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Col Ezra A Carman's Official Report

Report of September 24, 1862

[author biography]

Camp on Maryland Heights, September 24, 1862.

Captain SMITH,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor of reporting the part performed by my command in the action at Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, on Wednesday, September 17, 1862:

At daybreak on the morning of that day I was ordered to advance with the brigade to the support of General Hooker's corps, then hotly pressed by the enemy. Advancing in brigade line, I formed to the right of the One hundred and seventh New York, where we were exposed for a few minutes to a very heavy artillery fire. I was then ordered by General Gordon to advance though the corn-field on the right across the road and down into a thick wood to support General Sumner's corps. Advancing through the corn-field up to the road, I was fired into by the enemy, who had driven General Sumner's corps from the wood. Seeing that my whole command would be annihilated if I advanced, and knowing that General Sumner's corps had been driven from the wood, I formed my line and prepared to dispute the advance of the foe. Their fire into my line was was heavy, and after a stand of a few minutes I was obliged to retire. I report, with regret, the loss of a gallant officer at this place, Captain H. C. Irish, of Company K, who fell at the head of his company while directing their fire.

After retiring about 200 yards to the rear and reforming my command, I was ordered to support General Greene's brigade, then in possession of the wood near the school-house, but heavily pressed by a superior force of the enemy. I advanced to this position, formed on the right of General Greene's brigade, and engaged the enemy for an hour. Being flanked on the right, the whole brigade was obliged to retire, which they did in very good order, followed by the enemy for a short distance. The farther pursuit of the enemy was checked by the rapid and effective fire of the battery attached to this brigade, under command of Captain Cothran. I again formed my command in line, waiting for an attack or an order to advance, but was not again called on.

I mention with pleasure the heroic conduct of James Kilroy, private in Company G, of this regiment, who, when the color-bearer was disabled, volunteered to carry the honored emblem, and did so always pressing forward until severely wounded. I append a list of my killed, wounded, and missing.

I am, yours, truly,

Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth New Jersey Volunteers.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 501 - 502


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