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Re: War Department #105
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Antietam after battle report:

Antietam after battle report:

Report of Lieut. Col. P. A. Work, First Texas Infantry, of the battle of Sharpsburg.

“ . . . During the engagement I saw four bearers of our State colors shot down, to
wit: First, John Hanson, Company L; second, James Day, Company M;
third, Charles H. Kingsley, Company L, and, fourth, James K. Malone,
Company A. After the fall of these, still others raised the colors until four
more bearers were shot down. Not having seen plainly who these others
were, I am unable to give their names in this report, but will do so soon
as, upon inquiry, I can ascertain.

It is a source of mortification to state that, upon retiring from the
engagement, our colors were not brought off. I can but feel that some degree
of odium must attach under the most favorable circumstances, and although
such are the circumstances surrounding the conduct of this regiment, the loss
of our flag will always remain a matter of sore and deep regret. In this
connection it is but proper to state, in addition to that detailed in the
above and foregoing report, the additional circumstances and causes which led
to its loss. When the order to retire was given, the colors began the movement
to the rear, when the color bearer, after moving but a few paces, was shot
down. Upon their fall, some half doyen hastened to raise them, one of whom
did raise them and move off, when he was shot down, which was not discovered
by those serving. While falling back, and when we had nearly reached the
clover field here in before alluded to (being still in the corn-field),
I gave the order to halt, and inquired for the colors, intending to dress upon
them, when I was told that the colors had gone out of the corn-field. Then
I gave the order to move on our of the corn and form behind the crest of a
small ridge just outside of the corn and in the clover field. It was when I
reached this point that I became satisfied our colors were lost, for I looked
in every direction and they were nowhere to be seen. It was then too late to
recover them. There was no one who knew the spot where they had last
fallen, and, owing to the density of the corn, a view of no object could be
had but for a few feet. By this time, also, the enemy had moved up and was
within some 35 or 40 yards of my left (proper) and rear, and another force
was following us. No blame, I feel, would attach to the men or officers, all
of whom fought heroically and well. There was no such conduct upon their
part as abandoning or deserting their colors. They fought bravely, and
unflinchingly faced a terrible hail of bullets and artillery until ordered by
me to retire. The colors started back with them, and when they were lost no
man knew save him who had fallen with them. It is, perhaps, due to myself
to state that, when I determined to retire, I requested Capt. [U. S.]
Connally to give the order upon the right, and stepped to the left to direct
Capt. Woodward to give the order upon the left, from which point I
moved on to the extreme left, to discover, . . “

Lieut.-Col., Commanding First Texas Regiment.

Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 19. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 27

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