No. 162. Report of Major M. Hilton, Twenty-second South Carolina Infantry, of engagement at Rappahannock Station.
NEAR WINCHESTER, VA.,
October 15, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders I herewith give you as correct an account as can possibly be given of what part the
South Carolina Volunteers assumed in the engagements during the months of August and September, commencing at the Rappahannock
River on August 23; also at South Mountain or Boonsborough, Md., and in the vicinity of Sharpsburg, Md., from September 15
Before proceeding to give a report of the above-named engagements I feel that it is due to the regiment that they should
be approved for the steadiness and courage evinced by them during the five days they were actively engaged with the enemy,
especially when it is considered that they were brought from the coast of South Carolina, and from the day of leaving Charleston
until after the battle of Sharpsburg it was a continuous series of forced marches and battles. Wearied out by fatigue and
exposure and many ill, they stood to their posts until exhausted nature could stand no more. Colonel T. C. Watkins having
been killed at Boonsborough early in the engagement, and the command of the regiment devolving on myself, I find it is with
difficulty that I can give as full and detailed account of report as I would wish to do.
Before concluding I would say that there are officers and men who deserve special mention for the courage, fortitude,
and patience with which they endured the dangers and privations of those eventful days.
BATTLE OF RAPPAHANNOCK STATION.
On Saturday, August 23, about 6 a. m., formed line of battle na marched to the support of batteries placed near the
Rappahannock River, regiment commanded by Colonel S. D. Goodlett. After taking position was ordered forward to a hedge-row
and commanded to lie down. After remaining thus for about two hours or more was ordered forward again. After marching about
300 yards was ordered to charge a supposed battery of the enemy. On nearing the position it was found deserted, together with
the rifle pits of the enemy. After retiring a short distance from this position the regiment was ordered back to its old camp.
During all of the above movements the regiment was subjected to a heavy and continuous shelling from the enemy.
The casualties were: Killed, 9; wounded, 8. Total, 17.
Major, Commanding Twenty-second Regiment South Carolina Vols.
Captain A. L. EVANS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies;
pages 636-7, Vol XII.
Antietam after battle report:
Report of Maj. M. Hilton, Twenty-second South Carolina Infantry,
of the battles of Boonsborough and Sharpsburg.
NEAR WINCHESTER, VA.,
October 15, 1862.
CAPT.: In obedience to orders, I here with give you as correct an
account as can possibly be given of the part
the Twenty-second South
Carolina Volunteers assumed in the engagements during the months of
August and September,
commencing at the Rappahannock River on August
23; also at South Mountain, or Boonsborough, Md., and in the vicinity of
Sharpsburg, Md., from September 15 to 18.*
* * * * *
BATTLE OF BOONSBOROUGH (OR SOUTH MOUNTAIN).
[On September 14] the regiment marched from Hagerstown, Md. (Lieut.
Col. Thomas C. Watkins in command), to South
Mountain; reached there
about 4 p. m. Found Gen. D. H. Hill's division on the right of the road,
engaging the enemy.
This regiment was ordered to the left of the road, and
marched around the mountain, then filed by left across the mountain,
by right flank forward, when we came in contact with the enemy and
immediately opened on them, the enemy occupying
a very favorable position
against us. After engaging them for about half an hour, we were ordered to
fall back, which
we did some 30 yards, through in some confusion, Lieut.
Col. T. C. Watkins calling to the men to rally to their colors
and fall into
line. While thus exposing himself, and, having succeeded in forming the
regiment in line of battle,
he fell, struck by a musket-ball in the head. Thus
fell a brave and skillful officer at the head of his command, encouraging
rallying his men with the last breath of life. This misfortune caused the
regiment to fall into confusion.
I then assumed the command, rallying the regiment three times, but the
pressure from the enemy was such that it
was impossible to hold our
positions, and finally fell back to the main road leading to Boonsborough,
and there formed
under the cover of a fence, where we remained until
ordered to fall back on Sharpsburg, it now being night.*
BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG.
After falling back from Boonsborough, on Monday (15th) reached
Sharpsburg. During this day the principal services
performed by the
regiment was to support Capt. Boyce's battery of light artillery, and other
The only casualty was Lieut. R. B. Hughes, Company A, wounded on the
right hip by a fragment of a shell.
On Tuesday, the 16th, the regiment held the same position as on the 15th,
its services being the same during the
day. At night the regiment went on
picket service in front of our batteries. During the day L. P. Gordon,
Company E, was wounded by a fragment of a shell on the right
thigh. The regiment acted as skirmishers up to Wednesday
evening, the 18th;
during most of the time was between the fires of our own and the enemy's
batteries, and exposed
to the heavy and continuous shelling of the enemy. At
one time the enemy advanced their batteries, and our pickets fell
our own batteries played on the enemy with which effect that they were
forced to retire. Our regiment then
resumed its old position until about 4 p.
m., when the enemy again advanced with large brigades. I ordered the
to fire and fall back on the Eighteenth and Twenty-third South
Carolina Regiments, which was done, and the engagement
After night set in and our ammunition had given out, we fell back beyond
Sharpsburg, for rest and
Next day, Thursday, the 18th, marched back to the battle-field and occupied
the position we held the day before,
and remained, skirmishing with the
enemy, until night. About 10 p. m. was ordered to draw in my pickets,
done, and about 11 p. m. rejoined the brigade near the Potomac
Maj., Comdg. Twenty-second Regiment South Carolina Vols.
Capt. A. L. EVANS,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Evan's Brigade.
Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 19. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 27