War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0967 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG.

Late in the afternoon of the 15th (the day of the surrender), General Lawton received an order to move the division on the road to Boteler's Ford, below Shepherdstown, and he immediately put his own and Trimble's brigades in motion, and gave men an order to follow with Hays' and my own brigades as soon as they could be supplied with rations, which had to be obtained from Harper's Ferry. This detained me until after night, when I followed General Lawton and found him in camp about 4 miles from the ford.

The division moved at dawn next morning, crossing the Potomac at Boteler's Ford and proceeding on the road to Sharpsburg, and was halted and stacked arms in a woods, on the left of the road, about a mile from Sharpsburg. It remained in this position for several hours, and late in the afternoon General Lawton was ordered to move the division to the right, to cover a bridge over the Antietam. This movement was commenced, but was soon countermanded, and he was directed to follow Jackson's division to the left. Following this division, we moved through fields to the left of Sharpsburg until we reached the turnpike from Sharpsburg toward Hagerstown, and then turned to the left on that road until we reached a woods in which there was a Dunkard church. Jackson's division having been placed in position, General Jackson, in person, directed me to place my brigade on the left of his division, then commanded by Brigadier-General Jones, so as to prevent its being flanked, and to communicate with General Jones. It was then getting dark; some of our troops were engaged in front, and the shells from the enemy's guns were flying tolerably thick, and it was some time before I could ascertain where General Jones was. I found him, however, finally, not far from where I was, and, having ascertained that General Starke's brigade was his left, I moved to the left of that an placed my brigade in line along a road on which General Starke's left rested. In a short time Brigadier-General Hays, who had joined his brigade the day before, reported to me, and his brigade was formed in rear of mine, it being too dark to understand enough of the position to make very good dispositions. Lawton's and Trimble's brigades were halted in the woods near the church, and between 10 and 11 o'clock at night were ordered to relieve some brigades of General Hood's division which had been engaged during the evening. These two brigades were posted in the positions occupied by General Hood's brigades, Trimble's brigade, under Colonel Walker, being on the right, next to General D. H. Hill's division, and Lawton's brigade on the left of it. In this position they lay on their arms during the night, with occasional skirmishing in front between the pickets.

Shortly after dawn next morning, Hays' brigade was ordered by General Lawton to move to the position at which his own and Trimble's brigades were in line, and was posted in the open field in rear of Lawton's brigades. At the same time Hays was ordered to make this movement, General Jackson in person ordered me to move my brigade to the left, along a route which he pointed out, to support some pieces of artillery, which Major-General Stuart had in position to the left of our line. I immediately commenced this movement, and was thus separated from the rest of the division, and cannot, therefore, speak of its subsequent operations from my own observation, but gather the following facts from the reports of brigade commanders:

At light,skirmishing commenced in front of Lawton's and Trimble's brigades, in a piece of woods occupied by the enemy, and in a very short