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5959Secondary line of battle behind the Sunken Road? per Carman Battle MS

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  • G E Mayers
    Nov 19, 2009

      In reading the Carman MS description of the Battle of Sharpsburg
      lists three mentions of a second line of battle behind the main
      Confederate battle line at the Sunken Road.

      I had _always_ been under the impression there was only the
      battle line actually in the road comprised of the survivors of
      Garland/Colquitt plus Cobb on the far left, then Rodes and then
      Anderson, in that order, before reinforcements from R H Anderson
      show up.

      Apparently, the Carman MS seems to state there was a secondary
      battle line on the higher (in some places) southern bank of the
      Sunken Road and this _before_ R H Anderson's division, notably
      Pryor's, Featherston's, Wright's and Posey's brigades show up on
      the right flank of the North Carolinians.

      Here is where I found the mentions, from the Carman Battle MS:

      (Weber's brigade attack)
      "On the right the 1st Delaware advanced so far that its left was
      but 50 yards from the Sunken Road, and the fire from the road and
      from a line on higher ground beyond it, ..."

      From Kimball's report/description:
      "Directly in my front, in a narrow road running parallel with my
      line, and, being washed by water, forming a natural rifle-pit
      between my line and a large cornfield, I found the enemy in great
      force, as also in the cornfield in rear of the ditch."

      Kimball again:
      "firing at the heads and shoulders of such of the enemy as
      exposed themselves in the Sunken Road, and at others who were
      firing from the
      cornfield beyond, and in this manner..."

      Note: This seems, from the Carman MS, to indicate a secondary CS
      battle line well before R H Anderson's division attempts to
      reinforce the centre and right of the CS line in the Sunken Road.

      Any help which could be given, especially from Tom Shay or Tom C,
      would be most gratefully appreciated!

      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

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