War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0850 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA., MD., AND PA.

Search Civil War Official Records


to a more advantageous position 100 yards to the front and right, placing the remaining section under Sergeant Ellis, directing him to take it completely under cover. He then continued the action until the ammunition was nearly exhausted, when Sergeant Ellis brought up one of the remaining caissons. The enemy had made two determined attempts to force our line, and had been twice signally repulsed. They were now advancing the third time, and were within canister range, when Sergeant Ellis, who had succeeded in rallying some infantry to his assistance, brought one of the guns of his section into action on Miller's left, and gave them canister, with terrible effect. The three guns succeeded in checking the enemy's advance, and remained in action until the ammunition was exhausted, when they were retired to be refilled. After procuring the required ammunition, Captain Miller was returning to his former position, when he was directed by General Lee to an elevated and commanding position on the right and rear of the town, where General A. P. Hill had but just begun his attack. Here I placed him in charge of the guns that had been ordered to this position, leaving Lieutenant McElroy to command his section, and he continued the fight until its close at nightfall.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed on Captain Miller for his stubborn defense of the center for several hours; to Lieutenants Hero and McElroy, and Sergeants Ellis, Bier (chief artificer), and Dempsey (artificer), for their gallantry.

This part of the action was under the immediate eye of General Longstreet, commanding, and his staff, who, when Captain Miller's cannoneers, were exhausted, dismounted and assisted the working of the guns.

Captain Miller was compelled, owing to his loss of horses, to leave one caisson on the field. He endeavored to bring it off the next day, but it was deemed unadvisable, it being in range of the enemy's sharpshooters, and it was abandoned and subsequently destroyed.

Captain Richardson engaged the enemy in his front with the two Napoleons of the second company until 1 p.m., when one of his guns was disabled by a shot from one of the three batteries that had been playing upon him, and he withdrew through the town of Sharpsburg and joined his section of howitzers on the right and rear. Procuring ammunition and repairing his disabled gun, he reported with his full battery to General Toombs, and took position on the right and began firing at the enemy's infantry, who at this time had crossed the bridge and was advancing in large force up the hill to his left, and finally getting out of his range, when he retired to a new position.

I afterward ordered Captain Richardson forward with his section of Napoleons and the 10-pounder Parrott gun of the first company, under Lieutenant Galbraith, to the position on the right, near the guns under Miller, when he opened fire and continued in action until the close of the engagement at nightfall. The section of 12-pounder howitzers, under Lieutenants Hawes and De Russy, were brought forward at the same time and assigned a position by General Toombs near his brigade. Here they opened on the enemy at a distance of 500 yards, and continued firing until the enemy was driven out of range.

Lieutenant J. D. Britton was wounded in the arm late in the evening, after making himself conspicuous during the action for his coolness and soldierly bearing.

Captain Richardson, in his report, expresses himself entirely satisfied with the conduct of his officers, non-commissioned officers, and men. They behaved in such a manner as to reflect credit upon the second and of the corps of which they are a part.

The fourth, under Eshleman, was not idle during this eventful day,