time the enemy's batteries, which were posted on the opposite side of Antietam River, so as to enfilade the line of these two brigades, opened a destructive fire. About sunrise, the enemy advanced in line, driving in our skirmishers, and advancing to the edge of the woods. About this time, batteries opened in front from the woods with shell and canister, and these brigades were thus exposed to a terrible carnage. After a short time General Hays advanced with his brigade to the support of Colonel Douglass, under a terrific fire, and passed to the front.
About this time General Lawton, who had been superintending the operations, received a very severe wound, and was borne from the field.
Colonel Walker, by moving two of his regiments (the Twenty-first Georgia and Twenty-first North Carolina), and concentrating their fire and that of the Twelfth Georgia upon a part of the enemy's line in front of the latter, succeeded in breaking it; and, as a brigade of fresh troops came up to the support of Lawton's and Hays' brigades just at this time, Walker ordered an advance, but, the brigade which came up having fallen back, he was compelled to halt and finally to fall back to his first position. His brigade (Trimble's) had suffered terribly, his own horse was killed under him, and he had himself been struck by a piece of shell. Colonel Douglass, whose brigade had been hotly engaged during the whole time, was killed, and about half of the men had been killed and wounded. Hays' brigade, which had been advance to Colonel Douglass' support, had also suffered terribly, having more than half killed and wounded, both of General Hays' staff officers being disabled; and General Hood having come up to their relief, these three brigades, which were reduced to mere fragments, their ammunition being exhausted,retired to the rear.
The terrible nature of the conflict in which these brigades had been engaged, and the steadiness with which they maintained their position, are shown by the losses they sustained. They did not retire from the field until General Lawton had been wounded and borne from the field, Colonel Douglass, commanding Lawton's brigade, had been killed, and the brigade had sustained a loss of 554 killed and wounded out of 1,150, losing 5 regimental commanders out of 6; Hays' brigade had sustained a loss of 323 out of 550, including every regimental commander and all of his staff, and Colonel Walker and 1 of his staff had been disabled, and the brigade he was commanding had sustained a loss of 228 out of less than 700 present, including 3 out of 4 regimental commanders.
I am story that I am not able to do justice to the individual cases of gallantry displayed in this terrible conflict, and must content myself with calling attention to the reports of General Hays' and Colonel Walker's brigade commanders, and of Major Lowe, who succeeded to the command of Lawton's brigade after the death of Colonel Douglass and the disabling of all the other ranking officers. In the death of Colonel Douglass the country sustained a serious loss. He was talented, courageous, and devoted to his duty.
After receiving the order from General Jackson to go the support of General Stuart, as before stated, I proceeded to do so, moving my brigade through a piece of woods a little back from the left of our line and then through some fields; but, as I was passing through these fields, I discovered some of the enemy's skirmishers moving around our left, and I sent some from my own brigade to hold them in check until I had passed. I found General Stuart about a mile from the position I had moved from, with several pieces of artillery in position on a hill, and engaged with some of the enemy's guns. At his suggestion I formed my line in rear of this hill and remained here for about an hour, when General Stuart,