previous next

[70] his corps across the Antietam after dark the night before. Mansfield, however, a gallant and honored veteran, fell mortally wounded while deploying his troops, and General Alpheus S. Williams, at the head of his first division, succeeded to the command.

There was a wood west of the Sharpsburg and Hagerstown turnpike which, with its outcropping ledges of rock, formed an excellent retreat for the Confederates and from this they pushed their columns into the open fields, chiefly of corn, to meet the Union attacks. For about two hours the battle raged at this point, the lines swaying to and fro, with fearful slaughter on both sides. At length, General Greene, who commanded a division of the fallen Mansfield's corps, gained possession of part of the coveted forest, near a little white church, known as the Dunker's Chapel. This was on high ground and was the key to the Confederate left wing. But Greene's troops were exposed to a galling fire from D. H. Hill's division and he called for reenforcements.

General Sumner then sent Sedgwick's division across the stream and accompanied the troops to the aid of their hard-pressed comrades. And the experience of this body of the gallant Second Corps during the next hour was probably the most thrilling episode of the whole day's battle. Sedgwick's troops advanced straight toward the conflict. They found Hooker wounded and his and Williams' troops quite exhausted. A sharp artillery fire was turned on Sedgwick before he reached the woods west of the Hagerstown pike, but once in the shelter of the thick trees he passed in safety to the western edge. Here the division found itself in an ambush. Heavy Confederate reenforcements--ten brigades, in fact — Walker's men, and McLaws', having arrived from Harper's Ferry — were hastening up, and they not only blocked the front, but worked around to the rear of Sedgwick's isolated brigades. Sedgwick was wounded in the awful slaughter that followed, but he and Sumner finally extricated their men with

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Harper's Ferry (West Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Sedgwick (5)
Alpheus S. Williams (2)
E. V. Sumner (2)
Greene (2)
W. S. Walker (1)
Lafayette McLaws (1)
J. K. F. Mansfield (1)
Joseph Hooker (1)
D. H. Hill (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: