another, instead of passing on to the front, stopped in the hollow immediately in my rear and near the orchard. As the fire on both sides was, at my position at least, now desultory and slack, I went to the troops referred to, and found that they belonged to General Pryor's brigade; their officers stated that they had been ordered to halt there by somebody, not General Pryor. Finding General P. in a few moments, and informing him as to their conduct, he immediately ordered them forward. Returning toward the brigade, I met Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, of the Sixth Alabama, looking for me. Upon his telling me that the right wing of his regiment was being subjected to a terrible enfilading fire, which the enemy were enabled to deliver by reason of their gaining somewhat on Anderson, and that he had but few men left in that wing, I ordered him to hasten back, and to throw his right wing back out of the old road referred to. Instead of executing the order, he moved briskly to the rear of the regiment, and gave the command--“Sixth Alabama, about-face — forward, march.” Major Hobson, of the Fifth, seeing this, asked him if the order was intended for the whole brigade. He replied, “Yes,” and, thereupon, the Fifth, and immediately the other troops on their left, retreated. I did not see their retrograde movement until it was too late for me to rally them; for this reason, just as I was moving on after Lightfoot, I heard a shot strike Lieutenant Berney, who was immediately behind me. Wheeling, I found him falling, and that he had been struck in the face. He found that he could walk, after I raised him, though he thought a shot or piece of shell had penetrated his head just under the eye. I followed him a few paces, and watched him until he had reached a barn, a short distance to the rear, where he first encountered some one to help him, in case he needed it. As I turned toward the brigade, I was struck heavily by a piece of shell on my thigh. At first I thought the wound was serious; but finding, upon examination, that it was slight, I again turned toward the brigade, when I discovered it, without visible cause to me, retreating in confusion. I hastened to intercept it at the Hagerstown road. I found, though, that with the exception of a few men from the Twenty-sixth, Twelfth, and Third, and a few under Major Hobson, not more than forty in all, the brigade had completely disappeared from this portion of the field. This small number, together with some Mississippians (under Colonel----) and North Carolinians, making in all about one hundred and fifty (150) men, I rallied and stationed behind a small ridge leading from the Hagerstown road eastward, toward the orchard before spoken of, and about one hundred and fifty (150) yards in rear of my last position, leaving them under the charge of Colonel----. [It is proper for me to mention here that this force, with some slight additions, was afterward led through the orchard against the enemy by General D. H. Hill, and did good service, the General himself handling a musket in the fight. Major Hobson and Lieutenant Goff, of the Fifth Alabama, the latter with a musket, bore distinguished parts in this fight.] After this, my time was spent mainly in directing the fire of some artillery and getting up stragglers. In this engagement, the brigade behaved very handsomely and satisfactorily, and, with the exception of the right wing of the Sixth Alabama, (where Colonel Gordon, whilst acting with his customary gallantry, was wounded desperately, receiving five wounds,) had sustained almost no loss, until the retrograde movement began. It had, together with Anderson's troops, stopped and foiled the attack of a whole corps of the enemy for more than an hour, and finally fell back only when, as the men and officers supposed, they had been ordered to do so. We might have been compelled to have fallen back afterward, (for the troops on my right had already given away when we began to retreat;) but, without the least hesitation, I say that but for the unaccountable mistake of Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, the retreat would not have commenced at this time, if at all. He was wounded severely in the retreat. I saw but little of the operations of Carter's battery during the battle. I only know that it was actively engaged the whole day, and with some loss. The gallant Captain received a slight wound in the foot, and one of his Lieutenants, Dabney, received one, from which he has since died. I beg leave to refer to his report, which is submitted herewith. My force at the beginning of the fight was less than eight hundred (800) effective men. The loss was as follows: Killed, fifty; wounded, one hundred and thirty-two; missing, twenty-one; total, three hundred and three. The aggregate loss in the two engagements is as follows: Killed, one hundred and eleven; wounded, two hundred and eighty-nine; missing, two hundred and thirty-one; total, six hundred and twenty-five. The missing are either prisoners or killed; most of them were captured on the mountain on the fourteenth. Captain Whiting and Lieutenant John Berney, C. S. A., of my staff, were both wounded. They, with Captain Green Peyton, A. A. General, discharged their respective duties with ability and gallantry. The subjoined tabular statements will exhibit the loss in the respective regiments of the brigade in both engagements. The enemy's loss in both engagements was far heavier than mine ; I believe they lost three to my one at Sharpsburg, and at least two to one on the mountain. Respectfully submitted.
R. E. Rodes, Brigadier-General.
Report of Brigadier-General Semmes of battle of Sharpsburg.
headquarters Semmes's brigade, McLaws's division, camp near Martinsburg, Va., September 24, 1862.Major: I have the honor to report briefly the part enacted by my brigade, composed of the Fifteenth and Thirty-second Virginia, and the Tenth and Fifty-third Georgia volunteers, and Manly's
Major J. M. Goggin, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Major J. M. Goggin, Assistant Adjutant-General: