Reports of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, U. S. Army, commanding the Army of the Potomac, of operations August 14- November 9.
Operations in Northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.--September 3-November 14, 1862.

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XIX/1 [S# 27]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC
October 15, 1862

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General, U. S. Army.

        GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a preliminary report of the military operations under my charge since the evacuation of Harrison's Landing.
        This measure, directed by the General-in-Chief, was executed successfully, with entire safety to my command and its materiel between the 14th and 19th of August. The line of withdrawal selected was that of the mouth of the Chickahominy, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Upon this line the main body of the army with all its trains was moved, Heintzelman's corps crossing the Chickahominy at Jones' Bridge and covering by its march the movement of the main column. The passage of the Lower Chickahominy was effected by means of as bateau bridge 2,000 feet in length. The transfer of the army to Yorktown was completed by the 19th of August. The embarkation of the troops and materiel at Yorktown and Fort Monroe was at once commenced, and as rapidly as the means of transportation admitted everything was sent forward to Aquia Creek and Alexandria. No mere sketch of an undertaking of such magnitude and yet so delicate a military character will suffice to do justice. I must now, however, content myself with a simple notice of it, deferring a full description, for my official report of the campaign before Richmond, a labor which I propose to undertake as soon as events will afford me the necessary time. Justice to the achievements of the Army of the Potomac and the brave men who composed it requires that the official record of that campaign should be prepared with more care than circumstances have hitherto permitted me to bestow upon it. The delay will not have been felt as injurious to the public interest, inasmuch as by frequent reports from time to time I have kept the Department advised of events as they occurred.
        I reached Aquia Creek with my staff on the 24th of August, reported my arrival, and asked for orders. On the 27th of August I received from the General-in-Chief permission to proceed to Alexandria, where I at once fixed my headquarters. The troops composing the Army of the Potomac were meanwhile ordered forward to re-enforce the army under General Pope. So completely was this order carried out that on the 30th of August I had remaining under my command only a camp guard of about 100 men. Everything else had been sent to re-enforce General Pope. In addition, I exhausted all the means at my disposal to forward supplies to that officer, my own headquarters teams even being used for that purpose.
        Upon the unfortunate issue of that campaign, I received an intimation from the General-in-Chief that my services were desired for the purpose of arranging for the defense of the capital. They were at once cheerfully given, although while awaiting definite instructions at Alexandria I had endeavored, as just seen, to promote a favorable result in the operations then pending, and had thus contributed, though indirectly, yet as far as I could, to the defense of Washington. On the 2d of September the formal order of the War Department placed me in Command of the fortifications of Washington "and of all the troops for the defense of the capital." On the 1st of September I had been instructed that I had nothing to do with the troops engaged in active operations under General Pope, but that my command was limited to the immediate garrison of Washington. On the next day, however, I was verbally instructed by the President and the General-in-Chief to assume command of General Pope's troops (including my own Army of the Potomac) as soon as they approached the vicinity of Washington; to go out and meet them, and to post them as I deemed best to repulse the enemy and insure the safety of the city.
        At this time the task imposed upon me was limited to the dispositions necessary to resist a direct attack of the enemy upon the capital. Such, indeed, was the danger naturally indicated by the defeat of our forces in front. The various garrisons were at once strengthened and put in order, and the troops were disposed to cover all the approaches to the city, and so as to be readily thrown upon threatened points. New defenses were thrown up where deemed necessary. A few days only had elapsed before comparative security was felt with regard to our ability to resist any attack upon the city. The disappearance of the enemy from the front of Washington and their passage into Maryland enlarged the sphere of operations, and made an active campaign necessary to cover Baltimore, prevent the invasion of Pennsylvania, and drive them out of Maryland. Being honored with the charge of this campaign, I entered at once upon the additional duties imposed upon me with cheerfulness and trust, yet not without feeling the weight of the responsibilities thus assumed and being deeply impressed with the magnitude of the issues involved.
        Having made the necessary arrangements for the defense of the city in the new condition of things, I pushed forward the First and Ninth Corps, under Generals Reno and Hooker, forming the right wing under General Burnside, to Leesborough on the 5th instant; thence the First Corps, by Brookville, Cooksville, and Ridgeville, to Frederick; and the Ninth Corps, by Damascus, on New Market and Frederick. The Second and Eleventh [Twelfth] Corps, under Generals Sumner and Williams, on the 6th were moved from Tennallytown to Rockville; thence, by Middlebrook and Urbana, on Frederick, the Eleventh [Twelfth] Corps moving by a lateral road between Urbana and New Market, thus maintaining the communication between the center and right wing, as well as covering the direct route from Frederick to Washington. The Sixth Corps, under General Franklin, was moved to Darnestown on the 6th instant; thence, by Dawsonville and Barnesville, on Buckeystown, covering the road from the mouth of the Monocacy to Rockville) and being in position to connect with and support the center should it have been necessary (as was supposed) to force the line of the Monocacy. Couch's division was thrown forward to Offut's Cross-Roads and Poolesville by the river road, thus covering that approach, watching the fords of the Potomac, and ultimately following and supporting the Sixth Corps. The object of these movements was to feel the enemy--to compel him to develop his intentions--at the same time that the troops were in position readily to cover Baltimore or Washington, to attack him should he hold the line of the Monocacy, or to follow him into Pennsylvania if necessary.
        On the 12th a portion of the right wing entered Frederick, after a brisk skirmish at the outskirts of the city and in its streets. On the 13th the main bodies of the right wing and center passed through Frederick. In this city the manifestations of Union feeling were abundant and gratifying. The troops received the most enthusiastic welcome at the hands of the inhabitants. On the 13th the advance, consisting of Pleasonton's cavalry and horse artillery, after some skirmishing, cleared the main passage over the Catoctin Hills, leaving no serious obstruction to the movement of the main body until the base of the South Mountain range was reached.
        While at Frederick, on the 13th, I obtained reliable information of the movements and intentions of the enemy, which made it clear that it was necessary to force the passage of the South Mountain range and gain possession of Boonsborough and Rohrersville before any relief could be afforded to Harper's Ferry. On the morning of the 13th I received a verbal message from Colonel Miles, commanding at Harper's Ferry, informing me that on the preceding afternoon the Maryland Heights had been abandoned, after repelling an attack by the rebels, and the whole force was concentrated at Harper's Ferry, the Maryland, Loudoun, and Bolivar Heights being all in possession of the enemy. The messenger stated that there was no apparent reason for the abandonment of the Maryland Heights, and that, though Colonel Miles asked for assistance, he said he could hold out certainly two days. I directed him to make his way back, if possible, with the information that I was rapidly approaching and would undoubtedly relieve the place. By three other couriers I sent the same message, with the order to hold out to the last. I do not learn that any of these messengers succeeded in reaching Harper's Ferry. I should here state that on the 12th I was directed to assume command of the garrison at Harper's Ferry, but this order reached me after all communication with the garrison was cut off. Before I left Washington, while it was yet time, I recommended to the proper authorities that the garrison of Harper's Ferry should be withdrawn, via Hagerstown, to aid in covering the Cumberland Valley, or that, taking up the pontoon bridge and obstructing the railroad bridge, it should fall back to the Maryland Heights and then hold its own to the last. In this position it should have maintained itself for weeks. It was not deemed proper to adopt either of these suggestions, and when the subject was left to my discretion it was too late to do anything except to try to relieve the garrison.
        I directed artillery to be frequently fired by our advance guards, as a signal to the garrison that relief was at hand. This was done, and I learn that our firing was distinctly heard at Harper's Ferry, and that they were thus made aware that we were approaching rapidly. It was confidently expected that this place could hold out until we had carried the mountains and were in a position to make a detachment for its relief. The left, therefore, was ordered to move through Jefferson to the South Mountains, at Crampton's Pass, in front of Burkittsville while the center and right moved upon the main or Turners Pass, in front of Middletowu. During these movements I had not imposed long marches on the columns. The absolute necessity of refitting and giving some little rest to troops worn down by previous long-continued marching and severe fighting, together with the uncertainty as to the actual position, strength, and intentions of the enemy, rendered it incumbent upon me to move slowly and cautiously until the headquarters reached Urbana, where I first obtained reliable information that the enemy's plan was to move upon Harper's Ferry and the Cumberland Valley, and not upon Baltimore, Washington, or Gettysburg.
        In the absence of the full reports of corps commanders, a simple outline of the brilliant operations which resulted in the carrying of the two passes through the South Mountains is all that can at this time, with justice to the troops and commanders engaged, be furnished.
        The South Mountain range near Turners Pass averages perhaps 1,000 feet in height, and forms a strong natural military barrier. The practicable passes are not numerous and are readily defensible, the gaps abounding in fine positions. Turner's Pass is the more prominent, being that by which the National road crosses the mountains. It was necessarily indicated as the route of advance of our main army.
        The carrying of Crampton's Pass, some 5 or 6 miles below, was also important to furnish the means of reaching the flank of the enemy, and having, as a lateral movement, direct relations to the attack on the principal pass, while it at the same time presented the most direct practicable route for the relief of Harper's Ferry.
        Early in the morning of the 14th instant General Pleasonton, with a cavalry force, reconnoitered the position of the enemy, whom he discovered to occupy the crests of commanding hills in the gap on either side of the National road and upon advantageous ground in the center upon and near the road, with artillery bearing upon all the approaches to their position, whether that by the main road or those by the country roads which led around up to the crest upon the right and left. At about 8 o'clock a.m. Cox's division of Reno's corps, a portion of Burnside's column, in co-operation with the reconnaissance, which by this time had become an attack, moved up the mountain by the old Sharps-burg road to the left of the main road, dividing, as they advanced, into two columns. These columns (Scammon's and Crook's brigades) handsomely carried the enemy's position on the crest in their front, which gave us possession of an important point for further operations. Fresh bodies of the enemy now appearing, Cox's position, though held stubbornly, became critical, and between 12 and 1 o'clock p.m. Willcox's division of Reno's corps was sent forward by General Burnside to support Cox; between 2 and 3 p.m. Sturgis' division was sent up.
        The contest was maintained with perseverance until dark, the enemy having the advantage as to position and fighting with obstinacy, but the ground won was fully maintained. The loss in killed and wounded here was considerable on both sides, and it was here that Major-General Reno, who had gone forward to observe the operations of his corps and to give such directions as were necessary, fell, pierced with a musket ball. The loss of this brave and distinguished officer tempered with sadness the exultations of triumph. A gallant soldier, an able general, endeared to his troops and associates, his death is felt as an irreparable misfortune.
        About 3 o'clock p.m. Hooker's corps, of Burnside's column, moved up to the right of the main road by a country road, which, bending to the right, then turning up to the left, circuitously wound its way beyond the crest of the pass to the Mountain House on the main road. General Hooker sent Meade, with the division of Pennsylvania Reserves, to attack the eminence to the right of this entrance to the gap, which was done most handsomely and successfully.
        Patrick's brigade, of Hatch's division, was sent, one portion up around the road to turn the hill on the left, while the remainder advanced as skirmishers-up the hill, and occupied the crest, supported by Doubleday's and Phelps' brigades. The movement, after a sharp contest on the crest and in the fields in the depression between the crest and the adjoining hill, was fully successful.
        Ricketts' division pressed up the mountain about 5 p.m., arriving at the crest with the left of his command in time to participate in the closing scene of the engagement. Relieving Hatch's division, Rickett's remained on the ground, holding the battle-field during the night. The mountain sides, thus gallantly passed over by Hooker on the right of the gap and Reno on the left, were steep and difficult in the extreme. We could make but little use of our artillery, while our troops were subject to a warm artillery fire as well as to that of infantry in the woods and under cover.
        By order of General Burnside, Gibbon's brigade of Hatch's division, late in the afternoon, advanced upon the center of the enemy's position on the main road. Deploying his brigade, Gibbon actively engaged a superior force of the enemy, which, though stubbornly resisting, was steadily pressed back until some hours after dark, when Gibbon remained in undisturbed possession of the field. He was then relieved by a brigade of Sedgwick's division. Finding themselves outflanked both on the right and the left, the enemy abandoned their position during the night, leaving their dead and wounded on the field, and hastily retreated down the mountain.
        In the engagement at Turner's Pass our loss was 328 killed and 1,463 wounded and missing; that of the enemy is estimated to be, in all, about 3,000. Among our wounded I regret to say were Brig. Gen. J.P. Hatch and other valuable officers.
        The carrying of Crampton's Pass by Franklin was executed rapidly and decisively. Slocum's division was formed upon the right of the road leading through the gap, Smith's upon the left. A line formed of Bartlett's and Torbert's brigades, supported by Newton, whose activity was conspicuous, all of Slocum's division, advanced steadily upon the enemy at a charge on the right. The enemy were driven from their position at the base of the mountain, where they were protected by a stone wall, and steadily forced back up the mountain until they reached the position of their battery, near the road, well up the mountain. Here they made a stand. They were, however, driven back, retiring their artillery en enechelon until, after an action of three hours, the crest was gained, and the enemy hastily fled down the mountains on the other side. On the left of the road Brooks' and Irwin's brigades, of Smith's division, formed for the protection of Slocum's flank, charged up the mountain in the same steady manner, driving the enemy before them until the crest was carried. The loss in Franklin's corps was 115 killed, 416 wounded, and 2 missing. The enemy's loss was about the same. One piece of artillery and four colors were captured, and knapsacks and even haversacks were abandoned as the enemy were driven up the hill.
        On the morning of the 15th I was informed by Union civilians living on the other side of the mountains that the enemy were retreating in the greatest haste and in disordered masses to the river. There was such a concurrence of testimony on this point that there seemed no doubt as to the fact. The hasty retreat of the enemy's forces from the mountain, and the withdrawal of the remaining troops from between Boonsborough and Hagerstown to a position where they could resist attack and cover the Shepherdstown ford and receive the re-enforcements expected from Harper's Ferry, were for a time interpreted as evidences of the enemy's disorganization and demoralization.
        As soon as it was definitely known that the enemy had abandoned the mountains, the cavalry and the corps of Sumner, Hooker, and Mansfield were ordered to pursue them, via the turnpike and Boonsborough, as promptly as possible. The corps of Burnside and Porter (the latter having but one weak division present.) were ordered to move by the old Sharpsburg road, and Franklin to advance into Pleasant Valley, occupy Rohrersville, and to endeavor to relieve Harper's Ferry. Burnside and Porter, upon reaching the road from Boonsborough to Rohrersville, were to re-enforce Franklin or to move on Sharpsburg, according to circumstances. Franklin moved toward Brownsville and found there a force, largely superior in numbers to his own, drawn up in a strong position to receive him. Here the total cessation of firing in the direction of Harper's Ferry indicated but too clearly the shameful and premature surrender of that post.
        The cavalry advance overtook a body of the enemy's cavalry in Boonsborough, which it dispersed after a brief skirmish, killing and wounding many, taking some 250 prisoners and 2 guns.
        Richardson's division, of Sumner's corps, passing Boonsborough to Centreville or Keedysville, found a few miles beyond the town the enemy's forces displayed in line of battle, strong both in respect to numbers and position, and awaiting attack. Upon receiving reports of the disposition of the enemy, I directed all the corps, except that of Franklin, upon Sharpsburg, leaving Franklin to observe and check the enemy in his front and avail himself of any chance that might offer. I had hoped to come up with the enemy during the 15th in sufficient force to beat them again and drive them into the river. My instructions were that if the enemy were on the march they were to be at once attacked; if they were found in force and in position, the corps were to be placed in position for attack, but no attack was to be made until I reached the front.
        On arriving at the front in the afternoon I found but two divisions--. Richardson's and Sykes' in position. The rest were halted in the road, the head of the column some distance in rear of Richardson. After a rapid examination of the position, I found that it was too late to attack that day, and at once directed locations to be selected for our batteries of position, and indicated the bivouacs for the different corps, massing them near and on both sides of the Sharpsburg pike. The corps were not all in their places until the next morning some time after sunrise.
        On the 16th the enemy had slightly changed their line, and were posted upon the heights in rear of the Antietam Creek, their left and center being upon and in front of the road from Sharpsburg to Hagerstown, and protected by woods and irregularities of the ground. Their extreme left rested upon a wooded eminence near the cross-roads, to the north of J. Miller's farm, the distance at this point between the road and the Potomac, which makes here a great bend to the east, being about three-fourth of a mile. Their right rested on the hills to the right of Sharpsburg, near Snavely's farm, covering the crossing of the Antietam and the approaches to the town from the southeast. The ground between their immediate front and the Antietam is undulating. Hills intervene, whose crests in general are commanded by the crests of others in their rear. On all favorable points their artillery was posted. It became evident from the force of the enemy and the strength of their position that desperate fighting alone could drive them from the field, and all felt that a great and terrible battle was at hand.
        In proceeding to the narrative of the events of this and the succeeding day, I must here repeat what I have observed in reporting upon the other subjects of this communication--that I attempt in this preliminary report nothing more than a sketch of the main features of this great engagement, reserving for my official report, based upon the reports of the corps commanders, that full description of details which shall place upon record the achievements of individuals and of particular bodies of troops.
        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.
        The morning of the 16th (during which there was considerable artillery firing) was spent in obtaining information as to the ground, rectifying the position of the troops, and perfecting the arrangements for the attack.
        On the afternoon of the 16th, Hooker's corps, consisting of Ricketts' and Doubleday's divisions, and the Pennsylvania Reserves, under Meade, was sent across the Antietam Creek, by a ford and bridge to the right of Keedysville, with orders to attack, and, if possible, turn the enemy's left. Mansfield, with his corps, was sent in the evening to support Hooker. Arrived in position, Meade's division of the Pennsylvania Reserves, which was at the head of Hooker's corps; became engaged in a sharp contest with the enemy, which lasted until after dark, when it had succeeded in driving in a portion of the opposing line and held the ground. At daylight the contest was renewed between Hooker and the enemy in his front. Hooker's attack was successful for a time, but masses of the enemy, thrown upon his corps, checked it. Mansfield brought up his corps to Hooker's support, when the two corps drove the enemy back, the gallant and distinguished veteran Mansfield losing his life in the effort. General Hooker was, unhappily, about this time wounded and compelled to leave the field, where his services had been conspicuous and important. About an hour after this time, Sumner's corps, consisting of Sedgwick's, Richardson's, and French's divisions, arrived on the field--Richardson's some time after the other two, as he was unable to start as soon as they. Sedgwick, on the right, penetrated the woods in front of Hooker's and Mansfield's troops. French and Richardson were placed to the left of Sedgwick, thus attacking the enemy toward their left center. Crawford's and Sedgwick's lines, however, yielded to a destructive fire of masses of the enemy in the woods, and, suffering greatly (Generals Sedgwick and Crawford being among the wounded), their troops fell back in disorder; they nevertheless rallied in the woods. The enemy's advance was, however, entirely checked by the destructive fire of our artillery. Franklin, who had been directed the day before to join the main army with two divisions, arrived on the field from Brownsville about an hour after, and Smith's division replaced Sedgwick's and Crawford's line. Advancing steadily, it swept over the ground just lost but now permanently retaken. The divisions of French and Richardson maintained with considerable loss the exposed positions which they had so gallantly gained, among the wounded being General Richardson.
        The condition of things on the right toward the middle of the afternoon, notwithstanding the success wrested from the enemy by the stubborn bravery of the troops, was at this time unpromising. Sumner's, Hooker's, and Mansfield's corps had lost heavily, several general officers having been carried from the field. I was at one time compelled to draw two brigades from Porter's corps (the reserve) to strengthen the right. This left for the reserve the small division of Regulars, who had been engaged in supporting during the day the batteries in the center, and a single brigade of Morell's division. Before I left the right to return to the center, I became satisfied that the line would be held without these two brigades, and countermanded the order, which was in course of execution. The effect of Burnside's movement on the enemy's right was to prevent the further massing of their troops on the left, and we held what we had gained.
        Burnside's corps, consisting of Willcox's, Sturgis', and Rodman's divisions, and Cox's Kanawha division, was intrusted with the difficult task of carrying the bridge across the Antietam, near Rohrback's farm, and assaulting the enemy's right, the order having been communicated to him at 10 o'clock a.m.
        The valley of the Antietam at and near this bridge is narrow, with high banks. On the right of the stream the bank is wooded, and commands the approaches both to the bridge and the ford. The steep slopes of the bank were lined with rifle-pits and breastworks of rails and stones. These, together with the woods, were filled with the enemy's infantry, while their batteries completely commanded and enfiladed the bridge and ford and their approaches.
        The advance of the troops brought on an obstinate and sanguinary contest, and, from the great natural advantages of the position, it was nearly 1 o'clock before the heights on the right bank were carried. At about 3 o'clock p.m. the corps again advanced, and with success, the right driving the enemy before it and pushing on nearly to Sharpsburg, while the left, after a hard encounter, also compelled the enemy to retire before it. The enemy here, however, were speedily re-enforced, and with overwhelming masses. New batteries of their artillery also were brought up and opened. It became evident that our force was not sufficient to enable the advance to reach the town, and the order was given to retire to the cover of the hill which was taken from the enemy earlier in the afternoon. This movement was effected without confusion and the position maintained until the enemy retreated. General Burnside had sent to me for re-enforcements late in the afternoon, but the condition of things on the right was not such as to enable me to afford them.
        During the whole day our artillery was everywhere bravely and ably handled. Indeed, I cannot speak too highly of the efficiency of our batteries and of the great service they rendered. On more than one occasion when our infantry was broken they covered its reformation and drove back the enemy.
        The cavalry had little field for operations during the engagement, but was employed in supporting the horse-artillery batteries in the center, and in driving up stragglers, while awaiting opportunity for other service.
        The Signal Corps, under Major Myer, rendered, during the operations at Antietam as well as at South Mountain and during the whole movements of the army, efficient and valuable service. Indeed, by its service here, as on other fields elsewhere, this corps has gallantly earned its title to an independent and permanent organization.
        The duties devolving upon my staff during the action were most important, and the performance of them able and untiring. At a later day I propose to bring to the notice of the Department their individual services.
        With the day closed this memorable battle, in which, perhaps, nearly 200,000 men were for fourteen hours engaged in combat. We had attacked the enemy in position, driven them from their line on one flank and secured a footing within it on the other. Under the depression of previous reverses we had achieved a victory over an adversary invested with the prestige of former successes and inflated with a recent triumph. Our forces slept that night conquerors on a field won by their valor and covered with the dead and wounded of the enemy.
        The night, however, presented serious questions; morning brought with it grave responsibilities. To renew the attack again on the 18th or to defer it, with the chance of the enemy's retirement after a day of suspense, were the questions before me. A careful and anxious survey of the condition of my command, and my knowledge of the enemy's force and position, failed to impress me with any reasonable certainty of success if I renewed the attack without re-enforcing columns. A view of the shattered state of some of the corps sufficed to deter me from pressing them into immediate action, and I felt that my duty to the army and the country forbade the risks involved in a hasty movement, which might result in the loss of what had been gained the previous day. Impelled by this consideration, I awaited the arrival of my re-enforcements, taking advantage of the occasion to collect together the dispersed, give rest to the fatigued, and remove the wounded. Of the re-enforcements, Couch's division, although marching with commendable rapidity, was not in position until a late hour in the morning; and Humphreys' division of new troops, fatigued with forced marches, were arriving throughout the day, but were not available until near its close. Large re-enforcements from Pennsylvania, which were expected during the day, did not arrive at all.
        During the 18th, orders were given for a renewal of the attack at daylight on the 19th. On the night of the 18th the enemy, after having been passing troops in the latter part of the day from the Virginia shore to their position behind Sharpsburg, as seen by our officers, suddenly formed the design of abandoning their line. This movement they executed before daylight. Being but a short distance from the river, the evacuation presented but little difficulty. It was, however, rapidly followed up.
        A reconnaissance was made across the river on the evening of the 19th, which resulted in ascertaining the near presence of the enemy in some force and in our capturing six guns.
        A second reconnaissance, the next morning, which, with the first, was made by a small detachment from Porter's corps, resulted in observing a heavy force of the enemy there. The detachment withdrew with slight loss.
        I submit herewith a list of the killed, wounded, and missing in the engagements of the 14th and of the 16th and 17th. The enemy's loss is believed from the best sources of information to be nearly 30,000. Their dead were mostly left upon the field, and a large number of wounded were left behind.
        While it gives me pleasure to speak of the gallantry and devotion of officers and men generally, displayed throughout this conflict, I feel it necessary to mention that some officers and men skulked from their places in the ranks until after the battle was over. Death on the spot must be hereafter the fate of all such cowards, and the hands of the military commanders must be strengthened with all the power of the Government to inflict it summarily.
        The early and disgraceful surrender of Harper's Ferry deprived my operations of results which would have formed a brilliant sequence to the substantial and gratifying successes already related. Had the garrison held out twenty-four hours longer, I should in all probability have captured that part of the enemy's force engaged in the attack on the Maryland Heights, while the whole garrison, some 12,000 strong, could have been drawn to re-enforce me on the day of the decisive battle--certainly on the morning of the 18th. I would thus have been in a position to have destroyed the rebel army. Under the same circumstances, had the besieging force on the Virginia side at Harper's Ferry not been withdrawn, I would have had 35,000 or 40,000 less men to encounter at the Antietam, and must have captured or destroyed all opposed to me. As it was, I had to engage an army fresh from a recent and to them a great victory, and to reap the disadvantages of their being freshly and plentifully supplied with ammunition and supplies.
        The object and results of this brief campaign may be summed up as follows:
        In the beginning of the month of September the safety of the National Capital was seriously endangered by the presence of a victorious enemy, who soon after crossed into Maryland and then directly threatened Washington and Baltimore, while they occupied the soil of a loyal State and threatened an invasion of Pennsylvania. The army of the Union, inferior in numbers, wearied by long marches, deficient in various supplies, worn out by numerous battles, the last of which had not been successful, first covered by its movements the important cities of Washington and Baltimore, then boldly attacked the victorious enemy in their chosen strong position and drove them back, with all their superiority of numbers, into the State of Virginia, thus saving the loyal States from invasion and rudely dispelling the rebel dreams of carrying the war into our country and subsisting upon our resources. Thirteen guns and thirty-nine colors, more than 15,000 stand of small-arms, and more than 6,000 prisoners were the trophies which attest the success of our arms.
        Rendering thanks to Divine Providence for its blessing upon our exertions, I close this brief report. I beg only to add the hope that the army's efforts for the cause in which we are engaged will be deemed worthy to receive the commendation of the Government and the country.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, U. & Army.

Tabular Statement of Casualties in the Army of the Potomac in the battles of Smith Mountain and Crampton's Pass, on the 14th of September, 1862.

Command Officers Killed  Officers Wounded Enlisted  Killed Enlisted Wounded Enlisted  Missing Aggregate Killed Aggregate Wounded Aggregate Missing  Aggregate
 
First Corps, Maj-General Hooker                  
1st Division  --  --  --  --  --  62  395  42  499
2d Division  --  --  --  --  --  9  26  --  35
3d Division  --  --  --  --  --  99  299  1  399
Total  --  --  --  --  --  170  720  43  933
 
Sixth Corps, Maj-General Franklin                  
1st Division  --  --  --  --  --  114  397  2  513
2d Division  --  --  --  --  --  1  19  --  20
Total  --  --  --  --  --  115  416  2  533
 
Ninth Corps, Maj-General Burnside  1  --  --  --  --  1  --  --  1
1st Division  2  13  63  272  --  65  285  --  350
2d Division  1  5  9  112  30  10  117  30  157
3d Division  --  --  2  8  --  2  8  --  10
4th Division  2  12  78  248  --  80  260  --  340
Total  6  30  152  640  30  158  670  30  858
 
Cavalry Brigade, Brig-General Pleasonton  --  --  --  --  --  --  1  --  1
Grand total  --  --  --  --  --  443  1,807  75  2,325

Official:
S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
CAMP NEAR SHARPSBURG MD SEPTEMBER 29, 1862.

-----

Tabular Report of Casualties in the Army of the Potomac in the battle of Antietam on the 16th and 17th of September, 1862.

Corps and divisions Officers Killed Officers Wounded Enlisted Killed Enlisted Wounded Enlisted Missing Aggregate Killed Aggregate Wounded Aggregate Missing Aggregate
 
First Corps, Maj-General Hooker                  
1st Division   --  --  --  --  --  98  669  95  862
2d Division  --  --  --  --  --  153  898  137  1,188
3d Division  --  --  --  --  --  97  449  23  569
Total  --  --  --  --  --  348  2,016  255  2,619
 
Second Corps, Maj-General Sumner                  
1st Division  21  39  192  860  24  212  900  24  1,136
2d Division  2  --  355  1,577  321  355  1,579  321  2,255
3d Division  22  50  272  1,271  203  293  1,322  203  1,818
Total  45  89  819  3,708  548  860  3,801  548  5,209
 
Fifth Corps, Maj General   F  J  Porter                  
1st Division  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --
2d Division  --  2  13  92  1  13  94  1  108
Artillery Reserve  1  --  7  13  1  8  13  1  22
Total  1  2  20  105  2  21  107  2  130
                   
Sixth Corps Maj-General Franklin                  
1st Division  --  --  --  --  --  5  58  2  65
2d Division  --  --  --  --  --  65 277 31  373
Total  --  --  --  --  --  70  35  33  438
 
Ninth Corps, Maj-General Burnside                  
1st Division  2  20  44  264  7  46  284  7  337
2d Division  7  29  121  493  20  128  522  20  670
3d Division  8  40  212  743  70  220  783  70  1,073
4th Division  5  7  33  145  23  38  152  23  213
Total  22  96  410  1,645  120  432  1,741  120  2,293
 
Twelfth Corps (General Banks), Brig-General Williams comdg                  
1st Division  9  34  151  827  54  160  862  54  1,076
2d Division  6  26  107  481  30  113  507  30  650
Artillery  --  --  1  15  1  1  15  1  17
Total  15  61  259  1,323  85  274  1,384  85  1,743
 
Maj-General Couch's division  --  1  --  8  --  --  9  --  9
Brig-General Pleasonton, Cavalry Division  --  --  --  --  --  5  23  --  28
Grand total  --  --  --  --  --  2,010  9,416  1,043  12,469

Official:
S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
near Sharpsburg, September 29, 1862.

Tabular Report of Casualties in Morell's division Fifth Corps, in actions of 19th and 20th of September, 1862, near Shepherdstown Va.

Corps and divisions Officers Killed  Officers Wounded Officers Missing Enlisted  Killed  Enlisted Wounded Enlisted Missing Aggregate Killed Aggregate Wounded Aggregate Missing  Grand Aggregate
First Brigade  4  5  2  63  120  126  67  125  128  320
Second Brigade  --  1  --  1  10  --  1  11  --  12
Third Brigade Sharpshooters  --  --  --  --  7  --  --  7  --  7
First U S  Sharpshooters  --  --  --  2  5  --  2  5  --  7
Total  4  6  2  66  142  126  70  148  128  346

Official:
S. WlLLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp near Sharpsburg Md. September 29, 1863.

Statement of Casualties in the Army of the Potomac September 3-20, 1862, inclusive

Command  Killed  Wounded  Missing  Aggregate  Remarks
First Corps, Major-General Hooker  170  720  43  933  Battle of South Mountain
Sixth Corps, Major-General Franklin  115  416  2  533  Battle of Crampton's Pass
Ninth Corps, Major General Burnside,
(Major-General Reno temporarily in command)
 158  670  30  858  Battle of South Mountain
Cavalry Brigade, Brigadier-General Pleasonton  --  1  --  1  Do.
First Corps, Major-General Hooker  348  2,016  255  2,619  Battle of Antietam
Second Corps, Major-General Sumner  860  3,801  548  5,209  Do.
Fifth Corps, Maj Gen  F  J  Porter  21  107  2  130  Do.
Sixth Corps, Major General Franklin  70  335  33  438  Do.
Ninth Corps, Major-General Burnside  432  1,741  120  2,293  Do.
Twelfth Corp Major-General Banks,
(Brigadier-General Williams)
 274  1,384  85  1,743  Do.
Major-General Conch  --  9  --  9  Do.
Brigadier-General Pleasonton                                                      {  5  23  --  28  Do.
                                                                        {  12  55  13  80  Advance guard
Major-General Morell  70  148  128  346  Shepherdstown, Va
Total  2,535  11,426  1,259  15,220

Official.
S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp near Sharpsville, Md., September 29, 1862.


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