September 19, 1862 – The Battle of Shepherdstown

The Battle of Shepherdstown

This page consists of quotes made about actions during the Battle of Shepherdstown.  It was last updated on December 27, 2011.  There are 17 quotes in this collection.

 

Confederate Quotes

 

“This was a wholesome lesson to the enemy, and taught them to know that it may be dangerous sometimes to press a retreating army.”

A.P. Hill in his after action report on the Battle of Shepherdstown

From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007.

“[More good news from the other side of the river-the report says that Stonewall Jackson has gained another battle and McClellan lost 18,000 killed and wounded in crossing the river – a considerable loss on their side.”

Benjamin M. Seaton Sep 29 1862

A private in the 10th Texas

From “The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor.” by Gary Gallagher.  The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“severe engagement…in which the Yankees were almost annihilated.  They were driven  into the river, shot down by hundreds, and those who survived taken prisoner.”

Charleston Daily Courier Oct 8 1862

a newspaper account of the battle of Shepherdstown

From “The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor.” by Gary Gallagher.  The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“Some of our miserable people allowed he Yankees to cross the Potomac before they ought and ours ran away making it necessary for us to go and drive them back”

Dorsey Pender to his wife describing A.P. Hill’s return to drive back the Federals

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

“News is rattling over the wires of victories again of Stonewall Jackson over Burnside killing and capturing his whole army save 2000….Stonewall was ordered to fall on Burnside while crossing and rumor says he dammed up the River with the slain

Edwin H. Fay, a sergeant serving in Mississippi reports on Jackson at Shepherdstown

From “The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor.” by Gary Gallagher.  The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“Somebody blundered again or was grossly negligent.  It would have been no difficult matter to defend that ford from passage.”

Henry Kyd Douglas commenting on the precipitous retreat of the infantry from the Potomac River at Shepherdstown

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

“the men of our battery, together with those belonging to other batteries on the bluff were mixed in helter skelter race for the rear.  It seemed that the night was interminable.”

J. B.  Moore, an artillerist at Shepherdstown

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

“Gen Jackson hearing of the capture of the artillery did not wait for Gen. Lee’s orders but double-quicked Gen A.P. Hill’s division to the river…”

James Wylie Ratchford commenting on Jackson’s response to the capture of Confederate guns

From Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill by Hal Bridges.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961.

 

“I did not eat anything for at least forty-eight hours.  You may not possibly know how it feels to go that long, and to be marching night and day; I assure you that a man is not in the best of spirits.”

John H. Lewis, Sep 19 1862, A member of Armistead’s Brigade left to guard the river

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

“ten thousand Yankees crossed at Shepherdstown, but unfortunately for them, the found the glorious Stonewall there…as we succeeded in driving a good many of them into the Potomac….The account of the Yankee slaughter is frightful.’ Judith W. McGuire  Sep 25 1862  A diarist reports on Shepherdstown

From “The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor.” by Gary Gallagher.  The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“about 2,000 Federal infantry attempted to cross after us, and out of that number only ninety lived to return.  Such as were not killed and drowned were captured.”

Macon Journal & Messenger Oct 8 1862

Correspondent Peter W. Alexander quoting a federal surgeon

From “The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor.” by Gary Gallagher.  The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“they brought their long range guns to bear on us and very near cut us to pieces while we couldn’t hurt them with our little six pounders.”

Merrit Seay of the Fluvanna Artillery complained about how the Federal artillery outclassed the Confederate artillery at Shepherdstown

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

“Our forces poured the grape and canister into them as they crossed the Potomac, and the slaughter was terrible.”

Richmond Weekly Dispatch Sep 26 1862

a newspaper account of the battle of Shepherdstown

From “The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor.” by Gary Gallagher.  The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“I do not know what to tell you to do.  I hear from one messenger that the enemy have crossed the river and captured a few pieces of artillery, but another that they have crossed in force and have possession of al all the reserve artillery.  I can hear anything reliable.”

An apparently confused Robert E. Lee as the word of the capture of his artillery reaches him in a conversation with D.H. Hill

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

“they planted on the more commanding heights on the other side a number of powerful batteries, compared with which ours were but as pop guns.”

William Nelson Pendleton complained about how the Federal artillery outclassed the Confederate artillery at Shepherdstown

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

“When the 4th Michigan crossed the river the other evening, he said, they drove a whole brigade of rebels, who ran shamefully.  These were Colonel Lee’s own words.  He also said that the rebels deserted 27 guns that evening, of which we got four, not knowing where the rest were.  There is no doubt the rebels are mighty hard up for food and clothing”

Rooney Lee condemning the behavior or Pendleton’s men while talking to Stephen M. Weld a federal officer during a truce.

From “We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton.”by Peter S. Carmichael. The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

 

Union Quotes

 

“This little affair…amusing as an interesting episode of history, thrilling to every participant, and terribly disastrous, particularly to the 118th Pennsylvania.”

Thomas H. Mann

Col Mann of the 18th Connecticut made this observation about the Battle of Shepherdstown

From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007.

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