Letter from Capt. John Frank, Battery G, 1st NY Art.

Frank wrote sev­eral let­ters to the Bat­tle­field Board, help­ing to locate its posi­tion on the field. below is a type­script of one of those letters.

Fond du Lac Co Wis.
Dec 28th [18]99
Genl. E.A. Car­man.
Dear Sir:
In reply to yours of the 16th Inst. stat­ing the dif­fi­culty of locat­ing my Bat­tery on Sept 17/[18]62 I have the honor to state that under the cir­cum­stances I am com­pelled to go into details, even at the risk of being con­sid­ered tire­some. I desire it to be dis­tinctly under­stood, that the points of the com­pass as well as the hours of the day are merely guess­work, the remain­ing state­ments are facts, as I now remem­ber them. Shortly after sun­rise on that day Sumner’s Artillery, under com­mand of Maj. Clark, 4th U.S. Arty. crossed what was des­ig­nated to me the upper Bridge of the Anti­etam, after a slow march of about two hours the Col­umn was brought to a long stop in a piece of tim­ber to await orders. While Maj Clark was assign­ing posi­tions to the lead­ing Bat­ter­ies we heard to roar of bat­tle on our right flank. About 9 A.M Kirby’s Batty I 1st U.S. Arty, that day under Lieut. Woodruff, came from the direc­tion of the com­bat, one of the offi­cers claim­ing to be out of ammu­ni­tion.
I imme­di­ately rode up to the brow of the ridge about ¼ mile to our right flank, found that part of the field with­out a man or a gun, three Con­fed­er­ate Brigades, returned from their defeat of Sedg­wick reform­ing down on the flat North of the Dunker Church Woods with the evi­dent inten­tion of advanc­ing under­cover of the ridge to crush French’s flank on the oppo­site slope of the ridge; to pre­vent that move I rushed my Bat­tery up on the ridge, the only Artillery then opposed to me being a Bat­tery of 6 Brass Guns on a hill about 800 yds in my front, and very poorely [sic] served, per­haps for want of ammu­ni­tion. In less than 15 min­utes a four gun Bat­tery appeared on the front and left of the Rebel Infantry open­ing a sav­age attack at about 900 yards. This fail­ing to drive my Bat­tery out of posi­tion another four Gun Bat­tery opened to my left from the Woods north of the Dunker Church at about 800 yds inflict­ing con­sid­er­able dam­age, but one of my per­cus­sion shells explod­ing a Cais­son, and another shell dis­mount­ing a gun of Batty no 2 and send­ing it out of the field, enabled me to bring the full force of my 6 Napoleons to bear on Batty no 3 which was presently silenced, two of the Guns being found dis­mounted the next day. While engaged by Bat­ter­ies No 1 and 2 I was informed that through the spe­cial efforts of Maj Clark the 6th Maine had been sent to my sup­port, and after the fir­ing ceased I pro­ceeded with one of my Guns to the high­est part of the ridge about 80 Rods to my right to dis­lodge a Rebel Skir­mish line behind the stone fence inclos­ing [sic] a corn­field and run­ning along my front. In mov­ing that gun I encoun­tered a New York Bat­tery (likely Cowan’s) on the extreme end of the Ridge about 80 Rods to the right of my Bat­tery. I may be per­mit­ted to men­tion that this is the only and sole con­nec­tion I formed with the noted Corn­field, as my line of fire against Bat­ter­ies No 1 and two ranged over, and that against No 3 ranged along the edge thereof. About this time the gap between my Bat­tery and French’s Divi­sion was closed by Hancock’s Brigade; the ground over which I manou­vered [sic] was either pas­ture or ele­vated mead­ow­lands.
I am pos­i­tive that the 6th Maine when I first viewed the reg­i­ment was some 30 to 60 paces to my right, lay­ing in a shal­low ravine run­ning down to our rear.
Your obdt Servt
Jno. [John] D. Frank.

Obvi­ously he is incor­rect about Cowen and the 6th ME, and I wel­come your thoughts about who he did see.

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