On the Sharpsburg Campaign
"It was near 10 a.m. [17 September] when Anderson was ordered forward. He passed to the left of Sharpsburg and halted to pile knapsacks. He then marched, left in front, Pryor's Brigade in advance, northeasterly across the open fields, under a wicked and demoralizing fire of Thompkins' guns, reached the Hagerstown road about 100 yards south of Piper's Lane, and Pryor's Brigade marched up the road to the lane, then down the lane until it passed Piper's barn, where it filed to the left and went up the hill to the left, on the left of the orchard, and was halted by a staff officer ..."
"R.H. Anderson had been wounded very soon after coming upon the field and Pryor, who succeeded to the command, was unaware of the orders under which Anderson was acting and did not rise to the occasion, and the consequent movements of his command [Division] were disjointed and without proper direction, but, when apprized by Rodes of the condition of affairs, he ordered his own brigade forward."
"Without waiting this order Colonel Ballantine [2nd Fla] changed front forward on left company, the movement being in a measure masked by the orchard and cornfield in front and the line of the 2nd Florida was established fronting the cornfield, the right in the orchard and the left in the open ground west of it. The other regiments executed the movement, forming double-quick on the right of the 2nd Florida, in this order from left to right, 8th Florida, Lieutenant Colonel Coppens; 5th Florida, Colonel John C. Hately; 3rd Virginia, Colonel Joseph Mayo; 14th Alabama, Major James A. Broome, and Mahone's Brigade, Colonel W.A. Parham, now reduced to less than 50 men. Colonel Hately, 5th Florida, was in command of the brigade, and, as soon as formed he ordered it forward. It advanced through the orchard and as it entered the cornfield came under the fire of Thompkins' guns and the musketry of Kimball and Meagher, Colonel Coppens of the 8th Florida was killed, and immediately after Captain Waller, who succeeded him in command, fell dead, with the colors of the regiment draped over his shoulders, and every regiment suffered great loss. Passing through the cornfield the left of the brigade came up in rear of the right wing of the 14th North Carolina, the right extending beyond the 14th North Carolina. When it reached the road, it met with a severe fire which checked a part of the line, a part of it went beyond the road a few yards but was quickly driven back with great loss and all lay down with Anderson's men and opened fire ..."
"While Pryor's and Featherston's brigades, after their repulse, were lying in the road with G.B. Anderson's men, they were subjected to a severe fire of artillery and musketry. The sudden advance ordered by Colonel Barnes started some of the men to the rear and Colonel Posey, observing the crowded condition of the troops in the road, subjected to much loss, ordered his own brigade to retire. A scene of great confusion now ensued from the mingling of different brigades. Caldwell's Brigade now swept to the front and Pryor's and Featherston's men retreated carrying with them the 4th and 30th North Carolina ..."1
Map Showing this Unit
Detail Map #7: Richardson's Division Attacks the Sunken Road