War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0932 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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First Texas Regiment in the engagement of Wednesday, September 17, near Sharpsburg, Md.:

The brigade, having been formed in order of battle upon the ground occupied by it on the night of the 16th, in the following order, to wit, First Texas in the center, Eighteenth Georgia left center, Fourth Texas right center, Fifth Texas on the right flank, and Hampton's Legion on the left flank, was moved forward to engage the enemy about -o'clock, the latter having made an attack upon our forces occupying a position in front of this brigade. Advancing through the woods some 200 yards, under a heavy fire of grape, canister, and shell from the enemy's artillery, the brigade emerged into an open clover field some 200 or 250 yards in width, across which the forward movement was continued for some 150 to 200 yards, when it being discovered that the left flank of the brigade was exposed to attack, I was ordered to move by the left flank, following a corresponding move of the Eighteenth Georgia and Hampton's Legion upon my left, which I did until ordered to move by the right flank, which was also done. Advancing now by the right flank (my original front), I entered a corn-field and soon became engaged with a force of the enemy, driving them before me to the farther side of the corn-field. As soon as the regiment became engaged with the enemy in the corn-field, it became impossible to restrain the men, and they rushed forward, pressing the enemy close until we had advanced a considerable distance ahead of both the right and left wings of the brigade. Discovering that this would probably be the case when my men first dashed forward, I dispatched you two different messengers, to wit, Captain John R. Woodward, Company G, and Private A. G. Hanks, Company F, stating that I was driving the enemy, and requesting you to hurry up the regiments on my right and left to my support. It was not until we reached the farther side of the corn-field that I could check the regiment. By this time we had broken the first line of battle of the enemy and had advanced to within some 30 steps of his second line, secreted behind a breastwork of fence rails thrown in heaps upon the ground, when a battery of artillery some 150 or 200 yards in our front was opened upon us. My men continued firing, a portion of them at the enemy's men and others at the artillerists, the result of which was that the enemy's men and others at the artillerists, the result of which was that the enemy's men and others at the artillerists, the result of which was that the enemy's second line broke and fled an the artillery was limbered up and started to the rear, when the whole fire of my regiment was concentrated upon the artillerists and horses, knocking over men and horses with such effect that the artillery was abandoned. Very soon, however, a force of the enemy was moved up to the support of this artillery, when it again opened fire upon us.

Just at the farther side of the corn-field was the point where I was in great doubt as to the proper move to be made by me. I was aware that my regiment had advanced 150 or 200 yards farther than the regiment upon my left, so diverging as to leave a wide interval between the right flank of the Eighteenth Georgia and my left, thus exposing both regiments to attack-the Eighteenth upon the right and the First Texas upon the left flank. I was aware at the same time that a heavy force of the enemy was massed upon my left, and felt confident that in case I moved farther to the front I would be attacked upon my left and rear and annihilated. Had I moved forward to carry the enemy's battery I would have exposed the regiment to attack from three different directions, to wit from the front from infantry and artillery and upon the left and rear from infantry. I am told, also, by some of the men that had I advanced a little farther to the front my right would have become exposed to attack, and am assured that some distance to my front