HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, FRENCH'S
September 19, 1862.
Lieut. J. W. PLUME,
SIR: In obedience to orders, my brigade left camp at Keedysville on the morning of the 17th. After fording the Antietam, marching about 2 miles by the flank, we formed line of battle, the Fourteenth Connecticut on the right, the One hundred and thirtieth Pennsylvania center, and the One hundred and eighth New York on the extreme left. We marched forward, forming in front of William Roulette's house and farm, which was occupied by the enemy, and, having driven them from that position, the right rested in a corn-field and the center occupied a space in front of an orchard. We were here exposed to a galling crossfire for three hours, but maintained the position. The Fifth Maryland Regiment fell back early in the action, passing through the right wing of the Fourteenth Connecticut. The right was immediately formed by Lieut. Col. S. H. Perkins, and the regiment three times formed under a severe cross-fire. Maj. C. C. Clark also rendered great assistance in forming the line. Adjt. T. G. Ellis, who acted as my aide, constantly communicated with General French, and in so doing was greatly exposed in consequence of the position taken by the general amid a very hot fire.
Having received orders to support General Kimball, who was obtaining ammunition, I reported to him, and was ordered to take a position near a stone wall and to hold it. This I did with the Fourteenth Connecticut alone until ordered to advance the Fourteenth to support Colonel Brooke, commanding First Brigade, Richardson's division. I took the position assigned, and was ordered by General Caldwell, temporarily in command of Richardson's division, to remain until further orders. The Fourteenth was here shelled by the enemy, until ordered by General Hancock, who relieved General Caldwell from the command, to the front, which position the Fourteenth held for thirty-six hours, constantly harassed by the enemy. From the time I was ordered to support General Kimball I remained with the Fourteenth and the One hundred and thirtieth Pennsylvania, now joined to the First Brigade, and the One hundred and eighth New York. For details I refer you to the reports of the colonels of regiments
My brigade captured 2 stand of colors, 2 captains, 7 lieutenants, and about 400 privates, who were turned over to the provost-marshal at Boonsborough, besides wounding many field officers of the enemy. We also took over 400 stand of arms, which were turned over to the ordnance officer. I attribute our success in a great measure to the constant communication with the commanding general through the day, as well as to the unsurpassed bravery of our men. The men in my brigade were all new troops, hastily raised, and without drill or experience, and, although under fire for the first time, behaved with great gallantry. In front of the last position held by the Fourteenth Connecticut more than 1,000 of the enemy lie slain.
My loss in killed, wounded, and missing is 529.
Very respectfully, yours,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, French's Division.
Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27), Pages 332-333