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[661] a circuitous route, and brought back into an open field, near the spot where we had spent the night. Captain Crenshaw, who was in command of his battery, in front of us, notified General Branch of the presence of the enemy in our front. Captain Turner, of the Seventh, was immediately sent to the left of the battery, with his company, to act as skirmishers. Soon after, General Branch ordered me to take command of the Twenty-eighth and Thirty-third regiments, and dislodge the enemy, who were in the wood beyond the field of corn.

On passing beyond the small cluster of woods, to the right of the Crenshaw battery, we saw the enemy retreating in confusion before Captain Turner's skirmishers. We continued to advance until we saw General Gregg's brigade in the woods to our right. It was here that I learned the enemy was in force in the woods, and that General Gregg had been ordered not to press them. I deemed it advisable to inform General Branch of these facts, and was ordered by him to remain where I was. I had three companies at the time deployed as skirmishers along the fence in front of us, and connecting with those first sent out under Captain Turner. The enemy advanced upon General Gregg in strong force soon after we halted, and General Branch, with the rest of his command, advanced to his support. The Thirty-seventh first became actively engaged. The enemy opened a deadly fire upon this regiment. The Eighteenth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Purdie, and the Seventh, under Captain McRae, went to its assistance, and the enemy were driven in disorder beyond the railroad cut. The enemy were repulsed in two subsequent attempts to drive these regiments from their positions. The Thirty-third, under Colonel Hoke, also fought well in the woods to the left of these regiments, and once gallantly advanced into the open field in front, and drove the enemy back in disorder. Up to this time the Twenty-eighth had not been engaged, and as the other regiments were nearly out of ammunition, General Branch ordered it to join him, intending to make it cover his front. The order was not delivered properly, and the regiment went into action to the left of General Field's brigade. It advanced boldly into the woods, driving the enemy before. it, although exposed to a left enfilade and direct fire, but fell back when it found itself alone in the woods and unsupported. The men, however, rallied and re-formed in the centre of the open field, and advanced a second time, when the enemy was not only driven beyond the cut, but entirely out of the woods. Never have I witnessed greater bravery and desperation than was that day displayed by this brigade. We were not actively engaged the next day, but held our position, under a heavy artillery fire and very heavy skirmishing, until late in the afternoon. We then followed up the enemy until about ten o'clock P. M., advancing in line through a body of woods nearly to a large hospital, in which the enemy had left many of his wounded. Our loss in this three days battle was thirty killed, one hundred and eighty-five wounded, and some missing.

Ox Hill, September 1ST.

The pursuit was continued the whole of Sunday, and on Monday afternoon, about four o'clock, we came up with the enemy again at Ox Hill, near Fairfax Court-House, on the Alexandria and Winchester turnpike, when the engagement was immediately opened. This brigade pressed eagerly forward, through an open field and a piece of woods to the edge of another field, where we were for a short time exposed to the enemy's infantry fire, without being able to return it. An attempt was made to flank us on the right, and the Eighteenth regiment was immediately detached from the centre of the brigade, and ordered to the right, to prevent the movement, which it did, sustaining a deadly fire, unsupported. The enemy's direct advance was through a field of corn, in which he sustained great loss, notwithstanding most of our guns fired badly, on account of the heavy rain which fell during the engagement. On learning that our ammunition was nearly out, General Branch made known the fact, and was ordered to hold his position at the point of the bayonet. We remained where we were until dark, when the whole command fell back to the field in rear of the woods. The Twenty-eighth, cold, wet, and hungry, was then ordered back to the field of battle to do picket duty for the night, without fires. This engagement is regarded by this brigade as one of our severest. The enemy's infantry used a great many explosive balls.

Our loss was fourteen killed, ninety-two wounded, and two missing.

Harper's Ferry.

The second day after the engagement at Ox Hill we marched through Leesburg, crossed the Potomac into Maryland on the fifth, and moved in the direction of Frederick, where we remained several days. Then recrossed the Potomac at Williamsport, and marched on Harper's Ferry, through Martinsburg. The evening of the fourteenth, we advanced down the Winchester and Harper's Ferry Railroad. The Seventh regiment was in advance, and its skirmishers, commanded by Captain Knox, succeeded in driving the enemy's sharpshooters from a high position overlooking the railroad. The remainder of the brigade reached this position after midnight, and there slept upon their arms until day, when every one was in readiness, and awaited the order to advance. After a short but rapid and well-directed artillery fire from our batteries, the enemy displayed several white flags, and we marched into the place without further resistance.

We captured several prisoners the evening of the fourteenth. Our loss was four wounded.

Sharpsburg, September 1ST.

We left Harper's Ferry on the seventeenth of September, and after a very rapid and fatiguing march, recrossed the Potomac, and reached Sharpsburg in time to participate in the fight. The entire brigade was ordered to the right, and


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