Colonel C. POSEY,
Commanding Featherston's Brigade.
COLONEL: I herewith submit a report of the part taken by the Sixteenth Mississippi Regiment in the action of 17th instant, near Sharpsburg, Md.:
The regiment was on the left of the brigade. About 10 a. m., being ordered to advance in the direction of the enemy, did so in good order. We advanced in line of battle, having the brigade of General Pryor in our front. Passing by a large barn, we proceeded, under a heavy fire of artillery and small-arms, several hundred yards farther, and came on General Pryor's brigade and a brigade of North Carolina troops lying down in a road beyond the first corn-field after passing the barn. The regiment, as did the brigade, passed over these troops and confronted the enemy in line of battle, who were drawn up some 300 yards from the road, pouring a destructive fire in our ranks. During this time the losses in the regiment had been heavy. A murderous fire of grape, canister, shell, and small-arms played on us. Notwithstanding, this regiment gallantly held its position until ordered to retire, which it did in as good order as could be expected from its thinned ranks. When we retired as far as the road, a scene of great confusion ensued from the mingling together of different brigades. We continued to fall back until we reached the barn, where the remnant of the regiment was rallied in its position on the left of the brigade. In this position we advanced again upon the enemy, and met them in the corn-field beyond the barn. Here, after a desperate fight, we fell back, by orders, to our original position, on account of the terrific cross-fire of the enemy's batteries. We remained in this position, under a heavy fire of shell and solid shot, for about an hour, when the enemy advanced upon us in line of battle. This was about 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The remnant of the regiment, in its proper position in the brigade, moved forward and met the enemy in the orchard by the barn and drove them back. After this, night ensued and the fight ended.
The number of men carried into the action was 228; of them, 144 were killed or wounded, leaving only 84 men.
The officers and men acted with laudable gallantry during the entire engagement.
A. M. FELTUS,
Captain, Commanding Sixteenth Mississippi Regiment.