War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 1000 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD. AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Numbers 282. Report of Brigadier General James J. Archer, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations September 14-20.


Camp Gregg, near Fredericksburg, Va., March 1, 1863

MAJOR: I have the honor to present the following report of the operations of my brigade in the series of battles from Warrenton Springs Ford to Shepherdstown, inclusive:*

* * * * * *


On the evening of September 14, my brigade, Field's, and Pender's moved from a point on the railroad by a by-road toward the southern defenses of Bolivar Heights. My skirmishers, on the right of the road, soon became engaged with those of the enemy. I immediately formed line of battle, my left resting on the road, and advanced steadily, driving the enemy's pickets before us, until I approached the crest of the hill, in full view and range of their batteries, when I filed out of the field into the woods on my right, in order to flank the enemy's guns, and continued to advance, as rapidly as the rough ground and abatis would permit, until it became dark, and I had become entangled in the almost impenetrable abatis, when I halted, and we lay on our arms, within 400 yards of the enemy's batteries, during the night.

The next morning,our artillery, which had been placed in position during the night, opened a destructive fire, and while I was struggling through the abatis, endeavoring to execute an order from General Hill to get in rear of the guns, the place surrendered.

My loss in this action was 1 killed and 22 wounded.

The regiments of my brigade were commanded as follows, viz: First Tennessee, Colonel Turney; Seventh Tennessee, Major Shepard; Fourteenth Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel Lockert; Nineteenth Georgia, Major [James H.] Neal, and Fifth Alabama Battalion, Captain Hooper.


The next morning after the capture of Harper's Ferry, being too unwell for duty, I turned over the command of the brigade to Colonel Turney (First Tennessee), under whom, with the exception of the Fifth Alabama, it marched to the battle-field of Sharpsburg, while I followed in an ambulance. This was a long and fatiguing march, many of the men fell, exhausted from the march, by the way, so that when the four regiments of my brigade reached the battle-field there were only 350 men. I resumed command just as the brigade was forming into line on the ground assigned to it by General Hill, on the extreme left of his division, but not in sight of any of its other brigades. Marching by flank, right in front, along the Sharpsburg road, the brigade was halted and faced to the right, forming line of battle faced by the rear rank. General Toombs was in line on the same road about 300 yards to my left, with open ground in front. In front of my position was a narrow corn-field about 100 yards wide, then a plowed field about 300 yards


*Portion here omitted is printed in Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, pp. 699-702.