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LCol Joseph W Corning's Official Report

Report of September 20, 1862

[author biography]


CAMP IN THE FIELD, September 20, 1862.

Lieutenant WILLIAM H. LONG,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: In obedience to orders, I have the honor to report that the Thirty-third Regiment New York Volunteers, near sunset on the 14th instant, marched from their position east of Burkittsville, with the other troops of the Third Brigade, for Crampton's Pass. During a portion of the march we were briskly shelled from the rebel battery on the mountain. The regiment continued the march steadily and in admirable order. We ascended the mountain and marched to the left to support the Second Brigade, but were soon ordered to return to the road, and crossed over to the west side of the mountain, and bivouacked at the base for the night. On the 15th took 7 prisoners. Remained at Pleasant Valley until the morning of the 17th. Marched at 6 o'clock a. m. Upon arriving in front of the battle-field of Antietam Creek, I was ordered to form in rear of and support the left of the brigade line, but just as they were engaging the enemy I received orders from the commanding division general to support the right, and was ordered to march near the woods in front. When near the woods the enemy suddenly and unexpectedly opened on the regiment a heavy fire from their infantry, who were in the woods, being in columns at the time, marching by the right flank. This sudden and unexpected attack caused a momentary unsteadiness in the ranks, which was quickly rectified. The battalion faced by the rear rank and returned the fire, when, by order of the commanding general, the regiment retired a short distance, under cover of a ridge, and formed the right of the line of the brigade, where they remained during the day, under very severe cannonading from the enemy. We were relieved from this front on the 19th, about 10 o'clock.

The officers and men under my command behaved as well as could be expected of any troops under such trying circumstances, and with great steadiness kept their position during the day.

The casualties of the 17th were 6 killed and 41 wounded. Among the killed I have to regret the loss of Sergt. Major George W. Bassett, a very efficient and gallant officer.

Respectfully submitted.

JOS. W. CORNING,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding the Regiment.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Page 414

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