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Capt Julius Wehle's Official Report

Report of September 21, 1862

[author biography]

In Bivouac near Sharpsburg, Md., September 21, 1862.

SIR: I hereby respectfully submit to brigade headquarters a report of the casualties, conduct, &c., of the regiment under my command during the recent engagement of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th:

At the commencement of the engagement we formed a portion of the support to the batteries on the hill. Up to the time of crossing the creek I have no casualties to report. It was not until we had ascended the hill for the purpose of relieving the Irish Brigade that my men commenced [falling]. We pressed forward across the hill, and came in full sight of the enemy. We were here subjected to a destructive fire from the enemy's battery on the right. By a successful flank movement we here assisted in resisting the enemy's attempt to turn our right. Then came the order to drive the enemy from their strong position on the left in the corn-field. Here now was the terrific part of the engagement. The men were falling thick and fast, but never faltering. The battalion pressed forward and completely routed the enemy, who fled in a disorganized mass, leaving the field strewn with their dying and dead. It was here that we captured a rebel lieutenant of the Fifth Florida Regiment, together with his whole company and a stand of colors. We were subsequently ordered back to support the rear battery, which General Richardson was commanding in our rear. We remained until dark and the firing had ceased.

With reference to the conduct of the officers and men under my command during the battle, I cannot speak but in terms of the highest praise. We went into the fight with every company but one commanded by a second lieutenant, and consequently not a single commanding officer in the rank of file-closers.

I was ably assisted in my command by Captain Nelson, acting lieutenant-colonel, and Hammell, acting major of the battalion. These officers behaved in the most gallant and meritorious manner, and I would recommend them both as being very brave and efficient officers.

With regard to my line officers, they all acted unexceptionably, but I will report particularly Second Lieutenants McNeil and Munn, of Companies H and G, respectively.

The following is the report of killed, wounded, and missing: Killed,11; wounded, 90; missing,1.


Captain, Commanding Battalion.


1   US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , pg. 303  [AotW citation 26175]


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