previous next


[456] Twelfth and Twenty-third Ohio regiments to execute a perpendicular change of front, which was done with precision and success, the other regiment of the brigade, (Thirtieth Ohio) maintaining its proper front.

The whole line was now engaged, the supports being brought to the front, except the reserve division of Gen. Sturgis at the bridge. This was now ordered up, and came promptly, though much exhausted and weakened by its previous exertions during the day. The mass of the enemy on the left still continued to increase, new batteries were constantly opening upon us, and it was manifest the corps would, without reinforcements, be unable to reach the village of Sharpsburgh, since the movement could not be made to the right, whilst the enemy exhibited such force in front of the extreme left, and the attack both to the right and left at once would necessarily separate the wings to such an extent as to imperil the whole movement unwarrantably.

The attack having already had the effect of a most powerful diversion in favor of the centre and right of the army, which, by this means, had been able to make decided and successful advances, and no supports being at the time available for our exhausted corps, I ordered the troops withdrawn from the exposed ground in front to the cover of the curved hill above the bridge which had been taken from the enemy earlier in the afternoon. This movement was effected shortly before dark, in perfect order and with admirable coolness and precision on the part of both officers and men. The line as then constituted was formed by Sturgis's division in front, on the left, supported by Fairchild's brigade of Rodman's division, the Kanawha division under Col. Scammon in the centre, and Wilcox's division on the right. The enemy did not venture an attack upon the position, but kept up a brisk artillery-fire until nightfall.

The bravery and soldierly conduct of the men was most striking, and becomes still more noticeable when it is considered that for several days they had been marching and fighting, with scarcely any rest by night or day, and the rapidity of the movement had prevented their having any regular supplies of food, the supply train being detained at the rear by the advance of other troops.

The batteries on the left bank of the Antietam were not only to assist in the movement of the corps, but were most efficiently turned upon the enemy in his attack upon the centre and right of the army. They were all very well served, and the twenty-pounder battery and Lieut. Benjamin's were especially efficient. In their reports (which are transmitted herewith) the commandants of divisions and separate brigades speak in the highest terms of their troops, and make special mention of numbers of officers and men who distinguished themselves. These are too numerous to be named in this report, but the whole list will very shortly be published in a special order from these headquarters.

I must confine myself to the expression of my great satisfaction with the manner in which all the subordinate commands of the corps were handled. The movements were accurate as those of a parade, and the systematic order with which they were executed, made the spectacle in the heat of the battle a grand and imposing one. Permit me also to express my obligation to the gentlemen on Gen. Burnside's staff for the intelligence, courage and unwearied industry they exhibited in the constant communication between him and the headquarters of this corps.

The casualties in the corps during the day were two thousand two hundred and twenty-two (2222,) of which three hundred and fifty-seven were killed, one thousand seven hundred and forty-two wounded, and one hundred and twenty-three missing. Among numerous officers killed and wounded, we have to mourn the loss of Col. Henry W. Kingsbury, Eleventh Connecticut; Lieut.-Col. A. H. Coleman, commanding Eleventh O. V. I.; Lieut.-Col. M. Clark, commanding Thirty-sixth regiment O. V. I., and Lieut.-Col. Bell, commanding Fifty-first Pennsylvania. All these gallant officers were killed in the action whilst heroically leading their men under a terrible fire of shell, canister and musketry.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. Cox, Brig.-Gen. Commanding Ninth Army Corps. (A true copy.)


Brigadier-General Ferrero's report.

headquarters Second brigade, Second division, Ninth army corps, Antietam, September 19, 1862.
General: I have the honor to report that on Sunday, seventh instant, according to your orders, my brigade marched from Washington; that our march was resumed daily without noticeable incident, until Sunday, fourteenth instant, when we arrived at South-Mountain and engaged the enemy.

At three o'clock we marched up the Hagerstown road, leading over the mountain, almost to its summit, and there formed line of battle to support other lines then engaged. At about half-past 3 o'clock I advanced, by your orders, to the top of the heights, in advance of our other forces, and was unexpectedly fired upon from the woods by a large force of the enemy. The sudden fire produced temporary confusion in one of my new regiments. It quickly recovered, however, reforming under a severe fire. My command then advanced, and after a long and hard fight, lasting until nine P. M., drove the enemy from their position, and occupied the field. We retained possession of the battle-field during the night, having our whole force on guard, momentarily expecting a renewal of the attack. The enemy posted their pickets within a few yards of our lines, and during the night quietly withdrew their main body. We captured about one hundred prisoners.

In this battle all the troops under my command behaved with the greatest gallantry. I have to mention, as worthy of particular praise, the conduct of the Fifty-first regiment New-York volunteers,



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Washington (United States) (2)
Sharpsburg (Ohio, United States) (2)
Hagerstown (Maryland, United States) (2)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
S. D. Sturgis (4)
B. F. Wilcox (2)
E. P. Scammon (2)
Rodman (2)
Henry W. Kingsbury (2)
Edward Ferrero (2)
Fairchild (2)
J. D. Cox (2)
A. H. Coleman (2)
M. Clark (2)
Burnside (2)
Samuel N. Benjamin (2)
John Bell (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 19th, 1862 AD (2)
14th (2)
7th (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: