Twenty-third and Twenty-eighth on the north side of the pike behind a stone wall, while the Sixth and Twenty-seventh and the Thirteenth Alabama were put on the south side of the pike, protected by a dense wood.
‘The brigade did not lose an inch of ground that day. The skirmishers were driven in, but the line of battle on both sides of the road was the same at 10 o'clock at night as it was at 9 in the morning.’
The first attack of the enemy was repulsed by skirmishers and a few companies of the Sixth.
When a more determined attack was made at 4 o'clock p. m., four companies of skirmishers under Capt. W. M. Arnold
(Sixth) greeted it with an unexpected volley.
The Federal forces, many times superior in numbers, rallying, assailed the position of the Twenty-third and Twenty-eighth, and were twice hurled back.
reported: ‘The fight continued with fury until after dark.
Not an inch of ground was yielded.
The ammunition of many of the men was exhausted, but they stood with bayonets fixed.
I am proud of the officers and men of my command for their noble conduct on this day. Especial credit is due to Col. W. P. Barclay
of the Twenty-third, and Maj. Tully Graybill
, Twenty-eighth, who with their regiments met and defeated the fiercest assaults of the enemy.’
gave to Barclay
the proud title of ‘The hero of South Mountain
Gen. Howell Cobb
had taken possession of Sandy Hook
, near Harper's Ferry
, and returned to Brownsville
, when he was ordered to hurry to the support of Munford
's gap, the southernmost pass of South mountain.
He marched forward with instructions to hold the gap against overwhelming numbers, if it cost the life of every man in his command.
He put his men on the flanks of Mahone
's brigade, and all went well until the center was broken.
Even then Cobb
was able to check the enemy's advance by momentary rallies, until, night coming on, he made a successful stand near