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Report of Colonel Colquitt, commanding brigade, of battle of Sharpsburg.

brigade headquarters, near Bunker Hill, Va., October 13, 1862.
Major Ratchford, A. A. G.:
sir: I give you below an account of the part taken by this brigade in the battle of September seventeenth:

About seven o'clock in the morning, my brigade entered the fight. It was moved to the front, and formed on the right of General Ripley's brigade, which was then engaged. After a few rounds had been discharged, I ordered an advance, and at the same time sent word to the regiments on my left to advance simultaneously. The order was responded to with spirit by my men, and, with a shout, they moved through the cornfield in front, two hundred yards wide, and formed on the line of fence. The enemy was near and in full view. In a moment or two his ranks began to break before our fire, and the line soon disappeared under the crest of the hill upon which it had been established. It was soon replaced by another, and the fire opened with renewed vigor. In the mean time, Garland's brigade, which had been ordered to my right, had given way, and the enemy were advancing, unchecked. The regiments upon my left having also failed to advance, we were exposed to a fire from all skies, and nearly surrounded. I sent in haste to the rear for reenforcements, and communicated to General Hill the exposed condition of my men. With steady supports upon the right, we could yet maintain our position. The supports were not at hand, and could not reach us in time. The enemy closed in upon the right so near that our ranks were scarcely distinguishable. At the same time, his line in front advanced. My men stood firm until every field officer but one had fallen, and then made the best of their way out. In this sharp and unequal conflict, I lost many of my best officers and one half of the men in the ranks. If the brigades upon the right and left had advanced, we should have driven the enemy from the field. He had at one time broken in our front, but we had not strength to push the advantage. Colonel Smith, of the Twenty-seventh Georgia, Colonel Barclay, of the Twenty-third Georgia, and Lieutenant-Colonel Newton, commanding the Sixth Georgia, fell at the head of their regiments. Their loss is irreparable. Upon every battle-field they had distinguished themselves for coolness and gallantry. Colonel Fry, of the Thirteenth Alabama, and Captain Garrison, commanding Twenty-eighth Georgia, were severely wounded. Subsequent to the action of the forenoon, portions of my brigade encountered the enemy in two desultory engagements, in which they stood before superior numbers, and gave a check to their advance. In one of these, a small party were placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Betts, and directed to deploy as skirmishers along the crest of a hill upon which the enemy was advancing. They did so, with good effect, keeping back a large force by their annoying fire, and the apprehension, excited by their boldness, that they were supported by a line in rear. During the engagement of this day, I had the misfortune to lose my Acting Assistant-Adjutant-General, Lieutenant R. P. Jordan. He fell while gallantly dashing toward the enemy's line. I have not known a more active, efficient, and fearless officer. Lieutenant Grattan, my Aidde-camp, was conspicuously bold in the midst of danger, and untiring in the discharge of his duties. I regret that I cannot here mention the names of all, dead and living, who are entitled to a tribute at my hands.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. H. Colquitt, Colonel, commanding Brigade.

Report of Brigadier-General R. E. Rodes.

headquarters Rodes's brigade, Wright's farm, Va., October 13, 1862.
Major J. W. Ratchford, A. A. G. to Major-General D. H. Hill's Division:
Major: I have the honor, herewith, to report the operations of this brigade during the actions of the fourteenth and seventeenth September, in Maryland.

On the morning of the fourteenth, my brigade relieved Anderson's about a half mile west of Boonsboroa. Toward noon it was ordered to follow Ripley's brigade to the top of the South Mountain. Overtaking Ripley's brigade on the mountain, it was halted, and I immediately reported to Major-General Hill. After looking over the field of battle, I was ordered by Major-General Hill to take position on the ridge immediately to the left of the gap through which the main road runs. Remaining there for three fourths of an hour, part of the time under artillery fire, and throwing out scouts and skirmishers to the left and front, I was then ordered to occupy another bare hill about three quarters of a mile still farther to the left. The whole brigade was moved to that hill, crossing, in doing so, a deep gorge which separated the hills. This movement left a wide interval between the right of my brigade, which, in its last position, rested in the gorge, and the balance of the division, which being reported to General Hill, together with the fact that no troops supported the battery on the first-mentioned ridge, by his order, I sent back one of my regiments (the Twelfth Alabama) to support the battery.

By this time the enemy's line of battle was pretty well developed, and in full view. It became evident that he intended to attack with a line covering both ridges and the gorge before mentioned, and extending some half a mile to my left. I had, immediately after my arrival on the extreme left, discovered that the hill there was accessible to artillery, and that a good read passing by the left of said hill from the enemy's line continued immediately in my rear, and entered the main road about a half mile west of the gap. Under these circumstances, I sent for artillery, and determined upon the only plan by which the enemy could be prevented from immediately obtaining possession of said road, and thus marching

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D. H. Hill (5)
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