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Capt D. R. Ransom's Report

Report of September 22, 1862

R.H. Chapin

[author biography]

CAMP OF BATTERY C,
FIFTH UNITED STATES ARTILLERY,
NEAR SHARPSBURG, MARYLAND

September 22, l862.

Lieutenant CHARLES N. JACKSON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Seymour’s Division.

SIR : Pursuant to instructions from Division Headquarters, I have the honor to report as follows with reference to the actions of September 16 and 17, 1862.

Late in the afternoon of September 16 and soon after Captain Cooper, First Pennsylvania Artillery, had engaged the enemy on our left, I was ordered by General Meade to take my battery to the edge of a wood several hundred yards on the right and nearly at right angles to Cooper’s line of fire.

Having gained the point undiscovered I opened with case shot at about 800 yards, enfilading the enemy’s line. He soon ceased firing, fell back to another position and reopened his fire. I engaged the enemy’s battery of (I should judge) four guns about 20 minutes, owing to darkness - the enemy firing but seldom and that at a distance.

I withdrew by order of General Meade to a ravine some 700 yards behind the woods. The position left was immediately occupied by the infantry of the Division.

Casualties were - one sergeant killed and one private wounded.

On the morning of September 17, between 8 and 9 o’clock, General Hooker, I think, ordered the battery to the crest of a ridge some 500 or 600 yards in front of the wood I abandoned the evening previous.

The battery opened with case shot on the enemy’s infantry, seen advancing through the cornfield in front. In the open space on my left a rifled battery was posted, but soon retired. Its place was filled with a regiment of infantry; however, a light 12-pounder battery of 6 guns posted immediately behind. The battery soon moved to the rear. Infantry occupied the enclosure and the [position] to my right and front. My battery remained in position some half-hour and toward the last fired canister.

[I found] myself very short-handed and many horses disabled, rendering the battery unfit for further service.

Some 400 rounds of case and solid shot, shell and canister were expended during the two days. During the engagement the men behaved very well. The battery was not engaged in the action of September 14.

I am, Sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. R. RANSOM,
Captain, Commanding Battery C,
Fifth United States Artillery.

Source: Janet Hewett, ed., The Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 100 Volumes in 3 Parts, Wilmington (NC): Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1994-2001; Part 1, Vol. 3, pp. 533 - 535. From the Joseph Hooker Collection, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

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