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Maj Lyman J Jackson's Official Reports

Reports of September 20, 1862 on South Mountain and Antietam

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[ South Mountain ]



HDQRS. ELEVENTH REGIMENT OHIO VOL. INFANTRY,
Antietam Creek, Md., September 20, 1862.

Colonel GEORGE CROOK,
Commanding Second Brigade, Kanawha Division.

SIR: I have the honor to report part taken by the Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the engagement of the 14th instant on South Mountain, Md., Lieutenant Colonel A. H. Coleman, since deceased, being then in command:

The First Brigade made the advance up the hill. After our ascent to the open field on the left of the principal batteries of the enemy, we were ordered to skirmish the woods beyond the field. The right wing, under Lieutenant-Coleman, deployed and advanced, and, on reaching within a few rods of the woods, a heavy fire of musketry was opened in his rear and to the right from the enemy in the woods and behind a stone wall. We moved rapidly forward to the protection of the woods, suffering heavily from their fire until a charge from two other regiments of our division drove them away.

We then fell back to the hill-side in the open fields, where we were out of reach of their guns, and remained here with the rest of our brigade until an advance was made against the enemy by the Pennsylvania and Rhode Island troops on our right. We then, in conjunction with them and the others troops of our division, made a bayonet charge through the woods on the battery and over the stone fences held by the enemy, driving them from it with fearful slaughter.

Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman took down the enemy's colors with his own hands. Our men behaved most gallantly. Three of our officers were wounded.

Inclosed I transmit our loss.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

LYMAN J. JACKSON,
Major, Comdg. Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.


[ Antietam ]



HDQRS. ELEVENTH REGIMENT OHIO VOL. INFANTRY,
Maryland, September 20, 1862.

Colonel GEORGE CROOK,
Commanding Second Brigade, Kanawha Division.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by the Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the engagement of the 17th instant:

We were ordered and led by Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, then commanding the regiment, to move toward a bridge across Antietam Creck, then occupied by the enemy. I do not know the duty assigned, but as two of our companies had been sent forward as skirmishers to the woods and hill side on our side of the creek, I suppose it was to support them. Advancing in line across a plowed field and hill, the right and left divided, under conflicting orders, the right moving to our skirmishers forward on the right, the left moving to the base of hill by the creek. Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, moving with the left under a severe fire, was shot through the right arm by a sharpshooter, and died in about an hour after. I must say of this that no better, braver, truer officer ever served our country, and no regiment can feel a loss more sorely.

At the base of the hill I found myself in a useless position with a part of the regiment, and recrossed the field to a point of the hill opposite the brigade, formed my men under cover, and kept up a fire against the enemy until our ammunition was exhausted. I was exhausted. I was then ordered to fall back and reform the regiment on the left of the Thirty-sixth, which I did, and moved up with that regiment, participating with it in the last charge made from the hills by the creek. Our army had then driven the enemy from the creek. We charged across the open fields west of the creek, where we were halted close to a stone fence. The movement was made in conjunction with troops on our right and left. Those on our left, being unexpectedly attacked in flank by a superior force, were compelled to fall back. Under some indications that the enemy were about to follow up the charge on our flank, I wheeled the regiment left and backward, the right standing fast on the line of battle, so as to oppose a front any such flank movement. Shortly after, our left was re-enforced by one regiment, and I resumed the first position, to follow up the charge. The re-enforcement was insufficient, was in a situation exposed to a terrible fire of infantry and artillery, and after a fearful loss of life, fell back. I then resumed a position fronting the left, at right angles to and resting on our line. Shortly after, our whole line fell back, and I followed in rear of the Thirty-sixth to the eastern slope of the hill west of the bridge. We formed there on right of the Thirty-sixth, and to the left of the road, and remained until about 3 o'clock p. m. of the next day, when we were both relieved by the One hundred and eighteenth Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry.

I thank my officers and men for their coolness and courage during the whole engagement. It is the more creditable, because the death of a commanding officer would naturally tend to weaken confidence and diminish courage.

Captain J. B. Weller was wounded at the time Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman was killed, which left his company without a commissioned officer. Companies A, E, and were without officers, and yet the men did their duty well.

I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,

LYMAN J. JACKSON,
Major, Comdg. Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 472 - 474

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