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Chapter 18: the battle of Antietam.

On the morning of Sept. 17 at 2 A. M. Reveille was sounded and breakfast was at once prepared. Soon after, heavy firing was heard in front and it was known that Hooker was ‘at them’ with the gallant First and Twelfth Corps. At 7.30 o'clock the regiment fell in and learned that it was going with Sumner's Corp to the support of Hooker and Mansfield. Upon Burnside had been imposed the task of carrying the Stone Bridge opposite Lee's right flank and of intruding his Corps between Lee's right wing and the river. He failed. The work that should have been done at 9 o'clock in the morning was not done until 2.30 o'clock in the afternoon and the fruits of victory were lost.

Sumner, in his position at the centre of the line, received orders from Gen. McClellan at 7.20 A. M. to cross the Antietam with his Corps, but instead of crossing at the bridge, went to the right, through a barnyard and past a number of haystacks, then around the hill upon which he had been encamped, and crossed the quiet, silent creek about a mile above the bridge, at a ford where the water was waist deep. He had been on the eastern bank for 36 hours and might have opened the attack on the previous day, but no orders had come to him. His Corps was now two miles from the battlefield. Hooker and Mansfield had encountered the enemy and driven them across the Sunken Road, near the Dunker Church, but in the engagement Mansfield had been killed and Hooker disabled. Sumner by this time, held the right of the army, the object of the whole plan being to turn Lee's left.

Sumner, never hesitating to obey orders, at once put his men into the affray and learned that Mansfield's and Hooker's commands were being exhausted. Heavy firing was heard on the left as the regiment advanced across the creek, but Burnside, [134] who was at the left, did not press the work there and the weight of Lee's forces fell upon Sumner and Hooker in a desperate attempt to force the centre.

After marching a mile, Sedgwick's Division halted and faced to the right, behind a fence. In front was a cornfield in which the First brigade was forming under General Gorman. Gen. Dana was in command of the Third or centre Brigade, in which was the Nineteenth Massachusetts regiment. The Second Brigade, under Gen. O. O. Howard, filed into the field in the rear, forming the third line. Gen. Sedgwick commanded the Division and took his position between the first and second lines and there led the charge. Only about forty paces separated the lines from each other.

It was a very faulty formation. The Division moved in three lines, each composed of a Brigade, without a skirmisher in front, in close order, and without connection or support on either flank. The faulty formation, as explained by Carleton, the Boston Journal's famous war correspondent, was probably due to the, fact that Sumner had been educated as a cavalry commander. Cavalry tactics form bodies in the mass, rather than in deployed lines. It seems probable that in this formation he used the tactics of the cavalry instead of the infantry.

Hooker's gallant corps was compelled to fall back, with Hooker wounded, and then came the order for the advance of Sumner's Second Corps. At the command ‘Forward’ the men climbed the fence and moved on through the corn which had been trampled and broken by the first line, into the open field beyond, under a heavy fire by the enemy's cannon stationed near the Dunker Church. Col. Hinks rode in advance of the Nineteenth regiment.

Here was presented an inspiring sight. The shells from the Union artillery in the rear were fired over the heads of their forces at the enemy in front. The First Brigade was just nearing a narrow belt of woods, just beyond which was posted the enemy's centre. Immediately in its rear rode Sumner, the gallant commander of the Corps,—hat in hand, with his long grey locks streaming in the wind, his smiling face looking as if the noise of howling shell and screeching shrapnel was sweet music to him. [135] He was the very picture of soldierly courage. His brilliant staff accompanied him and the whole made an example which did much to keep the lines steady and unbroken under the murderous fire of the enemy, who had a perfect range and made great gaps in his close ranks as they moved on.

While crossing this field, the line changed front under heavy fire. Col. Hinks, seeing that the men were becoming a trifle unsteady, halted the regiment and in the coolest manner, with cannister shot, shells and minie balls raining about them, ordered ‘Colors and general guides on the line, on centre dress,—’and as carefully alligned the regiment as if on parade, closing up the files made vacant by the fallen, and then, for a minute or more, sat upon his horse and drilled his men in the manual of arms, regardless and apparently unconscious of the whistling bullets which occasionally terminated the manual of some soldier in the line. When he had concluded the drill with ‘Parade Rest’ the regiment had entirely recovered from its indications of unsteadiness, and moved forward on the double-quick to its place in the line, reaching it before the Brigade had cleared the belt of woods. It was an illustration of the influence of example by a leader, the power of discipline and of the command of a familiar voice.

The Brigade moved on out of the woods and over a field strewn with the dead and wounded of both armies. During this advance, First Lieut. Reynolds, of Company G, stumbled over a dead Confederate color sergeant. He stooped and snatched the ‘Cross Jack’ or ‘Saltier’ from the staff, made it into a ball and passed it to the orderly of Col. Hinks as a trophy, then hurrying on with the regiment. He never saw the flag afterward and no one now knows what became of it.

On the opposite side of the field was Hagerstown Turnpike, and a little to the left of the line was a small building, the Dunker church. On one side of this turnpike lay rows of Union dead,—in some instances taking in every man in the line—while on the opposite side lay the dead Confederates, equally thick, showing how terribly in earnest these lines had been which lay on each side of the narrow road and shot at each other. A terrible sight to go into battle over! But ‘Forward, man’ [136] rang out the order,—‘Close up,’ etc.—and the lines dashed on. The mission of Sumner was to support the sorely pressed troops of Gordon and Crawford. Sedgwick's Division was in front of the column. After passing the turnpike, the Brigade descended slightly into another wood where Death was holding high revel. These woods were not like the Peninsula swamp forest, filled with underbrush and creeping vines, black stagnant marsh and stifled air, but open and clear, with large trees and firm ground underfoot and spreading branches overhead.

While descending this slope, Ernest A. Nichols, of Company C, a lad of but 17, was hit by a spent ball on the breast plate and fell forward. Someone said ‘Nichols is gone’ but he sprang up again and took his place in the ranks, saying ‘I'm not killed yet.’ Major Rice heard his remark and responded, ‘There's a brave man.’

The division moved on through this wood with the ranks being depleted at every step. Gen. Sumner did not know that there were ten Confederate brigades with ‘Stuart's Unseen Guns’ concealed behind the ridge in front and behind fences between the Dunker church and the house of a man named Miller, east of the turnpike, ready to swing upon Sedgwick. Their centre was in a cornfield behind a stone wall, which was crowned with artillery and infantry at every available point.

Hooker's Corps had again been forced back and Burnside had, as yet, failed to carry the bridge.

The Division was still in close column by Brigade lines, which made it impossible to manoeuvre, and the moment the lines crossed the old turnpike, afterward called ‘Dead Lane,’ and entered the woods, they were met by a storm of fire from small arms and canister from the enemy's artillery. The first volley nearly swept the First Brigade off the earth. The other two Brigades, of course, could use no fire themselves, and at the northern edge of the woods the Nineteenth halted on the top of a ledge. In front, and slightly below were the Forty-Second New York and the First Minnesota, hotly engaged with the rebels, while the Nineteenth, suffering severely from the galling fire of short range, could not reply because of the position of the lines and the conformity of the ground. They were, therefore, [137] ordered to lie down, while the minie balls rained upon them, seemingly as thick as hail stones, and the buzz of canister shot was continual. It was awful to lay there with no chance to reply, but Col. Hinks sat on his horse near the centre of the regiment, amid the heaviest fire of which he seemed to be the special object, watching the movements of the enemy, and, as his men remarked, exhibiting no consciousness of danger. With folded arms and a smile upon his lips, he remained thus at a distance of less than a hundred and fifty yards from the line of the enemy which was pouring its incessant fire upon the position. The first brigade was almost annihilated. One single shot of an Enfield or Springfield rifle could hit a man in the front rank of the first brigade and go through to the rear rank of the last brigade. Soon the front line began to fall back, climbing up the rocky steep to the position of the Nineteenth. Some of the men on the left were firing toward its rear and left. The others yelled to them ‘What are you doing? Don't you know any better than to fire into our third line?’ One of them replied: ‘You had better look back and see if they are the third line.’ Where was the third line? No one knew! The wood was clear of any enemy in the immediate rear, but to the left was the rebel line extending back beyond the road and marching down, rolling up the brigades and firing into them.

Gen. Sumner was talking with Col. Kimball, commanding the Fifteenth Massachusetts regiment, when Maj. Philbrick of that regiment shouted: ‘See the rebels!’ Gen. Sumner looked in the direction in which Maj. Philbrick pointed and exclaimed ‘My God, we must get out of this!’

Howard's brigade was then facing toward the west. He was at once directed to face it to the southwest, but there was not time before the blow fell. French's division had not yet arrived near enough, so that the left of Sumner's Corps was not properly closed on the adjoining force, and the enemy instantly threw troops into the gap, almost surrounding it and bringing an enfilading fire from front and flank and rear to add to the fierceness of the fight. The Division was helpless and a third of its number were cut down in a few minutes.

The three lines were too close to serve as rallying points to [138] each other, and the second and third lines suffered as severely as did the first. Some of the regiments faced by the rear rank and fired; others broke from the death trap with little attempt at resistance. The left having given away in confusion, the remainder of the line became so exposed that they were compelled to retire and only two regiments stood their ground,— the First Minnesota, under Sully, and the Nineteenth Massachusetts, under Hinks, who formed the right of the first and second lines respectively. Their right flanks came together, their left flanks being wide apart like the letter ‘V.’ They maintained their organization and when all others had left the woods, Col. Hinks changed front to rear on the first company, this movement being made in the face of a murderous fire. The men now faced the advancing line of rebels, and the First Minnesota fell back to the allignment of the Nineteenth Massachsetts on its right.

During this action First Sergt. ‘Tom’ Claffey, of Company G, and others were conspicuous for bravery in assisting to reform the men.

Three times in the terrible retrograde, the two noble regiments, side by side, fell back to new positions, each time by common consent after firing at the foe, until they got behind a stone wall in the middle of the field, from which vantage point they could not be dislodged. Each halting place gave proof of the obstinate contest, by the row of fallen dead and wounded that marked the spot like a black line. The track of each regiment was strewn with brave men. After a brief struggle at the stone wall, the enemy gave up the pursuit. This halting place was still in advance of any other portion of the Union line and in advance of the new line on which the remainder of the Division had reformed. Here the fighting was renewed. There was a portion of one of the companies of the Nineteenth Massachusetts which had collected in the road and, slightly protected by an angle in the ‘worm-fence,’ the men gave their attention to the advancing line of rebels and tried to keep their colors down, firing only at the color bearers. There was a good opportunity to shoot at them in the few minutes in which the men held the fence and their colors went down several times. [139]

The enemy had posted a battery upon a hill at short range, which raked the field and road with canister, putting the regiment in a very hot corner. Just as they started to fall back, a charge of canister struck the road right among them and made them hurry. A few rods brought them to another lane leading to the farm house of a man named Nicodemus. Some of the men ran to the piazza and fired a few shots from that elevation, then all retreated toward the barn, near which were four stacks of wheat. After passing these, the men found themselves in a hollow, out of reach of the rebel artillery. A stone wall ran through the hollow from the road and over a hill where a battery was just coming into action. Behind this wall the regiment rallied and expected to make a stand there but soon was ordered to march toward the north and joined the rest of the division on a hill east of the Hagarstown Pike, near the house of W. Middlekauff, where they remained in support of a battery until dark. Then they moved around and took position on the westerly edge of the east wood.

The action of the Brigade had saved McClellan's right flank from being turned, as he states in his official report (pp. 279– 280) and by the re-forming of Sedgwick's broken division, Stonewall Jackson could not secure the results of his original advantage. In consequence of Gen. Sedgwick's wound, Gen. Howard came into the command of the division.

At the Middlekauff house the roll was called and the regiment was found to have been very much reduced in numbers. Every field officer was either killed or wounded. Col. Hinks had fallen with a bullet through his right arm, fracturing and shattering the bone, and another bullet entered his abdomen, passing from over the right hip in front, penetrating the colon and out on the left side of the spine, in the region of the kidneys, from which wound he never fully recovered. His coolness and gallantry, and the discipline and heroism of his command had undoubtedly preserved the lines from being permanently broken. The report of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts says of Col. Hinks: ‘As soon as he observed the flank attack, which had caused the division to be thrown into confusion, he rode [140] forward and gave the necessary orders for the change of front, and as cooly superintended the execution of the movement as if on drill, notwithstanding the ground over which the regiment moved was covered with officers and men that fell from its ranks, under the heavy cross-fire of the enemy, pending the movement, and, as soon as the change of front had been completed, he rode his horse up to the colors in the line, and, by his inspiring words and gallant bearing in the face of the fearful carnage, stimulated his command with such firmness and determination, as induced them to hold the field alone against an attack from which other regiments recoiled.’

After Col. Hinks was wounded, the command of the regiment again fell upon Lieut. Col. Devereux. His favorite horse was shot under him and he received a wound in the arm, but was able to direct operations until the battle was over. Maj. Edmund Rice was severely wounded during the engagement and Capt. George W. Bachelder, of Company C, was mortally wounded.

When the regiment passed through the stacks of wheat at the Nicodemus barn the enemy followed and some of the men began firing upon them, but were told to stop as Capt. Bachelder was wounded and lying there, with others of the regiment.

The enemy soon fell back and then Joseph Pillsbury, Albert Rodger and Colonius Morse, of his company, volunteered to go and take the captain to the hospital. On reaching the stack they found him with James Heath, who had stayed with him, and whom the rebels had not taken prisoner. The captain's leg had been shattered by a shell just as the regiment rallied the time last in the open field. He was taken to the field hospital, where he died in a few hours. Capt. Bachelder was the idol of Company C. He had always shown great love for his men and was ever mindful of their comfort, ever ready to share their privations and asking them to encounter no danger to which he was not ready to expose his own person. In the Seven Days Retreat, no matter how hard the march or severe the fight, he was always smiling and ever ready with a cheerful word for the weary and halting. He was always an example in courage, [141] endurance, good nature and gentlemanly deportment. Probaby no commander was more loved when living or sincerely mourned when dead by his men than was Capt. Geo. W. Bachelder.

Colonel Devereux says of him: ‘What a noble life went out in his country's cause when he died. Small in stature, but how grand a man! He was beloved not only by the men of his own company, but by everyone in the regiment.’

The command of Company C then devolved upon Second Lieut. Edgar M. Newcomb, who was soon promoted to be First Lieutenant for his bravery in this action.

Capt. Henry A. Hale, Lieut. Albert Thorndike, Lieut. John P. Reynolds, Jr. and Lieut. Elisha A. Hinks were wounded. At an early part of the fight Lieut. Reynolds was wounded in the ankle and was ordered to the rear by Lieut. Col. Devereux. He hobbled back to his company, however, and stayed long enough to receive another wound, this time in the elbow of his sword arm. Col. Devereux said later, jokingly, that ‘it served him just right for disobeying his commander,’ but complimented him at the time in his official report.

Capt. Hale received a very peculiar wound. A minie ball carried away all his front teeth and a piece of his tongue, making a painful and disabling wound.

Sergt. McGinnis, who had received a bullet wound in the breast, saw Capt. Hale as he sat in the temporary hospital his lips swelled so that he could hardly open them and his face puffed out, trying to drink some tea. Thinking to ‘cheer the boys up a bit,’ he said to the wounded officer, ‘Oh, Captain, how I'd just like to kiss you now.’ The poor captain could not laugh as it hurt his lips to move them, and could only splutter in his pain. Sergt. McGinnis then lay upon the operating table and had his bullet removed without taking anaesthetics.

John Barry of Company C was severely wounded in the face by a minie ball, which completely destroyed one half of the upper jaw and took off a piece of his nose.

First Lieut. Albert Thorndike received a peculiar wound. A ball went through his abdomen, passing in through one vest pocket and out at the other. It struck his watch chain, which split the ball, and the part which passed through him carried [142] with it a piece of the chain. This piece of chain came out some time afterward in the process of suppuration.

Capt. J. G. B. Adams relates the interesting fact that after the battle of Antietam, while caring for his mortally wounded brother, a rebel officer of the Eighth South Carolina regiment came up and declared that he had a brother in the Nineteenth Massachusetts regiment. The rebel officer was Phineas Spofford, and his brother of the Nineteenth was Daniel W. Spofford, who had been wounded during the day's fighting and carried to the rear. These two brothers met in happy reunion after the war.

At no time was the engagement general, but disjointed masses entered the fight with a gallantry unsurpassed and, being unsupported, were enfiladed and driven out, as the rebel commanders, with characteristic sagacity, discovered the ‘holes’ in the Union lines and filled them with their best battalions.

The engagement of Sedgwick's Division was a battle in itself. The men advanced nearly parallel to the Confederate line, which was bent in a circle on higher ground, until they found themselves in a cul-de-sac under the fire of several rebel brigades which were rapidly working around their flank and rear. There was nothing to do but lie down and afterward get out and change front. The fact that this was quickly done probably saved the division from capture and annihilation.

The battle raged with varying fortune during the day, and at night the enemy, who, though severely punished and suffering great losses in officers and men, withdrew across the Potomac to his own soil.

The battle of Antietam resulted in the largest list of casualties of any one day's battle. The Union cause lost Brigadier General Mansfield, killed: Major Generals Hooker and Richardson, and Brigadier Generals Rodman, Sedgwick, Harts uff, Dana and Meagher wounded, with 12,469 killed, wounded and missing. The Confederate cause lost Brigadier Generals Branch, Anderson and Stark, killed; Major General Anderson and Brigadier Generals Toombs, Lawton, Ripley, Rodes, Gregg, Armstead and Ransom, wounded, with 25,899 killed, wounded and missing. [143]

Thirteen guns, thirty-nine colors, upwards of 15,000 stand of small arms, and more than 6,00C prisoners, were the trophies of the Army of the Potomac from the battles of South Mountain, Crampton's Gap and Antietam, while not a single gun or color was lost during these battles.

Official list of casualties in the Nineteenth
Massachusetts regiment at the battle
of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

killed in action or died of wounds:

Co. C.Captain George W. Bachelder.
Co. B.Private John L. Foss.
Private Joseph H. Pearson.
Co. D.Corporal Clarence I. Tucker.
Private William B. Wright.
Co. E.Corporal John C. Foss.
Private Horace Graves.
Private Dennis Barry.
Private Patrick Hurley.
Co. F.Private Martin Lyons.
Co. G.Private Francis Cassidy.
Private James J. Hayes.
Private Peter Collins.
Co. I.Sergeant Edward Leach.
Private Alexander Grant.
Total 1 officer, 14 men.


Colonel Edward W. Hinks, arm and body, severely.
Lieut. Col. Arthur F. Devereux, wrist, slight.
Major Edmund Rice, thigh.
Co. A.Sergeant Isaac N. Adams (since died).
Corporal Gorham Coffin, slight.
Private William W. Holmes, shoulder.
Private Oliver S. Rundlett, breast, severe.
Private Samuel A. Hall, hand.
Private Everett Carlton, arm.
Private Daniel W. Spofford, leg.
Private George W. Palmer, shoulder.


Co. B.Captain Henry A. Hale, face, severe.
First Lieutenant Elisha A. Hinks, breast contusion.
Corporal Adolphus W. Greeley, face.
Private William H. Bean, breast, and arm.
Private George B. Carlton, dangerously.
Private Hollowell R. Dunham, foot.
Private Jeremiah Logan, thigh.
Private Robert E. Rich, leg.
Private George W. Cain, leg.
Private Rufus H. Cole, Jr.
Private James G. Kent, face, slight.
Private Stephen J. Younger, neck.
Private Michael Riley, hip.
Co. C. First Sergeant William Stone, shoulder.
Corporal Daniel W. Bryant, leg (died Oct. 5th, 1862.)
Corporal David B. Jellison, thigh.
Private John A. Cheney, hand.
Private Edward W. Morrill, hip.
Private John Barry, face.
Private John Donovan, ankle.
Private Jacob T. Hazen, breast (died Oct. 10th, 1862.)
Private Jeremiah Danforth, groin.
Co. D.Corporal Alexander Beach, hand.
Private Mark A. Harris, thigh.
Private William H. Goodrich, back.
Private William Young, abdomen (died July 7, 1863, at Frederick, Md.
Private John Cavanaugh, knee.
Co. E.Sergeant James Buchanan, body, dangerously.
Corporal and acting color sergeant, Peter O'Rourke, leg.
Corporal Patrick Wallace, head, severely.
Corporal Henry K. Martin, arm, severe.
Private Michael Sullivan, thigh.
Private Edward Doherty.
Private Daniel Delay, shoulder.
Private Timothy Leary, leg.
Private James Flannigan, leg.


Private George Wright.
Private Philip Dunn, leg.
Private James Welch.
Co. F.Sergeant Charles K. Hazen, slight.
Corporal Benjamin E. Fogg, hand.
Corporal John N. Robinson, leg.
Corporal Nelson E. Knights, leg.
Private James Doherty, arm.
Private William M. Curtis, neck.
Private William Gardner, leg.
Private Seth M. Harris, shoulder.
Private John McCann, leg.
Private Joseph S. Gifford, arm (died Sept. 25th at Winchester, Va.
Private Joseph C. James, leg.
Private William Smith, shoulder.
Private Frederick P. Turner, head.
Co. G.First Lieutenant John P. Reynolds, Jr., ankle and elbow.
First Sergeant Joseph Marshall, shoulder.
Sergeant Jeremiah C. Cronan, hand.
Sergeant John P. Condon.
Corporal Frederick Chandler, leg.
Private Jeremiah Corbett, shoulder.
Private Charles S. Pearson, foot.
Private James McCarty, thigh and arm.
Private John McCarty, foot.
Private Jesse K. Sherwell, leg.
Private John Cronan, thigh.
Private Levi Woofingdale, back.
Private Robert Marshall, leg.
Private George W. Batchelder, hand.
Private Simon D. Hitchcock, arm.
Private Michael Leonard, bowels.
Private George Lithead, arm and leg.
Private William B. Fisher, thigh.
Private Patrick Sullivan, back.


Private Bartholomew Crowley, back.
Co. H.First Lieutenant Albert T. Thorndike, stomach, severe
Private George H. A. Ball, thigh.
Private Samuel Driver, thigh.
Private John A. Williams, foot.
Private Thomas Bridges, leg.
Private Stephen McReady, contusion.
Co. I.Sergeant John Powers, leg.
Private Nathaniel B. Jordan, breast.
Private William McCracken, arm.
Private John T. Ross, leg.
Private Andrew Vinton, hand.
Private Lawrence Carey, arm.
Private Charles A. Hall, thigh.
Private Michael McCue, thigh.
Private Lorenzo P. Nickerson, hand.
Private Thomas A. Sweetser, knee.
Co. K.Sergeant William A. McGinnis, breast, severe.
Sergeant Charles A. Haley, hand, slight.
Private Joseph W. Cosgrove, slight.
Private Samuel E. Vial.
Private William A. McKenna,
Private Robert Williams.
Total 7 officers, 97 men.


Co. B.Private Varnum H. Rogers.
Co. C.Private Charles Tibbetts.
Private James H. Heath.
Co. D.Private John D. Moses.
Private Thomas Brennan.
Co. E.Private Bartholomew Smith.
Private James Welch.
Private James Clark.
Private John C. Howe.
Private George Wright.
Private John Doherty.


Co. F.Private Mark Tiernan.
Co. G.Sergeant William Tibbetts.
Private Thomas F. Costello.
Total missing 14 men.


Co. C.Corporal Sewall S. Kent.
Private George H. Patch.
Private Edward Doyle, wounded (soon paroled.)
Total captured, 3 men.


Killed1 Officer13 men
Wounded7 Officer98 men
Missing14 men
Prisoners3 men
8 Officers128 Men.

Signed by Wm. R. Driver, Acct. Adjt. 19 Mass. Regt.
Bolivar, Va., Sept. 27, 1862.

The losses of Sumner's Second Corps were as follows:

First DivisionSecond DivisionThird Division
1st Brigade,3141st Brigade,7401st Brigade,510
2nd Brigade5402nd Division5452nd Brigade529
3rd Brigade3053rd Division8983rd Brigade582

First Division,1159
Second Division2183
Third Division1621
Total loss of Sumner's Second Corps4963

The losses in the Third Brigade, of the Second Corps, consisting of the 19th, 20th Massachusetts, 7th Michigan, 42nd and 59th New York and the 127th Pennsylvania, were 898, which was the greatest percentage of loss of any brigade in the engagement.

It will be noticed that the Nineteenth Massachusetts regiment lost 128 out of 384 men engaged. Thirteen of its men [148] were killed. One company went into the field with 28 men and came out with but 14 remaining.

The losses of Sumner's Corps—which numbered about 18,000 men, or one-fifth of the army engaged in the battle,—was nearly thirty per cent of its men engaged, and one half of the whole loss of the Union Army in the fight; while the losses in Sedgwick's division, which numbered only about five thousand men and in which was the Nineteenth Massachusetts were 2183, or more than 45%

Col. Hinks suffered very much from his wounds received at Antietam, and for sometime was considered mortally wounded; indeed he was reported and for some days believed to be dead, and lengthy obituary notices of the most complimentary character appeared in the Boston dailies and other Massachusetts papers.

Said the Daily Advertiser, ‘He commanded the Eighth Regiment through the three-months service in 1861 with such ability and success that he was at once commissioned colonel of the Nineteenth for the war, that regiment being largely recruited from the old Eighth. In command of his new regiment, he was equally successful in securing the respect and confidence of all who came in contact with him.’

Said the Daily Journal on the same occasion, ‘Col. Hinks was a brave and valuable officer, and is a great loss to the service as well as to the state of his nativity . . . . He displayed the qualities of a soldier, as well in the care of his men as in his bravery in the field, and he will be remembered with respect by all who served under him,’ . . . . .

Dr. Alfred Hitchcock visited the field of Antietam, and in a letter to Governor Andrew, Sept. 26, 1862, this described the condition of Col. Hinks: ‘Col. Hinks, poor fellow! seemed on Monday to have symptoms of sinking. His wound is through the abdomen and back, and a miracle only can save him. I advised against his proposed removal, as lessening the only possible chance for such a miracle to be wrought by Him in whose hand our breath is’ . . . . . . . .

The following is an extract from an official letter written [149] by Gen. Sedgwick to Gov. Andrew after the battle of Antietam, (see Report of Adjutant General of Massachusetts, pp. 181-3:—

To His Excellency John A. Andrew, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,—. . . . . . I have already forwarded through the military channels a list of officers and soldiers who were distinguished for gallantry and good conduct, recommending them for promotion, and I would again commend to your excellency, Col. Lee of the Twentieth, Col. Hinks of the Nineteenth, Lieut. Col. Kim– ball of the Fifteenth and Lieut. Col. Palfrey of the Twentieth. Great credit is due to these officers for the splendid condition in which these regiments took the field. The Fifteenth and the Nineteenth are, in my opinion, fully equal to any two in the service.

I have on two occasions strongly recommended the appointment of Col. Hinks as Brigadier General. He disciplined and brought into the field one of the finest regiments, and has been twice wounded while gallantly leading it in battle. I again urge the appointment, and respectfully ask your Excellency's favorable indorsement.

I have the honor to be, your Excellency's obedient servant,


John Sedgwick, Major General Volunteers.

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E. V. Sumner (16)
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Arthur F. Devereux (5)
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G. B. McClellan (2)
O. O. Howard (2)
N. J. T. Dana (2)
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Stephen J. Younger (1)
William Young (1)
William B. Wright (1)
Levi Woofingdale (1)
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Samuel E. Vial (1)
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Sully (1)
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Stark (1)
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