previous next

[213] that had moved up in support, issued from the woods, and threw back Meade's line, which was much broken. At the same time, Ricketts' division on the left became hotly engaged with three brigades of Hill's division, which were at this time closed up on the right of Jackson in support; and Hooker's right division, under Doubleday, was held in check by the fire of several batteries of Stuart's horse-artillery posted on commanding ground on his right and front.

Hooker had suffered severely by the enemy's fire; but, worse still, had lost nearly half his effective force by straggling.1 In this state of facts, his offensive power was completely gone; and, at seven o'clock, Mansfield's corps, which had crossed the Antietam during the night and lay in reserve a mile to the rear, was ordered up to support and relieve Hooker's troops. Of this corps, the first division, under General Williams, took position on the right, and the second, under General Greene, on the left. During the deployment, that veteran soldier, General Mansfield, fell mortally wounded. The command of the corps fell to General Williams, and the division of the latter to General Crawford, who, with his own and Gordon's brigade, made an advance across the open field, and succeeded in seizing a point of woods on the west side of the Hagerstown road. At the same time, Greene's division on the left was able to clear its front, and crossed into the left of the Dunker church. Yet the tenure of these positions was attended with heavy loss; the troops, reduced to the attempt to hold their own, began to waver and break, and General Hooker was being carried from the field severely wounded, when, opportunely, towards nine o'clock, General Sumner with his own corps reached the field.2

1 McClellan: Report; Meade: Report.

2 Of the extraordinary statement respecting this part of the battle made by General Hooker, in his evidence before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, it must be said, at least, that it is not justified by facts: ‘At that time [nine o'clock],’ says he, ‘my troops were in the finest spirit: they had whipped Jackson, and compelled the enemy to fly, throwing away their arms, their banners, and saving themselves as best they could.’ (Report, vol. i., P. 581.) Now not only is this contradicted by the facts above recited, and which are derived from the reports of both sides; but General Sumner, who at the time spoken of by General Hooker reached the field, says: ‘On going upon the field I found that General Hooker's corps had been dispersed and routed. I passed him some distance in the rear, where he had been carried wounded, but I saw nothing of his corps at all as I was advancing with my command on the field. I sent one of my staff-officers to find where they were, and General Ricketts, the only officer we could find, stated that he could not raise three hundred men of the corps.’ Sumner: Evidence on Antietam, vol. i., p. 368.

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.
Hagerstown (Maryland, 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.
A. Hooker (7)
Sumner (3)
Williams (2)
Ricketts (2)
G. G. Meade (2)
Thomas Jackson (2)
Greene (2)
George B. McClellan (1)
Mansfield (1)
D. H. Hill (1)
Gordon (1)
Doubleday (1)
S. W. Crawford (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: