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Capt James Thompson's Official Report

Report of September 22, 1862

[author biography]

CAMP NEAR SHARPSBURG, Md, September 22, 1862.

General J. B. RICKETTS.

SIR: I beg to report for your information the part taken and list of casualties in Capt. James Thompson's battery, Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery:

In accordance with orders, received through Captain Williams, we moved from the position occupied by us during the night and followed the division, as ordered, and selected a position in a grass field in rear of General Duryea's brigade, and replied to a rebel battery to our right front; but finding that a battery to our left front had got the correct range of our position, I directed my fire on it, and as the smoke from the enemy and our guns prevented me from closely observing the effects of our fire, I directed my men to fire slowly until they could get the correct range, when I was ordered to advance, and came into action in plowed field for a few minutes, when I advanced into a corn-field, in rear of right of Duryea's brigade, and continued in action until about 10 a. m. During the action I observed the enemy advancing from the wood to our right front, when we directed our fire on them, using short fuse, as we could not use canister, as many of our men were lying wounded in front of our guns. When, finding that our division had retired, and that I had not sufficient men left to man my guns, I retired to first position in grass field. The moment I halted eighteen of my horses fell dead, when I retired, having to abandon the disabled guns for a few moments until I could return with teams to haul them to the rear. I afterward returned to recover the harness, but found it cut and destroyed, having had 19 team and 4 non-commissioned officers' horses shot and several others wounded.

Very respectfully,
JAMES THOMPSON,
Captain, Comdg. Independent Battery Pennsylvania Vol. Artillery.

Source: OR1





Notes

1   US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Vol. 51/Part1 (Ser #107), pg. 139  [AotW citation 83]

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