CAMP NEAR WARNER McKARNE'S FARM,
Frederick County, Va., October 20, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel E. P. ALEXANDER,
Chief of Artillery, &c.
SIR: In answer to your inquiries of this day, I herein send you that part of my report referring to the loss of the Parrott gun and caisson, made to Colonel J. B. Walton, chief of artillery, on the 20th ultimo, and to General Pryor on the 9th instant:
In the retreat of the 19th near Shepherdstown one Parrott gun and caisson was lost. This happened in the following manner: The smooth-bore guns, on account of their short range, and the 3-inch rifle gun, for want of long-range fuses, being of no service, were sent to the rear about 4 p.m. The two Parrott guns remained in position until dark, and, when ordered to move back, could no longer pass through the road, it being commanded by the enemy's artillery. I was, therefore, obliged to cut across fields and fences and a country entirely unknown to me, without a guide, and, in the darkness of the night, the rear piece, with worn-out horses, lagged behind. Lieutenant R. P. Landry returned to bring it up, but lost his way, and having come before a thick wood which could not be crossed, it was there abandoned and spiked, the enemy shouting in the rear, and, as he believed, gaining upon him. I sent for the piece and caisson the next, day, but only the caisson was recovered, the piece having been taken away. One caisson for 6-pounder gun was destroyed by a shell during the evening of the same day. We lost 20 horses in the engagement, and, besides, having suffered much for food, being harassed during three days and nights, contributed greatly to the loss of the gun.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Company, Donaldsonville Artillery.
Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 847 - 848