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Col Henry W Hudson's Official Report

Report of September 20, 1862

[author biography]

Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., September 20, 1862.

Captain J. GORMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

I have the honor to make the following report of the part this regiment took in the battle of the 17th instant:

We left camp about 7.30 a. m., the First Minnesota having the right of the brigade, the Eighty-second New York Volunteers second in line. After fording the creek and gaining the high ground, we were formed in line of battle, under a severe fire of artillery from the enemy, in the following order: Gorman's brigade in the front line, Dana's in the second line, and Burn's [O. O. Howard's] in the rear. We steadily advanced under fire of artillery some one-half to three-quarters of a mile through fields, over fences, into a piece of wood near the enemy, in front of our line of battle. My two right companies were posted in rear of a rail fence in the outer edge of the woods, the rest of my command being in open ground. The enemy advancing in force, we opened a deadly fire upon them, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing their front line broken and in confusion under the incessant fire to which they were exposed from the First Brigade.

All this time we were exposed to a strong fire from a battery of the enemy. My regiment behaved nobly, and bravely held their ground until ordered to fall back, as we were being outflanked, nor did they then leave until the two brigades in our rear were falling back and the regiments on our left were moving. We then fell back to the outer edge of the wood, and formed on the First Minnesota to hold the enemy in check, till ordered by Colonel Sully, to whom I had reported, to fall still farther back, which we did in good order. We again made a stand behind a stone wall, and poured in our fire upon the enemy till they brought a battery of artillery on our flank, when we were obliged to fall back and join the other regiments of the brigade in good order on the edge of the wood, not more than 500 yards from the spot where our right rested. While in line of battle engaged with the enemy during the fight, the two lines in our rear were not engaged, and were not more than 20 or 50 yards from us.

We fortunately escaped without losing any commissioned officers being killed, though we have 4 severely wounded. In some cases the wounds are so severe that amputation of limbs will be necessary.

Subjoined please find list of casualties.

Officers wounded, 4; men killed, 20; wounded, 93; missing, 16; total, 133.

I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Bolivar Heights, September 28, 1862.


In reply to yours, I state that at the battle of Antietam, when my regiment was being outflanked by a large force of the enemy, I found the lines in our rear broken and the left of the brigade moving. Not seeing General Gorman, I reported to you, as senior officer present, and by your orders formed with a large portion of my regiment on your left, and with you slowly left the field, contesting the ground with the enemy.

Your, truly, &c.,


Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 316 - 317


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