CAMP BRIGADIER-GENERAL KERSHAW'S BRIGADE,
October 20, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel E. P. ALEXANDER.
COLONEL: Your note of 19th instant had just been received, and contents noted.
About 3 p. m. of Wednesday, the 17th ultimo, near Sharpsburg, Md., I was ordered by one of General Lee's staff to take my two rifled guns and report to him (General Lee), who was in the woods on the left-hand side of the road this side of the town. I did so, and was ordered to take my guns and place them in a position so as to bear upon the enemy across some fields over on the right of the road. In going to occupy this position the axle of my 3-inch gun gave way. I then had it so fixed as to be able to remove it to a safe position, and on Thursday evening turned it (the gun) over to one of your wagons for transportation. I had it put into the wagon and have since seen the gun at Winchester, at the stone church. The gun-carriage was much injured, a few days before, in going up and coming down the mountain (the Maryland Heights) near Harper's Ferry, where it was in use nearly two days. The carriage and limber were left behind, the Captain in charge of the train refusing to take them in charge, and I had not the horses, having lost 20 killed and wounded in action in the battle of the morning.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN P. W. READ,
Captain, Commanding Battery, Kershaw's Brigade.
Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 866 - 867