dawn, we took the position assigned us on the field of battle as a reserve in support of General Hartsuff for the engagements of the day. The action opened at daylight, but, owing to the early fall of General Hartsuff, we quickly gained the right of the division and immediately became hotly engaged with the enemy. The position of the enemy was in a corn-field slightly oblique with the center lines, forming an acute angle with the left of the first line. There were two batteries on our right, which opened with terrible effect upon the enemy. Our infantry, maintaining their ground, poured in a flank fire with great execution. The conflict continued until there were only about 100 men of the One hundred and fourth and One hundred and fifth New York Regiments left on the right of the brigade. At this point the cannoneers of one of the batteries were compelled to abandon their guns. The remnants of the two regiments above named rallied behind a large rock and continued to pour in a deadly fire until re-enforcements came up and covered the guns. The enemy's dead upon the field were almost in as perfect line as if on dress parade. It gives me pleasure to say that the men could not have fought with more determination and gallantry.
Yours, most respectfully,
Captain JOHN W. WILLIAMS,
Report of Colonel Richard Coulter, Eleventh Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding brigade, of operations September 16-17.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, SECOND DIV., FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., September 21, 1862.
SIR: In pursuance of orders I report the following as the part borne by this (General Hartsuff's) brigade in the action with the enemy of 16th and 17th instant:
On evening of 16th brigade was (under heavy fire of artillery and with loss of some wounded) placed in position, in line, connecting with General Durya's (First) brigade on right and left resting in rear of right of General Seymour's brigade. Here remained on arms during night. At daylight 17th General Hartsuff moved brigade forward, skirmishers being advanced, who soon engaged the enemy. On reaching wood in which General Seymour was already engaged, learned that General Hartsuff (who was in advance examining position) had been severely wounded and removed from the field. I here assumed command of brigade, which was at the time in line as follows, commencing on the right: Twelfth Massachusetts, Major Burbank; Eleventh Pennsylvania, Colonel Coutler; Thirteenth Massachusetts, Major Gould, and Eighty-third New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Atterbury, the left (Eighty-third New York Volunteers and Thirteenth Massachusetts) occupying rear of wood occupied by General Seymour and right (Eleventh Pennsylvania and Twelfth Massachusetts) the open ground to right of woods. In this position I advanced brigade to front, and, at suggestion of General Seymour, to right, so as to clear right of his line. This obliquing to the right had the effect of bringing one-half of Thirteenth Massachusetts into open ground, leaving the other half of this regiment and the Eighty-third New York Volunteers in the wood somewhat protected by the trees and nature of the ground. The