previous next
[81] stream the bank is wooded and commands the approaches both to the bridge and the ford. The steep slopes of the bank were lined with rifle-pits, and breastworks of rails and stones. These together with the woods were filled with the enemy's infantry, while their batteries completely commanded and enfiladed the bridge and ford and their approaches.

The advance of the troops brought on an obstinate and sanguinary contest, and from the great natural advantages of the position, it was nearly one o'clock before the heights on the right bank were carried. About three P. M. the corps again advanced, and with success, driving the enemy before it, and pushing him nearly to Sharpsburg.


With the day, closed this memorable battle, in which perhaps nearly two hundred thousand men were for fourteen hours engaged in combat. We had attacked the enemy in position, driven them from their line on one flank, and secured a footing within it on the other. Under the depression of previous reverses, we had achieved a victory over an adversary invested with the prestige of former successes, and inflated with a recent triumph. The Union forces slept that night on a field won by their valor, and covered with the dead and wounded of the enemy.


From the time the Union troops first encountered the Confederates in Maryland, until the latter were driven back into Virginia, we captured thirteen guns, seven caissons, nine limbers, two field forges, two caisson bodies, thirty-nine colors, and one signal flag; the Union army had lost neither gun nor color.


We slept that night on the field; it was very dark, and one of our comrades, coming off post at relief, made his way, as he supposed, to the spot where his chum lay under a blanket; as he lay down, he asked his bed-fellow to move along and give him more room, but receiving no satisfaction he went to sleep; four hours later he was waked up, to find himself stretched beside a dead man.

Gen. McClellan had ordered the attack to be renewed in the morning; but at that hour the Confederates asked for an armistice to bury their dead, which was granted. We therefore remained

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.
Sharpsburg (Maryland, United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)
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.
George B. McClellan (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: