Gen. R. H. CHILTON,
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the operations of my command from the battles around Richmond until after the battle of Sharpsburg.
On July 23, I was detached from my division and placed in charge of the Department of the South Side, extending from Drewry's Bluff to the South Carolina line. As McClellan was then at Westover, on the James, some 30 miles from Richmond, and it was thought that he might attempt an advance by the south side, my first attention was given to the defenses in that direction. Heavy details were made from the division and two brigades near the bluff, to complete a line of intrenchments around it, and controlling the Petersburg road. Not a spadefull of earth had been thrown up about Petersburg, and it was in a wholly defenseless condition. A system of fortifications was begun (which subsequently met the approval of the chief engineer, Col. J. F. Gilmer, C. S. Army), and the brigades of Ransom, Walker, and Daniel were put to work on it. About 1,000 negroes were procured (chiefly from North Carolina) and employed in like manner. Pontoon bridges were constructed at several points, to make the connection rapid and secure between the two positions to be secured. The defenses of the Appomattox were also strengthened, and a movable car planned and ordered, to prevent a landing at City Point. An effort was made to organize and make efficient the numerous independent companies in the department, which had been of but little use and much expense to the country. A concentration of these troops at Weldon and Goldsborough was ordered, to prevent the cutting of our important lines southward.
In accordance with instructions from the general commanding Army of Northern Virginia, I made a personal examination of the Yankee shipping and encampment on the 28th instant, and determined to attack it from Coggins' Point and Maycock's on the south side. This expedition was intrusted to Brigadier-General French, and was a complete success. Forty-three pieces, under command of General Pendleton and Col. J. T. Brown, were placed in position, on the night of the 31st, on the banks of the river, within easy range of the objects to be reached. Much damage was done to the Yankee shipping, some destruction of life caused in the camp, and the wildest terror and consternation produced. The report of General French is herewith submitted. This officer had charge of the expedition, agreeably to the wishes of General Lee. Doubtless the night attack had much to do with the evacuation of Westover, as it made McClellan feel that his shipping was insecure. Two days after, he took possession of Coggins' Point, and maintained a force on the south side till he left the river. His gunboats were attacked at the mouth of the Appomattox, and points were selected for the further harassing of his shipping. An expedition was sent out under Col. J. R. Chambliss, jr., to within 2 miles of Suffolk. Arrangements were made for the defense of the Blackwater, Chowan, and Tar Rivers, and a point selected for fortifications on the Roanoke, to secure Weldon.
On August 21, I left Petersburg to join the army in Northern Virginia, and was given command of McLaws' division and three brigades of my own division, at Hanover Junction. The brigades of Ripley and Colquitt, of my division, were in advance of us at Orange Court-House.
On August 26, we left Hanover Junction and joined General Lee at Chantilly on September 2, three days after the Yankees had been finally and decisively beaten in the second great battle of Manassas.
On the 4th, Anderson's brigade was sent to fire on the Yankee trains at Berlin, and, with two brigades, we drove away the Yankee forces near the mouth of the Monocacy, and crossed the Potomac. That night and the next day were spent in destroying the lock and canal banks. The aqueduct could not be destroyed for want of powder and tools.
The night of the 5th, my division followed General Jackson to within a few miles of Frederick. The general being disabled by the fall of his horse, the next morning I was placed in charge of all the forces, and marched into Frederick. The telegraph wires were cut and the station seized. A few stores and prisoners were taken in the city.
On the 10th, my division constituted the rear guard, and had charge of the immense wagon-train moving in the direction of Hagerstown.
On the 13th, I was ordered by General Lee to dispose of my troops so as to prevent the escape of the Yankees from Harper's Ferry, then besieged, and also to guard the pass in the Blue Ridge near Boons-borough. Major-General Stuart reported to me that two brigades only of the Yankees were pursuing us, and that one brigade would be sufficient to hold the pass. I, however, sent the brigades of Garland and Colquitt, and ordered my other three brigades up to the neighborhood of Boonsborough.
An examination of the pass, very early on the morning of the 14th, satisfied me that it could only be held by a large force, and was wholly indefensible by a small one. I accordingly ordered up Anderson's brigade. A regiment of Ripley's brigade was sent to hold another pass, some 3 miles distant, on our left. I felt reluctant to order up Ripley and Rodes from the important positions they were holding until something definite was known of the strength and design of the Yankees. About 7 o'clock they opened a fire upon our right, and pushed forward a large force through the dense woods to gain a practicable road to our rear. Garland's brigade was sent in to meet this overwhelming force, and succeeded in checking it and securing the road from any further attack that day. This brilliant service, however, cost us the life of that pure, gallant, and accomplished Christian soldier, General Garland, who had no superiors and few equals in the service. The Yankees on their side lost General Reno, a renegade Virginian, who was killed by a happy shot from the Twenty-third North Carolina. Garland's brigade was badly demoralized by his fall and the rough handling it had received, and, had the Yankees pressed vigorously forward, the road might have been gained. Providentially, they were ignorant of their success or themselves too much damaged to advance. The Twentieth North Carolina of this brigade, under Colonel Iverson, had attacked a Yankee battery, killed all the horses, and driven off the cannoneers. This battery was used no more that day by the Yankees. Anderson's brigade arrived in time to take the place of the much-demoralized troops of Garland. There were two mountain roads practicable for artillery on the right of the main turnpike. The defense of the farther one had cost Garland his life.
It was now intrusted to Colonel [T. L.] Rosser, of the cavalry, who had reported to me, and who had artillery and dismounted sharpshooters. General Anderson was intrusted with the care of the nearest and best road. Bondurant's battery was sent to aid him in its defense. The brigade of Colquitt was disposed on each side of the turnpike, and that: with Lane's battery, was judged adequate to the task. There was, however, a solitary peak on the left, which, if gained by the Yankees, would give them control of the ridge commanding the turnpike. The possession of this peak was, therefore, everything to the Yankees, but they seemed slow to perceive it. I had a large number of guns from Cutts' artillery placed upon the hill on the left of the turnpike, to sweep the approaches to this peak. From the position selected, there was a full view of the country for miles around, but the mountain was so steep that ascending columns were but little exposed to artillery fire. The artillerists of [A. S.] Cutts' battalion behaved gallantly, but their firing was the worst I ever witnessed. Rodes and Ripley came up soon after Anderson. Rodes was sent to the left, to seize the peak already mentioned, and Ripley was sent to the right to support Anderson. Several attempts had been made previous to this, by the Yankees, to force a passage through the woods on the right of and near the turnpike, but these were repulsed by the Sixth and Twenty-seventh Georgia and Thirteenth Alabama, of Colquitt's brigade.
It was now past noon, and the Yankees had been checked for more than five hours; but it was evident that they were in large force on both sides of the road, and the Signal Corps reported heavy masses at the foot of the mountain. In answer to a dispatch from General Longstreet, I urged him to hurry forward troops to my assistance. General Drayton and Col. G. T. Anderson came up, I think, about 3 o'clock, with 1,900 men, and I felt anxious to beat the force on my right before the Yankees made their grand attack, which I feared would be on our left. Anderson, Ripley, and Drayton were called together, and I directed them to follow a path until they came in contact with Rosser, when they should change their flank, march into line of battle, and sweep the woods before them. To facilitate their movements, I brought up a battery and made it shell the woods in various directions. Anderson soon became partially and Drayton hotly engaged, but Ripley did not draw trigger; why, I do not know. The Fourth North Carolina (Anderson's brigade) attempted to carry a Yankee battery, but failed. Three Yankee brigades moved up, in beautiful order, against Drayton, and his men were soon beaten and went streaming to the rear. Rosser, Anderson, and Ripley still held their ground, and the Yankees could not gain our rear.
Affairs were now very serious on our left. A division of Yankees was advancing in handsome style against Rodes. I had every possible gun turned upon the Yankee columns, but, owing to the steepness of the acclivity and the bad handling of the guns, but little harm was done to the "restorers of the Union." Rodes handled his little brigade in a most admirable and gallant manner, fighting, for hours, vastly superior odds, and maintaining the key-points of the position until darkness rendered a further advance of the Yankees impossible. Had he fought with less obstinacy, a practicable artillery road to the rear would have been gained on our left and the line of retreat cut off.
Colonel[J. B.] Gordon, the Christain hero, excelled his former deeds at Seven Pines and in the battles around Richmond. Our language is not capable of expressing a higher compliment.
General Rodes says:
The men and officers generally behaved well, but Colonel Gordon, Sixth Alabama; Major [E. L.] Hobson, Fifth Alabama, and Colonel [C. A.] Battle, Third Alabama, deserve especial mention for admirable conduct during the whole fight. We did not drive the enemy back or whip him, but with 1,200 men we held his whole division at bay for four hours and a half without assistance from any one, losing in that time not more than half a mile of ground.
He estimates his loss at 422 out of 1,200 taken into action, but thinks that he inflicted a three-fold heavier loss on the Yankees Colonel [B. B.] Gayle, of the Twelfth Alabama, was killed, and Colonel [E. A.] O'Neal, Twenty sixth Alabama, and Lieutenant-Colonel [S. B.] Pickens, of the Twelfth, severely wounded.
Major-General Longstreet came up about 4 o'clock with the commands of Brig. Gens. N. G. Evans and D. R. Jones. I had now become familiar with the ground, and knew all the vital points, and, had these troops reported to me, the result might have been different. As it was, they took wrong positions, and, in their exhausted condition after a long march, they were broken and scattered. Our whole left was now fairly exposed, and the Yankees had but to push down to seize the turnpike. It was now dark, however, and they feared to advance. All the available troops were collected behind a stone wall, to resist an approach upon the turnpike from the left. Encouraged by their successes in that direction, the Yankees thought that it would be an easy matter to move directly up the turnpike; but they were soon undeceived. They were heroically met and bloodily repulsed by the Twenty-third and Twenty-eighth Georgia Regiments, of Colquitt's brigade. The fight lasted for more than an hour after night, but gradually subsided as the Yankees retired. General Hood, who had gone in on the right with his two noble brigades, pushed forward his skirmishers and drove back the Yankees.
We retreated that night to Sharpsburg, having accomplished all that was required--the delay of the Yankee army until Harper's Ferry could not be relieved.
Should the truth ever be known, the battle of South Mountain, as far as my division was concerned, will be regarded as one of the most remarkable and creditable of the war. The division had marched all the way from Richmond, and the straggling had been enormous in consequence of heavy marches, deficient commissariat, want of shoes, and inefficient officers. Owing to these combined causes, the division numbered less than 5,000 men the morning of September 14, and had five roads to guard, extending over a space of as many miles. This small force successfully resisted, without support, for eight hours, the whole Yankee army, and, when its supports were beaten; still held the roads, so that our retreat was effected without the loss of a gun, a wagon, or an ambulance. Rodes' brigade had immortalized itself; Colquitt's had fought well, and the two regiments most closely pressed (Twenty-third and Twenty-eighth Georgia) had repulsed the foe. Garland's brigade had behaved nobly, until demoralized by the fall of its gallant leader, and being outflanked by the Yankees. Anderson's brigade had shown its wonted gallantry. Ripley's brigade, for some cause, had not been engaged, and was used with Hood's two brigades to cover the retreat. Had Longstreet's division been with mine at daylight in the morning, the Yankees would have been disastrously repulsed; but they had gained important positions before the arrival of re-enforcements. These additional troops came up, after a long, hurried, and exhausting march, to defend localities of which they were ignorant, and to fight a foe flushed with partial success, and already holding key-points to further advance. Had our forces never been separated, the battle of Sharpsburg never would have been fought, and the Yankees would not have even the shadow of consolation for the loss of Harper's Ferry.
We reached Sharpsburg about daylight on the morning of the 15th. The Yankees made their appearance that day, and some skirmishing and cannonading occurred. There was a great deal of artillery firing during the forenoon of the 16th, and late that afternoon the Yankees crossed the Antietam opposite the center of my line and made for the Hagerstown turnpike. Had we been in a condition to attack them as they crossed, much damage might have been inflicted; but as yet there were but two weak divisions on the ground. Longstreet held the position south of the Boonsborough turnpike, and I that on the right. Hood's command was placed on my left to guard the Hagerstown pike. Just before sundown I got up a battery (Lane's), of Cutts' battalion, to open upon the Yankee columns advancing toward that pike, while Col. Stephen D. Lee brought up another farther on the right. These checked the Yankee advance, and enabled Jackson to take position on Hood's left and covering any attempt to turn us in that direction.
My ranks had been diminished by some additional straggling, and the morning of the 17th I had but 3,000 infantry. I had, however, twenty-six pieces of artillery of my own and near fifty [?] pieces of Cutts' battalion, temporarily under my command. Positions were selected for as many of these guns as could be used; but all the ground in my front was completely commanded by the long-range artillery of the Yankees on the other side of the Antietam, which concentrated their fire upon every gun that opened and soon disabled or silenced it.
At daylight a brisk skirmish began along Hood's front, and Colquitt, Ripley, and McRae (commanding Garland's brigade) were moved up to his support. Hood's men always right well, and they were handsomely supported by Colquitt and Ripley. The first line of the Yankees was broken, and our men pushed vigorously forward, but to meet another, and yet another, line. Colquitt had gone in with 10 field officers; 4 were killed, 5 badly wounded, and the tenth had been stunned by a shell. The men were beginning to fall back, and efforts were made to rally them in the bed of an old road, nearly at right angles to the Hagerstown pike, and which had been their position previous to the advance. These efforts, however, were only partially successful. Most of the brigade took no further part in the action. Garland's brigade (Colonel McRae commanding) had been much demoralized by the fight at South Mountain, but the men advanced with alacrity, secured a good position, and were fighting bravely when Captain [T. P.] Thomson, Fifth North Carolina, cried out, "They are flanking us." This cry spread like an electric shock along the ranks, bringing up vivid recollections of the flank fire at South Mountain. In a moment they broke and fell to the rear. Colonel McRae, though wounded, remained on the field all day and succeeded in gathering up some stragglers, and personally rendered much efficient service. The Twenty-third North Carolina Regiment, of this brigade, was brought off by the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, and posted, by my order, in the old road already described. Ripley's brigade had united with Walker's and fallen back with it behind the ridge to the left of this road and near to it. We had now lost all the ground wrested from the enemy, and were occupying the position held in the morning. But three of my brigades had been broken and much demoralized, and all of the artillery had been withdrawn from my front. Rodes and Anderson were in the old road, and some stragglers had been gathered up and placed upon their left.
It was now apparent that the Yankees were massing in our front, and that their grand attack would be made upon my position, which was the center of our line. I sent several urgent messages to General Lee for re-enforcements, but before any arrived a heavy force (since ascertained to be Franklin's corps) advanced in three parallel lines, with all the precision of a parade day, upon my two brigades. They met with a galling fire, however, recoiled, and fell back; again advanced, and again fell back, and finally lay down behind the crest of the hill and kept up an irregular fire. I got a battery in position, which partially enfiladed the Yankee line and aided materially to check its advance. This battery was brought up by my aide, Lieut. J. A. Reid, who received a painful wound in the discharge of that duty.
In the mean time General R. H. Anderson reported to me with some 3,000 or 4,000 men as re-enforcements to my command. I directed him to form immediately behind my men. That gallant and accomplished officer was soon wounded, and the command devolved upon General Pryor. The Yankee fire had now nearly ceased, and but for an unfortunate blunder of Lieutenant-Colonel [J. N.] Lightfoot, Sixth Alabama, no farther advance would have been made by them. General Rodes had observed a regiment lying down in his rear and not engaged. He says:
As the fire was now desultory and slack, I went to the troops referred to, and found that they belonged to General Pryor's brigade. Their officers stated that they had been halted by somebody; not General Pryor. Finding General Pryor in a few moments, and informing him as to their conduct, he immediately ordered them forward. Returning toward the brigade, I met Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, Sixth Alabama, looking for me. Upon his telling me that the right wing of the regiment was exposed to a terrible enfilade fire, which the enemy was enabled to deliver by their gaining somewhat upon Anderson (General G. B.), I ordered him to hasten back and to throw his right wing back and out of the old road referred to. Instead of executing the order, he moved briskly to the rear of the regiment, and gave the command, "Sixth Alabama, about face; forward march." Major Hobson, of the Fifth, seeing this, asked him if the order was intended for the whole brigade. He said, "Yes," and thereupon the Fifth and the other troops on their left retreated. I did not see their retrograde movement until it was too late to rally them, and, for this reason: Just as I was moving on after Lightfoot, I heard a shot strike Lieutenant Birney (aide), who was immediately behind me. Wheeling around, I found him falling, and that he had been struck in the face. He found that he could walk after I raised him I followed him a few paces and watched him until he reached a barn, a short distance in the rear, where he first met some one to help him in case he needed it. As I turned toward the brigade, I was struck heavily by a piece of shell on my thigh. At first I thought that the wound was serious; but finding, upon examination, that it was slight, I turned toward the brigade, when I discovered it, without visible cause to me, retreating in confusion. I hastened to intercept it at the Hagerstown road. I found, though, that, with the exception of a few men from the Twenty-sixth, Twelfth, and Third, and a few under Major Hobson, of the Fifth (not more than 40 in all), the brigade had disappeared from this portion of the field. This small number, together with some Mississippians and North Carolinians, about 150 in all, I rallied and stationed behind a small ridge leading from the Hagerstown road.
General G. B. Anderson still nobly held his ground, but the Yankees began to pour in through the gap made by the retreat of Rodes. Anderson himself was mortally wounded and his brigade was totally routed. Colonel Bennett, of the Fourteenth, and Major Sillers, of the Thirtieth North Carolina Regiment, rallied a portion of their men. There were no troops near, to hold the center, except a few hundred rallied from various brigades. The Yankees crossed the old road which we had occupied in the morning, and occupied a corn-field and orchard in advance of it. They had now got within a few hundred yards of the hill which commanded Sharpsburg and our rear. Affairs looked very critical. I found a battery concealed in a corn-field, and ordered it to move out and open upon the Yankee columns. This proved to be Boyce's South Carolina battery. It moved out most gallantly, although exposed to a terrible direct and reverse fire from the long-range Yankee artillery across the Antietam. A caisson exploded, but the battery unlimbered, and with grape and canister drove the Yankees back. 1 was now satisfied that the Yankees were so demoralized that a single regiment of fresh men could drive the whole of them in our front across the Antietam. I got up about 200 men, who said they were willing to advance to the attack if I would lead them. We met, however, with a warm reception, and the little command was broken and dispersed. Major Hobson and Lieutenant [J. M.] Goff; of the Fifth Alabama, acquitted themselves handsomely in this charge. Colonel [Alfred] Iverson, Twentieth North Carolina; Colonel [D. H.] Christie, Twenty-third North Carolina; Captain Garrett, Fifth North Carolina; Adjutant [J. M.] Taylor and Lieutenant [Isaac E.] Pearce, of the same regiment, had gathered up about 200 men, and I sent them to the right to attack the Yankees??n flank. They drove them back a short distance, but in turn were repulsed. These two attacks, however, had a most happy effect. The Yankees were completely deceived by their boldness, and induced to believe that there was a large force in our center. They made no further attempt to pierce our center, except on a small scale, hereafter to be mentioned.
It was now about 4 p.m., and Burnside's corps was massing to attack on our right. A heavy column was advancing up the Boonsborough pike, and I ordered up some 200 or 300 men, under command of Col. G. T. Anderson, to the hill already described, commanding Sharpsburg, but they were exposed to an enfilade fire from a battery near the church, on the Hagerstown pike, and compelled to retire to another hill. About 30 men, under Lieutenant-Colonel [W. H.] Betts, Thirteenth Alabama, of my division, remained as supports to my division batteries, under Jones, [R. A.] Hardaway, and Bondurant. The Yankee columns were allowed to come within easy range, when a sudden storm of grape and canister drove them back in confusion. Betts' men must have given them a very hot fire, as Burnside reported that he had met three heavy columns on the hill. It is difficult to imagine how 30 men could so multiply themselves as to appear to the frightened Yankees to be three heavy columns. On our extreme right, however, the Yankees had been more successful. They had crossed the Antietam, and were driving our men before them. Our forces (supposed to be A. P. Hill's or D. R. Jones') had fallen back nearly to the road in rear of Sharpsburg, and the Yankees advanced in fine style to the crests commanding it. A few hundred yards more and our only line of retreat would be cut off. I called Carter's attention to this imposing force of Yankees, and he opened upon them with three guns, aided by two, I think, of the Donaldsonville Artillery. The firing was beautiful, and the Yankee columns (1,200 yards distant) were routed by this artillery fire alone, unaided by musketry. This is the only instance I have ever known of infantry being broken by artillery fire at long range. It speaks badly for the courage of Burnside's men.
Captain Carter says:
The next movement of the enemy was to advance a heavy column on the extreme right, bearing down on what I supposed to have been the right wing of A. P. Hill's division. Our troops gave way entirely before the column. With three pieces of my battery, aided by two of Lieutenant Elliott's, this column was shattered and driven back without the assistance (so far as I know) of any infantry whatever. Generals D. H. Hill and Rodes witnessed the firing.
Our troops advanced now on the extreme right, and Burnside's whole corps was driven back. This virtually closed the operations of the day, but a movement of a rather farcical character now took place. General Pryor had gathered quite a respectable force behind a stone wall on the Hagerstown road, and Col. G. T. Anderson had about a regiment behind a hill immediately to the right of this road. A Maine regiment (the Twenty-first, I think) came down to this hill wholly unconscious that there were any Confederate troops near it. A shout and a volley informed them of their dangerous neighborhood. The Yankee apprehension is acute; the idea was soon taken in, and was followed by the most rapid running I ever saw. The night closed in with our troops in the center, about 200 yards in rear of the position held in the morning. We held, however, two-thirds of the battle-field, including the ground gained by General A. P. Hill on our right. The only ground lost was in the center, where the chief Yankee attack had been made, and where there had been the severest fighting and the heaviest loss to both parties. The skulkers and cowards had straggled off, and only the bravest and truest men of my division had been left. It is true that hunger and exhaustion had nearly un-fitted these brave men for battle. Our wagons had been sent off across the river on Sunday, and for three days the men had been sustaining life on green corn and such cattle as they could kill in the fields. In charging through an apple orchard at the Yankees, with the immediate prospect of death before them, I noticed men eagerly devouring apples.
The unparalleled loss of the division shows that, spite of hunger and fatigue, the officers and men fought most heroically in the two battles in Maryland. The division lost 3,000 out of less than 9,000 engaged at Seven Pines; 4,000 out of 10,000 in the battles around Richmond; but now the loss was 3,241 in two battles, out of less than 5,000 engaged; that is, the loss was nearly two-thirds of the entire force. Of these 925 are reported missing. Doubtless a large number of the missing fell into the hands of the Yankees, when wounded; but even supposing that none of the missing were killed or wounded, still, we have 2,316 reported killed and wounded, or nearly one-half of those taken into action. Among these was 1 brigadier-general killed, 1 mortally wounded; 3 brigade commanders wounded; 4 colonels killed, 8 colonels wounded; 1 lieutenant-colonel killed, 7 lieutenant-colonels wounded; 2 majors killed, 2 majors wounded. There were but 34 field officers present in the battles, and only 9 left when they were over. The mortality was equally great among company commanders, and several regiments were left under command of lieutenants. Still, the stubborn spirit of the men was not subdued.
From 1,500 to 1,700 were gathered together, on the morning of the 18th, and placed in a position more sheltered than the one occupied the day before, and I think would have fought with determination, if not with enthusiasm, had the Yankees made an advance. Our Northern brethren were too much shattered to renew the contest, and that night we recrossed the Potomac.
The battle of Sharpsburg was a success so far as the failure of the Yankees to carry the position they assailed. It would, however, have been a glorious victory for us but for three causes:
First. The separation of our forces. Had McLaws and R. H. Anderson been there earlier in the morning, the battle would not have lasted two hours, and would have been signally disastrous to the Yankees.
Second. The bad handling of our artillery. This could not cope with the superior weight, caliber, range, and number of the Yankee guns; hence it ought only to have been used against masses of infantry. On the contrary, our guns were made to reply to the Yankee guns, and were smashed up or withdrawn before they could be effectually turned against massive columns of attack. An artillery duel between the Washington Artillery and the Yankee batteries across the Antietam on the 16th was the most melancholy farce in the war.
Third. The enormous straggling. The battle was fought with less than 30,000 men. Had all our stragglers been up, McClellan's army would have been completely crushed or annihilated. Doubtless the want of shoes, the want of food, and physical exhaustion had kept many brave men from being with the army; but thousands of thieving poltroons had kept away from sheer cowardice. The straggler is generally a thief and always a coward, lost to all sense of shame; he can only be kept in ranks by a strict and sanguinary discipline.
List of casualties.
In this sad list we have specially to mourn many distinguished officers. Brigadier-General Garland was killed at South Mountain--the most fearless man I ever knew, a Christian hero, a ripe scholar, and most accomplished gentleman. Brig. Gen. G. B. Anderson was mortally wounded at Sharpsburg--a high-toned, honorable, conscientious Christian soldier, highly gifted, and lovely in all the qualities that adorn a man. Col. C. C. Tew, Second North Carolina Regiment, was one of the most finished scholars on the continent, and had no superior as a soldier in the field. Col. B. B. Gayle, Twelfth Alabama, a most gallant and accomplished officer, was killed at South Mountain. Col. W. P. Barclay, Twenty-third Georgia, the hero of South Mountain, was killed at Sharpsburg. There, too, fell those gallant Christian soldiers, Col. Levi B. Smith, Twenty-seventh Georgia, and Lieut. Col. J. M. Newton, of the Sixth Georgia. The modest and heroic Major [P.] Tracy, of the Sixth Georgia, met there, too, a bloody grave. The lamented Captain [W. F.] Plane, of that regiment, deserves a special mention. Of him it could be truly said that he shrank from no danger, no fatigue, and no exposure. Maj. Robert S. Smith, Fourth Georgia, fell, fighting most heroically, at Sharpsburg. He had received a military education, and gave promise of eminence in his profession. Capt. James B. Atwell, Twentieth North Carolina, deserves to live in the memory of his countrymen for almost unsurpassed gallantry. After having greatly distinguished himself in the capture of the Yankee battery at South Mountain, he fell, heroically fighting, at Sharpsburg. Brigadier-General Ripley received a severe wound in the throat from a Minie-ball, which would have proven fatal but for passing through his cravat. After his wound was dressed, he heroically returned to the field, and remained to the close of the day with his brigade. Brigadier-General Rodes received a painful contusion from a shell, but remained with his command. Colonel McRae, commanding brigade, was struck in the forehead, but gallantly remained on the field. Colonel Bennett, Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment, who had conducted himself most nobly throughout, won my special admiration for the heroism he exhibited at the moment of receiving what he supposed to be a mortal wound. Colonel [W. L.] De Rosset, Third North Carolina, received a severe wound at Sharpsburg, which I fear will forever deprive the South of his most valuable services. Col. F. M. Parker, Thirtieth North Carolina, a modest, brave, and accomplished officer, was severely wounded at Sharpsburg. Col. J. B. Gordon, Sixth Alabama, the Chevalier Bayard of the army, received five wounds at Sharpsburg before he would quit the field. The heroic Colonel [B. D.] Fry, Thirteenth Alabama, and Colonel [E. A.] O'Neal, Twenty-sixth Alabama, who had both been wounded at Seven Pines, were once more wounded severely, at Sharpsburg, while nobly doing their duty. Lieutenant-Colonel [S. B.] Pickens, Twelfth Alabama, and Major [R. D.] Redden, Twenty-sixth Alabama, were both wounded at South Mountain, the former severely. They greatly distinguished themselves in that battle. Lieut. Col. J. N. Lightfoot, Sixth Alabama, and Lieutenant-Colonel [William A.] Johnston, Fourteenth North Carolina, were wounded at Sharpsburg, the latter slightly. Major [S. I.] Thruston, Third North Carolina, received a painful contusion, but did not leave the field. Lieutenant-Colonel Ruffin, Thirteenth North Carolina, remained with his regiment on South Mountain after receiving three painful wounds. Lieutenant-Colonel [W. H.] Betts, Thirteenth Alabama, was slightly wounded. Lieutenant Colonel [C. T.] Zachry, Twenty-seventh Georgia, had just recovered from a severe wound before Richmond to receive a more serious one at Sharpsburg. Lieutenant-Colonel [E. F.] Best and Major [J. H.] Huggins, Twenty-third Georgia, gallant and meritorious officers, were severely wounded at Sharpsburg.
It becomes my grateful task to speak in the highest terms of my brigade commanders, two of whom sealed their devotion to their country with their lives. Major [J. W.] Ratchford, Major Pierson, chief of artillery, and Lieut. J. A. Reid, of my staff; were conspicuous for their gallantry. Captain Overton, serving temporarily with me, was wounded at Sharpsburg, but remained under fire until I urged him to leave the field. Captain West and Lieut. T. J. Moore, ordnance officers, discharged faithfully their duty and rendered important service on the field at South Mountain. Maj. Archer Anderson, adjutant, had been wounded in crossing the Potomac, and I lost his valuable services in Maryland. Sergeant Harmeling and Privates Thomas Jones and Minter, of the couriers, acquitted themselves handsomely.
Brigadier-General Rodes reports as specially deserving notice for their gallantry, Colonel O'Neal and Major Redden, Twenty-sixth Alabama; Col. J. B. Gordon, Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, Lieut. P. H. Larey, Sergt. J. B. Hancock, Sixth Alabama; Maj. E. L. Hobson, Capt. T. M. Riley, Lieut. J. M. Goff, Sergt. A. Swicegood, Color-Corpl. Joshua Smith, Fifth Alabama; Col. C. A. Battle, Capt. E. S. Ready (badly wounded), Lieuts. J. J. Lake (killed) and E. T. Randall (wounded), Sergts. N. M, Howard, William Taylor, J. W. Hauxthall, James Stewart, Henry Donnelson, and George Ellison, Corpl. Josiah Ely, and Privates Joseph Lee and Hollanquist, Third Alabama.
Brigadier-General Colquitt reports in like manner N. B. Neusan, Color-Sergt. J. J. Powell, W. W. Glover, H. M. James, and N. B. Lane, colorguard Sixth Georgia; Corpls. John Cooper, Joseph J. Wood, Privates J. W. Tompkins, B.C. Lapsade, L. B. Hannah, A.D. Simmons, W. Smith, J. M. Feltman, and J. C. Penn. Captain [W. M.] Arnold, Sixth Georgia, who commanded a battalion of skirmishers at South Mountain and Sharpsburg, is entitled to the highest commendation for his skill and gallantry. Captain [N. J.] Garrison, commanding Twenty-eighth Georgia, was severely wounded at the head of his regiment. Captain [James W.]Banning, Twenty-eighth Georgia Regiment, was distinguished for his intrepid coolness, fighting in the ranks, with gun in hand, and stimulating his men by his words and examples. W.R. Johnson and William Goff, Twenty-eighth Georgia; Lieuts. B. A. Bowen, R. S. Tomme, and L. D. Ford, First Sergeant Herring, Sergts. J. L. Moore, T. P. W. Bullard, and J. J. Adams, Corpl. J. A. Lee, and Privates W. A. Estes, J. S. Wingate, W. S. Walker, Isaac Hundley, Thomas Sudler, J. J. Gordon, Simeon Williamson, Mosely, McCall, J. M. Vanse, J. Hutchings. Thomas Argo, J. S. Dennis, W. J. Claybanks, Joseph Herron, and W. D. Tingle, Thirteenth Alabama.
The officers commanding the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Georgia Regiments report that it is impossible for them to make distinctions where so many acted with distinguished bravery. In the Twenty-seventh every commissioned officer except one was killed or wounded at Sharpsburg, and this sole survivor was unwilling to discriminate among so many brave men.
Brigadier-General Doles (now commanding Ripley's brigade) pays a tribute to the memory of Maj. Robert S. Smith, Fourth Georgia, and speaks in the most complimentary terms of Colonel De Rosset and Major Thruston, Third North Carolina(the former severely and the latter slightly wounded), and Captains [E.G.] Meares, [Lieutenant D. E.] McNair, and [D.] Williams, of the same regiment. Lieut. Col. H. A. Brown and Capt. J. N. Harrell, acting major of the First North Carolina Regiment, are also highly commended. Lieut. Col. Phil. Cook, Captains [W. H.] Willis, [F. H.] DeGraffenried, and Lieutenants [E. A.] Hawkins, [R. M.] Bisel, [W. W.] Hulbert, [J. T.] Gay (wounded), [J. G.] Stephens, [C. R.] Ezell, [F. T.] Snead, [L. M.] Cobb (killed), [J. C.] Macon (severely wounded), "all commended themselves to my special notice by their gallant and meritorious conduct." Captain [John C.] Key, commanding Forty-fourth Georgia, and Captain Read, assistant adjutant-general, are equally commended. Asst. Surg. William P. Young remained on the field after he was wounded, caring for the wounded, and fell into the hands of the enemy. Privates Thomas S. Cartright, Joseph L. Richardson, and Henry E. Welch, Fourth Georgia, are mentioned with distinction. The first-named fell with the colors of his regiment in his hand; Richardson was wounded. Privates R. Dudley Hill and Thomas J. Dingier, two lads in the Forty-fourth Georgia, attracted, in an especial manner, the attention of their commander by their extraordinary daring. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, of the First North Carolina Regiment, who commanded in both battles in Maryland, says that all did their duty in his regiment, and he cannot discriminate.
The following officers and men of Garland's brigade are specially commended for their good conduct: Cols. D. K. McRae, Iverson, and Christie; Lieutenant-Colonels Johnston and Ruffin. The latter was wounded three times at South Mountain, and exhibited the highest qualities of the officer and soldier. Captains [T. M.] Garrett, [B.] Robinson, and [Jacob] Brookfield, Adjt. J. M. Taylor, and Lieutenant [Isaac E.] Pearce, of the Fifth; Captain Atwell (killed) and Lieutenant [John H.] Caldwell, of the Twentieth, conducted themselves with soldier-like gallantry. Lieutenants [C.R.]King, [D. H.] Ray, [M. J.] Malone, [E. M.] Duguid, Felton, and Sutton; Sergeants Riddick, Ingram, Pearce, Johnson, and Dennis; Privates Hays, Ellis, Campbell, Hilliard, and Kinsant, of the same regiment, are highly commended by their regimental commanders. Sergts. A. W. Fullenwider, John W. Glenn, C. W. Bennet, and Privates E. F. Howell and W. C. Watkins, of the Twenty-third North Carolina, exhibited extraordinary coolness and daring. Sergeant Fullenwider has been six times wounded during the war, but still lives to perform more heroic deeds. Private David Jones, Twentieth North Carolina, was specially distinguished as a bold and intelligent scout at South Mountain.
In Anderson's brigade the field officers present in the battles--Colonel Tew, Second North Carolina (killed); Colonel Grimes, Fourth North Carolina; Colonel Bennett (wounded) and Lieut. Col. W. A. Johnston (slightly wounded), both of Fourteenth North Carolina; Colonel Parker (severely wounded) and Major Sillers, both of Thirtieth North Carolina -- are all worthy of the gratitude of their country for gallant and meritorious services. Colonel Grimes was disabled, by the kick of a horse, from being with his regiment (Fourth North Carolina) at Sharpsburg, and unfit for duty for months afterward. The Fourth thus lost his valuable services. This gallant regiment, which has never been surpassed by any troops in the world for gallantry, subordination, and propriety, was commanded by the heroic Captain [William T.] Marsh, and, after his fall, by the equally heroic Captain [D. P.] Latham, who shared the same fate. All the officers of this noble regiment present at Sharpsburg were killed or wounded. Their names deserve to be preserved. Captains Marsh, Latham, and [E. A.] Osborne; Lieutenants [Jesse F.] Stansill, J. C. Cotton, [T. M.] Allen, Parker, [T. J.] Brown, [F. H.] Weaver, Crawford, and [B. T.] Bonner; Sergts. John Troutman and J. W. Shinn; Corpls. J. A. Cowan and H. H. Barnes, and Private J. D. Barton, of this regiment, were greatly distinguished for their courage. Private J. B. Stinson, of same regiment, acting as courier to General Anderson, was wounded in three places at Sharpsburg, and there, as on every other battle-field, behaved most nobly.
Colonel Bennett, of the Fourteenth North Carolina, commends Captains[Joseph] Jones, [Eli] Freeman, [T. B.] Beall, [J. R.] DeBerry, and [W.M.] Weir; Lieutenants [W. A.] Liles, [J. L.] Mitchell, [F. M.] Harney, [D. C.] Shankle, [C. W.] Bevers, [W. A.] Threadgill, and [W. G.] Meachum; Sergts. Jenkins and McLester; Corpl. Crump; Privates McGregor, Byerly, Odell, and Morgan.
The Second North Carolina, after the death of the gallant and accomplished Tew, was commanded by Captain [G. M.] Roberts, since resigned. The Thirtieth North Carolina, after the fall of its gallant colonel, was commanded by Major Sillers, a brave and meritorious officer. I much regret that the officers of these two regiments have declined to present the names of those specially distinguished for coolness and courage. The Thirteenth North Carolina, under Lieutenant-Colonel Ruffin, greatly distinguished itself at South Mountain. I regret that I have no report from that heroic officer, now absent, sick. He often, however, spoke of the great gallantry of Sergt. Walter S. Williamson.
D. H. HILL,
Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 1018 - 1030