Toombs's brigade, with his two Napoleons, opened fire with one gun upon a column of the enemy, to the left of the bridge. After firing five rounds, they retired out of his range. On the morning of the seventeenth September, our batteries still remaining in the positions of the day before, the enemy crossed large bodies of infantry in front of Captain Squiers's position. They also opened their batteries upon him. Paying little attention to the artillery practice of the enemy, he quietly awaited the advance of his infantry, and concentrated his fire upon them, and succeeded in driving them from view; he then withdrew his guns, and allowed the batteries of the enemy to expend much ammunition. Shortly afterward, the enemy advanced one regiment of infantry. Captain Squiers then turned all his guns and those of Garden's battery upon him, which drove him back; he rallied a second time, but again he was driven behind his hill; here he was reinforced, and advanced again; he was again broken, but rallied within four hundred yards of the batteries, from which position he deployed skirmishers, and annoyed our men with the bullets of his sharpshooters. He again sounded the charge, and advanced within canister range; we opened a heavy fire upon him; he broke, and our supports, under General Garnett, charged him. Being nearly out of ammunition, Captain Squiers withdrew his battery to refill his chests. One ten-pounder Parrott gun, under Lieutenant Gilbraith, afterward engaged the enemy on our right until dark; the other ten-pounder Parrott was disabled during the action, and sent from the field. During the action Captain Squiers was deprived of the valuable services of Lieutenant E. Owen, who was wounded in the thigh by a piece of shell, while acting with his usual gallantry with his guns. Captain Squiers, in his report, compliments highly his Lieutenants Owen, Galbraith, and Brown, who were in the hottest of the action, and proved themselves brave and efficient officers, worthy leaders of brave men. Sergeant-Major C. L. C. Dupuy went into action with this battery, and did good service. At quarter past. nine o'clock A. M., Captain Miller's battery of four Napoleons was ordered from its original position to a point to the left of the main road, and near our centre. Here Captain Miller was so fortunate as to meet with General Longstreet, who assigned him a position. He immediately opened upon the enemy's infantry, who were advancing upon our left and front. Here he suffered considerably from the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, losing two of his gunners and several of his cannoneers wounded, when, ascertaining that the enemy was beyond effective range, he was ordered by General Longstreet to cease firing and go under cover. Here he remained twenty minutes, when, the enemy again advancing, he ordered his battery again into position. Lieutenant Hero having been wounded, and Lieutenant McElroy having been left to watch the movements of the enemy on the right, Captain Miller found himself the only officer with his company, and, having barely men enough left to work a section effectively, he opened upon the enemy with two pieces, with splendid effect. After an action of half an hour, he removed his section to a more advantageous position, an hundred yards to the front and right, placing the remaining section under Sergeant Ellis, directing him to take it completely under cover. He then continued the action until ammunition was nearly exhausted, when Sergeant Ellis brought up one of the remaining caissons. The enemy had made two determined attempts to force our line, and had been twice signally repulsed; they were now advancing the third time, and were within canister range, when Sergeant Ellis, who had succeeded in rallying some infantry to his assistance, brought one of the guns of his section into action on Miller's left, and gave them canister with terrible effect. The three guns succeeded in checking the enemy's advance, and remained in action until the ammunition was exhausted, when they were retired to be refilled. After procuring the required ammunition, Captain Miller was returning to his former position, when he was directed by General Lee to an elevated and commanding position on the right and rear of the town, where General A. P. Hill had but just begun his attack. Here I placed him in charge of the guns that had been ordered to this position, leaving Lieutenant McElroy to command his section; and he continued the fight until its close at nightfall. Too much praise cannot be bestowed on Captain Miller for his stubborn defence of the centre for several hours; to Lieutenants Hero and McElroy, Sergeants Ellis, Bier, (chief artificer,) and Dempsey, (artificer,) for their gallantry. This part of the action was under the immediate eye of General Longstreet, commanding, and his staff, who, when Captain Miller's cannoneers were exhausted, dismounted and assisted the working of the guns. Captain Miller was compelled, owing to his loss in horses, to leave one caisson on the field; he endeavored to bring it off the next day, but it was deemed unadvisable, it being in range of the enemy's sharpshooters, and it was abandoned and subsequently destroyed. Captain Richardson engaged the enemy, in his front, with the two Napoleons of the second company, until one o'clock P. M., when one of the guns was disabled by a shot from one of the three batteries that had been playing upon him, and he withdrew through the town of Sharpsburg, and joined his section of howitzers on the right and rear. Procuring ammunition and replacing his disabled guns, he reported, with his full battery, to General Toombs, took position on the right and began firing at the enemy's infantry, who, at this time, had crossed the bridge, and were advancing in large force up the hill to his left, and finally getting out of his range, when he retired to a new position. I afterward ordered Captain Richardson forward, with his section of Napoleons and the ten-pounder Parrott gun of the first company, under Lieutenant Gilbraith, to the position on the right near the guns under
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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