previous next

[103] and infantry on the heights. About half-after four my ammunition began to fail and supports to arrive, and I had permission to withdraw, but I deemed it best to wait until dark, and draw off in company with the Fifty-first Pennsylvania, about six P. M.; the rest of our brigade retired at about the same time. Griffin's brigade and one of Sykes's, composed partly of regulars, held the field Sunday. We relieved them Sunday night, and were in turn relieved at one this morning. We held on Monday the extreme advance-point on the line of our attack here on the left, while Couch's regiments, which had held the field to the left took up a new line some three hundred paces to the rear.

This was certainly the most awkward and tiresome position I was ever in. We had to lie perfectly flat, as the enemy could depress their artillery sufficiently to rake every thing eighteen inches above the surface of the ground, and to raise a head or hand was sure to bring a pop from a concealed sharp-shooter. Lying thus for near thirty hours, with nothing to eat or drink, not daring to move or speak in a loud tone, and not allowed to sleep, after three days and four nights continually under arms, and almost without sleep, used up what little strength we had. To-day I have scarcely a man fit for duty. We returned to our old camp-ground this morning at four A. M. I took into action two hundred and eighty non-commissioned officers and privates, and sixteen officers, including myself. Six officers were wounded and fifty-three privates; ten (10) killed and five missing. The missing are doubtless all killed, as when last seen they were all in their proper place. As the regiment was advancing, three shells dropped together, and some forty were killed, wounded, and upset. Every one who could, picked himself up and rushed on ; these doubtless were not noticed particularly, although their companions think they saw them fall. I thus lost exactly one quarter of my men. Franklin's fight was a more open one, and we have heard that he had the advantage. I learn that our whole loss is about one thousand five hundred killed and seven thousand wounded. Our brigade lost five hundred and thirty-four killed and wounded, out of about two thousand one hundred and fifty, being about the same average as my regiment. The rest of the troops did not suffer so severely, of course, or our loss would have been much heavier in the whole.

We left the dead on the field, and all their small arms; at least, they were there when I left at one this morning. I got a letter from you the day of the fight, but I can't find it now, and cannot answer the questions you ask. I remember only two of them, those referring to newspaper statements about Antietam and South-Mountain. We were across the bridge at Antietam, I think, before half-past 12. It did not vary from that ten minutes. I looked at my watch. Gen. Burnside put every man into action that went in at South-Mountain — that is, Reno's and Hooker's corps. Franklin took his in at Crampton's Gap. Tell----he must send me those boots, or I will be barefooted. I am quite ill again. I have had my report and many other things to attend to. Love to all. In haste.

Yours, affectionately,

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.

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.
Major-Gen Sykes (1)
Reno (1)
R. B. Potter (1)
Hooker (1)
Joel R. Griffin (1)
John Franklin (1)
Henry Couch (1)
A. E. Burnside (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: