By: Jubal Early
There has been very great misapprehension, both on the part of the enemy and many Confederates, not familiar with the facts, about the strength of General Lee's army at this battle. The whole of the troops then constituting that army bad belonged to the army which opposed McClellan in the battles around Richmond, except Evans' and Drayton 'S brigades, and such absentees as had returned, and there had been troops then belonging to the army, which had not left Richmond, exceeding the number in the said two brigades. There had been heavy losses in the battles around Richmond; and the subsequent losses at Cedar Run, on the Rappahannock, at Manassas and in the vicinity, at Maryland Heights and in Pleasant Valley-where McLaws had been severely engaged, -and at South Mountain, had very materially weakened the strength of the army. Besides all this, since crossing the Rappahannock we had been without regular supplies of food, and had literally been living from hand to mouth. Our troops were badly shod and many of them became barefooted, and they were but indifferently clothed and without protection against the weather. Many of them had become exhausted from the fatigues of the campaign, and the long and rapid marches which they had made while living on short rations and a weakening diet-and many were foot-sore from want of shoes; so that the straggling from these causes, independent of that incident to all armies, had been frightful before we crossed the Potomac, and had continued up to the time of the battle.
Some idea of the diminution from these various causes may be found from the following facts: That Christian gentleman, and brave, accomplished soldier, General D. H. Hill, states that his division, which numbered ten thousand at the beginning of the battles around Richmond, had been reduced to less than five thousand which he had at the battle of South Mountain. Yet he had readied the army after all the fighting about Manassas, and he states that on the morning of the 17th of September he had but three thousand infantry. Ewell's division, with Lawton 's brigade, which was attached to it after the battle of Cedar Run, must have numbered, at the time they reached McClellan's right, north of the Chickahominy, eight or ten thousand, as Lawton's brigade was then a very large one, which had never been in action. Yet that division numbered less than three thousand four hundred on the morning of the 17th.
General Lee says in his report: "This great battle was fought by less than forty thousand men on our side, all of whom had undergone the greatest labors and hardships in the field and on the march." This certainly covered our entire force of all descriptions, and I am satisfied that he might have safely stated it at less than thirty thousand. There were forty brigades of infantry in all in the army, one of which, Thomas' of A. P. Hill's division, did not cross the Potomac from Harper's Ferry, and the nine brigades of Ewell's and D. H. Hill's divisions, numbering in the aggregate less than 6,400 officers and men, were fully average ones.
General D. R. Jones states that his command, consisting of his division of three brigades and three of Longstreet 's, in all six brigades, numbering on the morning of the 17th, 2,430; General J. R. Jones states that Jackson's division of four brigades numbered less than 1,600; General McLaws states that he carried into action in his four brigades, 2,893; General A. P. Hill states that his three brigades actually numbered less than 2,000; D. H. Hill's five brigades numbered 3,000; and Ewell's four brigades numbered less than 3,400; which gives 15,323 in these twenty-six brigades, leaving thirteen other brigades on the field whose strength is not stated, to-wit: the six brigades of his own division and Longstreet's brought up by General Anderson; A. P. Hill's other two brigades; Hood's two brigades, both very small; Walker's two brigades; and Evans' brigade. General Anderson was wounded, and there is no report from his division or any of his brigades, but General D. H. Hill says that Anderson came to his support, which was before Anderson's division became engaged, with some three or four hundred men, and that force consisted of five brigades, Armistead's having gone to the left. Averaging the thirteen brigades from which no estimate was given with the others and it would give a strength of 7,670, which would make our whole infantry force on the field, from the beginning to the end of the battle, twenty-three thousand at the outside. Our cavalry was not engaged, as it had merely watched the flanks, but six thousand would fully cover the whole of the cavalry and artillery which we had on that side of the river.
It is to be presumed that this estimate was made by Banks when General Jackson was figuring around Pope's rear, as he did not have a command in McClellan's army, and it is well known that Banks always saw things with very largely magnifying glasses when "Stonewall" Jackson was about.
That some of the affrighted civilians who magnifiedone small company of cavalry at the first battle of Manassas, called the Black Horse Cavalry, into 20,000, might be misled by this estimate of McClellan's, or Banks', might well be believed, but that the Major General commanding the "Grand Army of the Potomac," should have so estimated the strength of General Lee's army at Sharpsburg, is perfectly amazing.
Who commanded the "forty-six regiments not included in above," or where were the 400 guns to come from? This estimate of the relative strength of the two armies gives rise to some very curious reflections: It must be recollected that Bragg and Kirby Smith were at this time in Kentucky, moving north, and if the newly established Government at Richmond had been able to put in the field and send into Maryland from the comparatively small population of the Confederacy an army of nearly 100,000 men with 400 pieces of artillery, it showed a wonderful energy on the part of that government; while, the fact that the powerful Government at Washington, with its immense resources and its very large population to draw from, after a call for 300,000 more men, and after taking everything in the way of troops from the Ohio to the Atlantic, had been able to bring into the field, for the defence of the National Capital and to oppose the large invading army of "rebels," only a force numbering less than 90,000 men, displayed a weakness not at all flattering to the energy of the head of the War Department at Washington, or to the wisdom of the occupant of the White House, and a want of "patriotism" by no means complimentary to the people of the North.
McClellan had stated that the troops in and about Washington and on the Maryland shore of the Potomac above and below, including those in Maryland and Delaware, amounted, on the 1st of March, 1862, to 193; 142 present for duty and an aggregate present and absent of 221,987. This did not include the 13,000 brought by Burnside from North Carolina, nor the troops brought by Cox from the Kanawha Valley, nor, is it presumed, the forces of Fremont under Sigel, a large part of which were probably brought from Missouri; and there had since been at least one call, if not more, for an additional levy of 300,000 men. Now the question very naturally arises, as to what had become of all that immense force, with the reinforcements and recruits, which had dwindled down to 87,164 men on the morning of the 17th of September, 1862.
It will be seen from the account previously given that on the 15th and in the early part of the day of the 16th, McClellan's large army was confronted by a very small force under Longstreet and D. H. Hill. Jackson with two divisions numbering less than 5,000 men, and Walker, with his two brigades arrived on the 16th, and it was upon the force consisting of these reinforcements and D. H. Hill's and Longstreet 's troops, including in the latter Hood's two brigades, and Evans' brigade, that McClellan's army had been hurled on the morning of the 17th. McLaws with his own and Anderson's brigades, ten in all, did not arrive until the action had been progressing for some hours. McLaws arrived at sunrise, and A. P. Hill, with his five brigades, did not come up until late in the afternoon.
The 24,982 men under Hooker and Mansfield had attacked Jackson's division and Lawton's, Trimble's and Hays' brigades of Ewell 's division, numbering in all 4,000 men. When they were compelled to retire, Hood with his two brigades supported by Ripley's, Colquit's and Garland's and D. H. Hill's division had withstood the enemy until Sumner arrived with his 18,813 men, and then Hood was also compelled to retire to the Dunkard Church. Sumner then with his corps and what was left of the other two, attacked my brigade of less than 1,000 men, a remnant of about two or three hundred of Jackson's division, and what was left of D. H. Hill's and Hood's divisions, when McLaws and Walker with their six brigades came to our assistance immediately after the arrival of McLaws upon the field. Sumner was repulsed and then Franklin with his 12,300 arrived to his support, and the attack was renewed on Hill in the centre, when Anderson with three or four hundred men and one brigade of Walker's came to his assistance. This force of 56,095 men was brought against a force which with all its reinforcements, from first to last, amounted to less than 18,000 men. How it had been served will appear from the following extract from McClellan 's report. He says: ''One division of Sumner s corps, and all of Hooker's corps, on the right, had, after fighting most valiantly for several hours, been overpowered by numbers, driven back in great disorder, and much scattered; so that they were for the time somewhat demoralized. In Hooker's corps, according to the return made by General Meade, commanding, there were but 6,729 men present 0n the 18th, whereas, on the morning of the 22nd, there were 13,093 present for duty in the same corps, showing that previous to and during the battle 6,364 men were separated from their command."
McClellan was not able to renew the attack on the 18th, and, according to his own showing, had to wait for reinforcements before doing so; yet he claims a great victory at Antietam, alleging that he had accomplished the object of the campaign, to-wit: "to preserve the National Capital and Baltimore, to protect Pennsylvania from invasion, and to drive the enemy out of Maryland." This was a singular claim on the part of the General who, scarce three months before, had boastingly stated that the advance of his army was within five miles of the Confederate Capital.
The truth is that the substantial victory was with us, and if our army had been in reach of reinforcements, it would have been a decisive one; but we were more than 200 miles from the point from which supplies of ammunition were to be obtained, and any reinforcements which could have been spared to us were much furtheroff, while large reinforcements were marching to McClellan's aid. We had, therefore, to recross the Potomac.
The question had been mooted as to the propriety of the campaign into Maryland, and in regard there to I will say: General Lee, on assuming command of the army at Richmond, had found that city, the seat of the Confederate Government, beleaguered by a vast army, while all Northern Virginia, including the best part of the beautiful valley of the Shenandoah, was held by the enemy. With a herculean effort, he had broken through the cordon surrounding his army, and with inferior numbers fallen upon the beleaguering enemy, and sent it cowering to the banks of the lower James. He had then moved north, and, after a series of hard fought battles, had hurled the shattered remains of the army that had been marauding through Northern Virginia, with all the reinforcements sent from the lately besieging army, into the fortifications around Washington. With the diminished columns of the army with which he accomplished all this, he had crossed the Potomac, captured an important stronghold defended by a strong force, securing a large amount of artillery, small arms, and stores of all kinds, and had fought a great battle with the newly reorganized and heavily reinforced and recruited army of the enemy, which later was so badly crippled that it was not able to resume the offensive for near two months.
He now stood defiantly on the southern banks of the Potomac, the extreme northern limit of the Confederacy, and the result of all these operations, of which the march into Maryland was an important part, had been that not only the Confederate Capital had been relieved from the presence of the besieging army, a danger to which it was not subjected again for two years; but the enemy Capital had been threatened, his territory invaded, and the base of operations for a new movement on Richmond had been transferred to the north banks of the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, from which there was an overland route of more than two hundred miles. When that movement did take place, General Lee was in a position to interpose his army, and inflict a new defeat on the enemy, as was verified by subsequent events.
The following extracts from McClellan's report will give some idea of the results obtained. Speaking, as of the morning of the 18th, he says: "At that moment-Virginia lost, Washington menaced, Maryland invaded-the national cause could afford no risks of defeat. Our battle lost, and almost all would have been lost." And he subsequently says: "The movement from Washington into Maryland, which culminated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, was not a part of an offensive campaign, with the object of the invasion of the enemy's territory, and an attack on his capital, but was defensive in its purposes, although offensive in its character, and would be technically called a defensive-offensive campaign."
"It was undertaken at a time when our army bad experienced seven defeats, and its object was to preserve the national capital and Baltimore, to protect Pennsylvania, and to drive the enemy out of Maryland. These purposes were fully and finally accomplished by the battle of Antietam, which brought the Army of the Potomac into what might be termed an accidental position on the upper Potomac."
It was a great deal gained to force the enemy into a "defensive-offensive" campaign ill his own territory and place the "Army of the Potomac" in that accidental position, though we did fail ill arousing Maryland, or getting any reinforcements from that State.
NOTES ON CRAMPTON'S GAP AND ANTIETAM.
FRANKLIN, MAJOR-GENERAL, USA
BETWEEN the 2dnd 6th of September, the Sixth Clorps remained in camp near Alexandria and collected horses and transportation for ammunition and provisions, which were gradually disembarked. On the latter date it marched to Tenallytown, beyond Georgetown, D. C., crossing the Potomac by the Long Bridge, and beginning tbe Maryland campaign. Its daily marches thereafter, to the date of the battle of Antietam, were regulated by orders from General McClellan who in turn, was in direct communication with Washingtotn. It appears from the telegraphic correspondeuce which was carried on between Halleck and McClellan, that while the latter believed that General Lee's object was the invasion of Peinsylvania, the former could not divest himelf of the notion that Lee was about to play the Union army some slippery trick by turning its left, getting between it and Washington and Baltimore, and then taking each city by a coup-de-main?.
The following are extracts from some of General Halleck's dispatches:
SEPT. 9". .. I think we must be very cautions about stripping too much the forts on the Virginia side. It may be the enemys object to draw off the mass of our forces, and then attempt to attack from the Virginia side of the Potomac."
SEPT. 11. -" 1 think the main force of the enemy is in your front; more troops can be spared from here
SEPT. l3." I am of opinion that the enemy will send a small column toward Pennsylvania, so as to draw your forces in that direction; then sudden]y move on Washington with the forces south of the Potomac, and those he may cross over."
SEPT. 14. -" Scouts report a large force still on Virginia side of the Potomac, near Leesburg. If so, I fear you are exposing your left flank, and that the enemy can cross in your rear
SepT. l6." I fear now more than ever that they [the enemy] will recross at Harpers Ferry, or below, and turn yonr left, thus cutting you off from Washington.
On September 12th, Mr. Lincoln telegraphed General McClellan that he believed the enemy was recrossing the Potomac, and said, "Please do not let him get off without being hurt."
These disptches demonstrate that it was McClellan's duty as a subordinate to move slowly and cautiously in his advance, although lie believed that the whole of Lee's army was in his front. And during the whole Maryland campaign his army was nearer Washington than was Lee's.
On or before September 7th, General McClellan advised that Harper's Ferry should be evacuated via Hagerstown, so as to hold the Cumberland Valley against an advance toward Harrisburg, and on the 10th of September lie asked that the garrison at Harper's Ferry should be ordered to join him. General Halleck in answer to the last request stated, "There is no way for Colonel Miles to join you at present; his only chance is to defend his works till you can open communication with him." Yet during tbe night of September 14th two regiments of cavalry marched out of Harper's Ferry to Hagerstown without meeting any enemy; and the whole infatntry and field-artillery force of the garrison might have escaped before the 14th had General McClellan's advice of September 7th and 10th been followed. So the Sixth Corps moved by easy marches toward the Blue Ridge, under daily orders from the commanding general, and on the 14th of September fought the battle of Crampton's Gap, gaining the completest victory gained up to that time by any part of the Army of the Potomac.
While Buruside and Hooker were forcing Turner's Gap to open the direct road to Hagerstown, I was ordered to move by Crampton's Gap, five miles farther south, and gain Rohrersville, in order to cut off McLaws and R. H. Anderson on Maryland Heights, and to relieve Harper's Ferry. About noon on the'14th of September, the head of my column, Slocum's division, came upon Munford's brigade of cavalry, comprising the 2d and 12th Virginia regiments, with Chew's battery and a section of the Portsmouth battery of naval howitzers, supported by two regiments of Mahone's brigade of R. H. Anderson's division, under Colonel William A. Parham. General McLaws had also posted the remainder of Mahone's brigade and the brigades of Semmes and Cobb of his own division within supporting distance and ordered General Howell Cobb to take command and to hold the pass against us. With the remainder of Anderson's division and his own, General MeLaws occupied Maryland Heights, distant five miles. I quote from my official report of the action which ensued:
"The enemy was strongly posted on both sides of the road, which made a steep ascent through a narrow defile, wooded on both sides and offering great advantages of cover and position. Their advance was posted near the base of the mountain, in the rear of a stone-wall stretching to the right of the road at a point where the ascent was gradual and for the most part over open fields. Eight guns had been stationed on the road and at points on the sides and summit of the mountain to the left of the pass. It was evident that the position could be carried only by an infantry attack. Accordingly, I directed Major-General Slocum to advance his division through the village of Burkittsvlle and commence the attack upon the right. Wolcott's 1st Maryland Battery was stationed on the left and to the rear of the village, and maintained a steady fire on the positions of the enemy until they were assailed and carried by our troops. The division was placed in reserve on the east side of the village, and held in readiness to cooperate with General Slocum or support his attack as occasion might require. Captain Ayres's battery of tlds division was posted on a commanding ground to the left of the reserves and kept up an uninterrupted fire on the principal battery of the enemy until the latter was driven from its position.
"The advance of General Slocum was nde with admirable steadiness through a well-directed fire from fle batteries on the mountain, the brigade of Cobnel Bartlett taking the lead, and followed at proper intervals by the brigades of General Newton and Colonel Torbert. Upon fully detenninin the enernys posifion, the skirmishers were withdrawn and Colonel Bartlett became engaged along his entire line. He maintained his ground steadily under a severe fire for some time at a manifest disadvantage, until reinforced by two regiments of General Newton's brigade upon his right, and the brigade of Colonel Torhert and the two remaining regiments of Newton's on his left. The line of battle thus formed, an immediate charge was ordered, and most gallantly executed. The men swept forward with a cheer, over the stone-wall, dislodging the enemy, and pursuing hin up the mountain-side to the crest of the hill and down the opposite slope. This single charge, sustained as it was over a great distance, and on a rough ascent of unusual steepness, was decisive. The enemy was driven in the utmost confusion from a position of strength and allowed no opportunity for even an attempt to rally, until the pass was cleared and in the possession of our troops.
"When the division under General Slocum first became actively engaged, I directed General Brooks's brigade, of Smith's division, to advance upon the left of the road and dislodge the enemy from the woods upon Slocum's flank. The movement was promptly and steadily made under a severe artillery fire. General Brooks occupied the woods after a slight resistance, and then advanced, simultancously with General Slocum, rapidly and in good order, to the crest of the mountain. The victory was complete, and its achieveinent followed so rap-idly upon the first attack that the enemy's reserves, although pushed forward at the doublequick, arrived hut in time to participate in the flight and add confusion to the rout. 400 prisoners, from 17 different organizations, 700 stand of arms, 1 piece of artillery, and 3 stand of colors were captured.
The gun was a 12 pounder howitzer belonging to the Group artillery attached to Cobb's brigade, and was captured by the 5th Pennsylvania, Colonel Gustavus W. Town, of Newton's brigade. General Cobb says it was "lost by all accident to flie axle," but according to Colonel Town's report the artillerists fled before his advance, "merely disabling it temporarily by throwing off one wheel from the limber, which was left with the horses near at hand." Two of the colors were captured by the 4th New Jersey regiment, Colonel William B. Hatch, of Torbert's brigade, and one by the 16th New York, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Joel J. Seaver, of Bartlett's brio'ade. A fourth stand of colors, belonging to the 16th Virginia regiment, of Mahone's brigade, was taken by the 4th Vermont regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles B. Stoughton, of Brooks's brigadc.
No report appears to have been made by Colonel Parham, who commanded Mahone's brigade, nor by Ilis division commander, General R. H. Anderson, who was wounded at Antietam, but the reports of Generals Cobb and Seinmes and Colonel Munford sufficiently indicate the effect of our advance upon the forces under their command. Munford, who had eight gulls, his two regiments of cavalry dismounted, and Mahone's brigade, wnas driven from his position behind a stone-wall at the foot of the pass. Cobb now called to his support, dividing his brigade to the right and left, but too late to change the result. One regiment, the 10th Georgia, of Semmes's brigade, also joined in Parham's defense, while the remaining three regiments, with nine guns of Manly's, Macon's, and Page's batteries, were posted for the defense of Burkittsville Gap, about a mile below toward our left, where tllc artillery is described, in the Confederate reports, as having done "good service." General Cobb says:
"As I was marching the last of the column, I received a message from you [McLaws] .
that I must hold the gap if it coit the life of every man in my command. . .. Two of my regiments were sent to the right and two to the left to meet these movements of the enemy. In this we were successful, until the center gave way, pressed by fresh troops of the enemy and increased numbers. Up to tlis time the troops had fought well and maintained their ground against greatly superior forces. The 10th Georgia regiment, of General Semmes's brigade, had been ordered to the gap from their position at the foot of the mountain and participated in the battle with great courage and energy. After the lines were broken, all my efforts to rally the troops were unsuccessful.
General Semmes, who hurried forward to offer his assistance to General Cobb, thus describes the scene he witnessed on the Confederate side of the crest: "Arriving at the base of and soon after commencing the ascent of the mountain at Crampton's Gap, I encouutered fugitives from w battle-field and endeavored to turn them back. Proceeding farther up the mountain, the troops were met poring down the road and through the wood in great disorder, where I found General Cobb and his staff, at the imminent risk of their lives, using every effort to check and rally them. I immediately joined my efforts, and those of my staff who were with me, to General Cobb's, and cooperated with him for a considerable time in the vain effort to rally the men
General McLaws moved Wilcox's brigade of R. H. Anderson's, and later Kersbaw's and Barksdale's brigades of his own division, to the support of Cobb, but not in time to take part in the engagement. The report of General McLaws shows that he accurately appreciated the effect of our success in completely shutting up his command on Maryland Heights until the surrender of Harper's Ferry opened the door for him to cross into Virginia. Accepting the estimate of Mr. Thomas White, who was Aief clerk in the adjutant-general's office at General Lee's headquarters, and had charge of the returns, the whole available force mider McLaws was 8000 men, and mine, on the basis of the last returns, 12,000. Couch's division (7219 men) of the Fourth Corps did not reach the field of the 14th until the fighting was over, and was detached from my command early the next morning. But these figures are at least one-fifth, if not one-fourth, beyond tlie actual effective strength. General Cobb estimates fle Confederate forccs actually engaged at 2200. Mine can hardly have exceeded 6500; heavy odds, indeed, but so are stone
walls and a steep mountain pass. My losses were 5:3-3. Tlhe losses in Parhams (Mahone's) brigade, spoken of as heavy, are not reporfed; those in Cobb's and Semmes's brigades are given as 749.
At the end of the fight, after nightfall, the division of the corps which had borne the brunt of the fight (Slocum's), was, as it were, astride of the mountain. Of the other division (Smith's), the brigades of Brooks and Irwin were on the mountain, the reserve under Hancock being at the eastern base. Couch's division reported to me at 10 p. M. Early the next morning, Smitli's division was sent into Pleasant Valley, west of the Blue Ridge, to begin the movement toward Harper's Ferry. Couch's division was sent, by order of the commanding general, to occupy Rohrersville. Slocum was to support Smith.
As I was crossing the mountain about 7 A. M., on September 15th, I had a good view of the enemy's force below, which seemed to be well posted on hills stretching across the valley, which is at this place about two miles wide. When I reached General Smith we made an examination of the position, and concluded that it would be suicidal to attack it. The whole breadth of the valley was occupied, and batteries swept the only approaches to the position. We estimated the force as quite as large as ours, and it was in a position which, properly defended, would have required a much greater force than ours to have carried. I am not able to give the nuinbers, but McLaws, in his report of the operations of the day, states that he formed the line across the valley with the brigades of Kershaw and Barksdale, except one regiment and two guns of flie latter, and the "remnants" of the brigades of Cobb, Semmes, Mahone, nud Wilcox, which he afterward statcs were very small.
The only force available for an attack would have been Smith's division of about 4500 men, Slocuin's division being in no condition for a fight that day. Reading between the lies of General MeLaws's report, he seems to have been disgusted that I did not attack him. The evidence before the court of inquiry on the surrender of Harper's Ferry shows that the whfte flag was shown at 7: 30 AM, on the 15th, and the firing ceased about one hour afterward. It is evident, therefore, that a fight between General Mc-Laws's force and mine could have bad no effect upon the surrender of Harper's Ferry. Success on my part would have drawn me farther away from the army and would have brought me in dangerous nearness to Jackson's force, already set free by the surrender. McLaws's supports were three and a half miles from him, while my force was seven miles from the main army.
Later on that day the enemy withdrew from Pleasant Valley and Harper's Ferry toward Sharpsburg. Conch's division joined me and the corps remained stationary without orders from McClellan until the evening of the 16th, when I was ordered to march the next moflung to join flie army and to send Couch's division to occupy Maryland Heights. Accordingly the corps started at 5:30 AM, and the advance reached the field of Antietam at 10 A. M., about twelve miles distant from the stafting-point.
General Smith's division arrived first and was immediately brought into action in thc vicinity of the Dunker Curch, repelling a strong attack made by the enemy at this point. The details of the part borne by the corps in the battle are graphically given in the official reports.
While awaitng the arrival of Slocum, I went to the right, held by Sumner. I found him at the head of his troops, but much depressed. He told me that his whole corps was exhausted and could do nothing more that day. It was lying in line of battle partly in a wood from which it had driven the enemy that mornmg. About three hundred yards in its front, across an open field, was a wood nearer the bank of the river, strongly held by the enemy. The corps had been driven back from an attack on this wood with great loss.
When General Slocum arrived I placed two brigades of his division on General Summer's left and was awaititig the arrival of his third brigade, which was to be in reserve. With the two brigades I intended to make an attack on the woods referred to, and General Sumner was informed of my intention. The two brigades were ready to move. Just as the third brigade arrived, General Sumner rode up and directed me not to make the attack, giving as a reason for his order, fliat if I were defeated the right would be entirely routed, mine only troops left on the right that had any life in them. Major Hammerstein, of McClellan's staff, was near, and I requested him to inform General MeClellan of the state of affairs, and that I thought the attack ouglit to be made. Shortly afterward McClellan rode up, and, after hearing the statements of Sumner and myself decided that as the day had gone so welt on the other parts of the line it would be unsafe to risk anything on the right. Of course, no advance was made by the division.
Later in the day General McClellan came again to my headquarters, and there was pointed out to him a hill on the right, commanding the wood, and it was proposed that flie hill should be occupied by our artillery early the next morning, and that after shelling the wood, the attack should be made by the whole corps from the position then held by it. He assented to this, and it was understood that the attack was to be made. During the night, however, the order was countermanded. I met him about 9 o'clock on the morning of the 18th. He informed me that lie countermanded the order because fifteen thousand Pennsylvania troops would soon arrive, and that upon their arrival the attack would be ordered. The troops, however, did not arrive, and the order was not retiewed that day. On the 19th the corps entered the wood, expecting a fight, but the enemy had slipped off during the night.