For the past several years, I've been working on a book project,
personal, about the 4th NC during the Maryland Campaign. From
what I have read involving their fight at Fox's Gap, the fighting
was, at times, nasty and generally, confusing as all heck...
Here is roughly what I've been able to piece together about the
regiment's actions on September 14th...
1. Rose early in the morning about 3 miles west of Boonsboro at
their camp near the Little Antietam Creek.
2. Marched back through, with the 2nd NC and the other sister
regiments of G B Anderson's brigade, Boonsboro and then, halting
somewhere between Boonsboro and the Mountain House at Turner's
Gap, rested for about an hour and then removed bagged before
/also the Appalachian Trail) or not, the 4th and 2nd NC advanced
to the Gap to help Garland and his brigade.
3. By the time the two regiments arrived and took position (or
roughly that time) about 10 am or maybe less, Garland was already
mortally wounded and much of his brigade flanked from their
positions in the fields around Lamb's Knoll Road and driven back
towards the Wise cabin area.
4. Together with the remnants of Garland, the 2nd and 4th
commanded by C C Tew beat back Federal attacks and then commenced
a sort of "grand bushwhack" with sporadic heavy
skirmishing..until about 2 or 3 pm.
5. At about 2 or 3 pm Ripley arrives with his brigade of D H
Hill's division, takes command of the field and orders Anderson
to move his brigade down the mountain past the Wise Farm along
the Old Sharpsburg Road preparatory to a left wheel back UP the
mountain to sweep the Federals from the high ground near the
6. The entire 4th NC, with Company H in front, acting as
skirmishers, starts the advance back up the mountain. (3 to 4
pm??). As Company H is feeling for the Federals ahead of the
regiment, Captain Osbourne notes a large Federal unit along with
a single piece of artillery in the Lamb's Knoll Road area facing
down towards the Wise Farm and Fox's Gap. Thinking this is a good
opportunity to try to take the Federals in flank, he goes to
report the news to Bryan Grimes of the 4th and General Anderson.
As he does so, his movements are seen by Federals who open fire
and a brief fire fight ensues.
That is about what I have been able to figure out, plus the item
that Ripley's brigade, by some quirk, not only leads the advance
of much of Hill's division then present at the Gap but somehow
manages to keep heading west...totally away from the action and
not contributing to the Confederate defense.
Where I need help with are:
1. Where did Anderson's brigade wind up after the climb back UP
2. When did Anderson's brigade leave the area of Fox's Gap and
where did they move or retreat to?
3. When did Anderson's brigade participate in the harrowing night
time retreat of the Confederate forces off South Mountain
(Turner's and Fox's Passes)?
4. What was the route of retreat and, if the brigade retreated
via Old Sharpsburg Road, did it debouch into Pleasant Valley? If
so, what road or roads did the brigade take to reach Centreville
(known now as Keedysville)?
5. How long did the brigade linger in the area around Keedysville
or did the aggressive Federal pursuit, with the Irish Brigade in
the van, force the Confederate forces to move over to Sharpsburg
and position themselves on the Sharpsburg Ridge facing The
This is sort of a tall order, but the help and input of any
members of this forum graciously appreciated. Quotes or formal
sources also appreciated if you know where they can easily be
located via Internet search, etc.
Yr. Obt. Svt.
G E "Gerry" Mayers
To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
the Almighty God. --Anonymous