observing for a time, I sent Lieutenant Pope to General Kershaw to suggest a flank movement on the enemy's left by Colonel Henagan's regiment, then on my right. Just before Lieutenant Pope returned, the fire of the enemy slackened, and a yell arose from my ranks, indicating the yielding or perhaps the repulse of the enemy. Almost simultaneously with the happening of this event, Lieutenant Pope returned and reported that General Kershaw ordered me to cease firing, as General
's brigade had arrived in a position to make a demonstration on their right flank, and my fire might interfere with this movement. I accordingly ceased firing, and discovered that the works in front were entirely deserted. Very soon afterward I moved forward and held the works, capturing 5 prisoners, several blankets, canteens, guns, &c. I then reported, through Lieutenant Pope, acting adjutant, my position to General Kershaw, who ordered the Second Regiment, Colonel Kennedy, forward and my regiment to the rear to rest and refresh themselves.
The conduct of my command was gallant and entirely satisfactory to me. After going to the rear I made details to bury the dead, and, in conjunction with Colonel Aiken, sent out and gathered the arms and accouterments that were to be found on the field. The parties assigned to these duties performed them with creditable dispatch.
I herewith submit a list* of casualties in the regiment resulting from this engagement.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
JAMES D. NANCE,
Colonel, Commanding Third South Carolina Regiment.
Captain C. R. HOLMES,
CAMP ON OPEQUON CREEK, VA., September 22, 1862.
SIR: Early on the morning of the 17th instant, my regiment was placed in its position in line of battle, near Sharpsburg, Md., and to the east of the turnpike running from Sherpherdstown, W. Va., to that place. The position was nearly parallel to a line of woods in which the enemy were posted-southeast of the stone church, in the vicinity of Sharpsburg. After holding this position for a few minutes my command was put into action by General Kershaw immediately after a regiment of General Barksdale's brigade. The command advanced steadily, with spirit, under a heavy fire drawn by the troops in front, until we passed through the woods and to the farther skirt, where, for the first time, we were sufficiently increased to open fire. In advancing through the woods, I found it advisable to change my direction slightly to the left, and it was in this direction that my line ran when I engaged the enemy at a halt on the outer skirt of the woods. I now closed the line to greater compactness, and pushed clear of the woods and out into the open field beyond, where the enemy gave way with considerable disorder. His line to my right, supported by strong batteries, was more steadfast, and I found, after advancing some distance in the open field, that I was leaving his forces on my right to my rear, which, together with the fire then opened on me from his batteries on their right and which enfiladed my line, rendered
*Embodied in tabular statement, p. 861.