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BGen W D Pender's Official Report

Report of October 14, 1862 of Harpers Ferry and Sharpsburg

W. D. Pender

[author biography]

October 14, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the battle of Manassas Junction, the two days' fighting at Manassas, the battles of Ox Hill, Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg, and Shepherdstown:

[Portion omitted is found in the OR, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 2, Pages 697 - 699]

At Harper's Ferry my brigade was on the left of the division advancing from the point where the railroad and river met. My brigade advanced within about 60 yards of the breastwork on the west point of Bolivar Hights, having exchanged shots with the enemy several times on their way there. Colonel Brewer was in command of the brigade at this time, and did himself great credit in the manner in which he handled it. Being absent when my brigade had reached the advanced position, on my return I ordered it to fall back a short distance, knowing no troops were in a supporting distance.

The next morning, according to your order, I moved nearer, under cover, while our artillery played upon the enemy. The artillery ceasing, I, in obedience to previous orders commenced the advance, but halted on the fire of our artillery opening again. I remained in this position, about 150 yards distant from the above-named breastwork, until after the surrender. Here, again, my officers and men behaved finely.

At Sharpsburg, on Wednesday, September 17, my brigade was on the right of the division, but not actively engaged, being under fire at long range of musketry.

The next morning I was ordered to take position between Colonel Brockenbrough, on the left, and Colonel [James H.] Lane, on my right. Here we were exposed all day to the enemy's sharpshooters, about 600 yards distant. We remained in this position until late at night.

At Shepherdstown, September 20, my brigade formed the left of our division. Advancing to within about 300 yards, we were opened upon by the artillery from the opposite side of the river, which lasted all day, at a most terrible rate. We came upon the infantry which had crossed. I had gone to the left to oppose this force, which was far superior to my own. Finding an effort made to flank me, I placed two regiments under cover from artillery, facing the river, and threw the other on my left flank, so as to check this new disposition of the enemy. Holding this position a short while, General Archer came up with three brigades to the support of the advanced line, and, upon seeing the flanking movement of the enemy, moved quickly to the left, when we advanced, driving them headlong into the river. After driving them from the plain, I sent the Twenty-second North Carolina, under the gallant Major Cole, to the river bank to take them as they crossed, and this it did nobly. Others of my brigade had gone to the river, but, finding them too much exposed, I called them back under a hill just overhanging the river. I called out those I had first left in that exposed position, leaving Major Cole with 20 men, who remained all day, the enemy being in heavy force in the canal on the opposite side. We were exposed all day to a tremendous fire of artillery, and also to the fire of their sharpshooters.

In conclusion, I would beg leave to bring to the notice of the major-general the distinguished gallantry and efficiency of First Lieutenant R. H. Brewer, volunteer aide on my staff, whom I recommend for promotion. I would also beg leave to mention the names of a few whose actions entitle them to notice. In the Twenty-second the list will be rather long, as it is upon it and its commander that I usually call when any special and dangerous services are to be performed. Maj. C. C. Cole, commanding Twenty-second, always acts with coolness, courage, and skill. Captain [J. M.] Odell, acting field officer, has invariably behaved in a highly commendable manner. Captain George A. Graves, Twenty-second, is mentioned for great gallantry, and for having remained with his company even while very sick. Second Lieutenant David Edwards, of the same regiment, at Manassas, with the help of two men, rushed ahead of their regiment and captured a piece of artillery when it was on the eve of escaping, having a hand-to-hand engagement with the enemy. At Harper's Ferry he also acted in such a manner as to be particularly noticed. Sergeant Oxford, of Company H, Twenty-second, is mentioned for great daring and coolness at Shepherdstown. Sergt. Jesse H. Pinkerton is mentioned as always going ahead with the colors, and by his undaunted courage encouraging others. He is a young man, and mentioned for promotion. Captain Stowe, commanding Sixteenth North Carolina at Manassas Junction, the two days' fighting at Manassas, and at Ox Hill until wounded, behaved with great credit to himself. Lieutenant-Colonel Stowe, commanding Sixteenth North Carolina at Shepherdstown, Harper's Ferry, and Sharpsburg, behaved with great gallantry. Second Lieutenant John B. Ford, of the same regiment, attracted my attention for his good demeanor in all the battles. Captain Asford, commanding Thirty-eighth North Carolina at Manassas Junction and at Manassas, where he was wounded, has entitled himself to notice as well as promotion by his uniform bravery and good conduct. Lieutenants [A. J.] Brown and [J. M.] Robinson, also of the same regiment, have attracted my attention more than once, as also Adjutant [D. M.] McIntire. There are others, too numerous to mention, who have escaped my memory at this hour.

The list of casualties is as follows:

Engagements.                     Killed. Wounded.
Near Warrenton Springs, 1 3 August 20 Manassas Junction, August 27 1 3 Manassas, August 29 and 30 12 145 Ox Hill, September 1 12 46 Harper's Ferry, September 14 2 20 and 15 Sharpsburg, September 17 and 2 28 18 Shepherdstown, September 20 8 55 Total 38 300


Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 1004 - 1005


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