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LCol Sanford H Perkins' Official Report

Report of September 19, 1862

[author biography]

Sharpsburg, Md., September 19, 1862.

Commanding Second Brigade, General French's Division.

We broke bivouac at camp near Keedysville, Md., on the morning of the 17th of September, taking position on the right of your command according to order, and marched about two hours by flank, when we formed line of battle and moved forward a distance of about one-half mile, where we became engaged, our position being in a corn-field west of William Roulette's farm-house, the enemy occupying a position on the summit of a hill to our front. The Fifth Maryland Regiment being slightly in our advance, I reserved my fire until they broke, which threw three companies of my right wing into confusion, when we opened fire from the left and immediately proceeded to rally the right, which having been effected, we held our position under a severe cross-fire for nearly three hours, during which time, my horse being disabled, I was obliged to continue with my command on foot.

I cannot omit saying that during the time above mentioned my right and center were broken twice, but rallied on the colors and formed in good order, and when ordered to retire, moved from the field with precision, after which we accompanied you to support General Kimball, who was retiring for ammunition, and took position near a stone wall east of the farm-house, holding the same until ordered to support Colonel Brooke.

During this movement, while marching by flank, a shell was thrown into our ranks, killing several of our men. The ranks were at once closed, the regiment moving forward at quick time and in good order. At this time and during the remaining thirty-six hours, being under your immediate command, requires no further detail.

Where all behaved so well it may seem invidious to particularize, but I feel bound to mention Captain Blinn, of Company F, and Captain Willard, of Company G, who fell at their posts gallantly cheering their commands. Also First Lieutenant Coit, commanding Company K, and Lieutenant Crosby, of the same company, were dangerously wounded, leaving that company without a commissioned officer. Acting Adjutant Lucas, Assistant Adjutant-General Ellis, together with Major C. C. Clark, rendered great assistance in rallying the command under a galling fire, at which time the horse of Assistant Adjutant-General Ellis was disabled. Sergeant Mills, color-bearer, was severely, if not mortally, wounded while bearing and waving aloft our standard, and his place was filled by Lieutenant Comstock, Company H, who with Sergeant Foote, of Company I, retained them until the close of the action. Our colors are riddled with shot and shell, and the staff broken. Captain Gibbons, of Company B, deserves notice, who, finding the farmhouse occupied by a large force of the enemy, ordered his company to advance and fire, scattering them and driving a portion of them into the cellar, where, by closing the door, a large number of them were captured.

As you are aware, our men, hastily raised and without drill, behaved like veterans, and fully maintained the honor of the Union and our native State.

Total killed, wounded, and missing, 156.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Fourteenth Regiment Conn. Vols.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 333 - 334


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