Early Afternoon

View from McClellan's Headquarters

This page consists of quotes made about actions in the northern part of the battlefield on the afternoon of September 17th at the Battle of Antietam.  It was last updated on December 24, 2011.  There are 12 quotes in this collection.

 

“rode along the line and gave orders to the commanders of batteries to fire slowly and deliberately; stating that the rapid firing did little execution and was a waste of ammunition….a small grizzly man with an effeminate voice….an experienced and able artillerist…”

Charles Cuffell Sep 17 1862 Cuffell of Durells Battery relates his recollection of Henry Hunt at the Battle

From Artillery Hell The Employment of Artillery at Antietam by Curt Johnson and Richard Anderson. College Station:  Texas A&M University Press, 1995.

 

“Go back, young man, and ask General McClellan if I shall make a simultaneous advance with my whole line at the risk of not being able to rally a man on this side of the creek if I am driven back….Go back young man, and bring an answer to my question.”

Edwin V. Sumner Sep 17 1862

Sumner to Lt Wilson of McClellan’s staff

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“Go back, young man and tell General McClellan I have no command. Tell him my command, Bank’s command and Hooker’s command are all cut up and demoralized. Tell him General Franklin has the only organized command on this part of the field.”

Edwin V. Sumner Sep 17 1862

On return of Lt Wilson returning to McClellan’s HQ, he is asked this question by Sumner

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“Even Sedgwick’s division commenced giving away under a few shots from a battery that suddenly commenced firing from an unexpected position.  I had to ride in and rally them myself.”

George B. McClellan Sep 17 1862

McClellan relates his experience as he moves through the East Woods on the way to meet with Sumner and Franklin

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“would go to the right to conduct the attack in person.”

George B. McClellan Sep 17 1862

Henry Hunt recalls McClellan saying this as he heads to the right to confer with Sumner and Franklin

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“supplied with ammunition, and held in readiness to repel an attack if the enemy should attempt one on our right flank, and assist in any advance we might make.”

George G. Meade Sep 17 1862

The status of Meade’s First Corps at 2:00 PM on the afternoon of Sep 17 from his official report

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“to get up his men and hold his position at all hazards, as Burnside had crossed and was advancing finely.”

James H. Wilson Sep 17 1862

Wilson transmits McClellan’s order to Sumner after noon

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“His adjutant general and aids had distributed the order to four corps, what were left of them and had cavalry ready to help. All were to start simultaneously at a given signal.”

Oliver O. Howard Sep 17 1862

Howard recalls a possible attack planned by Sumner in the afternoon

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“rested comfortably behind a snug fence during the afternoon and evening of the 17th.”

R. I. Holcombe Sep 17 1862 Historian of the 1st Minnesota describes the afternoon and evening of the 17th

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“that things had gone so well on all the other parts of the field that he was afraid to risk the day by an attack there on the right at that time.”

William Franklin Sep 17 1862

Franklin states the reason that McClellan gave for not renewing the offensive in the afternoon on the right of the field

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.

 

“the line was already enfiladed from its forward position by the enemy’s artillery in front of our right wing, which was screened from the fire of our artillery on the right by a belt of woods [West Woods], which was yet in possession of the enemy.”

Winfield Scott Hancock Sep 17 1862

Hancock describing the position of Richardson’s division in the afternoon

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008.


“had kept his guns at work on the right and finally silenced a rebel battery that for half an hour had poured in a galling enfilading fire along Hooker’s central line….There was a heavy timbered woods in front which the rebels occupied in strong force, but as long as Doubleday’s guns pointed in that direction they did not care to leave their shelter to attack on the right.”

Describing Doubleday’s work with the super battery in the afternoon at Antietam

From Abner Doubleday A Civil War Biography by Thomas Barthel. Jefferson:  McFarland & Co., 2010.

One Response

  1. […] Early Afternoon […]

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