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[596] division was silently withdrawn, and, as directed by General Lee, covered the retirement of our army. My division crossed the Potomac, into Virginia, about ten A. M., the next morning, every wagon and piece of artillery having been safely put on the Virginia shore. I bivouacked that night, nineteenth, about five miles from Shepherdstown.


On the morning of the twentieth, at half past 6, I was directed by General Jackson to take my division and drive across the river some brigades of the enemy, who had crossed during the night, driven off General Pendleton's artillery, capturing four pieces, and were making preparations to hold their position. Arriving opposite Boteler's Ford, and about half mile therefrom, I formed my line of battle in two lines — the first, the brigades of Pender, Gregg, and Thomas, under command of General Gregg, and the second, Lane, (Branch's brigade,) Archer, and Brockenbrough, under the command of General Archer.

The enemy had lined the opposite hills with some seventy pieces of artillery, and the infantry, who had crossed, lined the crest of the high banks on the Virginia shore. My lines advanced simultaneously, and soon encountered the enemy. This advance was made in the face of the most tremendous fire of artillery I ever saw, and too much praise cannot be awarded my regiment for their steady, unwavering step. It was as if each man felt that the fate of the army was centred in himself. The infantry opposition in front of Gregg's centre and right was but trifling, and soon brushed away. The enemy, however, massed in front of Pender, and extending, endeavored to turn his left. General Pender became hotly engaged, and informing Archer of his danger, he (Archer) moved by the left flank, and forming on Pender's left, a simultaneous, daring charge was made, and the enemy driven pell-mell into the river. Then commenced the most terrible slaughter that this war has yet witnessed. The broad surface of the Potomac was blue with the floating bodies of our foe. But few escaped to tell the tale. By their own account they lost three thousand men, killed and drowned, from one brigade alone. Some two hundred prisoners were taken.

My own loss was, thirty killed, and two hundred and thirty-one wounded. Total, two hundred and sixty-one.

This was a wholesome lesson to the enemy, and taught them to know that it may be dangerous sometimes to press a retreating army.

In this battle I did not use a piece of artillery. My division performed its share in the destruction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and about the first November, took position at Castleman's Ferry, near Snicker's Gap. November fifth, Archer's and Thomas's brigades being on picket at the ferry with Pegram's and Latham's batteries, the enemy made an attempt to cross the river, but were handsomely repulsed by the Nineteenth Georgia, and the batteries, with a loss of two hundred men.

During this campaign, the especial good conduct of Colonels Brewer, Mallory, Folsom, and Major C. C. Cole, deserves mention. Captain Wright, of Georgia, commanding my escort, was invaluable to me, and proved himself a cool, clearheaded fighter.

My thanks are due my staff for their hearty cooperation and intelligent transmission of my orders under a fire frequently uncomfortably hot; Major R. C. Morgan, Assistant Adjutant-General; Major Wingate, Captain R. H. Adams, Signal Officers; Lieutenant Murray Taylor, Aidde-camp, and Lieutenant Camfield, of my escort.

My loss during this series of battles was, three hundred and forty-eight killed, two thousand two hundred and nine wounded. Total, two thousand five hundred and fifty-seven.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

A. P. Hill, Major-General, commanding Light Division.

General Summary of Killed and Wounded in the Division of Major-General A. P. Hill.

date of killed and wounded.
Brig.-Generals.Colonels.Lieut.-Colonels.Majors.Captains.Lieutenants.N. C. Officers.Privates.Brig.-Generals.Colonels.Lieut.-Colonels.Majors.Captains.Lieutenants.N. C. Officers.Privates.
August twenty-fourth       6      21018
August twenty-seventh       5     221120
August twenty-eighth               33
August twenty-ninth & thirtieth 11 51425153241328781301,0621,507
September first     5232 11151125223306
September fourteenth       1    1324754
September fifteenth       2     111115
September seventeenth1   12164311  8839226346
September eighteenth    1 11     331726
September twentieth    1 22   141121194261
November second              112
Total111 821462703625461162261,8052,558

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