War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 1008 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

were warmly engaged until night. The troops lay on their arms all night, the silence of which was broken by occasional firing by the skirmishers.

At the dawn of day on the 17th the battle opened fiercely. A storm of shell and grape fell upon the division from several batteries in front, and at very short range, and from batteries of heavy guns on the extreme right, which enfiladed the position of the division and took it in reverse. These batteries were gallantly replied to be the batteries of the division, Poague's, Carpenter's, Brockenbrough's, Raine's, Caxke's, and Wooding's. It was during this almost unprecedented iron storm that a shell exploded a little above my head, and so stunned and injured me that I was rendered unfit for duty, and retired from the field, turning over the command to Brigadier-General Starke, who a half an hour afterward advanced his lines to meet the infantry of the enemy, which was approaching. The infantry became at once engaged, and the gallant and generous Starke fell, pierced by three balls, and survived but a few moments. His fall cast a gloom over the troops. They never for a moment faltered, but rushed upon the enemy and drove him back. The struggle continued for several hours, the enemy all the while receiving re-enforcements, and the division, not numbering over 1,600 men at the beginning of the fight, having no support, was finally compelled to tune moment, Colonel Grigsby, commanding the division, rallied its shattered columns and joined General Early, and drove the enemy half a mile from the field, capturing many prisoners and covering the field with the dead and wounded of the enemy. After this repulse, the division was order back to a grove to rest and get ammunition, when in the evening it again advanced to the support of a battery, but did not again become engaged with the enemy.

In this bloody conflict the "Old Stonewall Division" lost nothing of its fair name and fame. Having won a world-wide fame by its valor and endurance in the splendid campaign in the valley, it entered upon another series of fights, commencing at Richmond and going through Ceder Run, Manassa, Harper's Ferry, and Sharpsburg, entering the last weary and worn, and reduced to the numbers of a small brigade, with its officers stricken drown in its many fierce engagements, closing with a colonel commanding the division, captains commanding brigades, and lieutenants commanding regiments. In this fight every officer and man was a hero, and it would be invidious to mention particular names.

Winder's brigade was commanded successively by Colonel Grigsby and major (now Lieutenant-Colonel) Williams, Fifth Virginia Regiment; Jones' brigade by Captains [John E.] Penn, [A. C.] Page, and [R. W.] Withers, the first two losing a leg; Taliaferro's brigade by Colonel J. W. Jackson and Colonel Sheffield; Starke's brigade by General Starke, Colonel L. A. Stafford, Ninth Louisiana Regiment, and Colonel Edmund Pendleton, Fifteenth Louisiana Regiment.

Inclosed are reports of the various brigade commanders, which give more particularly the parts take by their brigades.

The list of casualties has already been furnished, amounting to about 700, killed and wounded.

This brief report is respectfully submitted.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Second Corps.