To mention some names without mentioning all would therefore be unjust. The service they rendered, to say nothing of the saving of the three abandoned guns, was, I think, hardly to be overestimated. If General Burnside's corps had once got through the long gap in our line it would soon have been in the rear of our whole army, and that anybody can see would have been disastrous.
I am, captain, your obedient servant,
HENRY L. BENNING,
Colonel, Commanding Toombs' Brigade.
Captain D. M. DU BOSE,
Report of Captain Abner McC. Lewis, Second Georgia Infantry, of operations September 15-17.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND Georgia VOLUNTEERS,
September 23, 1862.
SIR: Pursuant to orders we inclose you a list of casualties, also report of the engagement of this regiment on the 16th [17th] instant:
On the morning of the 14th [15th] we were ordered to take position on the banks of the Antietam River, to the right of the bridge. The Twentieth Georgia was on our left and directly in front and to the left of the bridge. We remained in this position, after having deployed the regiment behind trees and barricades made of fence rails, until the morning of the 16th [17th] when our pickets were driven in. The enemy commenced an attack upon the center of the regiment at 9 o'clock; then immediately afterward upon the left, with how many regiments we are unable to ascertain. They were repulsed several times, but their re-enforcements continually came pouring in; and besides, all the while a battery completely enfilading our lines was playing upon us. We held the position until our last round of ammunition was exhausted. At this time Lieutenant Colonel William R. Holmes, commanding, was killed, the command falling upon Major W. T. Harris. He, seeing the condition of affairs, ordered the regiment to retire by the left flank, which was done in good orders. The regiment was conducted by the major back to the reserve, where it remained until next morning. Below you will find list of casualties.*
A. McC. LEWIS,
Captain Company B, Commanding second Georgia Volunteers.
Colonel H. L. BENNING,
Our regiment went into the engagement with eighteen officers and eighty-nine men. The number of the enemy could not have been less than 7,000. From what we saw, the loss of the enemy was supposed to be 300 or 400.
* Nominal list (omitted) shows 2 officers and 4 men killed, 2 officers and 26 men wounded, and 2 officers and 6 men captured.