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Maj Orrin J Crane's Official Report

Report of September 25, 1862 of the 1st Brigade, Greene's Division

[author biography]

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., BANKS' ARMY CORPS,
Loudoun Heights, Va., September 25, 1862.

Brigadier-General GREENE,
Commanding Second Division.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, Second Division, in the battle of Antietam, open the 17th September, 1862:

The brigade was composed of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Major Ario Pardee commanding; Fifth Ohio Volunteers, [Major John Collins commanding; Seventh Ohio Volunteers,] Maj. O. J. Crane commanding, and the Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, Lieutenant Col Eugene Powell commanding. The brigade, under command of Lieutenant Colonel H. Tyndale, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was formed at 5.30 a. m. in column of division, right in front. It was then marched in column about 1 mile to a point of woods, where the enemy were in force and had engaged our right, holding them in check.

At this point the order came to deploy column into line of battle, which was promptly executed. We then advanced a short distance into the woods, where the enemy were formed under cover of a fence. The action commenced. After exchanging a few shots the engagement became general, which continued for an hour and a half of severe fighting, with great slaughter to the enemy, when the enemy gave way in confusion and disorder before the furious onset of our troops. We pursued them rapidly, capturing many prisoners, and strewing the ground with their dead and wounded. After pressing them closely for a distance of one-half mile, we were obliged to slacken our fire, as our ammunition had given out, when receiving a supply, we changed our line by the right flank, and marched to an elevation, where we awaited the advance of the enemy, who was advancing in column of regiments. We then received orders to fall back under cover of the hill, and awaited the advance of the enemy; when within a short range our troops were quickly thrown forward to the top of the hill, where we poured into their advancing columns volley after volley. So terrific was the fire of our men that the enemy fell like grass before the mower; so deadly was the fire that the enemy retreated in great disorder, they not being able to rally their retreating forces. We charged them in a heavy piece of woods, driving them out of it, capturing a large number of prisoners (among them was a lieutenant-colonel and a lieutenant), and made terrible havoc in their ranks, covering the ground with the slain, many of them officers. We gained the woods, and held our position for two hours. We were then ordered to retire, and be relived by other troops, under the command of General Smith.

It is impossible at this time to speak of individual bravery, but I can say, without flattery, that all, both officers and men of the different regiments of the brigade, nobly stood by their colors, and did their duty well on that eventful day. Lieutenant-Colonel Tyndale, while nobly doing his duty, was severely wounded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ORRIN J. CRANE,
Commanding Brigade.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 506 - 507

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