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Maj M. Hilton's Official Reports

Reports of October 15, 1862 on Boonsborough and Sharpsburg.

[author biography]

NEAR WINCHESTER, VA.,
October 15, 1862.

Captain A. L. EVANS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Evan's Brigade.

CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders, I here with give you as correct an account as can possibly be given of the part the Twenty-second South Carolina Volunteers assumed in the engagements during the months of August and September, commencing at the Rappahannock River on August 23; also at South Mountain, or Boonsborough, Md., and in the vicinity of Sharpsburg, Md., from September 15 to 18.

* * * * * * * [Portion here omitted is printed in Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, pp. 636, 637.]

BATTLE OF BOONSBOROUGH (OR SOUTH MOUNTAIN).

[On September 14] the regiment marched from Hagerstown, Md. (Lieutenant Colonel Thomas C. Watkins in command), to South Mountain; reached there about 4 p. m. Found General D. H. Hill's division on the right of the road, engaging the enemy. This regiment was ordered to the left of the road, and marched around the mountain, then filed by left across the mountain, then by right flank forward, when we came in contact with the enemy and immediately opened on them, the enemy occupying a very favorable position against us. After engaging them for about half an hour, we were ordered to fall back, which we did some 30 yards, through in some confusion, Lieutenant Colonel T. C. Watkins calling to the men to rally to their colors and fall into line. While thus exposing himself, and, having succeeded in forming the regiment in line of battle, he fell, struck by a musket-ball in the head. Thus fell a brave and skillful officer at the head of his command, encouraging and rallying his men with the last breath of life. This misfortune caused the regiment to fall into confusion. I then assumed the command, rallying the regiment three times, but the pressure from the enemy was such that it was impossible to hold our positions, and finally fell back to the main road leading to Boonsborough, and there formed under the cover of a fence, where we remained until ordered to fall back on Sharpsburg, it now being night.

BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG.

After falling back from Boonsborough, on Monday (15th) reached Sharpsburg. During this day the principal services performed by the regiment was to support Captain Boyce's battery of light artillery, and other batteries.

The only casualty was Lieutenant R. B. Hughes, Company A, wounded on the right hip by a fragment of a shell.

On Tuesday, the 16th, the regiment held the same position as on the 15th, its services being the same during the day. At night the regiment went on picket service in front of our batteries. During the day L. P. Gordon, private, Company E, was wounded by a fragment of a shell on the right thigh. The regiment acted as skirmishers up to Wednesday evening, the 18th [17th]; during most of the time was between the fires of our own and the enemy's batteries, and exposed to the heavy and continuous shelling of the enemy. At one time the enemy advanced their batteries, and our pickets fell back, but our own batteries played on the enemy with which effect that they were forced to retire. Our regiment then resumed its old position until about 4 p. m., when the enemy again advanced with large brigades. I ordered the pickets to fire and fall back on the Eighteenth and Twenty-third South Carolina Regiments, which was done, and the engagement became general. After night set in and our ammunition had given out, we fell back beyond Sharpsburg, for rest and refreshment.

Next day, Thursday, the 18th, marched back to the battle-field and occupied the position we held the day before, and remained, skirmishing with the enemy, until night. About 10 p. m. was ordered to draw in my pickets, which was done, and about 11 p. m. rejoined the brigade near the Potomac River.

Very respectfully,

M. HILTON,
Major, Comdg, Twenty-second Regiment South Carolina Vols.

 

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 948 - 949

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