It was a step into the jaws of death.
The enemy poured into his devoted ranks their musketry fire from the front, and on his flank several batteries opened a storm of shell.
In a very short time over half his men were killed and wounded, and with the remnant he was compelled to retire, taking shelter with Hood
The Eighth suffered the heaviest loss, 103.
The total casualties of the brigade were 10 officers killed and 46 wounded, 35 enlisted men killed and 243 wounded; total, 336.
The officers killed were Lieut. Dwight Martin
, Col. H. B. Strong
, of the Sixth, Capts. A. M. Callaway
, H. B. Ritchie
, and E. McFarland
, and Lieuts. N. A. Canfield
, Robert Gerrold
, M. Little
, George Lynne
, W. P. Newman
, and B. F. Birdsell
No words could add to such a bloody record of valor.
Among the earliest participants in the battle were the Washington artillery, posted on a line just east of Sharpsburg
, fronting the Antietam
During the afternoon of the 15th the Federal
batteries appeared on the hills beyond the creek and opened fire with long-range guns, but Walton
's guns were not able to make themselves felt at such a range.
Next morning, the 16th, the enemy brought some batteries closer, and at 11 a m. an artillery duel began, lasting for forty minutes, when General Longstreet
sent word to save the ammunition.
' rifles were the only ones of the battalion engaged.
Down in front and to the right of the battalion at Sharpsburg
was the bridge to be known as Burnside
's, guarded by Toombs
, and there Richardson
, with two Napoleons, that afternoon drove to cover the first threatening movement of the enemy.
On the morning of the 17th the Federal infantry appeared in front of Squires
, posted at the east side of the village, and waiting till they came in effective range, disregarding the enemy's artillery, he drove the infantry from view by a concentrated fire.
Now the Federals
sent up a regiment against the obnoxious batteries.