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485Re: [TalkAntietam] Cook's (8th Mass) Btty at South Mt.

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  • Bill or Glenna Jo Christen
    Jan 20, 2002
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      NJ Rebel wrote:

      > > shots, the enemy unmasked a battery on his left, over Shriver's Gap, from
      > a small field enveloped by woods. He threw canister and shell, and drove
      > Cook's cannoneers and drivers down the road with their limbers. (3)
      > Question: Where is Shriver's Gap? and in relation to Fox's and Turner's
      > Gaps?

      Shriver's Gap is further up the South Mountain chain. Not all officers were
      familiar with the names is the local geographic gazetteer. Here he is
      probably referring to some guns of Boundourant's battery (Jeff Davis
      Artillery) at the top of Fox's Gap along the old mountain road leading to
      Turner's Gap. The location of the battery was probably 100-150 yards away
      from where Reno's monument is today...to the north/northeast.

      > > At this juncture, and while we [17MI] were about to deploy on the right,
      > the enemy suddenly opened (at about 200 yards) with a battery which
      > enfiladed the road at this point... (1)
      > Would this have been a masked battery?

      It was Boundurants's. When the guns were rolled forward to the edge of the
      woods bordering Wise's large field across from the Reno Monument they had a
      direct line of sight down the road (today Reno Monument Road) and into the
      field across from the Hofman House. The woods today obscure that line of
      sight. I do not know how many guns were deployed...probably a section not the
      entire battery. There were also CS guns on the north side of Turner's Gap
      that could fire into Wise's fields and the are near the Hofman House.

      > > Cook gallantly remained with his guns. Cook here lost 1 man killed, 4
      > wounded, and 2 horses killed. (3)
      > Was all this due to heavy Confederate artillery fire, small arms fire or a
      > combination of both?

      Probably the balance of the fire was from CS artillery. This took place
      during the "lull" that occurred around noon. CS infantry ws spread thin along
      the old road to the Mountain House. There was probably sporadic small arms
      fire that increased as CS troops (Drayton's Brigade) formed behind the
      stonewalls lining the old road at the top of Wise's large field .

      > > The attack was so sudden, the whole division being under fire (a flank
      > fire), that a temporary panic occurred until I [WILLCOX] caused the
      > Seventy-ninth New York...and Seventeenth Michigan... on the extreme left to
      > draw across the road, facing the enemy, who were so close that we expected
      > a charge to take Cook's battery. (3)

      > How close were Confederate troops at this point in time to the 79th NY and
      > 17th MI?

      At the top of the road near the intersection of Fox's Gap Road and the old
      mountain road. Soldiers in the 17th wrote of being pinned down by artillery
      and infantry fire for some time. The order for a general advance would not
      come for a few hours. At that time the veterans of the 79th teased the green
      troops of the 17th about there dress uniforms and hats. Some 17th boys still
      had their white gloves tucked into their belts according to veteran's tales.
      The CS troops did not leave their lines in the old road.

      Willcox's order to deploy came after the initial artillery attack that caused
      some confusion in the ranks of the 17th who were in column (either in
      platoons or by four's). The road just down from the Hofman House goes through
      a narrow cut.

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