United States Volunteers
3d Battalion
Antietam 140th Anniversary Reenactment
The Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

From the Diary of Roger M. Ford
1st. Lt. Co. K, Eighth Conn. Vols.

(from the collection of the
Antietam National Battlefield Park,
Sharpsburg, Md.)

(this excerpt opens with the 8th Conn. Vols. in Frederick, Md. with the 9th Corps, after marching since Sept 5th from Washington, DC)

14th Sunday pleasant - sunrise we hear hear cannonading in the direction of Harpers Ferry. we can see the Union troops trying to force the Rebels out of the Blue Ridge pass each side are trying to drive the other the sight is fine we can see the smoke and hear the roar of the artillery and rattle of musketry
September 1862 14th Sunday we can see that our men are driving them quite fast 2 PM we are ordered to join in a march for the mountain. we arrived at the Battle Ground at 5 PM and was ordered to support a Battery we lay there all night. the fight lasted untill 8 PM. Genl Reno was mortily wounded and died in a short time the fighting was very severe

15th Monday pleasant we got the best of the Rebels yesterday. we are ordered to support another Regt in an- other part of the field. there is one place where there are 12 dead Rebels tey were trying to get in a position to nake a charge and in getting over the fence our fellows had them. 10 AM we we re ordered to the left. we went and got into position 2 PM we were ordered to march into the woods and rest as there was fresh troops to take the advance. 4 PM we were ordered to march. we past yesterdays Battle ground there was hundreds of dead Rebels the Battle is called the Battle of South Mountain
we marched until midnight. the hills are covered with Yankeys and their camp fires look fine.

16th Tuesday pleasant Both sides are at it bright and early. Batteries on both sides are playing away good. there is a fight only a short distance off. some of the shells drop in our Regt. sundown we were ordered to take our position 9 PM we took pur position & our pickets and the enemys were firing all night

17th Wednesday Cloudy the ball is opened we were in line ready for work before sunrise the shot & shell flew around us like fun but there was not much fun about it as we soon found out it struck in our ranks & took one file completely out killing both of the men composing that file & a Sergeant of another Company who was in the rear & badly wounding another. we were then ordered to move by the left flank & we done so. we then took a po- sition not so dangerous as the other. 10 A.M. I was ordered to take
September 1862 17th 10 men & go out in front about 3 or 4 yards. I done so without any of my men being shot. I put the men on their post & then took a position so that I could see the whole 10 men. at 12 A.M. we were ordere to march & then I had the men skirmish in front of our lines 12 1/2 A.M. we were ordered to support the Zouaves Battery as they were to make a feint so as to draw the attention of the enemy so that some of our troops could cross the Antietam Creek we done so & they directed their fire on us, we stayed thre untill some of our troops went across& then we left there & went across also & took our place in line. we lay down & the 16th Conn & 4th Rhode Island was brought up & placed on our left. they threw shot and shell but our Regt was lucky enough not to gather any of them. the 16th Conn cought a few of them, the grape & canister came around us like hail. we then had orders to advancewhich we done in good order & as we got to thetop of the hill or most to the top there was a man came & told Major Lyon
17th that there was a battery of 3 guns on the hill abandoned. my comp was then detached to take the battery we started with a cheer we got within 6 or 7 rods of the battery when we saw the Rebs were lying down behind their guns. we opened on them before they had time to oopen on us. that was all that cared the Regt they were closed en masse & then was into line when tehy would have opened on them with grape. we played on them untill we heard a yelling on our left & there came up a Rebel Brigade. we then commenced on them we were firing brisk when we heard them shout we were surroun -ded on three sides. still the men fought bravely. the CAptain finally ordered us back the the Regt. they had been deployed into line. they were cutting us right & left & also in the front but with all to discour -age then the men fought like Tigeres we started for the Regt & all the while the men were falling around us but thank God I am safe thus far. the Regt was being cut bad as we were. we joined the Regt. the order was to change front to rear
September 1862 17th on first Company which was done in good order. we then gave it to them again we gave as well as they but our position was terrible we now had orders to fall back we done so but we halted & formed & commenced on them gave tehm lead & we sent some of them to their homes. we were ordered to move back again we done so & rallied the third time & the men were as fast for fighting as they were at first. we had lost about half of the men that went into the fight. Oh thank God there comes fresh troops. we now fell back in under the hill. we once more rallied & marched back again we gave them about 6 shots when we were ordered to cross the creek. the 16th Conn & 4th R.I. were on our left. they broke and ran. the 4th is an old Regt & the 16th a new one. we went across the creek. we had a roll call & found we had lost 23 men killed wounded & missing. we are sure the most of them were killed or wounded.

18th Thursday Cloudy we are ordered down to the bridge to wait orders. our skir- mishers are advancing & picking off the Rebs. it rained very hard this afternoon
the report is the Rebs are leaving we hear the Artillery at it again today.

19th Friday pleasant the report is that the Rebels left. we are getting ready to move and we started about 11 A.M. we went over the battle field. some of our dead are stripped all their clothes taken off we got all of our dead together. we have orders to march. we have marched about three miles Capt. Marsh & Company are burying their dead. the Rebs are crossing the Potomac. we found out that. we had 5 killed 13 wounded. one died of his wounds to day. that was Capt. Wm. G. Lewis making 12 wounded 6 killed 2 missing.

20th Saturday we can hear an occasional gun there were a good many of the Rebs got drowned fording the Potomac

21st Sunday Foggy we are to be in readiness to start at any moment. the sun comes out about 8 A.M. we did not go to day. we have heard where all but 1 man is

22d Monday pleasant we have not moved yet there have a good many troops here
September 1862 moved away from here except the 9th Army Corps. we are to be up at 4 to morrow to move

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