After occupying this position but a short time, and the battery having retired under orders from Colonel Stevens, the regiment was deployed as skirmishers, and advanced over the hill to repel the advance of a heavy body of skirmishers thrown forward by the enemy. Our direction of advance was toward the turnpike leading from Sharpsburg toward the bridge across Antietam Creek, and by a rapid movement we gained a rail fence running nearly parallel with the turnpike. This position we held against a very largely superior force of the enemy for a considerable time, when Colonel Stevens, who was upon the left of our line, seeing the left was beginning to suffer severely, ordered the whole line to retreat to a stone fence some distance in our rear and upon the road running in a north westerly direction from Sharpsburg. This retreat was accomplished under a sharp fire of musketry and artillery, from which the regiment sustained some damage. Almost immediately the regiment was reduced to a handful of men; was reformed and taken back to the position from which it had been ordered to retreat, and, by the aid of Captain Boyce's battery, held the position until night put an end to the contest.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. WALLACE,
Colonel Eighteenth South Carolina Volunteers.
Captain [A. L.] EVANS.
Numbers 262 Report of Major M. Hilton, Twenty-second South Carolina Infantry, of the battles of Boonsborough and Sharpsburg.
NEAR WINCHESTER, VA.,
October 15, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders, I here with give you as correct an account as can possibly be given of the part the Twenty-second South Carolina Volunteers assumed in the engagements during the months of August and September, commencing at the Rappahannock River on August 23; also at South Mountain, or Boonsborough, Md., and in the vicinity of Sharpsburg, Md., from September 15 to 18.*
* * * * * * *
BATTLE OF BOONSBOROUGH (OR SOUTH MOUNTAIN).
[On September 14] the regiment marched from Hagerstown, Md. (Lieutenant Colonel Thomas C. Watkins in command), to South Mountain; reached there about 4 p. m. Found General D. H. Hill's division on the right of the road, engaging the enemy. This regiment was ordered to the left of the road, and marched around the mountain, then filed by left across the mountain, then by right flank forward, when we came in contact with the enemy and immediately opened on them, the enemy occupying a very favorable position against us. After engaging them for about half an hour, we were ordered to fall back, which we did some 30 yards, through in some confusion, Lieutenant Colonel T. C. Watkins calling to the men to rally to their colors and fall into line. While thus exposing himself, and, having succeeded in forming the regiment in line of battle, he fell, struck by a musket-ball in the head. Thus fell a brave and skillful officer at the head of his command, encouraging and rallying his men with the last breath of life. This misfortune caused the regiment to fall into con-
* Portion here omitted is printed in Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, pp. 636, 637.