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Col Eliakim P. Scammon's Official Reports

Reports of September 1862 on South Mountain (Brigade) and Antietam (Div)

E. P. Scammon

[author biography]

[ South Mountain ]

Camp near Harper's Ferry, Md., September 20, 1862.

Captain G. M. BASCOM,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: This is the earliest moment a which it has been practicable to make a report of the killed, wounded, and missing of the First Brigade of the division under my command, in the battles which have occurred since we left the city of Washington.

In the battle of South Mountain, Md., the First Brigade, having left its bivouac at 6 a. m. of the 14th, reached the immediate vicinity of the scene of action at about 9 o'clock. I ordered the Twenty-third Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes, to move through the woods on the left of the road, crossing the mountain so as to attack the enemy on the right and rear of the right flank. The regiment moved up promptly and effectively. Early in the encounter, Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes, commanding the regiment, who had gallantly and skillfully brought his men into action and charged the enemy in his front, was severely wounded and carried to the rear. He remained on the field a considerable time after receiving his wound, and left it only when compelled to retire.

On arriving a the foot of the slope in front of the enemy, I sent the Thirtieth Regiment, commanded by Colonel Hugh Ewing, to attack the left of that position of the enemy which was immediately opposed to us, with orders, if practicable, to seize a battery in that part of the enemy's lines. In executing this order it was ascertained that the battery was beyond reach, and that its infantry support far outnumbered the force opposed to it; but the Thirtieth Regiment attacked vigorously, and drove the enemy from their immediate front. They were assailed by a shower of grape from the battery, whose real position and strength were not previously known, but they seized and held the crest of the mountain until they nobly bore their part in the charge by our whole line.

In all this I am happy to say there was no faltering. It was the through work of good soldiers. The Twelfth Regiment being in the center of the brigade, was moved directly to the front, and briskly engaged the enemy. Its first advance, deployed as skirmishers, told upon the enemy with marked effect. It was more like a charge than an advance of skirmishers. They soon gained the crest, and drove the enemy back to the cover of the thicket behind it.

Meantime a section of artillery, under Lieutenant Crome, took position on the top of the slope, and opened an effective fire upon the enemy. It was, of necessity, advanced so near the enemy's lines as to expose the men to a most effective fire from his infantry. Lieutenant Crome was mortally wounded while serving a peace whose gunners had already fallen. The two pieces of artillery were, in fact, silenced by the killing of the men who served them.

Captain McMullin, commander of the battery, had previously been sent to the right of the road by which we approached the enemy, and kept up a most effective fire while the infantry advanced upon the enemy's lines.

At about 5 o'clock p. m. a general charge of the whole line was ordered by the general commanding, when the First Brigade moved forward to the work, and the enemy was driven at every point of our front.

Total of First Brigade taken into action, 1455.

The killed of the enemy far outnumbered our own, besides which the First Brigade sent to the rear a number of prisoners fully equal to its total loss.

Very respectfully, &c.,

Colonel, Commanding Kanawha Division.

[ Antietam ]

Camp near mouth of Antietam Creek, Md., September 22, 1862.

Captain G. M BASCOM,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: I herewith transmit the reports of Colonel Hugh Ewing, commanding First Brigade, and Colonel George Crook, commanding Second Brigade of the Kanawha Division in the battle of the 17th instant. To these reports and accompanying papers I have little to add.

The general commanding is fully aware of the fact of our being opposed by greatly superior numbers, and that, though we were unable to drive the enemy from our front and flank, we successfully resisted his advance and maintained our position. I confess to have been deeply chagrined at being left so weak as to be unable to make an advance upon the enemy, but am satisfied with the consciousness that we succeeded in doing all that was expected of us, and fully answered the purpose of the commanding general.

While I leave it to brigade and regimental commanders to make special mention of their officers and men, I must claim the privilege of testifying to the energy and skillful bravery of Colonels Ewing and Crook, and I cannot refrain from paying the poor tribute of honorable mention to the memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, commanding Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He had acted the part of a hero at the recent fight at Bull Run Bridge and at the battle of South Mountain. He met a hero's death in the battle of the 17th of September.

I beg leave again to make honorable mention of the coolness and efficiency of Lieutenants Botsford and Kennedy, of my staff, feeling assured that all who were witnesses of their conduct will pronounce this mention well deserved.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Colonel, Commanding Kanawha Division, Ninth Army Corps.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 461 - 463


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