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Capt Andrew Cowan' s Official Report

Report of September 23, 1862

[author biography]

September 23, 1862.

Captain AYRES,
Commanding Artillery, General Smith's Division.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the 17th instant I took a position with Hancock's brigade on the field near Sharpsburg, Md. A battery of the enemy opened on me as soon as I came into battery. I returned the fire, and after two hours' firing compelled it to leave the field. During the time that I had been thus engaged, a battery of the enemy farther to the left had been quite troublesome, having brought a partial crossfire upon me. I directed my fire upon it and silenced it. At about 4 p. m. the enemy brought up two pieces on my right in a corn-field, and opened on Sumner's batteries. I changed front to fire to the right and prevent the possibility of a cross-fire from them. For some reason Sumner's fire did not appear to reach them. I then opened. The enemy fired less than six rounds apiece, limbered up, and retired. Our fire was quite accurate. Nothing further occurred that day, except that I threw an occasional shell into the woods when I saw any considerable body of the enemy moving there.

On the 18th a flag of truce prevented further action. At 10 o' clock p. m. we heard the enemy removing his artillery. The movement lasted till 1 a. m.

My loss was 1 private wounded, Private John Lanning; 1 horse killed, and 2 wounded.

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours,

Captain First New York Battery

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Page 405


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