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LCol Joseph Gerhardt's Official Reports

Reports of September 1862 on South Mountain and Antietam

J. Gerhardt
[author biography]


[ South Mountain ]



HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH REGT. NEW YORK STATE VOLS.,
Camp near South Mountain Pass, September 16, 1862.

Colonel WELSH.

SIR: In obedience to orders of this day, I have the honor to report that the Forty-sixth Regiment New York State Volunteers moved from Middletown on the 14th instant in the morning at 8 o'clock, 369 enlisted men strong, besides 23 officers. The regiment was with the brigade and marched to the South Mountain, where it arrived abound noon. Here the Forty-sixth Regiment formed in line of battle on the left of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, under a very heavy fire of shot and shell. The regiment covered themselves behind fences and hills till the order was given to advance. The regiment was ordered by mistake to the extreme left, but was soon recalled and took again their former position on the left of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers. As soon as the enemy commenced to assail us with musketry fire, the regiment went up to a stone fence, where it remained until further orders. Receiving orders, the regiment went over the fence under a very heavy fire of musketry and advanced in line of battle to the woods, where the Twenty-eighth Ohio Regiment were lying behind a rail fence. I ordered the regiment to assist our brothers in the fight, and with hurrah and double-quick they came to the relief of the Thirtieth Ohio, leaving the Twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteers behind us, who had been relieved by the Thirtieth Ohio Regiment. Both officers and men behaved gallantly in this engagement, taking proper advantages of coverings at hand, to which is attributable the small loss we sustained. After having spent nearly all our ammunition, we were relived by the Ninth New Hampshire Volunteers. This regiment commenced firing before they had taken our position, thereby greatly endangering the lives of our soldiers, who only saved themselves by throwing themselves down on the ground. After a while the regiment advanced again over an open field, exposed to the raking fire of the enemy's batteries, and went in with the Ninth New Hampshire Regiment in pursuit of the enemy. Having been ordered back, we retired slowly and took up our position behind the Twenty-eight Ohio Regiment; whereupon we were ordered back to camp.

The regiment lost 1 man killed in the afternoon in the corn-field by a shell; Major Parcus and 6 men were wounded in the woods shortly after having relieved the Thirtieth Ohio Regiment. The required roster of officers liable for duty is respectfully inclosed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH GERHARDT,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[ Antietam ]



HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH REGT. NEW YORK STATE VOLS.,
Camp near Antietam Creek, September 18, 1862.

Colonel WELSH.

SIR: In obedience to order of this day, I have the honor to report that the regiment left camp at 9 o'clock in the morning of the 17th instant, and after several halts passed over the bridge at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. About one-fourth of a mile on the other side of the creek the regiment was ordered to ascend a steep hill on the left side of the road, and came under a galling fire of shot and shell, as soon as it was in sight of a battery posted by the enemy on a hill to our right. After having laid a while behind a rail fence, on the next hill close to a line of skirmishers, the regiment advanced over several hills, being constantly fired upon by the aforesaid battery, and took position behind a rail fence in front, passing several regiments, who remained passive behind us. Here the regiment was engaging the enemy's infantry for about two hours, and receiving no support, the regiment had to fall back before superior numbers of the enemy, who tried to flank our left wing. The regiment fell back behind a stone fence near the road, and was afterward ordered to march farther back toward the river, where it encamped for the night. The regiment went into battle with 16 officers and 262 enlisted men. The loss, as far as could be ascertained, is 2 men killed, 3 officers and 12 men wounded, and 2 men missing.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH GERHARDT,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 441 - 442

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