it so fixed as to be able to remove it to a safe position, and on Thursday evening turned it (the gun) over to one of your wagons for transportation. I had it put into the wagon and have since seen the gun at Winchester, at the stone church. The gun-carriage was much injured, a few days before, in going up and coming down the mountain (the Maryland Heights) near Harper's Ferry, where it was in use nearly two days. The carriage and limber were left behind, the captain in charge of the train refusing to take them in charge, and I had not the horses, having lost 20 killed and wounded in action in the battle of the morning.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN P. W. READ,
Captain, Commanding Battery, Kershaw's Brigade.
Lieutenant Colonel E. P. ALEXANDER.
Numbers 221. Reports of Colonel James D. Nance, Third South Carolina Infantry, of action on Maryland Heights and battle of Sharpsburg.
CAMP ON OPEQUON CREEK, VA., September 22, 1862.
SIR: Under command of General Kershaw, my regiment, with the others of his brigade, ascended Elk Ridge, opposite Brownsville, on the 12th instant, and marched the whole day on the ridge of the mountain, to attack the enemy posted on Maryland Heights. Late in the evening, having come up with the enemy, in obedience to orders I formed my regiment on the right of a line composed of Colonel Kennedy's regiment (the Second South Carolina) and my own, and in rear of a line composed of Colonel Henagan's (the Eighth South Carolina) and Colonel Aiken's (the Seventh South Carolina) regiments. In this position we slept the whole night.
Early the next morning, the front line was advanced to the attack, while the second line, to which I belonged, was held in reserve. The enemy was soon drive from his first position behind an abatis, when I was ordered forward and thrown in front of Colonel Kennedy's regiment, the nature of the ground and the position, and the position of the enemy, admitting of not requiring a shortening of the second line. After a short rest, the attack was renewed by the Seventh and Eighth Regiments upon the enemy, who had fallen back to a stronger position. After they were engaged for some time, I was ordered by General Kershaw to advance, pass over Colonel Aiken's regiment, and try to carry the works behind which the enemy were posted. I immediately advanced, and, as I reached the nearer edge of the abatis, received a deadly volley from behind the breastworks of the enemy. My command never faltered, but opened in reply as soon as they had cleared Colonel Aiken's regiment. The ground was such that the two companies on the right (B and F) were not very actively engaged, and another (E) had been detached early in the day on picket duty, so only seven companies were in the thickest of the fight. The enemy had made the approach to their well and heavily constructed breastworks (made of chestnut logs) very difficult by the felling of timber for the distance of about 40 yards to their front. I thought it unadvisable to attempt to carry the work at the point of the bayonet until I had engaged them by fire for a time, while I could discover more of their position and force. After