HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., FIRST CORPS,
Near Sharpsburg, September 20, 1862
Capt. JOHN W. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding the division, that on the morning of the 17th, at early dawn, we took the position assigned us on the field of battle as a reserve in support of General Hartsuff for the engagements of the day. The action opened at daylight, but, owing to the early fall of General Hartsuff, we quickly gained the right of the division and immediately became hotly engaged with the enemy. The position of the enemy was in a corn-field slightly oblique with the center lines, forming an acute angle with the left of the first line. There were two batteries on our right, which opened with terrible effect upon the enemy. Our infantry, maintaining their ground, poured in a flank fire with great execution. The conflict continued until there were only about 100 men of the One hundred and fourth and One hundred and fifth New York Regiments left on the right of the brigade. At this point the cannoneers of one of the batteries were compelled to abandon their guns. The remnants of the two regiments above named rallied behind a large rock and continued to pour in a deadly fire until re-enforcements came up and covered the guns. The enemy's dead upon the field were almost in as perfect line as if on dress parade. It gives me pleasure to say that the men conld not have fought with more determination and gallantry.
Yours, most respectfully,
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), pp. 139-140 [AotW citation 84]