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Robert E. Lee (search for this): chapter 1.21
Sharpsburg until some time after the engagement of the 17th began. At this time the letter from which the following extract is made was addressed by me to General R. E. Lee, commanding our forces in Maryland: Sir: It is deemed proper that you should, in accordance with established usage, announce, by proclamation, to the peo and while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free will. R. E. Lee, General commanding. The commands of Longstreet and D. H. Hill, on their arrival at Sharpsburg, were placed in position along the range of hills between the they met the large army of the enemy, fully supplied and equipped, and the result reflected the highest credit on the officers and men engaged. Report of General R. E. Lee. On the 18th our forces occupied the position of the preceding day, except in the center, where our line was drawn in about two hundred yards. Our ranks
this purpose General Jackson marched very rapidly, crossed the Potomac near Williamsport on the 11th, sent Hill's division directly to Martinsburg, and disposed of the rest of the command so as to cut off retreat to the westward. The enemy evacuated Martinsburg and retired to Harpers Ferry on the night of the 11th, and Jackson entered the former on the 12th. Meanwhile General McLaws had been ordered to seize Maryland Heights on the north side of the Potomac, opposite Harpers Ferry, and General Waller took possession of Loudoun Heights, on the east side of the Shenandoah where it unites with the Potomac, and was in readiness to open fire upon Harpers Ferry. But McLaws found the heights in possession of the foe, with infantry and artillery protected by entrenchments. On the 13th he assailed the works, and after a spirited contest they were carried; the troops made good their retreat to Harpers Ferry, and on the next day its investment was complete. At the same time that the march
ral Hooker's, made on the morning of the 18th, by which there were thirty-five hundred men reported present for duty. Four days after that, the returns of the same corps showed thirteen thousand five hundred. On the night of the 19th our forces crossed the Potomac, and some brigades of the enemy followed. In the morning General A. P. Hill, who commanded the rear guard, was ordered to drive them back. Having disposed his forces, an attack was made, and as the foe massed in front of General Pender's brigade and endeavored to turn his flank, General Hill says, in his report: A simultaneous daring charge was made, and the enemy driven pell-mell into the river. Then commenced the most terrible slaughter that this war has yet witnessed. The broad surface of the Potomac was blue with the floating bodies of our foe. But few escaped to tell the tale. By their own account, they lost three thousand men killed and drowned from one brigade alone. Some two hundred prisoners were taken
Walter H. Taylor (search for this): chapter 1.21
herefore, in the usual course, sent to him. After the evacuation of Frederick City by our forces, a copy of General Lee's order was found in a deserted camp by a soldier, and was soon in the hands of General McClellan. The copy of the order, it was stated at the time, was addressed to General D. H. Hill, commanding division. General Hill has assured me that it could not have been his copy, because he still has the original order received by him in his possession. To these remarks Colonel W. H. Taylor adds the following note: Colonel Venable, one of my associates on the staff of General Lee, says in regard to this matter: This is very easily explained. One copy was sent directly to Hill from headquarters. General Jackson sent him a copy, as he regarded Hill in his command. It is Jackson's copy, in his own handwriting, which General Hill has. The other was undoubtedly left carelessly by some one at Hill's quarters. Says General McClellan, Upon learning the contents of this orde
J. K. Jones (search for this): chapter 1.21
ding toward the Potomac, protected by General Stuart with the cavalry and horse artillery. General Walker with his two brigades was stationed on Longstreet's right. As evening approached, the enemy fired more vigorously with his artillery and bore down heavily with his infantry upon Hood, but the attack was gallantly repulsed. At 10 P. M. Hood's troops were relieved by the brigades of Lawton and Trimble of Ewell's division, commanded by General Lawton. Jackson's own division, under General J. K. Jones, was on Lawton's left, supported by the remaining brigades of Ewell. At early dawn on the 17th his artillery opened vigorously from both sides of the Antietam, the heaviest fire being directed against our left. Under cover of this fire a large force of infantry attacked General Jackson's division. They were met by his troops with the utmost resolution, and for several hours the conflict raged with intense fury and alternate success. Our troops advanced with great spirit; the ene
roubled with fear that my horse would further injure some wounded fellowsoldier lying helpless upon the ground. Our right flank, during this short but seemingly long space of time, was toward the main line of the Federals, and, after several ineffectual efforts to procure reenforcements and our last shot had been fired, I ordered my troops back to Dunkard church for the same reason which had previously compelled Lawton, Hays, and Trimble to retire (a want of cartridges). Upon the arrival of McLaw's division we marched to the rear, renewed our supply of ammunition, and returned to our position in the wood near the church, which ground we held till a late hour in the afternoon, when we moved somewhat farther to the right and bivouacked for the night. With the close of this bloody day ceased the hardest-fought battle of the war. The following account of Colonel Taylor, in his Four Years with General Lee, is more comprehensive, embracing the other forces besides Hood's brigade:
on the 17th, were immediately deployed and put to work. Every man was engaged. We had no reserve. The fighting was heaviest and most continuous on the Confederate left. It is established by Federal evidence that the three corps of Hooker, Mansfield, and Sumner were completely shattered in the repeated but fruitless efforts to turn this flank, and two of these corps were rendered useless for further aggressive movements. The aggregate strength of the attacking column at this point reached where they were, and General Ricket's, the only officer he could find, said that he could not raise three hundred men of the corps. There were troops lying down on the left, which I took to belong to Mansfield's command. In the mean time General Mansfield had been killed, and a portion of his corps had also been thrown into confusion. The testimony of General McClellan in the same report, Part I, p. 441, is to the same effect: The next morning (the 18th) I found that our loss had bee
Fitzhugh Lee (search for this): chapter 1.21
y and efficiently covered by the cavalry brigade of General Fitzhugh Lee, was accomplished without interruption. The advancelayed by the determined opposition he encountered from Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry, and he did not appear on the opposite side oanced on the next morning, but was held in check by General Fitzhugh Lee with his cavalry. The condition of our troops now of my troops for want of food induced me to ride back to General Lee, and request him to send two or more brigades to our rellowing account of Colonel Taylor, in his Four Years with General Lee, is more comprehensive, embracing the other forces besidhe issue was first joined, on the afternoon of the 16th, General Lee had with him less than eighteen thousand men, consistingy, which is rather excessive, is 8,000. This would make General Lee's entire strength 35,255. The official return of the gures to 40,000 of all arms. Taylor's Four Years with General Lee. The return of the United States Army of the Potomac
ving arrived from Harpers Ferry, was now ordered to reenforce General Jones. He moved to his support and attacked the force now flushed with success. Hill's batteries were thrown forward and united their fire with those of Jones, and one of D. H. Hill's also opened with good effect from the left of the Boonsboro road. The progress of the enemy was immediately arrested, and his line began to waver. At this moment General Jones ordered Toombs to charge the flank, while Archer, supported by Branch and Gregg, moved on the front of the enemy's line. After a brief resistance, he broke and retreated in confusion toward the Antietam, pursued by the troops of Hill and Jones, until he reached the protection of the batteries on the opposite side of the river. It was now nearly dark, and McClellan had massed a number of batteries to sweep the approach to the Antietam, on the opposite side of which the corps of General Porter, which had not been engaged, now appeared to dispute our advance.
John Esten Cooke (search for this): chapter 1.21
formed in rear of his line. At this time, by a mistake of orders, Rodes's brigade was withdrawn from its position; during the absence of that command a column pressed through the gap thus created, and G. B. Anderson's brigade was broken and retired. The heavy masses moved forward, being opposed only by four pieces of artillery, supported by a few hundred of our men belonging to different brigades rallied by Hill and other officers, and parts of Walker's and R. H. Anderson's commands. Colonel Cooke, with the Twenty-seventh North Carolina Regiment, stood boldly in line without a cartridge. The firm front presented by this small force and the well-directed fire of the artillery checked the progress of the enemy, and in about an hour and a half he retired. Another attack was made soon afterward a little farther to the right, but was repulsed by Miller's guns of the Washington Artillery, which continued to hold the ground until the close of the engagement, supported by a part of R. H
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