The temporary loss of its commanding officer at the time when his experience can be of so much use is a severe blow to the regiment.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH B. CURTIS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fourth Rhode Island.
His Excellency WILLIAM SPRAGUE,
Governor State of Rhode Island.
Numbers 154. HDQRS. KANAWHA DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS,
September 20, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Kanawha Division, Ninth Army Corps, Major-General Burnside's command, in the battle of South Mountain:
At 6 o'clock in the morning of September 14 division marched from Middletown under an order received by me from Major-General Reno, directing me to support with my division the advance of General Pleasanton, who, with his brigade of cavalry and artillery, was moving up the Hagerstown turnpike toward the positions of the pass of South Mountain. The First Brigade of the division, Colonel E. P. Scammon commanding, consisting of the Twelfth, Twenty-third, and Thirtieth Ohio Regiments, McMullin's Ohio battery, and Gilmore's and Harrison's troops of cavalry, was ordered to proceed by the Boonsborough road, moving to the left of the hagerstown turnpike and to feel of the enemy, ascertaining whetter the crest of South Mountain on that side was held by any considerable force. The Second Brigade, Colonel Crook commanding, consisting of the Eleventh, Twenty-eighth, and Thirty-sixth Ohio Regiments, and Simmonds' battery, which Schambeck's cavalry troop, was ordered to follow on the same road to support the First Brigade.
It soon became evident the enemy held the crest in considerable force, and the whole division was ordered to advance to the assault of the position, word being received from Major-General Reno that the column would be supported by the whole corps. Two 20-pounder Parrot guns from Simmonds' battery and two sections from McMullin's battery were left in the rear, in positions on the turnpike where they were most efficiently served during the action in opposition to the enemy's guns in the center of the line along the Hagerstown road. The First Brigade being in advance, the Twenty-third Ohio Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel R. B. Hayes commanding, was deployed to our left, and ordered to move through the woods to the left of the road and up to the crest of the mountain, gaining, if possible the enemy's right, so as to turn it and attack his flank. the Twelfth Ohio Regiment, Colonel C. B. White commanding, occupied the center of the line, and the Thirtieth Ohio Regiment, Colonel Hugh Ewing commanding, was on the right.
These movements were successfully made and the troops brought into position by Colonel Scammon before the arrival of the rest of the division.
The Second Brigade marched in column of reserve, and within supporting