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Maj Thomas McC Walker's Official Report

Report of September 22, 1862

T. M. Walker

[author biography]

September 22, 1862

Lieutenant-Colonel LANE,
Commanding Second Brigade.

I have the honor to report the part taken by the One hundred and eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the battle on Antietam Creek, Md., September 17, 1862.

We were moved during the night of the 16th from the center to the right. Arriving about midnight at the point for our bivouac, we rested until awakened at daylight by the fire of the pickets in our front. We were soon formed in column closed in mass, and marched abut three-quarters of a mile to the front, and then halted to prepare breakfast. While so doing we were suddenly ordered to fall in. We advanced in column and deployed under fire of musketry, the enemy having driven our forces for some way and occupying the woods in front of us. We advanced and fired as we deployed, and by the time we reached the woods were in line, closing up on on the left of the First Brigade. We swept the rebels from the woods, taking a large number of prisoners, among them a number of officers.

Arriving at the far edge of the woods, we halted and engaged the enemy, who had rallied in the field beyond. Again advancing, we drove the enemy until we occupied the heights finally held by our forces. We laid under the brow of this hill to await the coming of a battery to our support. One was quickly sent, but was unfortunately out of the proper ammunition. Another soon came, well supplied, and began at once to fire upon the enemy. We had not been long in this position before the rebels had formed their line, with the intention of recovering their ground and taking this battery. They were allowed to approach within 30 feet (my men in the mean time having fixed bayonets), but at the proper time we rushed forward to the mouths of the cannon, handsomely repulsing their charge. We now faced to the right, and filed to the right to assist in repulsing an attack made on the troops covering our right. This was accomplished after some very heavy firing. When the enemy began to waver we advanced, driving them from the woods and from about the brick church. We held these woods, under fire, for over two hours, until a new regiment, formed at right angles to our right, receiving the fire of an advancing line, broke and ran through us, carrying us back over part of the ground we had fought so hard to gain. The rebels followed us to the top of the hill, upon which they tried to take our battery, but were stopped by a battery posted on our right. The line of our advancing forces, coming up, occupied the hill, thus leaving the field in our possession.

My regiment entered the fight with 13 officers and 230 men. Of this small command I have lost 1 officer and 26 men killed, 6 officers and 74 men wounded, and & 7 men missing; a total of 114, or nearly half of my command.

After seven hours' continuous fighting we were relieved, having expended nearly 120 rounds of ammunition to each man. The character of the fighting you well know. It will be shown by a glance at the colors we bore upon the field. (Together they are pierced with 25 shots.) Again was my color-bearer shot down. My adjutant, Lieutenant Kingsbury, was of great assistance. I shall also mention Lieut. Charles Woeltge, who together with all my officers, behaved most bravely, and have received my hearty commendations for their conduct.

During the whole of the engagement the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment was on our right, and we continued side by side until the end, fighting almost as one man.

Respectfully, &c.,

Major, Commanding One hundred and eleventh Regt. Pa. Vols.

Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 512 - 513


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