War In Maryland.

Detailed Account of the Great BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG.


Vol. Li - No. 108 Baltimore, Monday Morning, Sept. 22, 1862 Price One Cent.

September 08, 2002

Finally, at four o'clock, McClellan sent simultaneous orders to Burnside and Franklin - to the former to advance and carry the batteries in his front at all hazards and any cost; to the latter to carry the woods next in front of him to the left, which the rebels still held.

The order to Franklin, however, was practically countermanded in consequence of a message from General Sumner that if Franklin went on and was repulsed his own corps was not yet sufficiently reorganized to be depended on as a reserve.

Franklin, thereupon, was directed to run no risk of losing his present position, and, instead of sending his infantry into the woods, he contented himself with advancing his batteries over the breach of fields in front, supporting them with heavy columns of infantry, and attacking with energy the rebel batteries immediately opposed to him. His movement was a success so far as it went. That being once accomplished, and all hazard of the right being again forced back, having been dispelled, the movement of Burnside became at once the turning point of success, and the fate of the day depended on him.

Generals Hooker and Sumner, and Franklin, and Mansfield were all sent to the right, three miles away, while Porter seems to have done double duty with his single corps in front, both supporting the batteries and holding himself in reserve. With all this immense force on the right, but sixteen thousand men were given to Burnside for the decisive movement of the day.

Still more unfortunate in its results was the total failure of these separate attacks on the right and left to sustain, or in any manner cooperate with each other.

Burnside hesitated for hours in front of the bridge which should have been carried at once by a coup de main.

Meantime Hooker had been fighting for four hours with various fortune, but final success. Sumner had come up too late to join in the decisive attack, which his earlier arrival would probably have converted into a complete success; and Franklin reached the scene only when Sumner had been repulsed.

Burnside at the Bridge

Attacking first with one regiment, then with two, and delaying both for artillery, Burnside was not over the bridge before two o'clock - perhaps not till three. He advanced slowly up the slopes in his front, his batteries in rear covering, to some extent, the movements of the infantry.

A desperate fight was going on in a deep ravine on his right, the rebel batteries were in full play and, apparently, very annoying and destructive, while heavy columns of rebel troops were plainly visible, advancing as if careless of concealment, along the road and over the hills in the direction of Burnside's forces. It was at this point of time that McClellan sent him the order.

Burnside obeyed it most gallantly. Getting his troops well in hand, and sending a portion of his artillery to the front, he advanced them, with rapidity and the most determined vigor, straight up the hill in front, on top of which the rebels had maintained their most dangerous battery. The movement was in plain view of McClellan's position, and as Franklin, on the other side, sent his batteries into the field about the same time, the battle seemed to open in all directions with greater activity than ever.

The fight in the ravine was in full progress, the batteries which Porter supported were firing with new vigor, Franklin was blazing away on the right, and every hilltop ridge and woods along the whole line was crested and veiled with white clouds of smoke.

All day had been clear and bright since the early cloudy morning, and now this whole magnificent, unequaled scene shone with the splendor of an afternoon September sun.

There are two hills on the left of the road, the farthest and the lowest. The rebels have batteries on both. Burnside is ordered to carry the nearest to him, which is the farthest from the road. His guns opening first from this new position in front, more entirely controlled and silenced the enemy's artillery. The infantry came on at once, moving rapidly and steadily up long, dark lanes, and broad, dark recesses being plainly visible without a glass as they moved over the green hillside.

The next moment the road in which the rebel battery was planted was canopied with clouds of dust swiftly descending into the valley. Underneath was a tumult of wagons, guns, horses and men flying at speed down the road. Blue flashes of smoke burst now and then among them, a horse or a man or a half dozen went down, and then the whirlwind swept on.

The hill was carried, but it could not be held. The rebels columns, before seen moving to the left, increased their pace. The guns on the hill above sent an angry tempest of shell down among Burnside's guns and men. He had formed his columns apparently in the near angles of two fields bordering the road - high ground everywhere about them except in the rear.

The Rebel Attack.

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