the ground indicated in your orders on Monday, September 15, with the Twentieth Georgia Volunteers, commanded by Colonel John B. Cumming, and the Second Georgia Volunteers, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Holmes (about 400 muskets strong), and both under the immediate command of Colonel Henry L. Benning, commanding the brigade.
At this time, no notice having been given me of what disposition was intended to be made of the rest of the division which had been assigned to me, I subsequently understood from you that Anderson's brigade had been attached to Brigadier-General Hood's command, and Brigadier-General Drayton's brigade was retained by you in your line of battle on the heights in my rear, except one regiment (the Fiftieth Georgia Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel [F.] Kearse), hereafter referred to.
The Antietam River runs comparatively straight from a point about 100 paces above the bridge to a point about 300 paces below the bridge, and then curves suddenly around a hill to a ford on a neighborhood road. About 600 yards to my right and rear the road from Sharpsburg to Harper's Ferry from the foot of the bridge over the Antietam turns suddenly down the river, and runs nearly upon its margin for about 300 paces; then leaves the river nearly at night angles. Upon examining the position, I found a narrow wood upon the margin of the river just above the bridge (an important and commanding position) occupied by a company of Texans from Brigadier-General Hood's command. I then ordered the Twentieth to take position, with its left near the foot of the bridge, on the Sharpsburg side, extending down the river near its margin, and the Second Georgia on its right, prolonging the line down to the point where the road on the other side from the mountain approached the river. This required a more open order than was desirable, on account of the smallness of the regiments, both together numbering but a little over 400 muskets.
On Tuesday you placed under my command the Fiftieth Georgia (Lieutenant-Colonel Kearse), numbering, I should suppose, scarcely 100 muskets. I ordered this regiment on the right of the Second Georgia, extending it in open order, so as to guard a blind plantation road leading to a ford between the lower ford before referred to and the right of the Second Georgia Volunteers.
On Tuesday evening I received notice of the withdrawal of the company belonging to Brigadier-General Hood's brigade from the position on Colonel Cumming's left, above the bridge, and was compelled to detail a company from the Twentieth to take its place.
On Wednesday morning I ordered a company from General Jenkins' brigade (whom you had placed under my command) to relieve this company from the Twentieth and occupy its position, that it might resume its position below the bridge. This order was not obeyed, and subsequently I placed the captain and one-half of this company between the Second Georgia and Fiftieth Georgia, and the other half, under a lieutenant, near the lower ford, to prevent or retard the passage of the enemy at this point. This command held its position with fidelity and firmness until withdrawn by my order. This position was important, and had been guarded by a cavalry regiment, with an infantry brigade in its rear, up to Tuesday evening, when both were removed to another position on the field of battle, and left the crossing unprotected, except by the small force I was thus enabled to place there. Finding that the battery belonging to my brigade (Captain Richardson) was placed too far in my rear to render me efficient service in defending the passage at the bridge, I applied to General Longstreet for another battery. He ordered Captain Eubank to report to me, who was placed in my rear,