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Capt Rufus D Pettit's Official Report

Report of September 26, 1862

[author biography]

September 26, 1862.

SIR: In compliance with orders received, I have the honor to report that I received orders on the 15th instant to hasten with my command to the heights near Sharpsburg and join my division, which arrived there a few hours previous, there being a prospect of an engagement with the enemy at this point. I arrived at 11 a. m. and took position on an eminence about 1 1/2 miles below Keedysville, and engaged the enemy's batteries, there in number, which were in position on the hills on the opposite side of the Antietam, supported by a considerable body of infantry, this engagement lasting until near night, I having expended about 400 rounds without sustaining any loss to my command. Was relieved at 5 a. m. of the 16th by a battery of 20-pounder Parrott guns, by order of chief of artillery of General Sumner's corps, and moved a short distance to the rear, remaining under a galling fire for four hours, having one man wounded by a piece of a shell. In the mean time one section of my battery was ordered to a position on the right, but took no part in the engagement.

At 1 p. m. my command was ordered to move across the Antietam and join the artillery in the flank movement on the enemy's left, and arrived at 6 p. m. and took position in battery on a hill near where the engagement commenced on the following morning [17 September]. Remained in this position until firing commenced, when I was ordered forward into position on the field. Had one man killed, while coming into battery, by a ball; was buried on the field.

My command remained in this position until the morning of the 18th, subject to a raking fire from the enemy's artillery at times. At daylight on the 18th received orders to report to General Hancock, and took position on the left of his division, under fire of the enemy's sharpshooters. Here we remained until the division withdrew.

Hoping this will meet your approval, I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Captain, Comdg, Battery B, First New York Vol Artillery.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Page 283


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