A Question From D. H. Hill's Report

Andy Cardinal

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Here is an excerpt from D. H. Hill's report:

On our extreme right, however, the Yankees had been more successful. They had crossed the Antietam, and were driving our men before them. Our forces (supposed to be A. P. Hill's or D. R. Jones') had fallen back nearly to the road in rear of Sharpsburg, and the Yankees advanced in fine style to the crests commanding it. A few hundred yards more and our only line of retreat would be cut off. I called Carter's attention to this imposing force of Yankees, and he opened upon them with three guns, aided by two, I think, of the Donaldsonville Artillery. The firing was beautiful, and the Yankee columns (1,200 yards distant) were routed by this artillery fire alone, unaided by musketry. This is the only instance I have ever known of infantry being broken by artillery fire at long range. It speaks badly for the courage of Burnside's men.

Captain Carter says:

The next movement of the enemy was to advance a heavy column on the extreme right, bearing down on what I supposed to have been the right wing of A. P. Hill's division. Our troops gave way entirely before the column. With three pieces of my battery, aided by two of Lieutenant Elliott's, this column was shattered and driven back without the assistance (so far as I know) of any infantry whatever. Generals D. H. Hill and Rodes witnessed the firing.

I am not sure exactly what Hill is referring to here. If anyone could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.
 

Polloco

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I'm sort of at a loss myself. Is the report dated? Two of the men mentioned in the report were on the South End of the battlefield resisting Burnside near "the bridge", I think, where as Hill himself was up on the North end of the battlefield in or near the Sunken Road. He may have mistaken Hooker for Burnside maybe?
 
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Andy Cardinal

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I'm sort of at a loss myself. Is the report dated? Two of the men mentioned in the report were on the South End of the battlefield resisting Burnside near "the bridge", I think, where as Hill himself was up on the North end of the battlefield in or near the Sunken Road. He may have mistaken Hooker for Burnside maybe?
No, he's definitely clear that its Burnside on the right somewhere around 4 pm. I believe Hill was on Cemetery Hill at the time.
 

67th Tigers

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The "Burnside fight" stretched much further north than is commonly reckoned, with Burnside's right well into the "Middle Bridge sector" and mixed in with the regulars. I suspect Carter's battery was placed on the heights NE of Sharpsburg and fired on the regulars and Christ's bde.
 
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Andy Cardinal

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That was my suspicion too, except Hill seems to be referring further to the Confederate right. He mixes A. P. Hill in, which I think we can say was mistaken, but he seems to be talking about further right (from his view) than Christ. Also, I am not aware that any of Christ's brigade was "broken" at any point, although all accounts seem to mention the heavy artillery fire slowed/stalled their advance for a time.
 

Stone in the wall

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I'm sort of at a loss myself. Is the report dated? Two of the men mentioned in the report were on the South End of the battlefield resisting Burnside near "the bridge", I think, where as Hill himself was up on the North end of the battlefield in or near the Sunken Road. He may have mistaken Hooker for Burnside maybe?
The copy I looked just said 1862. A P Hill didn't right his until 1863.
 

Stone in the wall

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That was my suspicion too, except Hill seems to be referring further to the Confederate right. He mixes A. P. Hill in, which I think we can say was mistaken, but he seems to be talking about further right (from his view) than Christ. Also, I am not aware that any of Christ's brigade was "broken" at any point, although all accounts seem to mention the heavy artillery fire slowed/stalled their advance for a time.
Nor do I think he was looking at A. P. troops. In his report A P Hill said the head of his column reached the battlefield at 2:30. By the time D. H. is talking about A. P. troop numbers would make it hard to drive them.
 

Andy Cardinal

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Screenshot_20200704-073514~2.png

Here is the Cope-Carman Map for 4:20, showing Carter's battery near the Lutheran church.

I pulled out Carman, which identifies Fairchild's brigade as the target. "This “infantry column” was undoubtedly Fairchild's Brigade as it crowned the heights (the only part of the field south of the town that could be seen by Carter), and drove Kemper from them, but it was not broken by this fire, it simply disappeared down a ravine in pursuit of Kemper and Drayton."
 

ErnieMac

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Toombs' brigade and the handful of regiments (from Drayton's, Kemper's and Jenkins' brigades) positioned on the Confederate right were all part of D. R. Jones' division and were all that stood between Sharpsburg and the advancing troops of Burnside's command until A. P. Hill's timely arrival from Harper's Ferry. I think D. H. Hill and Captain Carter were aware of some details of the fighting on the Confederate right, but not familiar with the commands engaged.
 

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