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Capt Jonathan P Smith's Official Report

Report of October 7, 1862

[author biography]

Near Sharpsburg, Md., October 7, 1862.

Lieutenant BEMUS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade,
Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps.

I have the honor to report that about 8 a. m. of the 17th of September, during the battle of Antietam, Lieutenant-Colonel Warner, commanding Tenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, was wounded and left the field. Being senior officer present I assumed command of the regiment. Received no orders from Lieutenant-Colonel Warner. Found the enemy moving a battery supported by infantry into position about 400 or 500 yards to our right. Moved the regiment under cover, deployed skirmishers in front, and sent an officer to report to you, who returned shortly, reporting that he was unable to find you, but saw General Hooker and reported to him. Received no orders from him. Skirmishers soon engaged the enemy, picking off cannoneers, when a battery opened on them from our rear, the shell bursting among us. Drew the regiment back to the woods from which we had started in the morning. Found a part of the Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, under charge of Major Lyman, who formed in rear of us. Could find no general officer. Quite a number of stragglers were coming back. Deployed regiment and tried to stop them. Saw General Sumner and, along with Major Lyman, reported who we were, what we had been and were doing. He ordered us to close up and move forward to the edge of the woods. We did so, the Seventh Regiment on the left. At the edge of the woods came under a heavy enfilading artillery fire. Several shots struck in the column, killing and wounding several in the Seventh Regiment. Found one of General Sumner's regiments occupying the only cover. Fell back to their rear to support them, remaining some time, when, learning that the division had been taken a short distance to the rear and General Sumner's men all moving back, I fell slowly back to division and reported to Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson, commanding brigade. Was joined in about three-quarters of an hour by Captain McDaniel, of the Tenth, who, being senior officer to me, took command.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Captain, Tenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps.

Source: OR1


1   US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Vol. 51/Part1 (Ser #107), pg. 152  [AotW citation 140]


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