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Col Robert B van Valkenburgh's Official Report

Report of September 21, 1862

[author biography]

Near Maryland Heights, September 21, 1862.

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GENERAL: On the morning of the 17th instant we were formed in line of battle, under your immediate supervision, in the corn-field, nearly opposite to the woods which were then in the possession of the rebels. After being thus formed we were moved by the left flank into the woods upon the left of the corn-field, and directly in front of the above-mentioned woods. These we were directed to hold at all hazards. Soon, however, the enemy gave way in front, and by your direction my command charged across the intervening plowed field at double-quick, passing entirely through the narrow belt of woods which had been the scene of conflict, and reached the lane and fence upon the opposite side. During the whole time we had been under constant fire, and as we crossed the belt of woods were under a perfect hail-storm of shell, round shot, and musketry. We were then ordered to shield ourselves from the enemy's fire by lying down near the fence. While here we lost a number of our men in killed and wounded.

In about an hour we received an order from you to retire into the woods and again form line of battle, which I was in the act of obeying when General Gibbon, as I understand by your directions, ordered me to return and support Cothran's battery, which was doing good execution upon the right of the woods. I obeyed the order, formed my men in line of battle in front of the enemy, marched up to the battery, occupied the position assigned to us until past 3 o'clock, when the battery and my regiment were relieved by General Slocum's division. We were under severe fire from early in the morning until about 4 o'clock. The officers and men, so far as I know, of the One hundred and seventh Regiment behaved well, and obeyed every order with alacrity. During the time I was supporting Cothran's battery, General Greene directed me to send two companies as skirmishers into the woods immediately in front, I detailed Company I, Captain Colby, and Company E, Captain Morgan, to that duty. They did it in gallant style, but found the road and woods teeming with rebels.

Captain E. Chalmers Clark, a brave officer, while in the active discharge of his duty on the field, fell seriously wounded through the left breast by a musket-ball. Captain W. F. Fox was injured by the concussion of a shell, and Lieutenant Gleason was wounded in the leg.

I desire to commend the coolness and bravery of Captain Cothran, who was in command of the battery. His decision and promptness, in my opinion, contributed in a great measure to the sustaining of that position.

Inclosed herewith I send a list of killed and wounded so far as I have been able to ascertain them.

I am, general, yours, very respectfully,

Col., Comdg. One hundred and seventh Regt. New York Vols.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 502 - 503


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