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g Corps: General: In conformity with orders emanating from headquarters of the corps, I have the honor to report upon the part taken by my brigade — the Third of the First division of the Twelfth corps--in the recent battle of Antietam near Sharpsburgh, on the seventeenth instant. The enemy, routed at passes of South-Mountain on the fourteenth, were rapidly pursued and brought to a stand near Sharpsburgh, on the westerly side of Antietam Creek, on the sixteenth instant. Massed in rear Sharpsburgh, on the westerly side of Antietam Creek, on the sixteenth instant. Massed in rear of our forces, drawn up in line of battle under General McClellan, this corps remaining inactive during the day, was moved on the night of the sixteenth and morning of the seventeenth to the right of our line to strengthen General Hooker, who had, at noon of the sixteenth, crossed the creek and engaged the enemy's advance. Just after the break of day, we were aroused from a brief slumber by sharp firing of musketry in front of General Hooker's position. The corps, then commanded by the lame
n rear of McLaws. Under these circumstances, it was determined to retire to Sharpsburgh, where we would be upon the flank and rear of the enemy should he move againproperty, General Jackson, with his two other divisions, set out at once for Sharpsburgh, ordering Generals McLaws and Walker to follow without delay. Official inon was received soon after the commands of Longstreet and D. H. Hill reached Sharpsburgh, on the morning of the fifteenth, and reanimated the courage of the troops. he gradually withdrew his command toward the Potomac. Deeming the roads to Sharpsburgh, on the north side of the river, impracticable, he resolved to cross at Harprcumstances, his progress was slow, and he did not reach the battle-field at Sharpsburgh until some time after the engagement of the seventeenth began. The commands of Longstreet and D. H. Hill, on their arrival at Sharpsburgh, were placed in position along the range of hills between the town and the Antietam, nearly parallel
mpton's Pass the 121st was left to guard the Pass and prisoners, and collect the arms and other munitions that had been left on the field. The rest of the Corps was ordered to follow the retreating enemy who were concentrating at Antietam, or Sharpsburgh. On the morning of the 18th of September, Captain R. P. Wilson, Asst. Adjt. Gen. of the brigade appeared with orders for the regiment to report as quickly as possible at Antietam. On that date the battle of Antietam was fought, and when th (of Sept.), and except some fighting at the river where Lee's army crossed, and an attempt by the Fifth Corps to capture the batteries covering the rear, resulting in the capture of four guns, the great conflict was over. The country around Sharpsburgh is admirably adapted to military operations and affords fine opportunity to maneuver troops under cover and near the front excepting cavalry, the ground being too broken for that arm of the service to operate successfully, and for that reason,
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 12. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Reunion of the Virginia division army of Northern Virginia Association (search)
began firing, and then melted away before his eyes. His hesitation therefore is incomprehensible. McClellan urged him by order, by orderly, by signal and by staff-officer, to go in. At last the Ninth corps was put in motion. Toombs made a gallant defence, but he was brushed away like chaff. He lost half his men, though he was obliged to leave the bridge and upper ford undefended, and confined his efforts to the lower ford. The brigades of Kemper and Drayton were driven back through Sharpsburgh. The Fifteenth South Carolina, Colonel De Saussure, clung to some strong stone houses on the edge of the town, where he held back Wilcox's advance. Jenkins followed Drayton, and Pickett and Evans were then ordered back by Jones. The battle was lost, for Burnside was within two hundred yards of Lee's only line of communication and retreat. There were no reinforcements. The last man had been used up. Where was Hill then? Where was the light division, with its gallant chief, who
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