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[458]

With an unsurpassed ardor, this gallant brigade, sweeping over all obstacles, soon crowned the crest of the hills on our left and right, planting their regimental banners in defiance to those of the rebels, who, flushed with a supposed victory, dared to face us.

I refer the General commanding to the reports of brigadiers and their colonels for the details of the battle sustained by my division.

The gallantry and coolness of Gen. Max Weber excited the admiration of the whole command. With consummate skill and judgment he led the attack, and left the field reluctantly, severely wounded.

General Kimball, Second brigade, brought his veterans into action and fought the enemy on the front and either flank, with such desperate courage and determination as to permit the arrival of reenforcements, which reached the field three hours after my division had sustained the conflict.

After the arrival of reinforcements, the exhaustion of ammunition brought my line from the crests it had carried to the second line, which, being supplied, my troops were ready to continue the action.

Richardson's division supported me with that success which always distinguishes that noble corps. Brooks's brigade was particularly conspicuous.

I particularly ask attention to the report of General Kimball, to whom the division is indebted for a brilliant display of courage never surpassed.

My staff, Lieuts. Plume and French, aids-decamp, who have been through every battle, with myself, fought by McClellan's army, it is sufficient to say, did their duty.

Surgeon Grant organized his division hospital under fire. The Division Commissary, Lieut. Schiefner, and Lieut. Hale, Fourteenth Connecticut, Division Ordnance Officer, were strenuous in their exertions to supply the command.

The conduct of the new regiments must take a prominent place in the history of this great battle. Undrilled, but admirably armed and equipped, every regiment, either in advance or reserve, distinguished itself, but according to the energy and abilities of their respective commanders.

The report of Col. Morris, Fourteenth Connecticut, commanding brigade, exhibits the services of his command. There never was such material in any army, and in one month these splendid men will not be excelled by any.

Receiving orders from the General-in-Chief (Gen. McClellan) to hold my position to the last extremity, it was done. but not without terrible loss. My loss was one thousand eight hundred and seventeen; killed and wounded, one thousand six hundred and fourteen, and missing, two hundred and three.

The flags, prisoners, and arms captured are detailed in the subordinate reports.

W. H. French, Brig.-Gen. Commanding Division.


Report of Brigadier-General Kimball.

headquarters Kimball's brigade, French's division, Sumner's corps, army of the Potomac, on the field of battle, near Sharpsburgh, September 18, 1862.
General: On the morning of the seventeenth instant, in obedience to your order, my brigade crossed Antietam Creek, and was formed into line of battle on the left of Gen. Sedgwick's division and in the third line--Generals Weber and Morris forming the first and second lines. In this position I moved directly forward about three fourths of a mile, when General Weber encountered the enemy's pickets and drove them back, and soon came upon the enemy in force, posted in a strong position in an orchard, cornfield, ditches, and upon the hill-sides. At this moment, in obedience to your order, I moved my brigade forward and formed my line in front, on the left of Gen. Weber. My right wing, consisting of the Fourteenth regiment Indiana volunteers, Col. Harrow, and the Eighth regiment Ohio volunteers, Lieut.-Col. Sawyer commanding, was posted on the hill-side in front of the orchard, their left resting on a lane running in the direction of Sharpsburgh — my left wing, consisting of the Seventh regiment Virginia volunteers, Col. Snyder, and the One Hundred and Thirty-second regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, Col. Oakford commanding, resting on an extension of the same line, their right resting on the lane running toward Sharpsburgh, and their left extending toward the creek. Directly on my front, in a narrow road running parallel with my line, and, being washed by water, forming a natural rifle-pit between my line and a large corn-field, I found the enemy in great force, as also in the corn-field in the rear of the ditch. As my line advanced to the crest of the hill a murderous fire was opened upon it from the entire force in front. My advance further was checked, and for three hours and thirty minutes the battle raged incessantly, without either party giving way. The enemy having been reenforced, made an attempt to turn my left flank by throwing three regiments forward entirely to the left of my line, which I met and repulsed with loss by extending my left wing, Seventh Virginia and One Hundred and Thirty-second Pennsylvania, in that direction. Being foiled in this, he made a heavy charge on my centre, thinking to break my line, but was met by my command and repulsed with great slaughter. I then in turn ordered a charge, which was promptly responded to, and which resulted in driving the enemy entirely from the ditches, etc., and some distance into the corn-field beyond. In this charge my command captured about three hundred prisoners, and the enemy in his flight leaving on the field several stands of colors, which were taken by some parties outside of my brigade, whilst we were pursuing him. At this time a brigade of Gen. Richardson's division advanced to my relief on the left of my line, securing that flank from further assaults. In the mean time, the line on my right having been abandoned, the enemy made an attempt to turn that flank,



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