War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0473 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman took down the enemy's colons with his own hands. Our men behaved most gallantly. Three of our officers were wounded.

Inclosed I transmit our loss.*

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Major, comdg. Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.


Commanding Second Brigade, Kanawha Division.


Maryland, September 20, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by the Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the engagement of the 17th instant:

We were ordered and led by Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, then commanding the regiment, to move toward a bridge across Antietam Creck, then occupied by the enemy. I do not know the duty assigned, but as two, of our companies had been sent forward as skirmishers to the woods and hill side on our side of the creek, I suppose it was to support them. Advancing in line across a plowed field and hill, the right and left divided, under conflicting orders, the right moving to our skirmishers forward on the right, the left moving to the base of hill by the creek. Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, moving with the left under a severe fire, was shot through the right arm by a sharpshooter, and died in about an hour after. I must say of this that no better, braver, truer officer ever served our country, and no regiment can feel a loss more sorely.

At the base of the hill I found myself in a useless position with a part of the regiment, and recrossed the field to a point of the hill opposite the brigade, formed my men under cover, and kept up a fire against the enemy until our ammunition was exhausted. I was exhausted. I was then ordered to fall back and reform the regiment on the left of the Thirty-sixth, which I did, and moved up with that regiment, participating with it in the last charge made from the hills by the creek. Our army had then driven the enemy from the cree. We charged across the open fields west of the creek, where we were halted close to a stone fence. The movement was made in conjunction with troops on our right and left. Those on our left, being unexpectedly attacked in flank by a superior force, were compelled to fall back. Under some indications that the enemy were about to follow up the charge on our flank, I wheeled the regiment left and backward, the right standing fast on the line of battle, so as to oppose a front any such flank movement. Shortly after, our left was re-enforced by one regiment, and I resumed the first position, to follow up the charge. The re-enforcement was insufficient, was in a situation exposed to a terrible fire of infantry and artillery, and after a fearful loss of life, fell back. I then resumed a position fronting the left, at right angles to and resting on our line. Shortly after, our whole line fell back, and I followed in rear of the Thirty-sixth to the eastern slope of the hill west of the bridge. We formed there on right of the Thirty-sixth, and to the left of the road, and remained until about 3 o'clock p. m. of the next day, when we were both relieved by the One hundred and eighteenth Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry.

I thank my officers and men for their coolness and courage during the


*Embodied in revised statement, p. 187.