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Col Stapleton Crutchfield's Official Reports

Reports of Sept 1862, April 1863 on the Maryland Campaign

[author biography]

April 16, 1863

Lieutenant Colonel C. J. FAULKNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the artillery of this army corps in the capture of Harper's Ferry, and battle of Sharpsburg, in September, 1862:

On Saturday, September 13, the command of Lieutenant-General Jackson appeared before Harper's Ferry on the southern side, having approached it from Martinsburg. That day was spent in reconnaissances.

On Sunday a cannonade was opened on the enemy from the batteries of Brigadier General John G. Walker, from the Loudoun Heights, and from those of Major-General McLaws, from Maryland Heights. The enemy were strongly intrenched on Bolivar Heights and just around the former house of the superintendent of the armory. At the latter place his fire was pretty well silenced late in the day. Toward the close of the afternoon a general advance was made on the place. Major General A. P. Hill's division moved along the west bank of the Shenandoah; that of Major-General Ewell, commanded by Brigadier-General Lawton, was on the left of General Hill's, while Jackson's division, commanded by Colonel Grigsby, approached on the road from Harper's Ferry to Shepherdstown. The early approach of night prevented any serious engagement.

During the night, ten guns from the batteries of Captains Dement, Brown, [Lieutenant] Garber, and Latimer were moved up the Shenandoah, and, crossing at Kelly's Ford, moved down on the other side until opposite, the left of the enemy's line of intrenchments. This position, although commanded perfectly by Bolivar Heights, yet secured a fire into the rear of the enemy's works on his left, where he had a work with an embrasure battery of four guns, but open in the rear, and the first point of his work to be encountered by Major General A. P. Hill. This work gained, his other works were untenable. A road having to be cut for these ten guns prevented their opening at daybreak, as General Jackson had ordered. The attack was begun by a battery of eight guns in front and rather to the right of this work, from the batteries of Captains Pegram, McIntosh, Davidson, and Braxton, of Major General A. P. Hill's division. In a short time the guns of Captains Brown, [Lieutenant] Garber, Latimer, and Dement, being in position, their fire was directed against this work from the rear. Its battery was quickly silenced, the men running from their guns, but returning to them in a short time after the guns directed on the work were brought to bear on the enemy's infantry in his intrenchments. These pieces were, therefore, again directed on the work, and in something less than an hour its fire was completely silenced, and our guns being again turned on the enemy's infantry, they soon began to fall back from their intrenchments in great confusion, and the white flag was raised over their works.

The captured guns being turned over to the quartermaster for removal, I can make no exact return of the number. We had none disabled, and, of course, lost none.

On reaching Shepherdstown late next evening, I met Brigadier General W. N. Pendleton, who desired me to return to Harper's Ferry and endeavor to get together batteries of the captured guns and such ammunition as I could and send it to Shepherdstown or the battle-field of Sharpsburg, as our ordnance supplies were getting short and our batteries in an inefficient condition from hard marching and previous fighting. I therefore returned to Harper's Ferry. After much difficulty I found the quartermaster in charge of the captured guns, and found he had been busy removing them, and in so doing had mismatched the caissons, limbers, and guns to such an extent that after vainly spending half the day at it, I gave up the task of getting together any batteries from among them. The batteries of Captains Brown, Dement, and Latimer had been left at Harper's Ferry, as disabled, on account of the condition of their horses. I therefore had horses turned over to them, filled them up with ammunition, exchanged two of Captain Latimer's 10-pounder Parrotts, whose vent-pieces had burned out in the action of the day before, for two 3-inch rifles of the captured guns, and started them for the battle-field, going on ahead myself. I got there too late in the evening to be able to give any report of the battle. In it, however, we lost no guns. Captain [Charles] Thompson's (then Captain D'Aquin's) battery [Louisiana Guard Artillery] captured one 10-pounder Parrott, which they brought off. In recrossing the Potomac a forge belonging to Captain Crenshaw's battery and a caisson belonging to Captain Brockenbrough's were lost on this side of the river from the sheer exhaustion of the horses, both rolling down a cliff on the side of the road.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel and Chief of Artillery Second Corps.


September 22, 1862

Brigadier General WILLIAM N. PENDLETON,
Commanding Artillery.

GENERAL: I received your order for a report of the batteries of this army corps this morning, and have the honor to submit the following statement of their condition:

1st. In Major General A. P. Hill's division the condition of the artillery is so satisfactory set forth in Lieutenant Chamberlayne's report that I submit it as it is.

2d. In the division commanded by Brigadier General J. A. Early, three of his batteries are in excellent order, having been refitted by myself at Harper's Ferry, according to your order to me in Shepherdstown. Another, that of Captain Balthis, will be put in first-rate condition by the securing of the two Napoleon guns I sent them to you for. Two others, those of Captains D'Aquin and Johnson, are disabled from hard service. I have sent them to Martinsburg to recruit their horses and men, by rest, to have their horses shod, &c. If they can get a week or ten days' rest then 30 horses will put them in good order.

3d. In Major General D. H. Hill's division all the artillery is reported unfit for duty. This division has not been associated with us long enough for me to form such an acquaintance with his officers as to enable me to put an entirely reliable estimate upon the judgment of said officers. From the examination I gave to these batteries, I deemed it best to send them back to Martinsburg to refresh men and horses and to shoe the latter. A particular report I sent you by Major Pierson, his chief of artillery.

4th. In Major-General Jackson's own division I submit the report of Major Shumaker, chief of artillery. I have reduced his call for horses to 128 from 204, as I know how scarce they are, and you will find it impossible to supply fully all the demands made on you for them.

I do not consider a forge necessary now for Captain Carpenter, as he can use Captain Poague's. One is needed, however, by Captain Raine and one by Captain Cutshaw. I do not consider that Captain Caskie needs a forge, as he and Captain Cutshaw are attached to the same brigade. Captain Brockenbrough can work the three guns he asks for by turning in his howitzer, and I would be glad to see him get Napoleons. I do not request it, though, if you need them more elsewhere, especially if other batteries can furnish the teams. One of his guns, a 12-pounder Blakely, he reports disabled. The stock was broken in the battle of Sharpsburg, and it was sent to Winchester. If it can be repaired there, or the gun put on another carriage, I would be glad to get it back, and then, by giving Captain B[rockenbrough] two Napoleons and allowing him to turn in his howitzer, he would have a capital battery of four guns, two of them rifled. This is one of our best companies.

Captain Cutshaw has two 12-pounder howitzers, while his caissons are those of 6-pounder guns, and need alteration.

As to the reserve needed by this army corps, I would wish to consult General Jackson before reporting specifically, and as he is now at General Lee's headquarters and may be engaged there some time, I must beg your indulgence for a short time before reporting, which I will do so soon as I see him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel and Chief of Artillery, Valley District.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 962 - 964


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