October 13, 1862.
[I have the honor to make the following] report of the part taken by Lawton's brigade in the engagement of September 17, at Sharpsburgh, Md.:
On the evening of September 16, the brigade, commanded by Colonel M. Douglass, was ordered to march toward the enemy's line. After marching some distance, the brigade filed into a piece of woods, and there remained, with arms stacked, until about 10 p.m., at which time the brigade was ordered to relieve Brigadier-General Hood, whose command was in line of battle near the enemy's lines. The brigade marched up and formed line of battle, and the Thirty-first Georgia Regiment, in Lawton's brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel [J. T.] Crowder, was ordered out as skirmishers, which order was promptly obeyed. During the night sharp skirmishing ensued.
At dawn, when the enemy could be seen, heavy skirmishing commenced and continued for an hour. The skirmishers, after their ammunition was nearly exhausted, were ordered to retire or fall back with their brigade. At that time the enemy commenced advancing, and soon a general engagement ensued. While the brigade was engaged with the enemy's infantry, it was under a heavy fire from their batteries on our right, killing and wounding many of our men. After a severe engagement, the brigade was compelled to fall back a short distance. Re-enforcements then came, and with them we made a charge in the most gallant manner. During that time (before the charge) the brigade lost its commander, and nearly every regiment lost its regimental commander; also the greater portion of the different companies lost their company commanders. After the charge the brigade fell back, and, in taking off the wounded, a great many were lost for a short time from their regiments.
Finding that I was senior officer present, I reformed the brigade and reported to Brigadier-General Early, and was ordered to take position on the right of the division in line of battle; there remained until the latter part of the night of the 18th.
I am requested to bring to notice the name of Corpl. Curtis A. Lowe, of Company F, Sixty-first Georgia Regiment, who, after the color-bearer and four of the color-guard were shot down, seized the colors and pressed forward, calling to the men of the Sixty-first to follow their standard. Also, I will note the gallantry displayed by Private M. V. Hawes, of Company E, Thirty-first Georgia, who, after two of the color-bearers had been shot down, took the colors and carried them with his regiment, leading the way in the charge, and afterward carried them off the field with his regiment.
J. H. LOWE,
Major Thirty-first Georgia.
P. S. - The brigade was engaged at least two hours.
J. H. L.
Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 975 - 976