War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 1004 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Numbers 285. Report of Brigadier General William d. Pender, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations September 15-20.


October 14, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the battle of Manassas Junction, the two days' fighting at Manassas, the battles of Ox Hill, Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg, and Shepherdstown:*

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At Harper's Ferry my brigade was on the left of the division advancing from the point where the railroad and river met. My brigade advanced within about 60 yards of the breastwork on the west point of Bolivar Hights, having exchanged shots with the enemy several times on their way there. Colonel Brewer was in command of the brigade at this time, and did himself great credit in the manner in which he handled it. Being absent when my brigade had reached the advanced position, on my return I ordered it to fall back a short distance, knowing no troops were in a supporting distance.

The next morning, according to your order, I moved nearer, under cover, while our artillery played upon the enemy. The artillery ceasing, I, in obedience to previous orders commenced the advance, but halted on the fire of our artillery opening again. I remained in this position, about 150 yards distant from the above-named breastwork, until after the surrender. Here, again, my officers and men behaved finely.

At Sharpsburg, on Wednesday, September 17, my brigade was on the right of the division, but not actively engaged, being under fire at long range of musketry.

The next morning I was ordered to take position between Colonel Brockenbrough, on the left, and Colonel [James H.] Lane, on my right. Here we were exposed all day to the enemy's sharpshooters, about 600 yards distant. We remained in this position until late at night.

At Shepherdstown, September 20, my brigade formed the left of our division. Advancing to within about 300 yards, we were opened upon by the artillery from the opposite side of the river, which lasted all day, at a most terrible rate. We came upon the infantry which had crossed. I had gone to the left to opposite side of the river, which lasted all day, at a most terrible rate. We came upon the infantry which had crossed. I had gone to the left to oppose this force, which was far superior to my own. Finding an effort made to flank me, I placed two regiments under cover from artillery, facing the river, and threw the other on my left flank, so as to check this new disposition of the enemy. Holding this position a short while, General Archer came up with three brigades to the support of the advanced line, and, upon seeing the flanking movement of the enemy, moved quickly to the left, when we advanced, driving them headlong into the river. After driving them form the plain, I sent the Twenty-second North Carolina, under the gallant Major Cole, to the river bank to take them as they crossed, and this it did nobly. Others of my brigade had gone to the river, but, finding them too much exposed, I called them back under a hill just overhanging the river. I called out those I had first left in that exposed position, leaving major Cole with 20 men, who remained all day, the enemy being in heavy force


*Portion omitted is printed in Series I Vol. XII, Part II, pp. 697-699.