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[534] command of General Griffin. Sykes was ordered to advance a similar party, but by some misunderstanding the order did not reach him in time. The movement was made at dark, and resulted in the capture of four pieces, among them one taken from the Federals at First Manassas, from Battery D, of the Fifth artillery. Pendleton was driven back in confusion. At 6.30, next morning, A. P. Hill moved back, and half a mile from Boteler's Ford formed his line of battle in two lines; the first of the brigades of Pender, Gregg and Thomas, under Gregg; and the second, of Lane, Archer and Brocken-brough, under Archer, numbering two thousand muskets. At the same time Porter was pushing forward a reconnoisance in force, under Morell and Sykes, consisting of the First brigade of Morell's division of seven regiments of one thousand seven hundred and eleven men; the Second brigade of Sykes' division of four regiments of one thousand and sixty men; and the Third brigade of Sykes, in the two regiments, and probably five hundred men. Hill advanced on them with spirit in the face of the most tremendous artillery fire from the other side of the Potomac.

The brigades of Gregg and Thomas swept everything from their front, but the commands of Morell and Sykes offered an obstinate resistance to Pender, and extending endeavored to turn his left. Becoming hotly engaged, he called on Archer, who forming his command of three brigades on Pender's left, they, together, made a simultaneous charge. Their line moved forward with resistless force, and drove their opponents pell-mell into the river. General Hill was under the impression, as were all eye-witnesses, that the carnage from shot, shell and drowning, was fearful. Indeed such was the general impression on the Confederate side, and the slaughter at Shepherdstown was matter of common remark.

But the reports of the Federal officers show a total loss of three hundred and thirty-one, of which two hundred and eighty-two were from the One Hundred and Eighteenth Pennsylvania. Hill reports a loss of two hundred and sixty-one, and the capture of some two hundred prisoners.

These discrepancies are irreconcilable. I shall not endeavor to make them consistent.

The Federal loss in a rout, it would seem, must necessarily have been much greater than that of the Confederates.

General McClellan reports his loss on the 16th and 17th as two thousand and ten killed, nine thousand four hundred and sixteen

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E. T. Sykes (5)
A. P. Hill (4)
Pender (3)
Morell (3)
Irvin Gregg (3)
Archer (3)
George H. Thomas (2)
Fitz John Porter (1)
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James H. Lane (1)
C. B. Griffin (1)
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