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Col Alfred Sully's Official Report

Report of September 20, 1862

A. Sully

[author biography]

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MINNESOTA VOLUNTEERS,
Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., September 20, 1862.

Captain J. W. GORMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Gorman's Brigade.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the part the regiment took in the action of the 17th instant:

We marched out of camp, the regiment on the right of the brigade. After crossing the creek and gaining the high ground on the opposite side, we were formed on the right of the front line of battle, under a very severe artillery fire from the enemy, and advanced under this fire over several fields, the distance of about three-quarters of a mile, into a woods close to the enemy and in front of our line of battle. Here we were posted behind a rail fence. The enemy soon appeared in force on the left of the brigade, opened a very severe fire of musketry on us, while some of their artillery in front of us also opened on us. Our loss here was very heavy, yet the men bravely held their position, and did not leave it until after the two brigades in rear had fallen back and the left regiments were moving, when they received the order to retire. Retiring in line of battle, we again halted outside the woods, to hold the enemy in check while the rest were retiring. Here the Eighty-second New York with their Colonel and colors reported to me, and formed on my right. The Nineteenth Massachusetts also reported, and formed on my left. We were soon again engaged with the enemy, but, seeing that the enemy were turning my right, I ordered the line to fall back in line of battle. The regiment here also suffered greatly in killed and wounded. We again made a stand near some farmhouse for a short time, and there took up a strong position about 100 yards back, behind a stone fence, when a section of artillery was sent to assist us. We kept the enemy in check till they brought a battery of artillery on our flank, which compelled me to order the regiments back to join our line of battle.

The officers and men of the regiment behaved nobly, and it was with some difficulty I got some of them to obey the order to fall back. We marched into the action with 435 men. This includes the sharpshooters (Second Minnesota) company, but not Company I. They were not with us. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing amounts to - Captain G. A. Holzborn, Company K, killed; Captains Smith, Company D; Pomeroy, Company E; Adams, Company H, wounded. Enlisted men killed, 15; wounded, 79; missing, 24. Total enlisted men killed, wounded, and missing, 118.

Among the killed the regiment have to mourn the loss of a brave and useful officer, Captain Hozborn. Captain Smith was severely wounded; Captains Adams and Pomeroy and Lieutenant Shepley, slightly.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

ALF. SULLY
Colonel First Minnesota.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 314 - 315

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