• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.


 

footer

Lee Family Digital Archive

Headquarters,

Sharpsburg, Md., September 18, 1862—6.30 a.m.

 

Mr. President: On the afternoon of the 16th instant, the enemy, who, you were informed on that day, was in our front, opened a light fire of artillery upon our line. Early next morning it was renewed in earnest, and large masses of the Federal troops that had crossed the Antietam above our position assembled on our left and threatened to overwhelm us. They advanced in three compact lines. The divisions of Generals McLaws, R. H. Anderson, A. P. Hill, and Walker had not arrived the previous night, as I had hoped, and were still beyond the Potomac. Generals Jackson’s and Ewell’s divisions were thrown to the left of Generals D. H. Hill and Longstreet. The enemy advanced between the Antietam and the Sharpsburg and Hagerstown turnpike, and was met by General Hill’s and the left of General Longstreet’s division, where the contest raged fiercely, extending to our entire left. The enemy was driven back and held in check, but before the divisions of McLaws, Anderson, and Walker—who, upon their arrival on the morning of the 17th, were advanced to support the left wing and center—could be brought into action, that portion of our lines was forced back by superior numbers. The line, after a severe conflict, was restored and the enemy driven back, and our position maintained during the rest of the day.

In the afternoon the enemy advanced on our right, where General Jones’s division was posted, who handsomely maintained his position. General Toombs’ brigade, guarding the bridge over Antietam Creek, gallantly resisted the approach of the enemy; but his superior numbers enabling him to extend his left, he crossed below the bridge, and assumed a threatening attitude on our right, which fell back in confusion. By this time, between 3 and 4 p.m. General A. P. Hill, with five of his brigades, reached the scene of action, drove the enemy immediately from the position they had taken, and continued the contest until dark, restoring our right and maintaining our ground.

R E Lee

General, Commanding

 

Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 19, Part 1, p. 141

 

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 September 14

 

 

 

Reference Shelf

Data Collections

About the Project

Website by Fresh Look Web Design
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved