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The National tribune. (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, October 01, 1880, Image 1

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& Mhnthhj gonrnnl devoted jo the goldiera, gailors, and enmonerx of the gnited tntet nnd the instruction of the gamilu ginlc.
Published by Tho ) ttat t- m. in Txr a orrrwr. mxr -rx n mr-,- -
NATIONAL TRIBUNE GOMPANY.
Snteredaeeordinp ) Act oOongreu, in th year of our Lord, 181$, in tie Office ofths Librat ian oCanfireu, a Wathington, D. 0.
TEEMS, FIFTY CENTS PER YEAH.
Specimen Ooploa sent Free on Request.
The Same Canteen.
BY CHARLES G. TIALPINK.
Thoro are bonds of all sort3 In this world of ours,
Kotiors of friontlBhlp and tics of flowort,
And true lover's knots I weon ;
Tho girl and boy aro bound by a kiss,
But there's never a bond, old friend, llko this
Wo havo druulc from tho samo cantoonJ
It was sometimes water and aomotlincs milk,
And sometimes applejack lino as silk,
But whatever tho tipplo has boon,
Wo shared it together in bano or in bliss,
And I warn you, friend, when I think of this-
Wo have drunk from tho same canteon !
Tne rich and great sat down to dine, '
And they quaffed each other in sparkling wine,
Prom glasso3 of crystal and groon ;
But I guess in their goldon potations they miss
Tho warmth of regard to bo found in this :
Wo havo drunk from tho same canteen !
Wo havo shared our blankets and tent togothor,
And havo marched and fought in all klnds.o f weather,
And hungryand full wo havo beon ;
Had days of battle and days of rest,
But this raomory I cling to and lovo tho best
Wo have drunk from tho samo canteon I
For when wounded I lay on the outer slopo,
With my blood flowing fast and but little hope,
Upon which my faint spirit could lenn ;
O, then I romombor you crawled to my aide,
And blooding so fast It scomcalfooth must havo died,
Wo drank from tho samo cantoon.l
ANTIETAM:.
One of the Great Battles of the War.
THE BATTLE-FIELD.
We can form some idea of the general plan of the bat
tle of Autietam if we imagine the town of Sharpsburg
to be tho hub of a broken carriage-wheel, with one-haft
the rim held to it by two spokes projecting southward.
Tins segment of the rim will represent tho Potomac Eiver,
aud tho two spokes will represent the two roads leading to
tho river from Sharpsburg. These roads strike the river,
not at tho onds of the segment, but near tho middle, and
aro probably two or three miles apart at tho respective
points of intersection. At the lower or eastern end of the
broken rim the Autietam Creek flows into tho Potomac
river ; at the upper or western end of the rim is a range of
high hills which overlook the river. Tho prolongation of
Genoral Jackson's line touched tho base of these hills ou
tho west and the extreme right of Hill's corps rested on
the Autietam Creek, not far from its junction with the
Potomac. The creek curves from its mouth to tho west
and for five or six miles its course is substantially parallel
with that of tho river. Four spokes on tho north sido of
tho broken wheol, arranged at irregular intervals, will rep
resent tho roads leading from Sharpsburg to tho north.
The spoke corresponding to tho Hagerstowu turnpike will
bo nearly at right anglesta tho spoko corresponding to the
Shopherdstown road, on the south side, while tho Keedys
villo turnpike is, as it were, tho northern projection of tho
Shopherdstown road, and of course these two spokes will
bo in nearly tho same line, while the spoko representing
tho Rohrersvillo road leans considerably to the oast. The
two last-mentioned roads cross tho Autiotam Creek and
tho bridges, which tho battlo has mado forovor historic,
may be represented by dots on the spokes, perhaps two
miles distant from tho hub. ..
TIIE SOUTIIB1W AKJIT.
On tho lGfch of Septembor, 1303, General Lee's army
planted itself in front of Sharpsburg, forming, as it were,
tho sogmont of a circle whioh crossed all tho roads on tho
north sido, and of course covered all tho approaches to tho
lotonme. Tho lino was in most places something over a
lnilo distant from tho town. It rau through a succession
of boautilul fields, in somo of which tho tall corn had not
yet been cut, and others wero boiug plowed aud mado
ready for seeding. In front wero tho peaceful homes of
the farmers, embowered among tho orchards aud sur
rounded by all tho ovideuees of prosperous industry and
thntt. .No earthwork or other dofenses wore thrown up,
excopt that wherever thoro was au available fonco it was
torn down and tho rails wero ranged in piles in front of
such portions of tho liuo as wero supposed to bo tho most
oxposedv A country lane, tho bed of whioh has boou
washed oui by tho heavy rains, proved to bo a strong de
fense, and it most probably saved Gouoral Leo's army from
iiLiui. win-, do mu lioroaicer oo explained.
iuu uiu conioaerato oommauuor was arranging his
nT0l,llte aVd SttulS his Malory into position,
General JilcUlol an's nrmv mis mnvdiimv riw n. iran,u,J.
villo turnpike. A signal station on tho top of ono of tho
spurs ot the bouth Mountain overlooked thoenomy's posi
tion, and tho Union commander was kept advised of all
that was going on in front. hen tho advancing columu
roaohod tho Autietam Greek tho sovoral army corps do
ployed to tho right and loft, and boforo sundown anothor
Iiiiq ot armed nion stretched across tho roads radiating
northward from Sharpsburg, Those soldiors facod to tho
southward, aud confronted those who occupied the inner
and shorter lino. Genoral Burnsido turned to tho left
and placod his corps in a position to assault the bridge,
which now boars his name 'Hooker crossed tho Antietam
aud marched over to tho Hager3town turnpike, where his
coi'ps confronted that of General Jackson. Sumner re
mained in the centre and filled up the gap between the left
of Hooker's line and tho right of Burnside's lino. There
was somo desultory skirmishing and artillery firing late in
the afternoon, but no determined assault was made on
oither side, and when tlarknass came on the weary soldiors
of both armies laid down to rest, with no covering save
their blaukets and the starry canopy abovo them. What
visions of carnage, in its most appalling forms, must havo
filled their dreams !
THE TLAN OP BATTLE.
General McClellan's plan of battle was to ongage the
opposing line in the centre and at the same time" break
through both wings aud seize tho two roads leading to the
river, which were tho only avenues of escape open to Gen
eral Lee, and wero already blocked up with trains wait
ing to cross into Virgiuia should a retreat become neces
sary, lb happened, however, that the two wings of tho
Southern army withstood the terrible assaults of Hooker
and Bumside ; and although they were forced back until
the slightly curved line, which covered all the roads in
front of Sharpsburg in tho morning, resembled an irregu
lar horse shoo at night, yet neither tho hub of the
wheel nor the spokes on the Southern sido had been
reached. Tho only substantial success obtained by tho
Union troops was in the centre, where Richardson's divis
ion of Sumuor's corps broke the rebel lino and doubled it
back on the two wings. This was in tho middle of the
atternoon, however, and the troops on the right had been
so roughly handled by Jackson's corps that they were un
able to take advantage of tho opportunity for winning a
great victory ; and Bumside, ou tho left, had not yet been
able to get across tho Antietam Creek ; and while a small
body of sharpshooters held a whole army corps atbay Gen
eral Lee restored his broken line. He was glad, however,
to bo left alone for tho remainder of the day on his left
and centre. Whatever may be said or written to the con
trary, there was no fighting on the battle-field of An
tietam after the famous charge of the Irish Brigade, ex
cept by Burnside's corps, on tho extreme left of tho Union
liue.
THE LINES IN CONTACT.
I have only space to give tho merest sketch of this most
sanguinary battle. At break of day, on the morning of
tlie ran, uenerai Hooker, with his accustomed impetu
osity, began an attack on tho extreme right. An army
commanded by a less resolute and skillful soldier thau
"Stonewall" Jackson would havo beonswept away by the
very momentum of the assault. A strip of woods on the
east sido of the Hagerstowu turnpike formed a sort of base
or rallying-ground for the Union troops, while Jaokson's
men occupibd a considerable tract of timber land on the
west side of tho road. These tracts of timber aro not op
posite each other, and the road runs diagonally through
tho fields which separate them. Through these fields and
across the turnpike Hooker's men and Jackson's men
charged many times, only to be repulsed before they
reached the woods, aud tho ground was thickly strewn
with the dead of both armies. Hooker was wounded and
carried from tho field just at tho very moment ho supposed
that he had won a great victory. Sumner's corps came
into action about niuo o'clock and relieved the shattorod
brigades which had been fighting since the early dawn. I
do not know that Hooker's corps was again engaged in
battlo during tho entire day. In faot, General Sumner, in
his roport, says that when ho came upon tho field General
Hooker's corps melted away. Out of 14,850 oulisted mon
it lost 048 killed, 3,01(1 wounded, and 235 missing. Mans
field's corps, commanded by General Williams after Gen
eral Mansfield Nas killed, fought on the right with Hooker,
and, in fact, tho two corps were blended together. The
casualties in this corps wero about tho samo as in Hooker's.
Sumner went into action with 18,S13 enlisted men and
lost 5,209, of which 819 wero killed and 3,801 wounded.
Forty-live ofHoois wore killed and 89 wounded.
When Hooker's men fell back Geueral Sedgwick's di
vision of Sumner's oorps renewed the attack ou tho rebel
lel'b (Jackson's corps,) and fought ovor substantially tho
samo ground that had been contested by Hooker, oxoopt
that the rebel liuo was shortened, and tho battlo raged
around a small brick church which stauds in tho edge of
the woods on tho west sido of tho llagorstown turnpike.
THE ASSAULT ON THE CKNTKE.
While General Sedgwick's division attacked Jackson
and again compelled his corps to come out from tho woods,
only to be drivon baok with torriblo slaughter, the other
hvfi divisions rtf S5ini!iwi'ii nnrnc ntirrmrnrl i-lw nnnKvi oil
for tho next two hours tho work of destruction wont on !
with indesoribablo fury. General French's division moved
up in front of tho sunken road already alluded to, and by
repeated charges tried to break through this part of tho
line, but ono brigade aftov another was driven baok by tho
withering ilro of muskotry from tho lauo and tho cornfiold
boyond. Fortunately for tho assaulting column tho
ground ribes gradually from tho road to tho placo where
their liuo was formed, and when tho brigades recoiled from
tho attack, they quickly passed over tho crest of this hill,
and by falling flat on tho ground, got out of range. For
an hour or more a deadly gamo of snapshooting was kept
up on this part of tho lino. Tho iustant a head appoared
abovo tho suukon road or in tho cornfiold beyond, it be
came a target for the soldiers on tho crest of the hill, but
tho man who stood up to shoot or got his head a foot or
two above the ground was pretty certain to drop. The two
lines at this point were not more than a hundred yards
apart, and more men were killed hero on both sides than
on any other part of the battle-field.
TnE CHARGE OF THE IRISH BRIGADE.
While this murderous work was going on in front of the
sunken road, Gonoral Richardson's division engaged the
enemy a little further to the left and pushed back the line
until the flank of tho brigade, which held the road, was
uncovered ; then the Irish Brigade, led by Colonel Barlow,
of New York, charged down a steep hill into the cornfiold,
and before the troops that were lying in the lane could
get out of the way, the1" woro beset by bayonets aud com
pelled to surrendor ; the charge was continued across the
cornfield and the rebels were driven back nearly to the
Hagerstown turnpike. If at this critical moment tho di
visions which were fighting on tho right had made a vig
orous assault, the war might have ended at Antietam.
But after the Irish Brigade had cleared the cornfield be
yond tho sunken road the pursuit was stopped, and fight
ing ceased on this part of the battle-field. The rebel line
was doubled back, but tho Union army did not advance
to occupy the ground or to capture the roads which had
been so stubbornly defended. Both sides were utterly ex
hausted. General McClellan had 10,000 troops in reserve
that he ought to havo thrown into action, but ho was
afraid to take the risk.
burnside's bridge.
While the great battlo was being fought by Hooker and
Sumner on the right, Bumside was trying to get across to
Antietam on tho left. I do not think the enemy had two
thousand troops on this part of tho lino during the early
part of the day, but owing to the peculiar position which
they held they were able to hold an army of 12,000 men at
bay. The south bank of the Antietam at this point is a
high bluff, covered with trees and underbrush. On this
bluff; but concealed by the bushes, was a line of rebel
sharpshooters, who could pick off a man at every shot
without incurring tho risk of being fired at in return. Tho
Union batteries were posted on a hill opposite the bluff,
and they wasted a great deal of ammunition without hurt
ing anybody, except that now and then a shell went clear
across the hill and exploded in the streets of Sharpsburg,
to the great consternation of the people who had not been
able to get out of the way before the battle began. A few
days after the battlo I was shown a shell that came through
the roof a house and dropped into a closet among the
cooking utensils. Fortunately it did not explode. Thoro
was an old log barn standing in an open field about three
hundred yards below the bridge. Behind this barn Gen
oral Cox's brigade formed in column and started on the
double-quick for the bridge, moving parallel with the line
of the creek ; but the sharpshootors on the bluff poured
such a deadly fire into their advancing column that it
broke, and the men rau back until they got under the
sholter of tho barn. Tho column was again formed and
again essayed to reach the bridge, but with no better suc
cess. Other brigades were ordered up and rau tho gaunt
let of death with no bettor succoss. General McClellan
kept seuding his staff officers to Geueral Bumside with
orders to carry the bridge at every sacrifico ; but tho morn
ing wore away, noon came, and tho sharpshooters on the
bluff woro still the masters of this part of tho field.
THE BRIDGE CARRIED.
A now plan of attack was then adopted. A brigade was
takon back some three huudred or four hundred yards and
formed in column immediately in front of the bridge. The
Fifty-first Pennsylvania Regiment, commanded by General
nartranfr, (now collector of customs at Philadelphia,) led
tho way, and the Fifty-first Now York followed. Tho men
held down their heads and ran for the bridge. Some of
them dropped by tho way, but most of them got across.
The captain of one of the companies that led the way told
mo that none of tho soldiors of the regiment at tho head
of the columu went up tho hill ; they turned to tho right
and left and kept under cover of tho bluff, dose to tho
edge of tho creek. But tho troops that came after them,
when tho way had been cleared, quiokly formed in lino of
battlo and charged up tho hill. Tho enemy ran away, and
thoir lino was pressed almost to the outskirts of Sharps
burg. This was about three o'clock in the afternoon.
At this hour tho 'division of A. P. Hill's corps, which
Jackson had left at Harper's Ferry to manage the capitu
lation, arrived on tho battle-field and took up tho fight.
Bumside in turn was pressed back, and, fearing that he
would be drivon across tho creek, sont to McClollau for
reinforcements. Before they came, howover, tho rebels
desisted from the attack, aud the ha tie ended. Bumside
lost 410 killed and 1,015 wounded. The succoss attained
was not commensurate with the loss. The sun set on a
battle-field ou whioh 2,010 Uuion soldiors lay cold in death,
aud 9,410 wouuded mon had been carried into the fiold
hospitals, many of whom died in tho next fow days. The
Southern loss in killed nnd wounded oould not have beon
less, and it most probably was much greater. The official
roport shows that 87,104 men wero engaged on the Union
side.
Toddlekins is a very small man indeed, but ho said ho
nevor minded it at.all uutil his throo boys grow up to be
tall, strapping young follows and his wife began to cut .
down their old olothos and out thorn ovor to fit him. And
thon ho said ho did got mad.
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