Wilderness, Spotsylvania C.H., Cold Harbor
May 4 – June 12, 1864
53rd PVI Casualties
From the Official Records:
MAY 4-JUNE 12, 1864–Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River, Va. No. 41.–Report of Brig. Gen. John R. Brooke, U.S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade.
November 1, 1865.
SIR: My command (Fourth Brigade, First Division), consisting of Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieut. Col. R. McMichael; One hundred and forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Col. H. L. Brown; One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Col. James A. Beaver; Sixty-fourth New York Volunteers, Major Bradley; Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers. Lieut. Col. J. S. Hammell; Second Delaware Volunteers, Col. W. P. Baily, in all 3,200 officers and men, marched at 12 o’clock midnight, May 3, 1864, in obedience to orders received that day, for Ely’s Ford, on the Rapidan River, being the leading brigade of the corps. Arrived in sight of the river at 5.25 a.m. of the 4th instant, immediately com menced crossing the river (Gregg’s division of cavalry in the advance) on pontoons, and formed on the hills on the south side of the river; at about 8 a.m. marched on the direct road to Chancellorsville, arriving there about 9.30 a.m., and went into position, covering the Fredericksburg road; camped for the night. Received orders from Brigadier-General Barlow, commanding division, to remain at this point until after the trains of the corps should take the road on the 5th instant, then to move as rear guard to the corps toward Shady Grove Church. Marched at 10 a.m. on the 5th instant, and proceeded as far as the Catharpin Furnaces, where I was met by orders from division headquarters to halt and cover the trains, which were being parked; went into position and remained until 4 p.m., when I was ordered to proceed by a road through the woods toward the intersection of the Brock road with the Orange plank road. Reached the Brock road about 5.30 p.m., after a tedious march over a faint track through a dense thicket. Hearing heavy firing at 4.30 p.m., I made all possible exertions to hasten the march. Having reached the Brock road, I was ordered into position on the left of the First Division, and throwing a strong line of skirmishers to the front, I commenced strengthening the position by throwing up slight breast-works. During all this time the battle was raging in the vicinity of the intersection of the Brock and plank roads to our right. Our line ran parallel to the Brock road. At about 6.45 p.m. I received orders to move rapidly by the right flank. After moving a half mile I met General Barlow, who directed me to send two regiments to support the Second Brigade (Smyth’s) then engaged in my immediate front. I sent the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hammell, of the Sixty-sixth New York. These regiments moved up and formed on the left of Smyth’s line, and at nearly a right angle to it. I was then ordered in with the rest of my brigade, four regiments, to support the First Brigade (Miles’), which was then formed on the left of Colonel Hammell’s command. It was by this time quite dark, and very difficult to pass through the dense thicket of the Wilderness. At about 9 p.m. I found Miles’ brigade and formed my troops in support, leaving Colonel Beaver’s regiment, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, on the extreme left, where I had sent it when the movement began. The loss of the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers was considerable in this part of the fight. I remained in this position until about 3 a.m. of the 6th instant, when I retired to the Brock road by General Barlow’s orders (leaving a strong skirmish line at our advanced position), and occupied a line of works thrown up by the pioneers. Formed in two lines; first line consisted of One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Sixty-fourth and Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers; second line, of One hundred and forty-fifth and Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Second Delaware Volunteers. Remained in this position until 9 a.m., when I was ordered to move with my brigade and a section of artillery (Hunt’s) of Arnold’s (Rhode Island) battery, down the Brock road about 1 ½ miles, and repel any attempt by the enemy to come up the road. I found the Eighty-first Pennsylvania (Colonel McKeen) in position at this point. I at once strengthened the position with slight breast-works, and placed the artillery to cover the road. At 10 a.m. Colonel Coulter, with part of a brigade of the Fifth Corps, reported to me. I had sent scouts to the front, and could discover no enemy. I reported this to General Barlow at 10 a.m., and received orders to rejoin the division, which I did, leaving Colonel McKeen to hold the road. I formed in my former position, as before given, at 12 m. At about 4.30 p.m. a heavy assault was made by the enemy on our right near the plank road. General Gibbon directed me at about 5 p.m. to move with that part of my brigade in the second line to the assistance of Mott’s division. Moving with my left along the works, and my line perpendicular to them, I reached General Mott’s line in time to see it leave the works (which were on fire in many places) and the enemy plant their colors on them. I at once changed front to the left, and charging drove the enemy from our front. I then had the fire put out, and held the position until relieved by Owen’s brigade, of the Second Division. I then returned to my former position in the line of the First Division. My loss during this short engagement was very slight. My command was not again engaged on this day. On the 7th instant, with the exception of sharp skirmishing on our front, nothing occurred of importance. On the 8th instant marched with the corps to Todd’s Tavern, forming line parallel to Brock road on left of the Third Brigade, skirmishers to the front. At 5.30 p.m. the enemy attacked Miles’ brigade near Corbin’s Bridge. General Barlow ordered me to be ready to support Miles if necessary. On the 9th instant, at 4.30 a.m., having sent scouts out in my front, I found no enemy, and reported this to General Barlow. At 12 m. marched down Spotsylvania Court-House road about 1 mile, then by a wood road to the right toward the Po River. At about 2 p.m., having been ordered to annoy the enemy’s train, which was passing- on the opposite side of the Po, I moved out with two regiments and a section of Arnold’s artillery, shelled the train, compelling it to take another road. At 5 p.m. was ordered by General Barlow to cross the Po and take possession of the Block house road. After crossing the river, which was 2 ½ feet deep, I met considerable opposition from some cavalry and horse artillery, but succeeded in occupying the road with slight loss. Camped for the night near the intersection of Block house road and Glady Run road. On the 10th instant, at about 10 a.m.. General Barlow ordered me to move down the Po and cross a portion of my command to feel the enemy in that direction. I sent Colonel Ham-moll with the Sixty-sixth New York across, and driving in the skirmish line found a strong line of works filled with men, and with several pieces of artillery. I reported this to General Barlow, who directed me to withdraw and oppose the advance of Heth’s (rebel) division, which was crossing Glady Run, and threatening our right. In obedience to these orders, I formed on the left of the Third Brigade about 100 paces from and parallel to the Block house road, and awaited the attack.
At 2.30 p.m. Heth attacked vigorously and was repulsed with loss. He rallied and was again repulsed. He came up the third time in column and was driven from the field with heavy loss. I then received the order from General Barlow to retire to the opposite or left bank of the Po, which I at once commenced. After having nearly reached the Po, I was informed that one gun of Arnold’s battery was wedged between two trees, and could not be extricated. I immediately halted and directed every effort to be made to bring it off, and rode in that direction myself, when I met Captain Arnold, who informed me that it was impossible to save the piece. I then continued retiring, and without further annoyance reached the left bank of the Po. My loss in this action was very heavy, being the first of importance in which this brigade was engaged in this campaign, and the first in which most of the men were ever in.
The officers and men behaved with great gallantry. I would particularly mention Col. James A. Beaver, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania, whose regiment occupied the right of my line and the most exposed position, for his great gallantry and the masterly manner in which he extricated his regiment from the burning woods (which were set on fire by some means during the action). During the latter part of the action this regiment had to contend with the enemy in front and the burning timber in the rear, and at its close were compelled to retire through the fire to the opposite or left bank of the Po, there being no other path left open. Lieutenant-Colonel Hammell, Sixty-sixth New York, for the able and gallant manner in which he executed the difficult and dangerous reconnaissance of the morning, deserves special mention. Lieutenant-Colonel Stricker, Second Delaware Volunteers (in command of the Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, to which regiment I had assigned him on the night of the 9th), deserves great credit for the gallant and soldierly manner in which he fought his regiment. To Colonel Beaver, Lieutenant-Colonel Stricker, and Lieutenant-Colonel Ham-moll I am desirous of calling the attention of the general commanding.
In retiring to the Po my command crossed a wide plain, swept by the enemy’s artillery and infantry from the front and left flank, but notwithstanding the enemy and the burning forest, we retired with a scarcely perceptible break in our lines. Many of the gallant wounded perished in the flames. After arriving on the north side of the Po my brigade was placed in position to cover the place of crossing, with Smyth’s brigade on my left and Brown’s on my right. In this position we constructed slight works of rails and earth. While here the enemy attempted to bring a battery across the plain before spoken of on the south side of the river and place it in position, but Arnold’s battery soon sent it flying back with the loss of one or two caissons. After this nothing occurred of importance, except attempts of the enemy to cross their skirmishers on the 11th instant, which was defeated by the Sixty-fourth New York, then posted along the north bank of the steam. Thus passed the 11th of May as far as my brigade is concerned. About 9 p.m. of this day (11th May) General Barlow sent for me and informed me of an attack to be made by the Second Corps on the enemy’s works on’ the left of the Sixth Corps, which was to take place at 4 a.m. on the following morning, and that our division would march for that point at once. At about 10 p.m. the column marched, my brigade being in the advance, and after a tedious march of about three hours’ duration, we reached the point of attack, and formed in line of masses in the following order: Miles’ brigade (First) and mine (Fourth) being in the front line in mass, and Smyth’s and Brown’s in our rear in two lines. The Second Delaware Volunteers was placed on my left flank, with orders to march by the flank and resist any attempt the enemy might make to turn our left. The Sixty-sixth New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Hammell) was sent forward as skirmishers (with the men deployed at 1 pace interval) to dislodge the enemy’s skirmishers, and to keep not more than 30 yards in advance of the column. The pioneers of the brigade were placed at intervals along the front of the column to clear away the abatis. This being the formation prescribed by General Barlow, at 4.35 a.m. the order to advance was given, and the division moved forward steadily in one immense mass. About 100 yards from the enemy’s works we ran over and captured their skirmishers, who surrendered without much resistance, and without firing one shot that I heard. Thus far the path lay, first, through a slight thicket, then over an open field, with a slight ascent, the extreme left through a forest of tall pines (which however, did not obstruct the march in any material manner), then down a gradual gradual declivity to within 50 yards of the works, then up a sharp ascent for that distance. The face of this last ascent was covered by an abatis, through which it was very difficult to effect a passage. The enemy was apprised of the attack by cheers of some new troops in the division as we swept over and down the last descent, and opened a terrific fire of artillery and musketry upon us, notwithstanding which our brave men marched on, and dragging away the abatis to effect a passage poured in one irresistible mass upon them, and after a sharp, short fight, killed and captured nearly all who occupied the works. Those who still resisted were driven in confusion. Never during the war have I seen such desperate fighting. The bayonet was freely used on both sides, the enemy fought desperately, and nothing but the formation of our attack and the desperate valor of our troops could have carried the point. Not a shot was fired by [my] men until they mounted the works. The right of my brigade struck the works about 40 yards to the right of the Angle, thus giving us a great advantage, in sweeping down the line to our left of the Angle. After crossing the first line I pushed forward in pursuit of the flying enemy. After proceeding about 500 yards, I encountered a second line of works with a marsh in its front. Owing to the disorganization of my command I could not make a determined attack on this line. The enemy came out in strong force, when I retired, fighting to the line already captured, where I found a large number of the Third Division, who seemed to be engaged in gathering spoils, and could not be made available for the defense of this line, though there were many gallant men among them who did their duty bravely, conspicuous among whom was Major Duff, One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, who, with a portion of his regiment, did good service at this time. I held them (the enemy) in check until the arrival of part of Carroll’s brigade, of the Second Division, when the enemy ceased, for a short time, any determined effort on this part of the line. Up to this time many prisoners were taken, among them Major-General Johnson and Brigadier-General Steuart, of the rebel service, who surrendered to officers of my command, General Steuart to Colonel Beaver. On the part of the line entered by my brigade I counted sixteen pieces of artillery. Owing to the fact that the First (Barlow’s) Division did not stop to pick up the colors taken, or care for them in any way, while the enemy were in their front, we cannot show as great an array of such trophies as those who gathered what others won.
At about 7 a.m. I was directed by General Barlow to withdraw my brigade from the confused mass of men, and reorganize as rapidly as possible; also to replenish my ammunition, which was by this time exhausted. I commenced forming the regiments under cover near the Landrum house. I had succeeded in collecting about 1,000 men (this about 8 a.m.), when General Hancock in person directed me to move to the right and report to General Wright, commanding Sixth Corps, for the purpose of supporting the right of that corps, at the same time telling me I was not to go into battle except to save the day, sending at the same time Major Bingham of his staff to report my movement to General Wright. I moved at once, and marching about 1 mile across an open plain and through a dense copse of pine, I found the right of the Sixth Corps (General Wheaton’s command), and formed my brigade to support that part of the line. It now commenced raining heavily, making it exceedingly difficult to preserve the ammunition. After lying in this position for nearly an hour, General Wheaton came to me and ordered me to relieve part of his line, which was then engaged in the front. I repeated the orders of General Hancock; notwithstanding which, and the fact that two lines of his own corps were then lying in my front and between my command and the enemy, he peremptorily ordered me in. I obeyed, passing over two lines of the Sixth Corps, which were lying on their bellies in my front, and reaching the front line relieved it. I continued fighting in this position until I had exhausted my ammunition, when some of my men came back to the two lines lying in their rear, and with their caps and gum blankets carried ammunition, received from the cartridge-boxes of these two lines, with which to continue the fight. Ascertaining this, I directed such proceedings to cease, and finding General Wheaton, I informed him that my ammunition was entirely exhausted, and that other troops would be necessary to hold the line, soon after which a line was advanced to relieve mine. I then retired, and marched back, reporting the facts herein stated to Major-General Hancock. Among those present at the conversation between General Wheaton and myself were Colonel Beaver, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hammell, Sixty-sixth New York, and Lieutenant Smith, of my staff. I was then directed to resume my position in the line of the First Division, where, with the exception of heavy skirmishing, nothing of interest occurred. My loss during the day was very heavy.
On the 13th, with the exception of skirmishing on the front, no fighting occurred; the brigade occupied all day in cleaning arms and replenishing with rations and ammunition. Nothing but skirmishing and artillery firing occurred to-day (14th). At 4 a.m. on the 15th marched, in pursuance with orders received, with the column to near the Harris house, on Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania road, where we massed. No movement on the 16th instant. At dark on the 17th instant, in accordance with orders, marched with the division, being the head of the column, to the field of the 12th instant, near the Landrum house, and massed. At 4.10 a.m. moved forward in support of Second and Third Brigades, which were ordered to attack the enemy. Occupied the position taken on the 12th, and remained here. No fighting done by my brigade, though exposed to a heavy artillery fire throughout the day, losing heavily in officers and men. The assault made on our part of the line not successful. At about l0 p.m. marched with the division to near Anderson’s Mill on the Ny River, and encamped. At 6 p.m. on the 19th moved with the division, hastily, to the assistance of Tyler’s division, then heavily engaged on the Fredericksburg road; before reaching the field orders were received to go back to our encampment, the action being over and the enemy defeated. At daylight on the 20th were under arms for any emergency, but no movement was made until 11 p.m., when I was ordered to march at once, and (being the leading brigade of the division) following Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, chief of staff to General Hancock, guding the movements.
General Barlow passed Massapony [Massaponax] Church, and near Guiney’s Station, on Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad, where, about 5 a.m. of 21st instant, skirmishing was heard between our cavalry and the enemy. The column halted for a short time, but soon marched again, reaching Bowling Green at 10 a.m., cavalry still in advance. The cavalry reached Milford at about 10.30 a.m. They had a slight skirmish and captured some prisoners. Reached Milford at about 11 a.m. and immediately commenced crossing on the bridge and at a ford a few hundred yards above the bridge, and forming my brigade as skirmishers, I was ordered by General Barlow to push forward and occupy the crest of hills beyond the ford and bridge. After the corps came up I was directed to assemble my men and post them as a reserve to First Division, which then occupied the extreme right, which I accomplished by about 2.30 p.m.
On the 22d instant no movement except a reconnaissance made by Colonel Beaver, with his regiment, in obedience to the orders of General Barlow. No enemy could be discovered. On the morning of the 23d instant marched with the division in the direction of the North Anna River, arriving on its bank about 3 p.m. Found General Birney’s division engaged with the enemy; formed on the right of the division, connecting with left of General Birney; threw up slight breast-works and remained during the night. About 11 a.m., on the 24th, commenced crossing on a pontoon bridge below the railroad bridge, and formed line under the crest on the right of the railroad, connecting with McKeen’s brigade, of Gibbon’s division, on the left, and with Birney’s division on the right; threw skirmishers to the front. Soon after received orders from General Barlow to push back the enemy’s skirmishers. I sent the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-sixth New York, under Col. O. H. Morris, of the Sixty-sixth, to do so, at the same time moving the brigade forward in support. After a stubborn resistance succeeded in driving the enemy’s skirmishers under cover of their works, which, upon a close inspection, I found to be very strong, and filled with infantry and artillery. I so reported to General Barlow, who ordered me to attack at once. I at once moved forward with the left of the line on the railroad, but a heavy rain coming up the order was countermanded and all firing ceased at dark. On the 25th instant, with the exception of the usual skirmishing and artillery firing, nothing of importance occurred. Brown’s battery reported to me at an early hour, and was placed in the line of works thrown up last night.
The 26th passed as the 25th. At dark received orders to recross the North Anna at once; sent Brown’s battery to the rear at once and prepared to march. About 11 p.m. movement commenced, reaching north side about 3 a.m. of the 27th, and about 10 a.m. marched with the division in the direction of Hanovertown, and about 11 p.m. encamped. At sunrise of the 28th marched for the Pamunkey River, which was crossed about 2 p.m. Formed line on left of Gibbon’s division, with my right connecting with his left; threw up slight works parallel with the Richmond road. While our troops were crossing, the cavalry had a heavy skirmish with the enemy at Salem Church. On the 29th of May I was ordered to make a reconnaissance on a road leading toward Hanover Court-House; marched about 12 m., a section of battery accompanying the brigade. After moving about 3 miles I encountered a small body of cavalry, who fled. Reaching the Hanover Court-House and Richmond road, I sent a body of men toward Hanover Court-House to communicate with the Sixth Corps, at the same time sending the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania (Colonel Beaver) to the left to communicate to General Barlow (who had taken a road parallel to the road I had marched on). Finding the Sixth Corps on my right, I reported the fact to General Barlow, who directed me to march my command down the Richmond road and join the division, which I succeeded in doing about dark and went into camp.
At daylight on the 30th General Barlow directed me to drive the enemy’s skirmishers beyond the Totopotomoy. While examining the enemy’s line I was joined by General Barlow, who directed me to turn the enemy’s left, which I succeeded in doing, driving them across the creek with considerable loss, and occupying their line. General Owen’s brigade, of Second Division, relieved me in this position, when I rejoined the division and soon after relieved the Second Brigade (Colonel Byrnes), which occupied a line parallel to the Totopotomoy. I here threw up a line of slight works connecting on the right with Miles’ brigade and with McKeen’s (Second Division) on my left. The Seventh New York Heavy Artillery (Colonel Morris commanding) reported to me this a.m. About 7.30 p.m. I received orders from general commanding division to attack the enemy in my front at once. I immediately ordered Colonel Morris, Seventh New York Heavy Artillery, to attack with his regiment, and moved the remainder of the brigade forward in support. Colonel Morris moved down the slope in his front, crossed the stream, and assailed the enemy’s strongly intrenched skirmish line, which, after a hard fight, was carried. The creek at this point had perpendicular banks 4 1/2 to 6 feet high, and water about 1 foot deep, which greatly impeded the advancing line. By this time it was quite dark, and orders were received countermanding the attack and directing me to return to my former position, which I accomplished about 3 a.m. of the 31st instant, leaving a strong skirmish line to hold this point. In this engagement the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery lost heavily. On the 31st instant, about 11 a.m., General Barlow ordered me to reoccupy the line taken the night before, and connect with the right of General Gibbon’s division; also to support any movement made by him (General Gibbon); nothing occurred duringt he day on my front but sharp skirmishing.
June 1 passed with no movement on my front. The assault by General Gibbon proved unsuccessful, and as that part of the line with which I was connected did not move, and receiving no orders or insructions from him to do so, though I had reported to him (inaccordance with General Barlow’s instructions) what my orders were, and the position I occupied, he saying “all right,” or words to that effect, I took no part in the assault, except by advancing my skirmishers to cover the right of his, and having my troops ready awaiting his orders, which did not come. The position of the enemy I ascertained to be very strong, with an open field and a dense undergrowth of pine in their front. At dark on the 1st of June I received orders to march at once. I moved my brigade at once and joined the division on the road to Haw’s Shop, and at 8 a.m. reached Cold Harbor. After resting about three hours, my brigade was placed in position on the left of the Second Division, in an undergrowth of pine, and ordered to intrench, which I did. At the same time I ordered Colonel Beaver, whose regiment was deployed as skirmishers, to drive the enemy into his works, if possible, and about 4 p.m. hearing firing on our left, I ordered him to make a strong attack which proved successful. A short time after Gregg’s division of cavalry came in sight, driving all detached parties of the enemy. At dark the enemy were confied to their works. At 12 o’clock (midnight) I received orders to attack the works in my front at 4.30 a.m. June 3. At 3.30 a.m., June 3, I moved my brigade out and formed in the place selected in the following order. Seventh New York Heavy Artillery (Colonel Morris), in first line; One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania (Colonel Beaver), Fifty-third Pennsylvania (Captain Dimm), One hundred and forty-fifth Pennsylvania (Col. H. L. Brown), Second Delaware (Major McCullough), Sixty-fourth and Sixty-sixth New York (Col. O. H. Morris), in the second line. One-half of the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania, under Major Forster, was deployed as skirmishers. I directed Major Forster to fall back and occupy the position he then held, as soon as he had driven in the enemy’s outposts. These instructions being given and the troops formed, we awaited the hour of attack. At precisely 4.30 a.m. I gave the order to advance. Colonel Morris moved his regiment, 1,600 strong, forward at once, and after terrific fighting occupied the enemy’s works, capturing about 300 prisoners, 1 color, and a battery of 4 guns. The enemy brought up their reserves and attacked Colonel Morris in his position with great vigor. I now moved the second line of my brigade, and when near the position occupied by the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery, I was wounded and carried from the field insensible. Up to the time I was wounded the assault was successful, and had I been able to keep the field for a short time longer, I am confident the enemy could not have regained their works.
In this battle, and before I was wounded, the officers behaved with a steadiness and gallantry seldom witnessed, and I have learned since that after I was wounded, and the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery were driven back (which occurred a few moments after I was wounded), and before the second line could reach their position, the whole command made three desperate efforts to retake the works, and failing in this they threw up a line of works (under the terrible fire of the enemy, which part of them returned, while the others worked) within a few yards of the enemy’s line. All losses during the campaign were promptly reported at the close of eachaction.
I cannot speak too highly of the services of Col. H. L. Brown, One hundred and forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers (who was assigned to command of Third Brigade on 10th of May), while under my command. Col. James A. Beaver distinguished himself on every occasion, but most particularly at the battle of the Po, May 10, and Spotsylvania, May 12. Col. O. H. Morris, Sixty-sixth New York, also by his bravery and skill contributed in many instances to success. I regret to record his death on the morning of June 3. He fell at the head of his command. To Lieutenant-Colonel Stricker, Second Delaware Volunteers, who fell at Spotsylvania, May 12, belong all honor and respect. Lieut. Col. J. S. Hammell, Sixty-sixth New York, deserves especial mention for gallant and conspicuous conduct on all occasions. Lieut. Col. George A. Fairlamb, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was wounded and captured while gallantly fighting at Spotsylvania, on the 12th of May.
I would respectfully ask the notice of the major-general commanding in the case of Captain Brady, Sixty-third New York, of my staff, who during the entire campaign conducted himself in the most praiseworthy manner: also Lieu[. C. F. Smith, Fifty-third Pennsylvania, Capt. H. J. Smith, and Lieut. Charles P. Hatch, deserve consideration for the gallant and faithful manner in which they conducted themselves.
The loss of the notes taken during the campaign (which were captured by the enemy with the staff officers who had them in charge) prevented me making an earlier report of the operations of the first part of the campaign of 1864. Their recovery at this late date enables me to make this report from them.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN R. BROOKE,
Brevet Major-General of Volunteers.
ASST. ADJT. GEN.,
FIRST DIV., SECOND CORPS.
HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DEPARTMENT,
Baltimore, Md., March 8, 1866.
Respectfully forwarded to Major-General Meade, late commander of the Army of the Potomac.
General Brooke, in describing the operations of his command, does not in some instances coincide with my own reports of the same actions, and I cannot, therefore, approve his report throughout, but he is an officer of such high rank and reputation that whatever he asserts deserves consideration. He gives his reasons within for his long delay in forwarding the report to me.
WINF’D S. HANCOCK,
Major-General, U.S. Volunteers, Comdg. Mid. Mil. Dept.
compiled by Scott Kunkle & Joel Peterson, 1999