2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Antietam - Wednesday, September 17, 1862
The men of Georgia & Texas

Georgia Monument near the Cornfield.
Situated along the southern edge of Miller's Cornfield, the inscription on the side of this monument to the brave men of Georgia leaves nothing unsaid. With elegant simplicity, it says only,

We sleep here in obedience to law;
When duty called, we came,
When country called, we died.

This same message graces the Georgia monuments in the Gettysburg and Vicksburg National Military Parks, the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, and the Resaca Confederate Cemetery in Georgia.

The outnumbered Southern men fought bravely at all points on this field and none more so than the Georgians. In the Cornfield, Lawton's Georgia Brigade lost "more than half it's men". In the Bloody Lane, Georgians helped repulse furious Union attacks for hours. And all morning, several hundred Georgians at Burnside's Bridge gamely frustrated and held at bay the 12,000 men of the Union's 9th Corps.

The following portion of a supplemental battle report from CSA Brigadier General Paul J. Semmes speaks to the ferocity of this days fighting.  "The colors of the Tenth Georgia received forty-six shots, and the pike was once hit and twice cut in two; 1 color-bearer and 1 of the color-guard were killed, and 1 color-bearer and 1 of the color-guard wounded." [5]

 As for the Texans, just a few weeks earlier, the participated in one of the most devastating flank attacks of the war during the Battle of Second Manassas. During that clash, they inflicted 75% casualties on the Union's 5th New York regiment. The inscription on their monument n this field tells somewhat of a different story. "Almost alone during this powerful Federal onslaught the Texas Brigade sealed a threatening gap in the Confederate line. In so doing the 1st Texas Infantry Regiment suffered a casualty rate of 82.3 percent, the greatest loss suffered by any infantry regiment, North or South, during the war. Of approximately 850 men engaged the Texas Brigade counted over 550."

Cornfield MonumentsThe former commander of the Texas Brigade, General John Bell Hood, now lead the Division to which the Texans belonged. He would say of their fighting that day, "A few minutes after, a member of his (General Lawton) staff reported to me that he was wounded and wished me to come forward as soon as possible. Being in readiness, I at once marched out on the field in line of battle and soon became engaged with an immense force of the enemy, consisting of not less than two corps of their army. It was here that I witnessed the most terrible clash of arms, by far, that has occurred during the war. The two little giant brigades of this division wrestled with this mighty force, losing hundreds of their gallant officers and men but driving the enemy from his position and forcing him to abandon his guns on our left. The battle raged with the greatest fury until about 9 o'clock, the enemy being driven from 400 to 500 yards." Although eventually compelled to withdraw to the West Woods, the Texans had slowed the Union attack. Colonel Wofford, commander of the Texas Brigade would lament, "By this time, our brigade having suffered so greatly, I was satisfied they could neither advance nor hold their position much longer without re-enforcements...our line commenced giving way, when I ordered them back under cover of the woods to the left of the church, where we halted and waited for support...After resting a short time, we were moved back to the woods in rear of the church from where we advanced to the fight in the morning, which position we held until late in the evening...This brigade went into the action numbering 854, and lost, in killed, wounded, and missing, 560--over one-half. [5]