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4446Re: [TalkAntietam] Northern West Woods

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  • Dean Essig
    Mar 12, 2008
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      Thanks Tom... I think that nails it (makes sense, too,
      given who was where). Now, if only that edited Carman
      would show up in the mail ;-)

      --- RoteBaron <RoteBaron@...> wrote:

      > Dean,
      > I don't have the definitive answer, but here are
      > some excerpts from Carman that describe the early
      > action in area of northern West Wood ( Capt. A. C.
      > Page commands the 21st VA of Jones's Brigade) .....
      > For some reason the right of the skirmish line [6th
      > Wisconsin] failed to advance and clear that flank or
      > discover what was in that direction, and the right
      > wing reached a rise of ground in front of Miller's
      > barn and some straw stacks on the right of the road,
      > when it received an unexpected and severe fire upon
      > the flank from Captain A.C. Page's Virginia
      > skirmishers, lying along the edge of the West Woods,
      > nearly opposite the barn, and also under the cover
      > of the rock ledge between the road and the woods.
      > So soon as this advance was attempted the fire from
      > the West Woods and the ledge upon his flank
      > increased to a murderous enfilade, a fire from a
      > skirmish line in front followed and, looking in that
      > Direction, Bragg saw Grigsby's line,, the brigades
      > of Winder and Jones, lying along the fence and
      > across the field to the West Woods, and at right
      > angles to the road.
      > Grigsby held on with his less than 450 men,
      > subjected to the same destructive artillery fire,
      > and to the severe fire of the Wisconsin skirmishers,
      > who, creeping up along the fences of the road, did
      > effective work upon his weak line. His men were
      > falling fast, his left was threatened by the advance
      > of a Union force through the West Woods, and he sent
      > Lieutenant J.M. Garnett, of his staff, to Starke,
      > with the message that he could not hold on much
      > longer. Garnett found Starke in the edge of the
      > woods, delivered the message, and as he lifted his
      > eyes he saw the men retreating across the open
      > field. Grigsby had used all efforts to hold on, but
      > the fire upon him was so destructive, that Major
      > H.J. Williams, commanding 5th Virginia, suggested to
      > him to move back into the woods. Grigsby would not
      > take the responsibility, upon which Williams ordered
      > the 5th Virginia to fall back and the other
      > regiments of Winder's Brigade followed; once started
      > the retreat was rapid.
      > Jones' Brigade, commanded by Captain John E. Penn,
      > 42nd Virginia, was on the left of Winder's and
      > quickly followed it in retreat. The left of this
      > brigade rested about 100 yards from the West Woods;
      > it was very small and the greater part of it, under
      > command of Captain A.C. Page, was on the skirmish
      > line.
      > The 19th Indiana crossed the Hagerstown road between
      > D.R. Miller's house and barn and formed line;
      > Captain W.W. Dudley, deploying his company as
      > skirmishers, quickly dislodged the Virginians from
      > their cover at the rock ledge, and pushed on into
      > the northern part of the West Woods, the Virginians
      > falling back, Dudley closely following about 120
      > yards into the woods, when, the opposition becoming
      > very pronounced, he halted; the regiment, slowly
      > following the skirmishers, halted at the edge of the
      > woods, where the 7th Wisconsin came up and formed on
      > its left, at the extreme northeast corner of the
      > woods, and sent a company of skirmishers to assist
      > Dudley. Patrick's Brigade followed the 7th Wisconsin
      > across the road and formed in the rear of it and the
      > 19th Indiana. The 19th Indiana and the 7th Wisconsin
      > now pushed into the woods; Dudley again went
      > forward; Captain Page, who had been forced back, was
      > now reinforced by Captain Penn, who had been
      > specially charged with the care of that flank, but
      > Penn was soon severely wounded, losing a leg, and
      > the Virginians fell back to their brigade line, just
      > as Winder's was withdrawing, and Jones' Brigade, now
      > under command of Captain Page, quickly followed; the
      > two brigades reduced to less than 250 men, obliquing
      > to the right in retiring and rallying in the woods
      > in rear of Starke's left.
      > Tom Shay
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: dean_essig
      > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 3:19 PM
      > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Northern West Woods
      > Hey Guys!
      > I'm puzzling over something at the very start of
      > the 17th. It seems there were some
      > Confederate skirmishers in the northern end of the
      > West Woods... at least enough so that
      > part of the mission of the 19 Ind was to clear
      > them out.
      > Anybody know what Confederate Brigades provided
      > the men detailed to this function?
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been
      > removed]
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