Report of Colonel Montgomery D. Corse, Seventeenth Virginia Infantry, of operations September 14.*
HDQRS. SEVENTEENTH REGIMENT VIRGINIA INFANTRY,
Camp near Winchester, October 13, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the part taken by this regiment in the battle of 14th of September on the mountain near Boonsborough, Md.:
By order my regiment was placed in line of battle about 4 p. m. in a field to the right of the road leading to the summit of the mountain and to the left of Crampton's Gap. In the act of taking their position the regiment was subjected to a very fierce shelling from a battery of the enemy about 600 or 800 yards on our right, which enfiladed our line. Fortunately, however, we suffered very little loss from this, having but two men slightly wounded. I moved the regiment forward about 100 yards by your order toward a wood in our front, and ordered Lieutenant Lehew with his company to deploy forward as skirmishers into the woods and to engage the enemy, who were supposed to be there. Very soon I heard shots from our skirmishers. Your aide, Captain Beckham, at this time delivered me an order to move my regiment by the left flank and to connect my line with the Eleventh, occupying a corn-field, which order was obeyed. We remained in this position a few moments, when Colonel Start's regiment (Fifty-sixth), of Pickett's brigade, joined my right. Immediately the brigade on our right became hotly engaged. We reserved our fire, no enemy appearing on our front. After the fire had continued about fifteen minutes Colonel Stuart reported to me that the troops on his right had fallen back. I also observed that they had abandoned the left of the Eleventh. I communicated my intention to Colonel Stuart and to Major Clement, of the Eleventh, to fall back about ten or fifteen steps behind a fence, which was simultaneously done by the three regiments in good orders. We held this position until long after dark under a severe fire of musketry oblique on our right flank and in front until nearly every cartridge was exhausted. Shortly after the enemy had ceased firing, about 7.30 p. m., I received your order to withdrawn my regiment, which was done in good order and halted to rest on the Boonsborough and Fredericktown road with the other regiments of your brigade. In this engagement I was particularly struck with the determined courage of officers and men. They held their ground manfully against largely superior numbers, as far as I could judge from the heavy fire of the enemy upon our right and front. Those who deserve particular mention for distinguished gallantry and activity were Captain J. T. Burke, of Company D; Lieutenant Thomas Perry, of Company A; Lieutenant S. S. Runer, of Company B, and Lieutenants Atheny and Littleton, of Company C. Color Corpl. J. Murphy, of Company C, and Color Corpl. W. M. Harper, of Company E, won my highest admiration for their cool bravery.
Respectfully submitted with a list of casualties.+
M. D. CORSE,
Brigadier General J. L. KEMPER.
* See also VOL. XIX, Part I, p. 904.
+ Nominal list (omitted) shows 8 officers wounded and 1 man killed, 10 men wounded, and 3 men missing.