War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0673 Chapter XXXI. MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. Describe the second engagement.

Answer. Colonel Downey, a little fellow-I could not swear what regiment he belonged to-came up with some companies. I should judge that he had four or five companies, and wanted to know was in command. He asked me the question. I told him that Major Hewitt was. I introduced him to Colonel Sherrill. Just at this time a volley was fired. There was no skirmish firing. A volley opened on the breastwork. I thought at the time it was a feint on the breastwork, and that they intended to flank, us on the left, which was the case. I said to Colonel Downey that he had got there just in time, and to front his men, as the enemy would flank us on the left. Some one gave orders to fall back; it was repeated, by privates and every one else. I could not tell much about it. There was at no time, I should think, more than 1,500 on the hill.

Question. Of our troops?

Answer. I do not think there was of effective men.

Question. Did the regiment fall back in great confusion?

Answer. At the second engagement I think they did well under the circumstances. At the first engagement they could not fall back in order, because they had to cross the slashing, to fall back through that. That was in front of the breastworks.

Question. Were attempts made to rally them again after the second engagement?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Did not those attempts fail?

Answer. There was a great deal of exertion made to rally the One hundred and Twenty-sixth.

Question. What was the result?

Answer. I went back and reported to Colonel Miles, or left word there, that the regiment was out all Friday night; that they had nothing to eat, and there was no water. They were a great deal discouraged. I cannot say that the regiment, the most of them, acted very bravely on the third rally. I came down to Colonel Ford's quarters and reported the fact to him.

By the COURT:

Question. Reported what fact?

Answer. I was attempting to rally the regiment.

Question. What was the fact you reported; that you could not do it?

Answer. The condition of the regiment.

Question. Were they in good condition or bad?

Answer. That they had been there all night Friday; had nothing to eat with them; had no water; that Colonel Sherrill was wounded and the regiment was discouraged,and it was a new regiment.

Question. State whether they retreated in good order or in confusion.

Answer. I think they did well as long as Colonel Sherrill was there.


Question. He fell in the second engagement?

Answer. In the second engagement they stood well. It was our regiment that held the breastworks, mostly. There were some others there, but scattering.

Question. What is your judgment as to the necessity of the evacuation of the heights at the time it took place?

Answer. I do not consider myself competent to express an opinion.