previous next

[696]

In the battle of Sharpsburg the color of the Fifty-third Georgia received two shots; that of the Fifteenth Virginia, ten, and the pike was once cut in two, two color-bearers were wounded, and one of the color-guard was killed and one wounded; the color of the Thirty-second Virginia received seventeen shots, and the pike was once cut in two, and one of the color-guard killed; the color of the Tenth Georgia received forty-six shots, and the pike was once hit and twice cut in two, one color-bearer and one of the color-guard were killed, and one color-bearer and one of the color-guard wounded.

These facts were not incorporated in the report of the operations of this brigade in the battle of Sharpsburg. It is, therefore, respectfully submitted that this communication be regarded as a supplement to that report.

I am, Major, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Paul J. Semmes, Brigadier-General.


Report of Brigadier-General Barksdale of battle of Sharpsburg.

headquarters Barksdale's brigade, A. N. V., camp Lee, October 12, 1862.
Major J. M. Goggin, Assistant Adjutant-General, McLaws's Division:
Major: On the morning of the thirteenth of September, I marched, at daylight, to Brownsville, where it was supposed the enemy designed making an attack upon our troops. After I reached that place, it was discovered that the enemy had disappeared, and the whole command was ordered to rejoin the main army. We reached its vicinity, in the neighborhood of Sharpsburg, about nine o'clock on the morning of the seventeenth. The battle was then, and had been raging for several hours. It is proper for me to say that a portion of my men had fallen by the wayside from loss of sleep and excessive fatigue, having been constantly on duty for five or six days, and on the march for almost the whole of the two preceding nights, and that I went into the fight with less than eight hundred men. About ten o'clock I formed a line of battle in an open field, which was at that time being raked by a terrible fire of grape and canister from the enemy's artillery. Kershaw was on my right and Semmes on my left. I at once, in accordance with your orders, advanced upon the enemy, who occupied the woods immediately in front, and from which they had just driven a portion of our forces. In a few moments I engaged them, and, after firing several volleys into their ranks, drove them through the woods and into an open field beyond, and compelled them to abandon their artillery on the hill. At this point I discovered that a very large force of the enemy were attempting to flank me on the left. I therefore ordered the Eighteenth and Thirteenth to wheel in that direction, and not only succeeded in checking the movement they were making, but put them to flight, and pursued them for a considerable distance. As we advanced, the ground was covered with the dead and wounded of the enemy. I did not deem it prudent, however, without more support, to advance farther, and I therefore ordered these regiments to fall back to the woods in front of my first position. The Seventeenth and Twenty-first pursued the enemy across the open field, when, perceiving a very strong force moving to the right and attempting to flank them, and all of our forces having retired from that part of the field, they fell back, under protection of a stone fence, in good order. About two o'clock I advanced with the entire brigade, and occupied the battle-ground over which we had passed in the morning, General Ransom being on my right and General Early on my left, and continued to hold it until the night of the eighteenth, when, by your orders, I joined the column of the main army, when it retired across the Potomac.

To both officers and men much credit is due for the courage and daring they exhibited throughout the engagement. Major Campbell, commanding the Eighteenth regiment, was seriously wounded, and taken from the field, while nobly leading his regiment in the fight. Lieutenant-Colonel McElroy, of the Thirteenth regiment, although wounded, remained in command of his regiment until the battle ceased. Lieutenant-Colonel Fizer, of the Seventeenth, and Captain Sims, of the Twenty-first, were conspicuous for the coolness and gallantry with which they handled their respective commands. To Colonel Humphries, of the Twenty-first, and Lieutenant-Colonel Luse, of the Eighteenth, who reached the field just as the battle was closing, I am under peculiar obligations. Their timely presence not only cheered and animated their own regiment, but the entire brigade. Lieutenant J. A. Barksdale, of my staff, was prompt and fearless in the execution of all orders. Surgeons Austin, of the Thirteenth, Green, of the Seventeenth, Griffin, of the Eighteenth, and Hill, of the Twenty-first, were faithful and energetic in their attention to the wounded.

I close this report with the remark, that my command did its duty upon the ensanguined field of Sharpsburg.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Wm. Barksdale, Brigadier-General, commanding Brigade.


Report of Brigadier-General Kershaw of battle of Sharpsburg.

headquarters Kershaw's brigade, McLaws's division, near Winchester, Va., October 9, 1862.
To Major James M. Goggin, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Major: In obedience to orders from division headquarters, I have the honor to transmit a report of the operations of my command at the battle of Sharpsburg. Owing to the exigencies of the service, my command were without their usual supply of subsistence from Monday morning, the thirteenth September, until the night of the seventeenth. They were also under arms or


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 13th (2)
October 12th, 1862 AD (1)
October 9th, 1862 AD (1)
18th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: