CAMP NEAR MARTINSBURG, W. VA.,
September 23, 1862.
Captain E. B. BRIGGS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Semmes' Brigade, McLaws' Division.
SIR: The Tenth Georgia Regiment went into the action at the battle of Sharpsburg, Md., at 8 a. m. of September 17, on the left of, and distant from, Sharpsburg about 2 miles. The regiment occupied the position of second in line from the right of the brigade, the Thirty-second Virginia Regiment being on the extreme right, and the Fifty-third Georgia Regiment on the extreme left, the Fifteenth Virginia being on our left. The regiment was marched by the right flank to an open field opposite some hay-stacks and piles of rocks, where, finding the enemy fronting us posted in force, the order was given "by company into line" and "forward into line," which movements were made by the regiment under a most galling fire from the enemy's sharpshooters. These movements having been made and the line formed, the regiment, together with the balance of the brigade, advanced as far as the hay-stacks and piles of rocks, where we opened fire upon the enemy, and maintained this position for about half an hour, when the order was given to advance. Up to and at this point the regiment sustained its principal loss in killed and wounded.
The regiment then advanced to a lane, distant some 75 yards, driving the enemy before them, and occupied a road running by a house fronting the lane, where they remained some ten or fifteen minutes, when they again advanced, passing through a small field and skirt of woods up to a fence, the enemy being still driven before them with heavy slaughter. The regiment remained at this fence until their ammunition was nearly exhausted (about half an hour), when they again advanced, under orders, for the distance of near half a mile, crossing two fields and across four fences, and occupied a position in rear of a house, barn, and other outbuildings, near which were some five or six piles of straw, the enemy having occupied a stone wall a short distance to the front, from which position they were driven to seek shelter and protection behind their re-enforcements and artillery, with heavy loss. Here the regiment maintained its position for about three-quarters of an hour (the fire of the enemy's infantry having ceased), though in range of and receiving the fire of their artillery in occasional showers of grape and canister, when, being out of ammunition and no re-enforcements coming to their relief, they were compelled to withdraw to procure ammunition and to reorganize.
At this point we found in the house and barn a number of the enemy, who surrendered without resistance, who were sent to the rear, prisoners. The regiment then retired to an open field near the point where they had entered into the engagement, and waited for ammunition; but supplies failing to reach them, and but few of the regiment remaining (many having left the field bearing the wounded to the rear), withdrew, having been in the action about four hours, suffering very severely, after having driven the enemy with very great loss about a distance of a mile.
The regiment went into action after a march of about 7 miles, crossing the Potomac that morning, exhausted by fatiguing marches, want of food, rest, and many suffering for shoes, &c. They carried into the action 134 muskets and 14 officers, of whom there were 16 killed on the field, 59 men and 8 officers wounded, being over one-half disabled or killed.
The officers wounded were Captain William Johnston, of Company F, commanding regiment; Captain P. H. Loud, of Company H, assisting in command; Captain W. M. D'Antignac, of Company K; Lieutenant D. M. Johnson, of Company D; Lieutenant J. T. Key, of Company E, wounded and a prisoner; Lieutenant T. H. Wood, of Company F; Lieutenant S. H. Manget, of Company G, commanding Company H; Lieutenant J. McNeil, of Company C, whose leg has since been amputated.
The officers and men, with some solitary exceptions, behaved with the greatest gallantry, as the heavy loss sustained testifies, and where all bore their part so heroically it would be unjust to mention individual instances.
I am indebted to Captains Phinizy and Kibbee (who, with Lieutenants Adams, Davis, and Jenkins, were the only officers who had the good fortune to escape unhurt and to gallantly follow the enemy to the farthest point) for the particulars of the engagement subsequent to my withdrawal from the field, wounded.
The regiment, before going into the action, had been supplied with fifty rounds of cartridge, about all of which were expended in the engagement.
I have the honor of remaining, sir, your obedient servant,
P. H. LOUD,
Captain, Commanding Tenth Georgia Regiment.
Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 877 - 879