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LCol John Clark's Official Report

Report of October 2, 1862

[author biography]

HDQRS. 3D REGT., PENNSYLVANIA RESERVE VOL. CORPS,
October 2, 1862.

SIR:I have the honor to report the operations of this regiment at the battles of the 14th and 17th of September:

On the 14th, soon after arriving on the field, I was ordered to move off to the right with the regiment and take a position on an eminence to guard against and arrest the approach of the enemy on our right flank and to report from time to time to General Hooker any movement of the enemy that I saw. I marched the regiment to the point designated and remained there until near sundown, when I received orders from General Hooker to return to the point we had left, as the cavalry were able to attend to that part of the field. I returned as ordered, and found that the division had moved farther up the mountain. I sent a lieutenant to report to General Meade for orders. After considerable difficulty he found the general, who gave orders for the regiment to move up and support Ransom's battery. I marched the regiment to the point as directed, and found that Captain Ransom had been able to move but two pieces on the hill. I remained with them until they were ordered away. I followed them down to the turnpike and on to Antietam Creek, but in consequence of the road being blocked up with trains and troops, we were unable to rejoin the division until sunrise on the 16th. On the morning of the 16th we took our place in the division and marched with them until near what was afterward the battle-field of the 17th. Here I was ordered to throw out eight companies of the regiment as skirmishers in different directions. With the balance of the regiment I marched to the woods, where the enemy opened fire upon us with artillery, and remained in this wood all night. Was engaged early on Wednesday morning. We first marched some distance by the right flank, then closed column by division and approached the enemy. When near enough we deployed into line of battle; but unfortunately we halted and fronted two or three times, which kept our flank for a considerable time exposed to a heavy fire. The last time our men became somewhat confused, but were soon rallied and held the enemy in check for a time until General Meade got a battery in place, which aided very materially in turning the tide of battle at that point until re-enforcements arrived on the ground. We were then relieved and ordered to retire to the rear. I would state that the eight companies of this regiment sent out as skirmishers were detained so late on Tuesday that many of the men and some of the officers were unable to find the regiment in the darkness; consequently we had short of 200 men in the engagement. Out of this number our killed and wounded was just 25 per cent. I take pleasure in mentioning the efficient aid rendered me on the field by the following officers: Maj. William Briner, Actg. Adjt. H. S. Jones, Captains Harkins, Straub, and Davenport, Lieutenants Bamford, Nicholson, and Glenn.

Your obedient servant,
JOHN CLARK,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

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), pp. 143-144  [AotW citation 111]

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