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Capt James R McMullin's Official Reports

Reports of September 16, 1862 on South Mountain and September 19 on Antietam

[author biography]

Camp in the Field, September 16, 1862.

Colonel E. P. SCAMMON,
Commanding Kanawha Division.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit an outline report of the part taken by my battery in the engagement of the 14th instant:

In obedience to orders from you, my battery took position about half way up South Mountain and to the National road, when I immediately engaged a six-gun battery of the enemy for some thirty-fire or forty minutes, when he opened another battery to the left of the first, the range being nearly or quite 1,700 yards. In about an hour the enemy's first battery was silenced. My guns then continued to play upon the enemy's second battery until late in the afternoon, when it was moved out of range.

About 11 o'clock, in obedience to an order from yourself, I sent one section, under command of First Lieutenant George L. Crome, to take position on the top of South Mountain, which Lieutenant Crome reached with difficulty, being compelled to move his pieces by manual force, and opened on the enemy, in position behind a stone wall, with canister at a distance of 40 yards. After expending four double rounds, Lieutenant Crome was struck in the breast with a musket-ball while engaged in loading one of this pieces, three of his cannoneers being wounded. The enemy was driven from his position, and the section remained on the field. Lieutenant Crome lived about two hours, when he expired. His loss is to be deeply regretted, for he was a brave and noble man, who at the first call of this country left the endearments of home for its defense. Yet it is a consolation to his friends and companions in arms to know that he died at his post in the discharge of more than his duty.

Lieutenants McClung, Fair, and Channel (the latter on detached duty from the Twelfth Ohio Volunteers Infantry), and the men of my battery, all did their duty. Not a single exception came under my observation or to my hearing.

I am, Colonel, with respect, your obedient servant,

Captain First Battery, Ohio Artillery.



September 19, 1862.

Colonel E. P. SCAMMON,
Comd'g Kanawha Division.

SIR: I herewith submit a statement of the action of my Battery in the battle of the day before yesterday, 17th inst.

Between 10 and 11 o'clock, I was ordered by Col. Getty, Chief of Artillery, to take position near, and about one hundred and fifty yards from, the bridge on the left of our line of battle, and engaged a force of the enemy, comprising infantry and artillery, posted at a distance of some 1,800 to 2,000 yards, using shell upon them with marked effect. I remained in this position, firing slowly, because of a scarcity of ammunition, but as advantageously as possible, until about 3 o'clock, when I removed my pieces from the field, it being impossible to procure ammunition of the calibre of my guns - 3800 inch.

During the day, Henry Riber [Raber], of Co. H, 12th Reg. O. Vols, on detached duty with the Battery, was instantly killed by a 6 pd. round shot passing through the body.

I also had one horse killed, and a gun wheel shattered.

Very respectfully, etc.
Your obdt. sev't.,

Capt. 1st Battery, Ohio Artillery.

Source: Hunt Papers2


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 (Ser. 27), pp. 463-464  [AotW citation 17539]

2   From the Henry J. Hunt Papers, Manuscript Division, US Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Johnson, Curt, and Richard C. Anderson, Artillery Hell: Employment of Artillery at Antietam, College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1995, pp. 115-116  [AotW citation 17540]


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