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BGen John Newton's Official Report

Report of September 24, 1862 on Crampton's Gap

J. Newton

[author biography]

September 24, 1862.

Major H. C. RODGERS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Third Brigade at the battle of Crampton's Pass, September 14, 1862:

My brigade arrived upon the field soon after 3 p.m., formed in two lines of battle, the Eighteenth and Thirty-second New York Volunteers forming the front line, and the Thirty-first New York Volunteers and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers the rear line. In getting into their position they were shelled with great precision by the enemy's batteries, but I am happy to say that but few casualties resulted from this fire.

Finding Colonel Bartlett's brigade, which had preceded mine, actively engaged with the enemy, I supported him upon the right with the Eighteenth and Thirty-second New York Volunteers, and subsequently upon the left with the Thirty-first New York Volunteers and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers. The troops were under a very severe fire from the enemy's musketry and artillery, they (the enemy) being covered by woods, stone walls, ledges of rock, &c.

After a fusillade of about one hour and a half, with but little impression being made upon the enemy, the order to charge was given, in which the entire infantry of the division, with the exception of the One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, were engaged. The charge was short and decisive, and the enemy was driven from his stronghold in a very few moments, although our loss was severe in accomplishing this object. The Eighteenth and Thirty-second New York on the right of our line, aided by other regiments of the division, charged up the almost inaccessible mountain to its summit, driving the enemy before them. In this charge I regret that Colonel R. Matheson, Major George F. Lemon, and Second Lieutenant Collins, of the Thirty-second New York, were severely wounded, and Second Lieutenant Wright killed; also, in the Eighteenth New York, Captain William Horsfall killed and Lieutenants Daley and Ellis wounded severely.

The Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers and Thirty-first New York Volunteers, on the left, swept through the gap, and although their loss is trifling compared with the other two regiments of the brigade, their position was important. The Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, after passing through the gap, received the fire from a battery of the enemy, which they bore steadily, and advanced in the face of, until the guns were drawn off. It is supposed the rapidity of their charge, together with that of the regiments on their left, compelled the enemy to abandon the cannon, which was afterward brought in by the pickets of the Second Division. The enemy's trains of wagons also barely escaped. The rout of the enemy was complete, and we needed but a small body of cavalry to have doubled their loss.

I take great pleasure in again noticing the gallantry and efficiency of Colonel R. Matheson, Thirty-second New York Volunteers, and who has been repeatedly recommended for promotion; also that of Major George F. Lemon, Thirty-second New York Volunteers; of Lieutenant-Colonel Myers, commanding Eighteenth New York Volunteers, and Major Meginnis and Captain Horsfall, killed; Captain A. Barclay Mitchell and Lieutenants Daley and Ellis, wounded, of the Eighteenth New York Volunteers, as behaving with great coolness and gallantry; of Colonel G. W. Town, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers and Lieutenant Colonel F. E. Pinto, commanding Thirty-first New York Volunteers, and performing their duties with great efficiency.

I again call attention to the gallantry and efficient services of Lieutenant Russel, aide-de-camp, and of Lieutenant Charles E. Heisler, acting aide-de-camp, Captain E. M. Tilley, brigade quartermaster, and Lieutenant D. Tarbell, Thirty-second New York Volunteers, acting brigade commissary, accompanied me on the field, rendering efficient and gallant services.

I was entirely satisfied with the conduct of the officers and men of the brigade.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 396 - 397


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