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Col Carr B White's Official Reports

Reports of September 1862 on South Mountain and Antietam

[author biography]

[ South Mountain ]

Battle-field, Summit of South Mountain, Md., September 14, 1862.

Colonel E. P. SCAMMON,
Commanding Kanawha Division.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, after leaving our camp at Catoctin Creek this morning at 6 o'clock, we marched with the column to a point about half-way up the side of South Mountain, and some distance to the left of the National turnpike, from which point, in conformity with your order, we proceeded farther to the left and up the mountain through a pine wood, until within a quarter of a mile of the summit. Here we saw, about 300 yards in front, an infantry regiment of the enemy drawn up on the crest of the mountain. We opened fire and then charged forward. The enemy fled. leaving 15 to 20 dead and wounded, and we occupied his ground. Here it was found necessary to order the regiment to lie down, in order to screen the men from the fire of the enemy, and to give time for the Twenty-third Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry to join our left, and the Thirty-sixth and Thirtieth to join our right. While these regiments were coming into position, a section of Captain McMullin's battery, under command of Lieutenant Crome, was advanced to our front, and did good service until the guns were silenced by the enemy's sharpshooters, posted in a thick wood in front. Lieutenant Crome was killed while loading a piece, and nearly all his men wounded.

The Thirty-sixth Ohio had now joined us on the right and the Twenty-third Ohio on the left, when a general charge was ordered, in which my regiment gallantly dashed over the crest and into a thicket of laurel under a severe fire. In this charge we drove the enemy in great confusion and inflicted serious loss upon him, killing several with the bayonet. After pursuing about a quarter of a mile, I halted the regiment and lay some time under a sharp fire of canister and shell. Receiving your order to charge the enemy's battery, posted at a stone wall about 600 yards to our front and right, I moved the regiment forward through a dense laurel under a heavy fire, and gained the rear of the battery at a garden inclosed by a stone fence, where a severe fight ensued, in which we were completely successful. Here we captured one national color and two battle-flags. The ground was literally covered with the enemy's dead and wounded, while we took off the field about 200 prisoners, mostly Carolinians. The enemy escaped with his battery during the obstinate contest with the Caroline regiment.

I should fail to do justice to my gallant regiment were I to omit mentioning the efficient service rendered by Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Hines and Major E. M. Carey, the last of whom received a severe flesh wound in the thigh near the close of the action. To these gallant officers I am greatly indebted for assistance throughout the trying contests of the day. Nor must I fail to make honorable mention of Captain W. W. Liggett, of Company H, who fell mortally wounded while fighting at the head of his company and of Captain R. Wilson, who was wounded and captured, but managed to escape and take his captors. Of my adjutant, W. B. Nesbitt, and my sergeant-major, James H. Palmer, and, indeed, of every officer and every man of the Twelfth Ohio Regiment of Infantry, I can only say that they did their whole duty, and I only regret that the restricted limits of this report will not admit of a special mention by name.

Our loss, as might be expected from the desperate nature of the service performed, is unfortunately large, being about 35 killed, 100 wounded, and 30 missing. This loss is from less than 500 men.

Respectfully submitted.

Colonel, Commanding Twelfth Ohio Volunteers.

[ Antietam ]

Camp at Mouth of Antietam Creek, Md., September 22, 1862.

Lieutenant G. LOFLAND,
Lieutenant and A. A. A. G., First Provisional Brig., Kanawha Div.

SIR: I have the honor to forward the following report of the movements of the Twelfth Regiment Ohio Volunteers Infantry, under my command, in the late actions along the Antietam:

Late in the evening of the 16th of September the regiment was placed in line of battle on the Miller farm, to support Lieutenant Benjamin's battery. At 2 a. m. of the 17th I moved the regiment to the left and front of the bridge over Antietam, and in line with the Twenty-third and Thirtieth, and in supporting distance of McMullin's battery. We occupied this position from one to two hours, when we moved with the brigade, under command of Colonel Ewing, to a ford about 1 mile down the stream. While fording the stream the enemy opened on the column with artillery, fortunately inflicting but little injury. After crossing the stream, we moved up along its bank to the left and front of the bridge over Antietam, to within supporting distance of General Rodman's division. While lying in this position the enemy shelled us severely for about two hours.

By order of Colonel Ewing, we were then moved forward and put in line of battle with the brigade, to charge the enemy's lines posted on and beyond the hill. Before the line moved forward to the charge, it was discovered that the enemy was moving two columns around our left flank. My regiment was then ordered to form a line at right angles with the main line, to advance and engage a flanking column of the enemy, which was promptly done under a shower of shell and canister that threatened the destruction of the regiment. With a view to a better position, the regiment was withdrawn to a fence 50 yards in the rear, and put in position. Finding this position equally exposed with the former, both to musketry and artillery, the regiment was ordered back to the position just abandoned, which was held in the face of a heavy fire until ordered back by Lieutenant Kennedy, acting assistant adjutant-general of the Kanawha Division, to the brow of the hill in front of the bridge, where it remained by your order during the night.

Our loss on this day was 6 killed and 24 wounded out of about 200 engaged, and occurred mainly from the enemy's artillery while engaged in holding in check the force endeavoring to turn our left.

On the 18th we were advanced to a hill in front, and threw forward a heavy line of pickets, which kept up a fire all day on the enemy's skirmishers. Our loss on this day was 1 man killed and 2 men wounded.

Among so many officers who did their whole duty it might seem invidious to particularize, but I cannot refrain making honorable mention of Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Hines, to whose aid I am so much indebted for the conduct of the regiment; also of William B. Nesbitt, my adjutant, and Sergt. Major James H. Palmer. And though it may swell this report beyond a reasonable limit, I must bear testimony to the good conduct of Capts. Joseph L. Hilt, W. B. Smith, and John Lewis; of Lieuts. John Wise, J. W. Ross, T. J. Atkinson, W. A. Ludlum, H. F. Hawkes, J. A. Yordy, W. H. Glotfelter, and H. G. Tibbals; also of Sergts. W. B. Redmon, Maurice Watkins, Jonathan McMillen, and M. B. Mahoney, with others whose names cannot at present be mentioned for want of space, whom I recommend as deserving promotion. Captains Wilson, Williams, and Pauley were absent. The first named was wounded at South Mountain. The last two were sick and in hospital.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel Twelfth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 464 - 466


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