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Maj George H Hildt's Official Report

Report of September 20, 1862

[author biography]

Camp Antietam, Md. September 20, 1862.

Commanding First Brigade, Kanawha Division.

SIR: In obedience to your order, I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the Thirtieth Regiment on September 17, 1862:

During the morning we were held under the fire of the enemy's batteries as a reserve corps, and, although under a perfect hail of shot and shell, by carefully covering I have no casualties to report from the effects of the enemy's batteries to this time. Near 4 o'clock in the evening we were ordered to charge the enemy who were distant one-half mile, on the slope of a cleared hill facing us, a part of which was planted in corn, and served to screen both the enemy and ourselves. We moved forward by brigade at double-quick, the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry on our right, and the Twelfth Ohio Volunteer Infantry on our left, some distance in rear, receiving a severe fire from the enemy the moment we moved over the brow of the hill, which continued and increased until we reached the stone wall, distant only 100 yards from the enemy, when we delivered our fire with great precision, and for a time checked the advancing enemy.

Our men were at this time utterly exhausted from the effect of the double-quick step across the plowed field, and their fire was necessarily slow and desultory for several minutes. As soon, however, as our first volley had been given, and our colors erected at the wall, a withering fire was directed upon us from our left flank, and from which we suffered most severely. We continued at the wall until our men had fired from 12 to 15 rounds each, directing their fire to the front and left, when our supports on the right fell back, and that on the left had not yet come to our assistance, leaving both of our flanks exposed and enduring a fire from the front and left. Colonel Jones, on the right, gave the order to move by the right flank to join the right wing of the Twenty-third, which was still in position, which order was not heard, except by the four companies on the right (A, F, D and I) which moved in that direction, the remaining companies still occupying their first position at the wall. A few minutes later and the enemy's fire from the flank could not be borne, and we fell back across the plowed field and over the brow of the hill.

Captain Fowler, of Company D, was wounded in the right arm a short distance from the wall, but made his way out. Lieutenant Furbay, of Company K, was mortally wounded near the same place by two balls passing through his body, and died on the field. Adjt. Charles Duffield was wounded in the leg, in the corn-field, and, while being borne off, was mortally wounded in the back. Lieutenant Wilson, of Company I, was mortally wounded in the neck, and died while borne off. Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, after giving the order to move by the right flank and afterward to fall back, has not been seen, and must have fallen into the hands of the enemy. Captain Brown, of Company F, is also missing, and is, no doubt a prisoner. Sergeant White, bearer of the national color, stood amidst the rain of bullets and defiantly waved the color toward the advancing enemy, when he received a shot in the breast and fell dead. Corporal Howerth, of Company D, seized them and bore them off the field. Sergeant Carter, who bore the regimental color, was shot through the head near the edge of the corn-field, and Corporal Buchanan, of Company C, bore them off.

Too much praise cannot be given the officers and men for their coolness, courage, and gallant conduct on the field, and, having scarcely recovered from the terrible contest on Hagerstown Heights, they stood up and bravely bore a fire upon their front and left, of which veterans might well be proud.

Before closing, allow me to recommend a change of arms of all the companies except A and B, as the men found great difficulty in loading their pieces after the fifth round, and could scarcely ram their balls home.

A report of the killed, wounded, and missing in both battles has already been given.

With much respect, I am your obedient servant,

Major, Commanding Thirtieth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 469 - 471


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