 72 enlisted men wounded, and 2 missing. A list of the names, as furnished by the captains of companies, has been forwarded to the Adjutant General.

Colonel Steere commends in the highest terms the conduct of the regiment upon that day. I can only add that throughout the day I never saw an officer but that he was encouraging and directing his men.

The men fought well, as is proved by the fact that they were engaged constantly with the enemy during nine or ten hours, all of which time they were under arms; ;that they finally broke, under such a very severe fire, and the pressure of a broken regiment, is not surprising, although much to be regretted. Of the present state of the regiment I have only the most favorable report to give.

By direction of Colonel Steere, I have organized the regiment into eight companies, the members of Companies I and K being divided among the others temporarily, although in all reports and musters they will brew borne upon their own rolls. In this way officers are gained to officer the other companies, and the companies are made practically larger. The three days just spent in camp alt rough broken by marching orders, have in part rested the men from the fatigues of the two battles and constant marches to which they have been subjected since the 4th of this mount.