HDQRS. 11TH REGT., PENNSYLVANIA RESERVE VOL. CORPS,
Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., October 2, 1862.
Col. J. T. KIRK,
Comdg. Third Brigade, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to report the part taken by the Eleventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, September 14, 16, and 17, 1862:
On the afternoon of Sunday, September 14, my regiment was ordered by Colonel Gallagher, then commanding Third Brigade, to support a section of Captain Cooper's battery, which had been placed in position to bear upon a battery of the enemy that had been shelling our brigade furiously as we approached the base of the mountain. We had been in position but a few minutes when I received orders to advance my regiment to the front in closed columns of division until we emerged from the corn-field, when we were to deploy in line of battle on the left of the Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps. I immediately complied with this order, and on reaching the open field moved my regiment forward in line of battle with the balance of the brigade. We were here exposed to a shower of shell from the enemy's batteries, which, fortunately, took no effect on my command. I ordered my men to press forward rapidly to a ravine at the foot of the mountain, but on reaching this we received a deadly volley from the enemy's infantry, who were strongly posted in the rocks on the mountain side and but a short distance from our lines. This single volley brought down more than the half of my commissioned officers present, but the men continued to press forward with a seeming determination to win, and soou succeeded in forcing the enemy from their strong and well-selected position, when they continued to drive them steadily before them to the mountain top. I was here apprised of the shortness of our ammunition, and on reporting the same to Lieutenant Bemus, acting assistant adjutant-general, Third Brigade, I was told we would soon be relieved, when we could have our empty boxes replenished. Soon after this General Duryea's brigade advanced and covered a portion of my front. Darkness having stopped the farther pursuit of the enemy for the night, I ordered a portion of my men to see to the carrying of our wounded, as up to this time they had been left untouched on the field. Our casualties in this day's engagement were as follows: Killed, Capt. E. R. Brady, Lieut. W. F. Jackson, and 10 enlisted men; wounded, Col. Thomas F. Gallagher, Capt. Nat. Nesbitt (since dead), Capt. Everard Bierer, Lieut. and Quartermaster H. A. Torrence, Lieut. James S. Kennedy, and 25 enlisted men.
On Tuesday evening, September 16, after having crossed Antietam Creek, my regiment, with the balance of the Third Brigade, was ordered to take a position in line of battle in a strip of woods and on the right of Captain Cooper's battery, which we succeeded in doing under a terrific shower of shell from the enemy's batteries in our front and on our right, with the loss of one man wounded of my command. I was then ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson, commanding Third Brigade, to hold our position here at any cost, and to cover our entire front by a strong line of skirmishers, which later order I complied with by posting a line of skirmishers along the outer edge of the woods and near to the enemy's lines. At early dawn Wednesday, September 17, my regiment was ordered forward, with the balance of the Third Brigade, to support a portion of General King's forces, which had advanced and drove the enemy through a corn-field in our front. We were ordered by General Meade to halt our command at the edge of the corn-field, and to have our men lie down under shelter of the fence. We had been in position here but a short time when the forces of General King were forced to retire from the corn-field, being closely followed by heavy columns of the enemy, who advanced to within a few paces of our lines before we discovered them to be foes. The order was then given along our whole line to open fire upon them, which was done with signal effect, as the enemy after a few well-directed volleys from our lines retired in confusion. We were then ordered to follow them through the corn, but had not advanced far when my command was relieved by a portion of General Mansfield's command, which had just arrived and took the advance. The casualties of my regiment in the battle of Antietam were as follows: Killed, 7 enlisted men; wounded, Capt. Daniel Kistler (since dead), Lieut. Eli Waugaman, and 16 enlisted men. I deem it just before closing this report to make honorable mention of the coolness and bravery of the officers and men of my command throughout those series of engagements.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
S. M. JACKSON,
Lieut. Col., Comdg. Eleventh Regt., Pa. Reserve Volunteer Corps.
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. 153-154 [AotW citation 141]