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The killed and wounded.

In this brief and ill-starred encounter the 9th regiment lost two officers and sixteen men killed and mortally wounded, and ten men captured. Among the killed were Lieutenant Fowlkes, of Lunenburg, and Frank Oliver, of Essex—two very gallant men.

Captain Hughlett, who was dismounted early in the action by the falling of his horse, remained in concealment in the corn throughout the day, and was a sad and silent witness of the burial of his dead comrades by the enemy. Under cover of darkness, he sought food at the hands of a woman who was strongly Union in sentiment and had two sons in the Federal army. She relieved his hunger, and being strengthened at her hands, he made his way into our lines and reached the regiment next day, having had during the night several narrow escapes from the enemy's sentries.

On the morning of the 16th of September the regiment was again in motion, after spending a quiet and restful night in a fine grove of oaks, and soon became satisfied that the movements of our army did not mean an immediate retreat across the Potomac, but a preparation for battle in the beautiful, winding valley of the Antietam. Our line of march led us past the position of Hood's Division, the troops of which had already thrown up a slight breastwork of rails, logs, stones, &c., and lay on their arms, in readiness for the enemy's advance. These gallant men, who were destined to meet the first furious onslaught of McClellan's troops, occupied rising ground, partly in the woods, and partly in the open fields, with an open valley winding in front of them. A few hundred yards in advance of Hood's line the cavalry was drawn up in line on a wooded eminence in rear of several pieces of artillery. The position commanded an extended view of open fields and a straight roadway leading towards Antietam river, and in the distance could be seen the heavy column of the advancing Federals. Their march was regular and steady towards our position. Only once, where a road diverged from that [279] on which they moved, was there a halt. After pausing at this point for a few minutes the column was set in motion again up the road on which we were posted. As yet no Federal skirmish line had been deployed, and only a few mounted men were visible. Infantry and artillery composed the heavy blue column. The foremost file of these troops had approached near enough almost to count the buttons on their coats, when our guns opened from the covert a rapid fire, and thus began the bloody battle of Sharpsburg. The Federal batteries were hurried forward rapidly, and our guns were soon withdrawn. In retiring we passed after dark through the valley on the farther side of which Hood's division rested on their arms. The Federals were now discharging a deafening fire of artillery, and a few guns on our side were answering them. As we moved through the valley the shells from two directions were passing over our heads, their burning fuses gleaming like meteors, and the whole making a comparatively harmless but brilliant spectacular performance.

If I learned at the time to what battery the guns belonged that fired these first shots at Sharpsburg, I have quite forgotten now. I hope some reader of the Dispatch, whose eye may fall on this article, may know. The information is earnestly sought by the Antietam Battlefield Board, of the War Department. General E. A. Carman, of that board, writes from Sharpsburg on June 5th:

‘For some time I have been endeavoring to ascertain what force opposed Hooker's when he crossed the Antietam, on the afternoon of September 16th, and before he came in contact with Hood's division, but have been unable to get anything satisfactory. He was opposed by artillery, yet I can get no trace of any artillery within a mile of where he was first fired at. I have come to the conclusion that the gun, or guns, opposing him, must have been one or more of Pelham's, but I cannot verify my conclusion, nor can I communicate with any survivors of that battery.’

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