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SEPTEMBER 17, 1862

At the sun arose on September 17, 1862 both sides were prepared for battle.  Jackson had arrived on the 16th and was in the battle line.  Union Generals Hooker and Mansfield had crossed the Antietam and were in the battla line.  The Confederates had Jackson on the left and Longstreet of the right.  The Union had Hooker and Mansfield on the right, Summer in the middle, and Brunside on the left. McClellan was ready and Porter was in reserve.  About 6 a.m. Union General Hooker begains his attack through the "Cornfield" but they are repulsed.  The fighting is fierce back and forth through the "Cornfield".

By 1862, General John Bull Hood's famed Texas Brigade had earned a reputation as General Robert E. Lee's most effective shock troops.  They led the way in Lee's victories at Gaines Mill and Second Manassas.  Unfortunately, these engagements had cost the five regiments of the Brigade dearly.  By fall 1862, only 864 remained, less than a regulation regiment.  As Lee marched into Maryland in September of 1862, the Brigade consisted of the 18th Georgia, Hampton's South Carolina Legion and the 1st, 4th, and 5th Texas Regiments.

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   On September 16th, Colonel Wofford had led the Brigade to the West Woods.  Just before daybreak on the 17th, salvos of Federal Artillery smashed into the woods, beginning the Union assault.  The Texans formed up next to Dunker Church,  The Texans advanced into a cornfield, men of Hampton's Legion and the 18th Georgia were mercilessly cut down by Union artillery.  The 1st and 4th Texas pressed forward, deeper into the cornfield. 

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   The 1st Texas valiantly followed the faded silk of their "Lone Star" banner.  However, the Regiment soon found itself 150 yards in front of their own lines with fire coming from every direction.  Withdrawal was ordered, and in the ensuing chaos, the Regiment's two flags were lost to the Union.

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   Of the 226 men of the 1st Texas who entered the cornfield that day, only 40 walked out.