Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: Eighth Entry

The situation in the West Woods at
09:00 hrs. Cope Map, 1908.
Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” 

What follows is the eighth (and last) entry from his report: Appendix E-Confederate Order of Battle.

"Appendix E--Confederate Order of Battle


From the Confederate viewpoint, the operations against Sedgwick's Division involved such an assortment of units and timing factors that they will be the subject of a separate report.

The diagrams in the body of this report indicate Confederate units present in the various phases of the action thus rendering a written resume of the units beyond the scope of the present project.

The Confederate forces which at one time or another engaged Sedgwick seem to have numbered between 7,000 and 10,000 men.



The table below lists the units and the estimate of their numbers as given by Palfrey and Allan.


Palfrey[1] Allan[2]
Early's Brigade of Lawton's Division
1,000 1,000
J.R. Jones' (Jackson's) Division (4 badly reduced
brigades under Colonels Grigsby and Stafford)
600 300
McLaws' Division (Cobb's, Barksdale's, Kershaw's & Semmes' Brigades)
3,000 - - - - 
McLaws' Division (less Cobb's Brigade)
- - - - 2,550
G.T. Anderson's Brigade of D.R. Jones' Division
600 600
Walker's Division (Ransom's and Manning's Brigades)
3,200 3,000
Other mixed units
1,600 - - - -
Total
10,000 7,450


It is believed that Allan's is the better estimate of the two because he deducts Cobb's Brigade which was engaged elsewhere and rather than attempt to estimate the numbers of the 'Mixed' units he states that, regardless of strength, they were made up for by the units of the I and XII Corps which were also in the general area.

This concentration of force to meet the crisis was effected through Lee's use of interior lines. The list below gives the units of the attack force and their location at 8:00, at which time Sedgwick's Division was already west of the Antietam.

McLaw's Division
In reserve at Lee's Headquarters, 2 miles from the Dunker Church.
G.T. Anderson's Brigade
In line of battle (not engaged) on the site of the National Cemetery, about 1 1/4 miles from the Dunker Church.
Walker's Division
On the extreme right of the line covering Snavely's Ford, about 2 1/2 miles from the Dunker Church.

It hardly needs to be mentioned that a serious Federal demonstration or attack directed against Lee's right between 8:00 and 9:00 would have compromised the allocation of these forces.

 The remainder of the Confederate Army was disposed as follows:

J.R. Jones' Division
On the left in the West Woods seriously depleted from the morning's combat.
Lawton's Division
In worse condition that above. Three of four brigades off the line attempting to regroup. Early's Brigade supporting Stuart and in good condition.
Hood's Division
Engaged in Cornfield-East Woods. Losses so heavy that it will be pulled off line before 9:00.
D.H. Hill's Division
Three brigades heavily engaged in support of Hood. Will be practically dispersed by 9:00. Other two brigades responsible for Sunken Road front.
Evan's Independent Brigade
Responsible for front between Sunken Road and Boonsboro Road.
D.R. Jones' Division
Responsible for long front between site of National Cemetery and Snavely's Ford.
R.H. Anderson's Division
In reserve at Lee's Headquarters
A.P. Hill's Division
In Harpers Ferry area, 8 hours removed from Sharpsburg.

Notes ====

Cope map is Antietam Battlefield Board, Maps of the Battlefield of Antietam. 14 sheets. Surveyed by Lieut. Col. E.B. Cope. Washington: United States War Department, 1904 and Revised 1908.

 [1] "Palfrey 89-90." Francis Winthrop Palfrey, The Antietam and Fredericksburg (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1882)."

 [2] "Allan, 405-406. William Allan, The Army of Northern Virginia in 1862 (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1892).

Monday, December 24, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: Seventh Entry

Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” What follows is the seventh entry from his report: Appendix D-The "Ambush" Question.

--------
"Appendix D-The 'Ambush' Question
The West Woods 2013

Efforts have been made during the past year or so, on the part of the staff of the Antietam National Battlefield Site, to have the term 'ambush' condemned as a description of Sedgwick's defeat in the West Woods. The effort has been successful to the extent that labels in the new visitor center will refrain from use of the word. However, the heading 'Jackson Prepares an Ambush' has not yet been changed in the battlefield Handbook, nor the story of a deliberately laid trap which follows. Popular accounts of the battle have also propagated this misconception. There are two major reasons why it is important that Sedgwick's defeat should not be called an ambush.

1. An 'ambush' is defined as 'a post or tactical trap of troops in wait, concealed for the purpose of attacking an enemy by surprise.' The term carries a connotation of stealth and deliberate concealment. For reasons that will be denoted later, this simply did not occur. Use of the term 'ambush' implies that they did and is therefore incorrect.

2. Other parts of the battle story must conform when the term 'ambush' is used, thereby, giving rise to further false information. This is particularly true with the operations of Greene's Division and those of the 34th New York and 125th Pennsylvania, both of which must be misrepresented to clear the area where the 'ambush' is supposed to have been set up.

It is hope that the Operations section of this report has supplied evidence to discredit use of the term 'ambush' in connection with Sedgwick's defeat. The following points should bolster the facts in that section and prove beyond any doubt that no ambush took place in the West Woods.

1. Jackson made every effort to contain Sedgwick's advance and to drive him from the West Woods before McLaws and Walker arrived. This is evident by the artillery fire directed at Sedgwick during his approach and the desperate resistance encountered by Gorman's Brigade.

2. The 125th Pennsylvania and later the 34th New York were engaged in the very area where an ambush would have to have been set up, before the main part of Gorman's Brigade crossed the Pike.

3. If the above was not sufficient warning that trouble might be expected from the left, the fact that the two regiments were driven out before all of Sedgwick's Division entered the woods surely was. Colonel Owen of Howard's Brigade even suggested that the brigade oblique to the left to meet the danger. None of this implies the sudden springing of a carefully laid trap.

4. Confederate reports indicate that their reinforcements were committed to the attack upon arrival with no attempt at concealment or waiting for the opportune moment to strike. The following extracts from the reports of the commanders directly concerned with Sedgwick's defeat are offered to support this point. 

A. (Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson) 'The force in front [of Early] (the 125th Pennsylvania and 34th New York) was giving way under this attack when another heavy column of Federal troops was seen moving across the plateau on his left flank. By this time, the expected re-enforcements...arrived, and the whole, including Grigsby's command, now united, charged upon the enemy, checking his advance, then driving him back with great slaughter entirely from and beyond the wood..." [1]

B. (Brig. Gen. J.G. Walker) '...we at once formed line of battle, and...the division, with Ransom's brigade on the left, advanced in splendid style, firing and cheering as they went, and in a few minutes cleared the woods, strewing it with the enemy's dead and wounded.' [2]

C. (Maj. Gen. L. McLaws) 'My advance was ordered before the entire line of General Kershaw could be formed. As the enemy were filling the woods so rapidly, I wished my troops to cross the open space between us and the woods before they were entirely occupied. It was made steadily and in perfect order, and the troops were immediately engaged, driving the enemy before them in magnificent style at all points, sweeping the woods with the perfect ease and inflicting great loss on the enemy.' [3]

D. (Brig. Gen. J.A. Early) (Narrative begins just after Early's Brigade had drive out the 125th Pennsylvania and 34th New York.) 'I also discovered another body of the enemy moving across the plateau on my left flank, in double-quick time, (Dana and Howard) to the same position, and I succeeded in arresting my command and ordered it to retire, so that I might change front and advance upon this force. Just as I reformed my line...McLaws' division came up, and the whole, including Grigsby's command, advanced upon this body of the enemy, driving it with great slaughter entirely from and beyond the woods..." [4]

To conclude this discussion it may be said on the basis of all available evidence, use of the term 'ambush' in reference to Sedgwick's defeat is not only misleading but grossly incorrect." [5]

Next: Appendix E--Confederate Order of Battle

Notes==========

Statements and words bracketed by (  ) and [   ] above are Stinson's.

[1] "O.R., 956 (Jackson)." Stinson notes in his bibliography that "All references [to the Official Records] are from Volume XIX, Part I unless otherwise cited. "[References] will be cited O.R. followed by the page number and the name of the person who submitted the report, as follows: O.R., 275 [Sumner]."

[2] "O.R., 915 (Walker)."

[3] "O.R., 858 (McLaws)."

[4] "O.R., 971 (Early)."

[5] "Longstreet 246 exhibits a diagram which shows Sedgwick's Division moving through the West Woods, passing across the fronts of J.R. Jones on its right and Walker on its left. Longstreet's account of the operation (pp. 245-248) is as incorrect as his diagram and bears no resemblance whatsoever to the West Woods action which it is supposed to be describing. This work is completely useless as reference material for this phase of the Battle of Antietam." James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox (Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott Co., 1896). 

{Author's note: "Ambush" in the West Woods has a long history. While neither Palfrey or Walker use the term in their studies of the fight in the West Woods, Carman, writing later, states "It would be a simple matter to say that Sedgwick's Division of 5,000 men marched into an ambush, ..." About a hundred years later,  September 2013 tour participants were promised that they would "walk the advance of Sedgwick's division to their impending ambush in the West Woods." }

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: Sixth Entry

Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” What follows is the sixth entry from his report: Appendix C-Accusation of Rashness.


"Appendix C--Accusation of Rashness


It is hoped that the complexities of the situation facing Sumner prior to his ordering Sedgwick forward have been discussed thoroughly in the Analysis Section of this report. Because of them, many writers of the battle have sought a simple explanation requiring little space but still satisfying the reader as to why a corps commander would voluntarily expose one of his divisions to annihilation and allow the other two to stray off without his guidance. This has led to two theories, which, because of their widespread belief, should be commented on.
Francis A. Walker
Duke University

The most common of these, seemingly coined by Palfrey and Walker, is that Sumner had spent 'all his life in the cavalry' and 'had the instincts of a cavalry commander.' [1] The implication of irresponsible charges at the head of madcap horsemen is clear and conveys the thought that Sumner plunged into the West Woods with the same amount of consideration he would have given to an attack against a band of hostile braves. The fact is, that while most of Sumner's 43 years service had been in the cavalry he was a trained officer and quite aware of the capabilities and employment of infantry. At least his first four years in the army had been spent as a lieutenant in the 2nd Infantry. [2] More significant is that his recent experiences as commander of an infantry corps on the Peninsula surely had made him aware that his capacity was no longer that of commanding a few companies on the Indian frontier.

The "headstrong" concept is carried along in the second theory and frequently the two are combined. This centers around the fact that Sumner had been ordered to hold the II Corps in readiness to march one hour before daybreak yet had not received the order to advance until 7:20. It is often said that Sumner became so agitated at the delay that when he finally was released, he rushed headlong into the action. But even in granting that he was not happy with a passive role, it is going beyond sound historical judgment to assign his hasty advance solely to this reason. It is unreasonable to suppose that an officer of Sumner's experience would discard common sense merely to get into action.

Two other theories should be given more credence and are, when the situation and Sumner's orders are considered, certainly more plausible. Ropes has stated one of these as follows:

'There can be little doubt that representations made to General Sumner of the urgent need of reinforcements on this part of the field of battle influenced him greatly, and account in great part for the impetuosity of his attack. ' [3]

This is closely allied with the fourth theory, advanced by Sumner's son, to the effect that the XII Corps has just about spent its offensive potential and to keep up the momentum of the attack Sumner had to throw in Sedgwick immediately. [4]

In summation, careful study of every known ramification of the problem leads the writer to the conclusion that the last two theories are correct. If the XII Corps successes were to be exploited they would have to be done so immediately, and by the II Corps, which, after all, had been committed for that very purpose in the first place. As we have stated in the analysis, Sumner's error was not in ordering an immediate advance but in accompanying it personally to the exclusion of this other units which would be needed to protect Sedgwick and drive the attack home."

Next--The "Ambush" Question

Source: Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. Operations of Sedgwick's Division. Unpublished, National Park Service Report, 1962. This typescript report is at the Antietam National Battlefield Library and Archives. All notes to Stinson's report are enclosed in quotes; bibliographic citations are from Stinson.
Notes:

1. "Walker, 103." Francis A. Walker, History of the Second Corps in the Army of the Potomac (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1886).
2. "Heitman I, 936." Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. 2 Volumes (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1903).
3. "Ropes, 365-366." John C. Ropes, The Story of the Civil War: The Campaigns of 1862 (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1898). 
4. "14 HMSM, 10 (S.S. Sumner)." Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts. Volume XIV. Paper read by S[amuel] S. Sumner before the Society on 2 January, 1917.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: Fifth Entry

Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” What follows is the fifth entry from his report: Appendix B-Density of Formation.


"Appendix B--Density of Formation

A great deal of the criticism directed at General Sumner's conduct at Antietam stems from the fact that he deployed Sedgwick's Division in a formation too dense to allow for proper maneuverability in the event of a flank attack.
Col. Joshua T. Owen,
69th Pennsylvania
Library of Congress


[Here Stinson refers to a diagram to "illustrate the validity of such a charge." At this time the diagram and others mentioned in the report have not been located. When they are, I will add them to this site.]

The diagram above shows the formation designated by Sumner. Note that the interval is too close to allow the second and third lines to change front to the left if the forward progress of the first line is checked. This is exactly what occurred. In the diagram below it is seen that with an interval of 250 yards such a change of front to either flank could have been executed.

Even if there were no danger of a flank attack, Sumner's formation was still too dense for an approach under fire. Colonel Owen of the third line sums up this point in his report:

'I beg leave to state...as a matter worthy of discussion in a military point of view, whether the disaster was not attributable to its [the Philadelphia Brigade] having been placed in too great proximity to the other two lines, and thus, while intended to act as a reserve, subjected to as deadly a fire as those it was intended to support.' [1]

Palfrey, who was with the second line, commented:

 'The lines were so near together that the projectile that went over the heads of the first line was likely to find its billet in the second or third.' [2]

It may be concluded that the dense formation ordered by Sumner was one of the major contributing factors to the confusion, high loss, and severe defeat of Sedgwick's Division."
Next: Appendix C--Accusation of Rashness.

Source: Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. Operations of Sedgwick's Division. Unpublished, National Park Service Report, 1962. This typescript report is at the Antietam National Battlefield Library and Archives. All notes to Stinson's report are enclosed in quotes.
Notes:

[1] "OR 319 (Owen)." This is Col. Joshua T. Owen, commander of the 69th Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Brigade (O.O. Howard), Sedgwick's Division, II Corps. Stinson notes in his bibliography that "All references [to the Official Records] are from Volume XIX, Part I unless otherwise cited. "[References] will be cited O.R. followed by the page number and the name of the person who submitted the report, as follows: O.R., 275 [Sumner]."

[2] "Palfrey 84." Francis Winthrop Palfrey, The Antietam and Fredericksburg (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1882)."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lt. Robert J. Park, Jr., 72nd Pennsylvania, Company R

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, October 18, 1862.

"Died. Park--On Saturday evening, of wounds received at the battle of Antietam, Lieutenant Robert J. Park, Jr., in the 21st year of his age, of Company R, Baxter's Fire Zouaves, Seventy-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Central High School, Philadelphia, 1852
His friends and those of the family, the officers and members of his regiment now in the city, the National Guards, the Faculty and Alumni of the Central High School, are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, from his fathers residence, No. 201 Thirteenth Street, this (Saturday) afternoon, at 2 1/2 o'clock. Interment at Monument Cemetery."

In 1860, Robert J. Park, Jr. (18) resided in Philadelphia's 8th Ward with his father (50) and mother, Mary G. Park (44). His siblings were William D. (20), Annie C. (15), and Orlando B. (12). Also in residence was Kate S. Redgrave (25) and William D. Park (57), and Eliza Cheatam (19) an African American "domestic." The senior Park and William D. Park (who may have been an uncle) listed their occupations as printers. U.S. Census, Pennsylvania, 1860.

Philadelphia's Monument Cemetery was razed in 1956 by Temple University to make room for a parking lot. Of the 28,000 buried there, approximately 8,000 were removed to other cemeteries; the remaining 20,000 were buried in a mass grave in the city's Lawnview Cemetery. The Monument site was later developed from a parking lot to an astroturf field where Temple University’s lacrosse and field hockey teams play. For more on the Monument Cemetery story, see Ed Snyder's blog post on "How Monument Cemetery Was Destroyed." and Katrina Ohstrom' post on Hidden City Philadelphia blog. While Robert J. Park, Jr. may be lost, the regiment's commander, Col. DeWitt Clinton Baxter, can be found in Lawnview's Broad Lawn section, Range 14, Grave 84.

Image of Central High School is from The Stranger's Guide in Philadelphia and Its Environs (Philadelphia, Lindsay & Blakiston, 1852).

Monday, November 19, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: Fourth Entry


Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” What follows is the fourth entry from his report: Appendix A-Casualties.

"Appendix A--Casualties[1]

(K-Killed; W-Wounded; M-Missing; Tot-Total)

Totals of Sedgwick's Infantry, Woodruff's Battery, and 125th Pennsylvania:
K- 397 W- 1,1693 M- 246 Tot- 2,336
Second Division, II Corps (Sedgwick)
K- 373 W- 1,593 M- 244 Tot- 2,210
1st Brigade (Gorman)
34th NY K-33 W-111 M-10 TOT-154
82ND NY K-21 W-92 M-15 TOT-128
15TH MA K-65 W-225 M-24 TOT-344
1ST MN K-15 W-81 M-15 TOT-114
Brigade Total K-134 W-539 M-67 TOT-740
2nd Brigade (Howard)
69TH PA K-19 W-58 M-15 TOT-92
71ST PA K-26 W-95 M-18 TOT-139
72ND PA K-38 W-163 M-36 TOT-237
106TH PA K-10 W-63 M-4 TOT-77
Brigade Total K-93 W-379 M-73 TOT-545
3rd Brigade (Dana)
Staff K-0 W-2 M-0 TOT-2
7TH MI K-39 W-178 M-4 TOT-221
42ND NY K-35 W-127 M-19 TOT-181
59TH NY K-48 W-127 M-19 TOT-224
19TH  MA K-8 W-108 M-30 TOT-146
20TH  MA K-12 W-84 M-28 TOT-124
Brigade Total K-142 W-652 M-104 TOT-898
Artillery
Woodruff (I, 1st U.S.) K-0 W-6 M-0 TOT-6
Tompkins (A, 1st R.I.)[2] K-4 W-15 M-0 TOT-19
Other
125TH PA K-28 W-115 M-2 TOT-145
Average Regimental Losses (Compared with other divisions of II Corps)
Sedgwick and 125th  PA K-28 W-120 M-18 TOT-166
Richardson and French K-22 W-98 M-7 TOT-127
Percentage of Casualties
42 per cent (based on 5,200 infantry engaged)

The following tables, unless otherwise stated, are based solely on the number of reported casualties. Efforts to correlate the losses with those of other engagements or other units at Antietam have been avoided because of the impossibility in determining numbers engaged, without which the figures would be meaningless.

Divisional Casualties

Ranked No. 1 of 15 infantry divisions reporting loss at Antietam.

Brigade Casualties

Dana's Brigade ranked No. 1 of 40 brigades reporting
Gorman's Brigade ranked No. 2 of 40 brigades reporting
Howard's Brigade ranked No. 8 of 40 brigades reporting

Regimental Casualties

15th Massachusetts ranked No. 1 of 173 regiments reporting loss.
72nd Pennsylvania ranked No. 3 of 173 regiments reporting loss.
59th New York ranked No. 6 of 173 regiments reporting loss.
7th Michigan ranked No. 8 of 173 regiments reporting loss.
42nd New York ranked No. 18 of 173 regiments reporting loss.
34th New York ranked No. 23 of 173 regiments reporting loss.

While it is usually dangerous to compare casualty figures of different battles, the intensity of Sedgwick's loss was such that several examples are in order. The five divisions of the Federal army which were seriously engaged at South Mountain (Turner's and Fox's Gaps) had a combined loss of 1,813 of whom 325 were killed.[3] The total Federal loss at the Battle of Cedar Mountain was 2,381 with 314 killed.[4] At the Battle of Pea Ridge the total Federal loss was 1,384 with 203 killed.[5] When these figures are compared with Sedgwick's loss of 2,210 with 373 killed it is not hard to see how an experienced fighting man as Sumner could describe Antietam as a "very severe action--uncommonly severe."[6]"

Next, Appendix B: Density of Formation


Notes====

1. O.R. 189-200 (Casualty Report) [Stinson notes in his bibliography that "All references [to the Official Records] are from Volume XIX, Part I unless otherwise cited. "[References] will be cited O.R. followed by the page number and the name of the person who submitted the report, as follows: O.R., 275 [Sumner]."]
2. Thompkins' Battery was posted on the left of Greene's Division and was directly involved in the operations of that unit and French's Division.
3. O.R.,187 (Casualty Report)
4. B&L II, 496 [B&L is R.U. Johnson and C. C. Buell, eds.,Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. 4 vols. (New York: The Century Co., 1884-1888).]
5. B&L I, 337.
6. C.C.W. I, 369 (Sumner) Stinson's C.C.W. abbreviation is to his bibliographic source which is Thirty-eighth Congress, Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War 4 vols. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1865.]


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: Third Entry


"Uncle" John Sedgwick, Library of Congress
Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” What follows below is the third entry from his report: Part III: Conduct of Attack and Summation.

Conduct of Attack

Most of the points connected with the conduct of Sedgwick’s attack are obvious in reading the Operations section of this report.[1] The 75 yard interval between the brigade lines was far too close to permit the execution of a movement to cover a flank attack.[2] In addition, the designated order of battle rendered staff work above the regimental level almost impossible, particularly in a wooded area. This is to say that the brigade commanders could not coordinate their units properly because the line of battle was over a quarter of a mile long. This condition was exemplified by the 34th New York becoming separated from its brigade without its commander of Gorman realizing it. When Dana’s Brigade was hit he was forced to remain with the two left regiments thereby leaving the other three without a commander. Almost any formation would have been better than the one used by ideally it should have been with the brigades formed in column of regiments. While these criticisms are valid, it must also be remembered that the dispositions were made under the impression that French’s whole division would be covering the left.

The forward movement was conducted at double time, perhaps to minimize the effect of Confederate artillery fire[3]. But by moving on the double all the difficulties of keeping reign on the already unwieldy battle lines were magnified. Furthermore, a telescopic effect was produced when the first line was brought to an abrupt halt on the farther edge of the woods. The rear lines kept moving forward until they had almost closed up on Gorman.

The total effect was that if the movement had been conducted in maneuvers rather than combat confusion would have resulted the moment the first line was ordered to halt. In other words, the formation was built-in confusion and it remained only for 7,000 Confederates to turn confusion into disaster.
Edwin Vose Sumner, Library of Congress

Summation

1. McClellan’s Responsibility. Although it is often done, McClellan should not be censored for the piecemeal attacks of Sedgwick and French. From the time he released the II Corps the conduct of the operation was in the hands of Sumner both in fact and theory. As Clausewitz has said, the army commander gives the direction of march to his corps commander and points out the enemy as the objective and victory as the goal. McClellan did this and from then on had to rely on Sumner to see that it was done. McClellan’s only tampering with the original order was to withhold Richardson’s Division temporarily and this had no bearing on the results or conduct of the operation.

2. Corps Command. There is little to praise in Sumner’s conduct as commander of the II Corps. Although he did so for what he considered good reason, Sumner separated himself from 2/3 of his corps and acted the part of a division commander. He did not coordinate his two lead divisions properly nor did he even know the whereabouts of one of them when Sedgwick began to give way. This is proved by the following message which was signaled to McClellan during the crisis: ‘Reinforcements are badly wanted. Our troops are giving way. I am hunting for French’s and Slocum’s Divisions. If you know where they are, send them immediately.[4]

Sumner felt that the situation warranted immediate attack. His most serious mistake was not in making the attack, but in not allowing Sedgwick to command it while he (Sumner) remained in the rear to coordinate the corps.

3. Artillery Support. The wooded nature of the terrain and the comparative shortness of the conflict combined to render the artillery to an insignificant role in Sedgwick’s operations. No batteries moved west of the Hagerstown Pike with the divisional advance, in fact Woodruff’s Battery of the division did not come into position south of the Cornfield until the infantry was already falling back.[5] Many Federal batteries contributed to the breakup of the Confederate attempt to pursue Sedgwick but their activities will be the subject of a later study.[6]

4. Result. The II Corps was committed to attack and, if possible, break the confederate left. Two-thirds of it did not even hit the Confederate left and the division that did, suffered a crushing defeat. On the basis of this, the result was a total failure. However, Sedgwick’s defeat was so complete that Sumner was convinced that further attacks in the sector would result in disaster. This undoubtedly saved at least one division of the VI Corps from launching an attack which could gain no decisive result.[7] The operation also resulted in obliging General Lee to commit all of his reserves and to strip his extreme right of a division.[8] This weakened other portions of the Confederate line and eased the task of the IX Corps considerably. 

Next, Appendices

Notes ====

Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. Operations of Sedgwick's Division. Unpublished, National Park Service Report, 1962. This typescript report is at the Antietam National Battlefield Library and Archives. All notes to Stinson's report are enclosed in quotes.

1. The Operations Section of the Stinson Report will be uploaded in a future post.

2. Stinson directs the reader to Appendix B of his report. This will be uploaded in the next few days.

3. Stinson note: “Although descriptions of Sedgwick’s advance to the West Woods are often written to sound as if the division moved at parade cadence, there is ample evidence in the reports of the unit commanders that it was done at double time.”

4. “12 O.R., 134 (Signal Corps Report). There is no time on the message.” Stinson notes in his bibliography that "All references [to the Official Records] are from Volume XIX, Part I unless otherwise cited. "[References] will be cited O.R. followed by the page number and the name of the person who submitted the report, as follows: O.R., 275 [Sumner].”

5. “13 O.R., 309 (Woodruff). Hanson, 50, claims that Woodruff’s Battery was the only one to accompany Sedgwick into the West Woods but there is no evidence to support this.” Stinson’s “Hanson” reference is to Joseph Mills Hanson, A Report on the Employment of the Artillery at the Battle of Antietam, Maryland, With A view to Marking Battery Positions at the Antietam National Battlefield Site. Unpublished. National Park Service Report, 1940.

6. Stinson’s reference to a “later study” on artillery has not been found.

7. “14 B&L, II, 579 (Franklin). This is thoroughly discussed in Sunken Road Report, 34-39.” B&L is R.U. Johnson and C. C. Buell, eds., Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. 4 vols. (New York: The Century Co., 1884-1888); the Sunken Road Report is identified in his bibliography as Dwight E. Stinson, The Attack on the Sunken Road: Operations of Richardson's and French's Divisions. Unpublished, National Park Service Report, 1961.

8. This was John Walker’s Division.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: Second Entry

Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” Part III: Analysis was posted earlier, what follows below is Part III: Sumner's Dispersal of Force.

==================
"Part III-Sumner's Dispersal of Force

Francis Winthrop Palfrey
Detail from Carte de Visite
Massachusetts Historical
Society.
As in most combat conditions, two situations existed in the zone toward which the II Corps was marching. One was the clear, uncluttered, and correct dispositions shown on the battle map and including such pertinent information as the enemy order of battle. The other was the situation as it appeared to the commander in the field, in this case General Sumner, complete with smoke, confusion, topographic obstructions, conflicting reports, and above all the knowledge that it was his responsibility to bring his men into action agains an enemy of unknown strength in an undetermined position.

Critics are prone to pass judgement on the basis of the former situation with little, if any, reference to the latter. It is safe to say that if Sumner had had the same amount of time to interpret it, he too would have made the correct decisions. The analyst must attempt to correlate the true situation with the facts known or available to Sumner before deciding if his attack was "madness"as Palfrey[1] has stated or if it was the most logical move under the circumstances.

Prior to 8:30 the Confederate main line of resistance on the northern sector of the battlefield was roughly West-Woods-East-Woods-Mumman House. Greene's breakthrough in the East Woods and advance to the Mumma Farm cleared the area north of the Dunker Church and east of the Pike, thereby shifting the Confederate line to one running generally north from the Church through the West Woods.[2]
Brig. Gen. George Sears Greene, XII Corps
South of the Church the line remained unchanged except that the Sunken Road position became an angle and the only part of the entire Confederate main line of resistance still fronting north. All of this took place less than half an hour before Sumner reached the East Woods. It had the effect of bringing his line of march across, rather than on, the axis of the earlier Federal attacks. The shift also created a gap between the divisions of the XII Corps (Williams and Greene) which would have a direct adverse bearing upon Sedgwick and the entire II Corps.

The sudden collapse of the Confederate line in the Cornfield area found Williams' Division in poor condition to follow-up. It had relieved the I Corps some time before and had suffered heavily in the sustained combat that preceded Greene's breakthrough.

The greater part of Crawford's Brigade was in the rear trying to regroup its depleted units.[3] Only three regiments of the entire division were even in proper position for pursuit [4] and their ranks were greatly reduced. Nevertheless, the three regiments were advancing into the Cornfield when sumner's advance was announced on the filed. The colonel of the 27th Indiana reported:

'They [the Confederates] broke and fled, in utter confusion, into a piece of woods on the right. We were then ordered to fix bayonets and advance, which was promptly done...We had advanced over the larger portion of [the Cornfield] when we were ordered to halt. I soon discovered that General Sumner's corps had arrived and were fresh...and the work of dislodging the enemy from the woods, designed for your shattered brigade, had been assigned to them.[5]'

Frank H. Schell's eyewitness rendering of Sumner,
Sedgwick and Staff advancing the division to
the West Woods.
Such was the situation Sumner found on his immediate front which goes a long way toward explaining what motivated his seemingly hasty advance. to express it very simply, the enemy main line was in headlong flight and the only pursuit force was a battered combat team of three regiments. It was the perfect moment for 5,000 fresh men to arrive and the most conservative of commanders would probably have done the same thing Sumner did and that is order the division forward.

But the key to the situation was the location and condition of Greene's Division. This small but organized body was, at the time Sedgwick entered the East Woods, regrouping on the Mumma Farm after its successful attack. It was also awaiting ammunition without which it could not continue its offensive operations.[6] Unfortunately Greene was the only general officer on the field who was aware of these facts. The wounding of Mansfield had left Williams in command of the XII Corps but at the time in question he was occupied in pulling the scattered units of his own division out of Sedgwick's line of advance. It is almost certain that he had no accurate information on Greene's whereabouts and condition.[7] To Sumner, Greene's Division appeared to be nothing more than 'some troops lying down on the left.'[8]

French, under orders to form on Sedgwick's inner flank, had an entirely different view of the situation. His line of march brought him in behind Greene and he could readily see that rather than a few scattered men, Greene commanded a fully organized division. Accordingly, he gave way to the left.[9] This was among the most critical decisions in the Battle of Antietam, for it severed Sedgwick from the rest of the corps and brought on two separate actions neither of which could support the other. Sedgwick attacked almost due west but because of the angle formed by the Sunken Road French, and later Richardson, struck almost due south. It left Sedgwick's flank completely uncovered, a fact unknown to the corps commander because he was with the lead division. This all occurred because Sumner and French interpreted Greene's presence in the opposite manner:

1. If French had seen Green as a small, disorganized body he would have passed over him and remained connected with Sedgwick's left.

2. If Sumner had seen Greene as a division with offensive potential he would have consulted with him probably before moving Sedgwick forward. This might have led to a coordinated movement of three divisions (Sedgwick, Greene, and French). At worst, it might have caused Sumner to wait long enough to ascertain French's position and insure that the two divisions would go in together.

Next post, "Conduct of Attack"

=========

Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. Operations of Sedgwick's Division. Unpublished, National Park Service Report, 1962. This typescript report is at the Antietam National Battlefield Library and Archives.

Annotations below within quotation marks are from the Stinson report.

[1] "Francis Winthrop Palfrey, The Antietam and Fredericksburg (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1882)."

[2] Here Stinson cites: "Sunken Road Report, 10. The changed position of the battle lines is also discussed in some detail by General Cox in B&L, II, 645 and may be seen by comparing Cope Maps #7 and 8." Stinson identifies these sources in his bibliography as: Sunken Road Report is Dwight E. Stinson, The Attack on the Sunken Road: Operations of Richardson's and French's Divisions. Unpublished, National Park Service Report, 1961; B&L is R.U. Johnson and C.C. Buell, eds., Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. 4 vols. (New York: The Century Co., 1884-1888); and Cope Maps are Antietam Battlefield Board, Maps of the Battlefield of Antietam. 14 sheets. Surveyed by Lieut. Col. E.B. Cope. Washington: United States War Department, 1904 and Revised 1908.

[3] O.R.., 487 (Knipe). Stinson notes in his bibliography that "All references [to the Official Records] are from Volume XIX, Part I unless otherwise cited. "[References] will be cited O.R. followed by the page number and the name of the person who submitted the report, as follows: O.R., 275 [Sumner]."

[4] "Cope Map #7. The regiments were the 27th Indiana, 2nd Massachusetts, and 3rd Wisconsin all of Gordon/Williams/XII. The three new Pennsylvania regiments of Crawford's Brigade were also on or near the line as was the 13th New Jersey but these units were operating almost on their won."

[5] "O.R., 499 (Colgrove)."

[6] Greene Report, 9. Stinson's Greene Report is to his bibliographic source : "Dwight E. Stinson, Analytical Study of the Operations of Greene's Division. Unpublished, National Park Service Report, 1961."

[7] "Greene Report, 19-21. Carman, 183, claims that Williams rode up to Sumner from the direction of the Mumma House but it is probable that he mean Miller rather than Mumma."

[8] "C.C.W., I, 368 (Sumner)." Stinson's C.C.W. abbreviation is to his bibliographic source which is Thirty-eighth Congress, Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. 4 vols. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1865.

[9] "Sunken Road Report, 10."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The 1962 Stinson Study: First Entry


Fifty years ago, National Park Service historian Dwight E. Stinson, Jr. set out to “present a definitive study of the operations of Sedgwick’s Division at the Battle of Antietam.” The study that emerged was an internal report titled “Operations of Sedgwick’s Division.” In it, Stinson examined “certain aspects of the operations in the hope that their clarification will result in a more correct interpretation of the battle story.” These “aspects” are casualties, density of formation, accusation of rashness, the “ambush” question, and the Confederate order of battle. His sixty-page typescript report challenged the standing narrative of the fight for the West Woods established by Winthrop Palfrey’s The Antietam and Fredericksburg (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1881) and Francis A. Walker’s History of the Second Army Corps in the Army of the Potomac (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1886). While cited in some secondary sources, Stinson’s report has never been published and is located in the Antietam National Battlefield Archives. Over the next few months, selected sections of his report will be posted here. I have chosen to begin with Part III—Analysis and not post Parts I and II which Stinson calls Preliminary Data and Operations—both of which are treated in greater detail in the report's subsequent sections.

========================

"Part III-Analysis

Although this study deals exclusively with the operations of Sedgwick’s Division, any analysis must consider these operations in relation to the commitment of the entire II Corps. This is necessary for two reasons: the II Corps was committed as a unit by the commanding general and the corps commander, General Sumner, was physically present at the head of Sedgwick’s Division and therefore responsible for all tactical decisions concerning that unit.

A. The Battle Plan

In McClellan’s own words, his plan for the Battle of Antietam was to attack the enemy’s left with the corps of Hooker and Mansfield, supported by Sumner’s and, if necessary by Franklin’s, and, as soon as matters looked favorably there, to move the corps of Burnside against the enemy’s extreme right, upon the ridge running to the south and rear of Sharpsburg, and, having carried their position, to press along the crest toward our right, and, whenever either of these flank movements should be successful, to advance our center with all the forces then disposable. [1]

It must be assumed that when Sumner received the order to advance at 7:20 both he and McClellan envisioned that the II Corps would be operating within the framework of the above stated plan. As far as General Headquarters knew, at the time Sumner was dispatched, the attack of the Federal right wing was progressing favorably.

During the hour and fifteen minutes it took the advance of the II Corps to reach the front, significant changes in the situation were taking place. Perhaps most important of all was the fact, which Sumner had no way of knowing, that Burnside’s attack was not developing as per plan, in fact would be so dilatory that the enemy would be able to shift a whole division from the IX Corps front to the northern sector and send the two reserve divisions as well. This point is usually overlooked by Sumner’s critics but the objective historian should bear in mind that Sumner acted within the guidelines set forth in McClellan’s plan and had every reason to believe that his fellow corps commanders would do so also.

To accomplish this mission, Sumner’s column contained two infantry divisions (Sedgwick and French) comprising some 12,000 men. A third division (Richardson) was delayed for a time by General Headquarters but should be considered as a part of the available force. In addition, Sumner knew that the VI Corps was en route to the battlefield and would be available for further support if needed. It was certainly not improvident to believe that an attack force of 12,000 men supported by 5,000 more had a better than average chance of breaking through the already battered Confederate left and driving it toward Sharpsburg. With this in mind, as he approached the zone of combat Sumner ordered French to follow on Sedgwick’s left.

As has been shown, this promising plan was not followed and Sumner attacked with only a third of his force. The reasons for the deviation are discussed in Section B."

Next: Section B--Sumner's Dispersal of Force

=======================

[1] Stinson cites “McClellan, O[fficial] R[ecord], 55.” McClellan in his “Second Preliminary Report” dated October 15, 1862 recounted that “The design was to make the main attack upon the enemy's left--at least to create a diversion in favor of the main attack, with the hope of something more by assailing the enemy's right--and, as soon as one or both of the flank movements were fully successful, to attack their center with any reserve I might then have on hand.” OR—Series I—Vol. XIX/1.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"I had not had a chance even to sleep for the two or three nights and days previous:" Lafayette McLaws' Advance to the West Woods


Following is a letter from Lafayette McLaws to Henry Heth from the Antietam Studies papers at the National Archives. This collection of documents contains veteran's replies to queries from the Antietam Battlefield Board as to their recollections about the events of September 17, 1862. Ezra Carman eventually used these letters to cobble together his sweeping monograph of the Maryland campaign of 1862. [1]
=============================
Savannah, Ga., December 13, 1894
General Heth:[2]
A communication from War Department, Antietam Battlefield Commission, Washington, D.C., December 3d instant, and signed by yourself received.
I have written and published a full account of the movements of my Division, in the Philadelphia Weekly Press, to which paper, I am indebted for many courtesies, and I also delivered a lecture in Boston, the subject being the Maryland Campaign—this last was published the morning after it was delivered in the Boston Herald. I cannot at present find a copy of either paper, but as a change of residence has confused everything about the house, I hope to find a copy of both papers and will take the liberty of sending the one to you which gives the most complete history (in my opinion). I would be glad if you would read it, for it contains much matter that is not in “History”? and it is only the nar[r]ative of events given in detail that the true history of events can be learned. The officia[l] reports, at least, those of the U.S. graduates in the army are so condensed that only the results can be learned, and not how it was that those results were obtained.
I crossed the river before daylight, coming from Harper’s Ferry and it was so dark, I had to use torches in crossing and for some distance on this side, (Maryland side). I rode past the place where Gen. Lee was[,] of course was ignorant of his whereabouts, and on past Sharpsburg, this before sunrise, and there was not at that time any firing, nor was there any indication of the close proximity of the two contending armies, as I met no one. I rode back to halt my command, so that I could “look around” to find someone who could tell me where to go and in returning met General Longstreet and staff, coming from the rear. In reply to my question, where is General Lee? he turned in his saddle and pointed to a Bosque or mass of trees about 1/4 of a mile to his rear—said “you will find him among those trees”—when I came by he had just gotten out of his ambulance[.”] I galloped on and found General Lee with his coat off and washing his face (in the bunch of trees pointed out)—which was but a few yards from the road and dismounting reported to him the arrival of my command. He said “well general I am glad to see you, and have to thank you for what you have done, but we have I believe a hard days work before us, and you must rest your men. Do not let them come quite this far as the shells of the enemy fall about here, and halt them about 1/4 of a mile back on the road and I will send for you when I want you.”
I told him that not a half hour previous an order had come to me from General Jackson to go to the right.
General Lee replied “never mind that order but do as I told you and consider yourself as specially under my orders.”
I rode back and halted my command, in plain view of General Lee’s Headquarters and set word along my lines for the men to rest themselves, and not to stray as they would be needed before long.
I, myself, go off my horse turned him loose and was asleep in the tall grass in about a minute. I had not had a chance even to sleep for the two or three nights and days previous. The next thing I remember was being wakened by an officer who was a stranger to me.[3] I jumped up and asked what he wanted—He said “General we have been looking for you, the tall grass in which you were sleeping prevented our finding you. Your division has been called for by General Lee to move in hast[e], and as you could not be found it has been put in motion by your adjutant-general,[4] we will ride together and overtake it.” I mounted at once and we galloped to the head of my division. Anderson’s Division had been ordered to report to Longstreet. Of course I was ignorant of the location of either the enemy’s or of our army, but General D.H. Hill’s staff officer[5] pointed out the direction I was to go and I met General Hood riding by himself in the rear and he gave me additional information. I rode on ahead and quickly realized the state of affairs and halted head of column rapidly formed line to the front, but believing that the Confederate troops—where they were I did not know—were being driven rapidly from the woods in my front,[6] at about 150 yards distant. I told General Kershaw whose brigade was on the right, that we must get to the woods in front of us before the enemy got full possession and to do this I could not wait for his brigade to come up in line and he must double quick there and come up as we would forward. I gave the signal, by waving my handkerchief for the movement to commence in[. I]n a few minutes we were engaged. There was no engagement going on to my right, except now and then some desultory firing. There was some Georgia troops lying quiet in the cornfield to the right which had to give away to permit the advance of Kershaw. I believe they belonged (I do not know to what division) but I think to Hill.
But this I know, where I engaged them there were no Confederates between me and the enemy. Many had given away and gone I know not where, just as I was moving forward, General Jackson come up and directed me to send a Brigade to support Early and I directed General Semmes on my left to go with his brigade, he, General S[emmes] came to me after awhile (himself and courier only) and I asked him where was his brigade? He replied ["]you ordered me to support Earl[y.] I went to the left a short distance and marched in line to the top of the hill.[7] The enemy were there and I advanced against them[.] They stood until I opened fire, when they gave way and I pursued, until I found myself and command in close proximity to a force in my front much greater than mine, with other forces of the enemy to my left and right and as no troops were supporting me I had no other way of getting out of the “cul de sac.” I was in haste to give the order to the brigade to run back regardless of formation and form again in rear of these woods and they are now gathering about the haystack “just in rear.”["][8]
I asked where G[e]neral Earley’s [sic] command was, he said “I never saw it.”
I saw no Confederate dead or wounded over the ground I went over, except those of my own division—there was a plenty of those however—and of the opposing army a great many.
Walker could not certainly been before me, and I am sure he did not come after me over the same ground. Our forces were not in touch with each other during the charge, nor before, nor afterward. D.H. Hill’s command was on my right and Jackson’s on my left and of course his left was a considerable distance from me.
After the enemy had been repulsed, and my men had returned and were along crest of the hill toward the enemy, at edge of woods the enemy opened on us with a large number of guns and being at short range—all species of projectile was used against us. We had no combination of artillery to annoy this against this many of artillery, and had to lie down and take it, shelter ourselves behind the trees on the slope and the rocks and boulders which were plentiful on side of the hill.
During this General Jackson sent for me and asked me to go an reconnoiter on the left for him, as it was reputed that the enemy were demonstrating in that direction. Jeb Stuart and myself went to the left and getting on a small hill were using our glasses when a battery of eight guns about 1/4 of a mile distant fired all their pieces at us, at the same time, but they over-shot us and did not wait for a re[p]etition, as General S[emmes] and myself rode along we saw lines of troops on left of Jackson. We made no inquiries, but I expect Walker was there on the left, as he reports having been ordered there, and I heard heaving firing in that direction after my charge was over, about an hour and a half after, [w]hich coincides with Walker’s report as to time? He may have gone in about the church but of that I know nothing. Hood had been driven back and was much scattered, so I was told. I do not know where they reformed. I met Hood as I have stated and never saw him again on that field. His men may have been in the cornfield. I had no opportunity to reconnoiter on that day, for not long after my charge the enemy opened such a terrific cannonade upon me and at short range, throwing shot and shell, grape and cannister over us and among us with the evident intention to break our center, that we had to lie down along the slope of hill, where we were, and seek the shelter of the numerous trees and rocks which were there. General Lee sent to my aid whilst this was going on the brigades of Arm[i]stead and Ransom (A. was wounded whilst lying down). We had no mass of artillery to content against, the numerous and concentrated batteries of the enemy, but a short distance from us, this continued for some hours. Charlton’s battery from Georgia was put into position by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, being a special order from General Jackson, and against my protest, to reply to artillery of the enemy, but in ten minutes he lost half of his command and half of his horses and I ordered him to leave his guns and withdraw his horses and the infantry would help take care of them. I lost one gun of Read’s battery[9] on my right, which was disabled, the spokes of the wheels having been cut by infantry bullets, so General Kershaw reported.
I return the map with my route map[p]ed out from just beyond General lee’s headquarters. The map, the maps, does not conform to my recollections as to headquarters of General Lee. I do not thin[k] he was so close to Sharpsburg on the morning I write about. The Bosque he was in then was not 100 yards from the road. I never saw him afterward except on the bank of the river on the night we were re-crossing into Virginia, but I believe the route taken by my Division was correctly marked.[10]
I send the number of the Philadelphia Press of which I have spoken. It has a bearing on the battle of Sharpsburg as it goes to elucidate the condition of affairs when the battle commenced and as it progressed, and shows the exhausted condition in which both Anderson’s and the men of my division were in, when they arrived at Sharpsburg. My men had, had nothing to eat for 36 hours, nor did they get anything until the night after our arrival, as my command was in such close proximity to the enemy, that I had their rations cooked on the other side of the river and brought over. I have the certificate of my chief commissary showing this, and also showing how he failed to get any subsistence stores, from the large amount captured at Harper’s Ferry.
Very respectfully, Lafayette McLaws.
================
Source
Antietam Studies, RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (Washington, D.C.). Typescript. In the upper left corner of page one, in long hand, is “Copy.”
Notes
1. Carman's manuscript has been recently published in two volumes. See, Ezra Carman, The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Vol. II: Antietam, ed. Thomas G. Clemens (El Dorado Hills, California: Savas Beatie, 2012).

2. General Henry Heth was on the Antietam Battlefield Board.
3. McLaws, in his Official Report, states “my division was ordered to the front by an aide-de-camp of General Lee, Major Taylor.” This was Walter H. TaylorDouglas Southall Freeman, R.E. Lee: A Biography (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1934), Vol 1, p. 638); Antietam on the Web for Lafayette McLaw's Official Report, http://antietam.aotw.org/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=36.
4. This was Major T.S. Mcintosh who was later killed in the battle, “shot through the heart while carrying out one of my orders.” Antietam on the Web for Lafayette McLaws' Official Report, http://antietam.aotw.org/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=36.
5. McLaws reports that Maj. Ratchford of D.H. Hill’s staff pointed out the position that his division was to occupy. This was Major James Wylie Ratchford (1840-1910). Confederate Veterans Magazine (Vol. 19, p. 133); Antietam on the Web for Lafayette McLaws' Official Report, http://antietam.aotw.org/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=36.

6. West Woods.

7. This was Hauser's Ridge. See further, Atlas of the battlefield of Antietam, prepared under the direction of the Antietam Battlefield Board, Lieut. Col. Geo. W. Davis, U.S.A., president, Gen. E.A. Carman, U.S.V., Gen. H Heth, C.S.A. Surveyed by Lieut. Col. E.B. Cope, engineer, H.W. Mattern, assistant engineer, of the Gettysburg National Park. Drawn by Charles H. Ourand, 1899. Position of troops by Gen. E. A. Carman. Published by authority of the Secretary of War, under the direction of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army, 1908, 9:00-9:30 Map showing Semmes' advance. Also see, Semmes' Official Report at http://antietam.aotw.org/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=132. The movement of Semmes' Brigade will be the subject of future posts.

8. I have supplied the beginning and closing quotes with the supposition that McLaws is quoting Semmes in this passage. The opening quote, certainly, is required. The position of the closing quote, however, cannot be determined in the typescript and so should be viewed with some caution until the original manuscript can be consulted (if ever).
9. “Captain Read's battery had been placed in position on the right of the woods, which we had entered, and did most excellent service, but it was exposed to such a severe fire, General Kershaw ordered it back after losing 14: officers and men and 16 horses.” This was Captain J.P.W. Read’s Battery of the Pulaski (Georgia) Artillery. Antietam on the Web for Lafayette McLaws' Official Report, www.aotw.org/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=36 and Order of Battle, http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?unit_id=2&from=results.

10. The microfilm of the Antietam Studies collection at the National Archives contains map segments marked up by correspondents. The quality of the black and white image, however, makes it nearly impossible to discern anything especially since respondents often used colored pencils to mark their routes and positions. In a future visit to the Archives I will try to photograph (or arrange for a copy) from the original map in their collection.