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Col O. E. Edwards' Official Reports

Reports of October 2, 1862 of Harpers Ferry and Sharpsburg

O. E. Edwards

[author biography]


[Harpers Ferry]



CAMP NEAR BUNKER HILL, VA.,
October 2, 1862.

[I make the following] report of the part taken by the Thirteenth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers in the battle of Harper's Ferry, W. Va., on September 15:

On September 14, when it became apparent, from the opening of the batteries on Maryland and Loudoun Heights, that our troops were in rear of Harper's Ferry, our brigade moved to the right of Bolivar Heights at 3 p.m., in the direction of the Harper's Ferry and Winchester Railroad. On reaching it, we marched by a flank on the track until hemmed in by the Shenandoah River and the bluff south of the enemy's position. Here we were halted at dark to drive in the enemy's advanced sharpshooters and clear the way, and were detained until 2 a.m., on the 15th. We then continued our advance on the road for half a mile, and, turning to the left, ascended the almost impassable slope on that side, the Thirteenth Regiment being in front.

At sunrise our batteries opened on the enemy, and we were moved in line of battle to the right and rear of General Branch. At 7.15 a.m. a white flag announced the willingness of our foe to surrender. At a few minutes after 8 a.m., we were ordered to move to the ground before occupied by the enemy. The day was spent in guarding prisoners and stores. There were no casualties.

Respectfully submitted.

O. E. EDWARDS.
Colonel Thirteenth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers.



[Sharpsburg]



CAMP NEAR BUNKER HILL, VA.,
October 2, 1862.

[I make the following] report of the part taken by the Thirteenth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers in the battle of Sharpsburg, Md., on September 17:

At 6.15 a.m., September 17, my regiment, in its brigade and division, took up line of march from Harper's Ferry toward Boteler's Ford, across the Potomac, near Shepherdstown, W. Va. Crossed the ford at 2 p.m., and at quick step reached the presence of the enemy at 3.40 [o'clock], about 2 miles beyond the river. Here we reached the range of the enemy's shell, and turning to our left, took position along a line of fence in line of battle, from which point we advanced to drive the enemy from the corn-fields in front, my regiment having the left of the brigade. The enemy falling back before us, we took position on the summit of an elevation along the fence line on the edge of the corn, and there received the enemy upon our left, drove him back across the field, and held the ground until the action closed, about 8 p.m.

Our position in this action was the extreme right of the Confederate line of battle and we successfully met and repulsed a dangerous flank movement of the enemy, conducted, as prisoners state, by General Burnside with his forces. My regiment remained upon the field until the morning of September 19.

The bearing and spirit of my command in this engagement were admirable, equal to the exactions of the highest expectation, and their fire was delivered with telling effect.

Respectfully submitted.

O. E. EDWARDS.
Colonel Thirteenth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Page 997 - 998

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