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Oliver Otis Howard, Autobiography of Oliver Otis Howard, major general , United States army : volume 1, Chapter 19: the battle of Antietam; I succeed Sedgwick in command of a division (search)
and said solemnly: I am sorry to see that l McClellan himself did not go back that night; but the men thought that he did. Some of his staff never could understand how easily in times of danger the morale of an army may be injured. For September 17th Sumner's orders were for him to be ready to march from camp one hour before daylight. We were ready on time, but McClellan's order of execution failed to reach us till 7.20 and then it embraced but two divisions, Sedgwick's and French's, Ricand had cavalry ready to help. All were to start simultaneously at a given signal. All were waiting-but there was an unexpected halt. Sumner consulted with McClellan, and then concluded not to risk the offensive again, and so the work for September 17th for our center and right was substantially closed. Sumner's purpose and McClellan's plan for the early morning of this day, to have Hooker, Mansfield, Sumner, and, finally, Franklin go into battle in echelon by division from right to left as
Oliver Otis Howard, Autobiography of Oliver Otis Howard, major general , United States army : volume 1, Chapter 20: General Burnside assumes command of the army of the Potomac (search)
Chapter 20: General Burnside assumes command of the army of the Potomac The night of September 17th my headquarters were near the East woods. I slept on the ground under a large tree. Just as I lay down I saw several small groups stretched out and covered with blankets, face and all. They appeared like soldiers sleeping together, two and two, and three and three, as they often did. In the morning as the sun was rising and lighting up the treetops, I arose, and, noticing my companions still asleep, observed them more closely. Seeing that they were very still, I approached the nearest group, and found they were cold in death. The lot fell to my division, with some other troops, to remain behind on the sad field and assist in burying the dead. The most troublesome thing, and that which affected our health, was the atmosphere that arose from the swollen bodies of the dead horses. We tried the experiment of piling rails and loose limbs of trees upon them and setting the heap on