commanded by Lieut.-Colonel R. B. Potter; the Fifty-first regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, commanded by Colonel J. F. Hartrauft; and the Twenty-first regiment Massachusetts volunteers, commanded by Colonel W. S. Clark. Col. E. A. Wild, of the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts volunteers, was wounded severely in the arm while forming his regiment under the enemy's fire. I annex a list of killed and wounded in this engagement, amounting to killed, ten; wounded, eighty-three; missing, twenty-three; total, one hundred and sixteen. On the fifteenth instant, at one o'clock, we resumed our march in pursuit of the enemy, coming up with them near Antietam Creek, and bivouacking in front of their lines. During the morning of the sixteenth we remained in line of battle, the shells from the rebels dropping thickly in our midst. At two o'clock we changed our position, moving nearer to the creek, in readiness to attack the enemy in the morning. On the morning of the seventeenth, at about nine o'clock, by your orders I advanced my forces toward the stone bridge crossing Antietam Creek — a bridge naturally almost impregnable, and very strongly fortified by the enemy. We formed line of battle in a corn-field near the bridge, and awaited the result of the attack of some of our other forces that had preceded my brigade in the attempt to cross the creek. The passage of the bridge was, however, very obstinately disputed, and at length I received orders from you to move forward my brigade, and carry the bridge at all hazards. I accordingly moved forward my command, and carried the bridge at the point of the bayonet at one o'clock, losing, in doing so, a very large number of officers and men. The Fifty-first regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, commanded by Col. J. F. Hartrauft, led the charge, followed by the Fifty-first New-York volunteers, Lieut.-Col. R. B. Potter, the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts volunteers, Lieut.-Col. Carruth, and the Twenty-first Massachusetts volunteers, Col. W. S. Clark. After carrying the bridge, I moved forward one regiment to the summit of the hill, to retain the position gained until reinforcements should arrive, holding the rest of my command on the banks of the creek. During the afternoon, the enemy, being reenforced, and with heavy supports of artillery, advanced to drive our forces from their position. According to your orders, I moved forward my brigade to resist this movement, and forming line advanced under a storm of shot and shell. My troops when entering this second battle were nearly out of ammunition, but firing every round they had in their boxes, they quietly placed themselves on the ground in their positions, and remained until other regiments had formed in front to relieve them, when, by my orders, they retired in good order from the field, and again marched to the banks of the creek. I cannot sufficiently commend the bravery of the troops of my command during these engagements. Both officers and men behaved with the greatest gallantry, and I cannot help expressing the pride I feel in commanding such valiant soldiers as they have proved themselves. I have to mourn the loss, in this last battle, of Lieut.-Col. Bell, of the Fifty-first Pennsylvania volunteers, a gallant and efficient officer and amiable gentleman — killed at the stone bridge by a shell. Lieut.-Col. Carruth, of the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts, was slightly wounded. I annex a list of killed, wounded, and missing, amounting to killed, ninety-five; wounded, three hundred and seventy-one; missing, six; total, four hundred and seventy-two. Loss in both engagements, five hundred and eighty-eight. I have the honor to be, General, Your most obedient servant,
Report of General French.
headquarters French's division, Sumner's corps, camp on battle-field, near Sharpsburgh, Md., September 21, 1862.Colonel: My division, composed of Brig.-Gens. Max Weber's and Kimball's brigades, and three regiments of new levies, under the command of Col. Dwight, (Fourteenth Connecticut,) having been in readiness since daybreak on the seventeenth instant, was put in motion by order of the General commanding the corps at about half-past 7 o'clock A. M. The Antietam Creek was forded by the division marching in three columns of brigades, Max Weber on the left, the new regiments in the centre, and Kimball's brigade on the right. When my left flank had cleared the ford a mile, the division faced to the left, forming three lines of battle, adjacent to and contiguous with Sedgwick's, and immediately moved to the front. The enemy, who was in position in advance, opened his batteries, under which fire my lines steadily moved, until the first line, encountering the enemy's skirmishers, charged them briskly, and entering a group of houses on “Ronlette's” farm, drove back the force which had taken a strong position for defence. While Max Weber was clearing his front and driving before him the enemy's first line, a sudden and terrible fire was opened upon his right by the troops which had succeeded in breaking the centre divisions of the line of battle. At the same time a heavy column endeavored to turn my left and rear. At this moment Capt. Sumner communicated to me, from the General commanding the corps, that his right divisions were being severely handled, and directed me to press the enemy with all my force. Appreciating the necessity of the order, without waiting for the new regiments to recover from the disorder incident to their long march in line through woods, corn-fields, and over fences, I left them in reserve, and ordered Kimball to charge to the front.
Lieut.-Colonel Taylor, Chief of Staff, Sumner's Corps:
Lieut.-Colonel Taylor, Chief of Staff, Sumner's Corps: