SEPTEMBER 23, 1862.
Captain E. B. BRIGGS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [Thomas] Sloan, the regiment entered the engagement of the 17th instant early in the morning with 21 commissioned officers (including Lieutenant-Colonel Sloan and Adjutant [John F.] Hanson) and 255 men. Of this number 1 officer (First Lieutenant C. C. Brown, Company E) and 11 men of the regiment were killed, 3 officers (Lieutenant-Colonel Sloan, Lieutenant [John A.] Barnett, of Company A, and Lieutenant Hollon, of Company G) and 60 men were wounded.
The regiment, marching by flank, was formed into line of battle by command, "by company into line," then "forward into line," upon entering the first corn-field, through which it passed. Under the shells of the enemy the regiment moved forward through this field, then through an apple orchard, and then through another corn-field, and halted at the fence. It was here that Lieutenant-Colonel Sloan was seriously wounded. His calmness and bravery deserve special notice. Here, also, Lieutenant Brown fell. His captain informs me that his last words were those of encouragement to his company.
The enemy were over on a hill, and with their long-range guns and shells wounded many of our men. The regiment was ordered forward, and officers and men leaped over the fence, determined to do or die. Continuing to advance, the enemy gave back, and the regiment pursued them with great rapidity over a mile. The number of the enemy's dead and wounded left upon the ground over which we passed, and the scattered manner in which they lay, show the rapidity of his retreat and the execution which the regiment did. Finding ourselves out of ammunition, it was thought prudent to fall back to the lines for a new supply.
To make mention of the many acts of gallantry displayed by officers and men during the engagement would occupy more space than allowed for this report. I saw nothing but fight in officers and men, and feel that I can truthfully as well as proudly say that the Fifty-third Georgia acted in a manner worthy of our cause, and fully sustained the reputation which Georgia troops have ever won upon the field of battle. The general being present and having himself gone to the farthest point to which we advanced, I know that he is prepared to give to the proper authorities and to the public a full account of the action of the regiment during the day.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. W. MARSHBORNE,
Captain, Commanding Fifty-third Georgia Regiment.
Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Page 879