along the mountain to our left. Brigadier-General Hood, with his own and Whiting's brigade, (under Colonel Law,) Drayton's and D. R. Jones's, (under Colonel G. T. Anderson,) were extended to the right. Major-General Hill had already placed such batteries in position as he could find ground for, except one position on the extreme left. It was my intention to have placed a battery in this position, but I was so much occupied in front, that I could find no time to do so before nightfall. We succeeded in repulsing the repeated and powerful attacks of the enemy, and in holding our position till night put an end to the battle. It was short, but very fierce. Some of our most gallant officers and men fell in this struggle, among them the brave Colonel J. B. Strange, of the Ninteenth Virginia regiment. Had the command reached the mountain pass in time to have gotten into position before the attack was made, I believe that the direct assaults of the enemy could have been repulsed with comparative ease. Hurried into action, however, we arrived at our position more exhausted than the enemy. It became manifest that our forces were not sufficient to resist the renewed attacks of the entire army of General McClellan. He would require but little time to turn either flank, and our command must then be at his mercy. In view of this, the commanding General ordered the withdrawal of our troops to the village of Sharpsburg. This position was regarded as a strong defensive one, besides being one from which we could threaten the enemy's flank or rear, in case he should attempt to relieve the garrison at Harper's Ferry. Crossing the Antietam, on the morning of the fifteenth, Major-General D. H. Hill's division and my own command were placed in line of battle between the stream and the village of Sharpsburg. Soon after getting into position we heard of the surrender of Harper's Ferry. This left the portions of the army engaged in the reduction of that garrison free to join us. After much shelling at one point and another of our line, which extended more than a mile on each side of Sharpsburg, the enemy finally attacked General Hood, on my extreme left, late Tuesday evening, September sixteenth. Hood drove him back, but not without severe loss, including that of Colonel Liddell, of the Eleventh Mississippi, an officer of great merit, modesty, and promise. During the night the enemy threw his forces across the Antietam, in front of Hood's position, and renewed his attack at daylight the next morning. Hood was not strong enough to resist the masses thrown against him. Several of Major-General D. H. Hill's brigades reenforced the position, but even with these, our forces seemed but a handful when compared with the hosts thrown against us. The commands engaged the enemy, however, with great courage and determination, and retiring very slowly, delayed him until the forces of Generals Jackson and Walker came to our relief. D. R. Jones's brigade, under Colonel G. T. Anderson, came up about the same moment, and soon after this, the divisions of Major-Generals McLaws and R. H. Anderson. Colonel S. D. Lee's reserve artillery was with General Hood, and took a distinguished part in the attack on the evening of the sixteenth, and in delaying that of the seventeenth. General Jackson soon moved off to our left, for the purpose of turning the enemy's right flank, and the other divisions, except Walker's, were distributed at other points of the line. As these movements were made, the enemy again threw forward his masses against my left. This attack was met by Walker's division, two pieces of Captain Miller's battery of the Washington artillery, and two pieces of Captain Bryce's battery, and was driven back in some confusion. An effort was made to pursue; but our line was too weak. Colonel Cooke, of the twenty-seventh North Carolina, very gallantly charged with his own regiment; but, his supply of ammunition being exhausted, and he being unsupported, he was obliged to return to his original position in the line. From this moment our centre was extremely weak, being defended by but part of Walker's division, and four pieces of artillery, Cooke's regiment of that division being without a cartridge. In this condition, again the enemy's masses moved forward against us. Cooke stood with his empty guns, and waved his colors to show that his troops were in position. The artillery played upon their ranks with canister. Their lines began to hesitate, soon halted, and, after an hour and a half, retired. Another attack was quickly made, a little to the right of the last. Captain Miller, turning his pieces upon these lines, and playing upon them with round shot, (over the heads of R. H. Anderson's men,) checked the advance, and Anderson's division, with the artillery, held the enemy in check until night. This attack was followed by the final assault, about four o'clock P. M., when the enemy crossed the bridge in front of Sharpsburg, and made his desperate attack upon my right. Brigadier-General Toombs held the bridge, and defended it most gallantly, driving back repeated attacks, and only yielded it after the forces brought against him became over-whelming, and threatened his flank and rear. The enemy was then met by Brigadier-General D. R. Jones with six brigades. He drove back our right several times, and was himself made to retire several times, badly crippled ; but his strong reenforcements finally enabled him to drive in my right, and occupy this part of my ground. Thus advanced, the enemy's line was placed in such a position as to enable General Toombs to move his brigade directly against his flank. General Jones seized the opportunity, and threw Toombs down against the enemy's flank, drove him back, and recovered our lost ground. Two of the brigades of Major-General A. P. Hill's division advanced against the enemy's front as General Toombs made his flank attack. The display of this force was of great value, and it assisted us in holding our position. The enemy took shelter behind a stone wall,
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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