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the right of the Berryville and Winchester pike, on open ground in rear of an apparently deep wood. Partly on this open ground, partly in the wood beyond it, the Second Division of the corps was at this time deploying into line of battle. I immediately visited the brevet major-general commanding the corps, and received from him the order which had previously been given me by a member of his staff, viz, to go into position in rear of the right of the second line of the Second Division, as a reserve; to place my command in column of regiments, and to guard the right flank of the army, holding myself in readiness to move promptly in any direction, and particularly to be ready to wheel into line to the right in case the right flank of the army should be assaulted. The division was immediately disposed in strict conformity to this order. The First was made the leading brigade, and the leading regiment of the Second Brigade was placed in echelon to the left of the last regiment of the First Brigade, that the Second Brigade might readily become a second line to the First Brigade should the division be obliged to wheel into line to the right to resist an attack in force on the right flank of the army. skirmish line of infantry from the Sixth Corps retired from the ground the division occupied as it went into position. The commanding officer of this line explained to me the nature of the ground on the right of the division, and added that he had seen cavalry vedettes of our army in advance of any portion of his skirmish line while it was out in that direction. I ordered a strong line of skirmishers out in the direction indicated by this officer, with orders to push far out. This skirmish line was in addition to the flankers put out on the right flank of the division. These skirmishers and flankers were ordered to move forward parallel with the column when it should advance.
All dispositions being completed I rode over to the right to examine the ground in that direction, and was returning when the order to move forward was received. The division moved at the same moment that the second line of the Second Division was put in motion, and within close supporting distance of it. Almost immediately both divisions were in a dense wood. I rode forward very near the second line of the Second Division, that I might be sure to follow that line accurately with the First Division. There was little firing at first, but as I approached the open ground beyond the wood, through which we were passing, the fire became very heavy, and the flight of the enemy's bullets showed that our first line was stoutly opposed. As I passed the outer skirt of the wood the second line of the Second Division began to yell and advance at a double-quick in great disorder toward the wood beyond. In this condition portions of that line entered the second belt of woods. Only a portion had entered, and they had hardly disappeared in the wood before the whole of that portion of the two lines of the Second Division which preceded my division came back out of that woods, flying over the open ground between the two woods in the greatest disorder, having been repulsed, apparently, with more than ordinary effect. My division was at this time moving steadily to the front, but the disorderly double-quick in which the line which immediately preceded it had indulged when charging into the second wood had somewhat increased the original distance between the two lines. Some casualties had already occurred in the column of the First Brigade.
I immediately sent orders for the First Brigade to deploy into line to the right, its leading regiment to rest in the edge of the wood out of which I had just passed, and its regiments to extend themselves
along a line of fence, which was nearly on a line with the edge of this wood, and at the same time parallel with what appeared to be the enemy's 'ine. A moment later I gave this order personally to Brevet Brigadier-General Beal, who had ridden up. The line of the First Brigade, thus indicated and immediately formed in compliance with these orders, maintained its line during the battle. If once or twice some part of it, under the severe fire of the enemy, dropped back from the fence, it immediately resumed its position there under the direction of its officers. It was after I had sent back to hasten the First Brigade to the formation of this line that an aide-de-camp of the brevet majorgeneral commanding the corps rode up to me and exclaimed that "the running away of the Second Division must be stopped." A moment or two later the brevet major-general commanding the corps rode up and said to me, "You must form your line in the edge of this woods," and both of them went off to the left where their presence was greatly required, for the whole line of the Second Division was shaken, that portion in front of me flying in panic. As it would take some moments for the First Brigade to get into line, and as every moment at this time was important, I rode forward, accompanied by a portion of my staff, into the open ground and endeavored to rally the troops of the Second Division, who were flying in so much disorder. It was a hopeless task. Although I had about me at one time as many as three stand of colors belonging to regiments of the Second Division, and though there were near me many officers of high rank (two or three of them colonels), they could not be brought to rally their men, and soon went to the rear with them. Among the troops and officers thus going to the rear I recognized many belonging to the First and Fourth Brigades of the Second Division, and, therefore, from both of the lines of that division.
It was amid such confusion as this, with these runaways breaking through the ranks of its regiments, that the line of the First Brigade of this division was formed. But it was well and completely formed, and in time to meet the enemy, whose line could now be plainly seen issuing from the wood and moving out onto the open ground. The extent of this line of the enemy was plainly visible and was distinctly marked by their battle-flags. While the line of the First Brigade was forming I had sent my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Payne, to find General McMillan, commanding the Second Brigade, to urge him forward, for the single line of the First Brigade was the only infantry force now on the right of the whole army to resist the advance of that force of the enemy that had just driven from the field the two lines of the Second Division. When the fire of the First Brigade stopped the advance of the enemy, I was still more anxious for the arrival of the Second Brigade, that it might be thrown upon the left flank of the enemy's line, which was plainly to be seen. As time slipped away, it became evident that the First Brigade would not be driven from its line, the volume and steadiness of its first fire having convinced the enemy that a strong force was still in their front. The Second Brigade of this division still failed to appear from the direction in which I looked for it, and as I was unable to account for its detention, I left my acting assistant adjutant-general on the line of the First Brigade and went to look for the Second Brigade myself. I found three regiments of this brigade as soon as I entered the main wood, moving through the woods far to the left and somewhat to the rear of the First Brigade. These regiments were surrounded by fugitives from the Second Division and by broken portions of regiments from that division. I ordered the regi 19 R R-VOL XLIII, PT 1
ments halted and marched in the opposite direction, at the same time urging the fugitives about them to join these perfect organizations, in whose ranks they would find an opportunity to fight with effect. I am happy to say that this was done in many instances and good muskets were thus made instantly available against the enemy. One case worthy of mention is that of the colors of the Fourteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, which joined the Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers, and continuing with that gallant regiment, attracted many men to it, whose services were valuable. While thus moving these regiments to the right, with the intention of renewing the attack there, and in the hope of being able to outflank the enemy, I was informed that the regiments had been moved to the left by General McMillan on an order from the brevet major-general commanding the corps, which order had not been sent through me. I knew that the necessity must be urgent which could remove one of my brigades to a different portion of the field without my knowledge. I therefore ordered these regiments to be halted while I went to the brevet major-general commanding the corps. I immediately represented to him that all the force possible should go to the right, as that was the point to continue the attack, and as there was there but the single line of the First Brigade of this division. But the necessity which had caused the Second Brigade to be moved to the left still weighed with the brevet major-general commanding, and their movement to the left was renewed under the eye and direction of their brigade commander. Two of these regiments, viz, the Eighth Vermont and the Twelfth Connecticut Volunteers, were soon sent forward to the front, nearly on the left of the line of the corps. The condition of the Second Division having rendered this distribution of force necessary, all thought of continuing the attack with the First Division was out of the question; the security of the line of the First Brigade alone required attention. Brevet Brigadier-General Beal was directed to protect the right of that line with what remained of the Second Brigade, and at the same time to act as a support to that line. It was supposed that this support would consist of that portion of the Forty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers not engaged in skirmishing and of the One hundred and sixtieth Regiment New York Volunteers; but before the One hundred and sixtieth Regiment New York Volunteers could report to General Beal it became necessary to replace or re-enforce the One hundred and fourteenth Regiment New York Volunteers, which was on the left of the line of the First Brigade. This regiment (One hundred and sixtieth New York), under its intrepid lieutenant-colonel (Van Petten), was ordered to this duty; no more difficult or honorable duty' could be assigned to it. The heroic One hundred and fourteenth New York Volunteers, in its exposed position, had lost over 60 per cent. of its numbers; it required an intrepid regiment to fill such a position.
Under all these circumstances, and through the directions of the brevet major-general commanding the corps, the position of the First Division now became a purely defensive one; it was posted as follows: Three regiments of the First Brigade and one regiment of the Second Brigade in the front line, on the right, in the edge of wood and along the fence above mentioned; two regiments of the First Brigade (one, the Thirtieth Massachusetts Volunteers, a very small one) and a portion of a regiment of the Second Brigade as a reserve to the above line and observing the right flank; two regiments of the Second Brigade on the left of the line of the corps; five companies of a regiment of the Second Brigade were deployed as skirmishers on the left of the command. This disposition of force remained unchanged until the arrival
of General Crook's command in line. I regret to state that the force of skirmishers on the right of the command failed to advance as far from the right of our line as was expected and as would have made them most efficient, and also failed so to follow the movement of the division as to become thoroughly engaged with the enemy. The orders given to this line were obeyed, but not with the enterprise and spirit which should have characterized the obedience. The most important consequence of this failure was that it enabled the enemy to post two guns on our right flank, which enfiladed much of the ground occupied by the division. Activity, dash, and vigor in the management of this large force of skirmishers would probably of itself have driven these guns away or led to their capture. But one attempt was made to use the battery of artillery attached to this division on this ground, and that without effect. The battery-the Fifth New York Independent Battery, commanded by Lieut. John V. Grant-did good service during a portion of the day under the direction of Captain Taft, chief of artillery on the staff of the brevet major-general commanding the corps. On the command of General Crook arriving in line, and when that command should relieve the First Brigade of this division, I was directed by the brevet major-general commanding the corps to remove the troops on the right of the line and to unite my division on what had been the left of the corps line, preparatory to an advance. As General Crook immediately advanced and outflanked the enemy my division could not be united in its new position in time to take part in that advance. I am glad to say, however, that the two regiments of the Second Brigade on the left of the line did participate in that advance and rendered valuable service. Under the brave colonel of the Eighth Vermont Volunteers, that regiment and the Twelfth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers advanced against the enemy at the sight of the general advance of our lines. Colonel Peck, of the Twelfth Connecticut Volunteers, a most gallant gentleman, had been previously borne from the field mortally wounded.
The division was soon united and moved rapidly forward, and while it was in motion I was personally ordered by the brevet major-general commanding the corps, who at this time was near a battery which he had just posted, to take up a position on the extreme left of the army. The brevet major-general commanding the corps at the same time stated to me that he had directed the Second Brigade to move forward to this line, and ordered me to give like directions to the First Brigade. On the way to the left of the lines I was met by the major-general commanding the army, who directed me to report with the division to Major-General Wright, at the same time saying, "or General Getty; he will put you in," and sending with me an aide-de-camp, who conducted me to General Getty. That officer immediately indicated to me the position of his left, General Bidwell's brigade, and directed that my right should connect therewith. General Getty had scarcely given this order when I met Major-General Wright, who directed me to form the division in two lines, and to put it in in prolongation to the left of the lines of the Sixth Corps. These dispositions had just been completed when the brevet major-general commanding the corps came up and directed me to move the division to a stone wall, a few hundred yards in advance of and parallel with the lines then occupied. Here the division remained until dusk, when it was again moved forward to the brink of a small stream, where it went into bivouac for the night on the left of the Second Division,
Such were the operations of the division during the great battle of the 19th of September; they were all that could be wished in its conduct in fulfilling the duties demanded of it; they were unsatisfactory from the circumstances attending its being put into action. No division ever came into action under more unfavorable and disheartening surroundings-it was preceded by two strong lines of the Second Division, being two full brigades, nearly, if not quite, equal in numbers to itself, viz, the First and Fourth Brigades of the Second Division; it camé into action with both of these brigades, or a great portion of both, flying in panic from before the enemy, who were advancing in pursuit of them. So great was the confusion, so numerous those who burst through its ranks, that it was difficult to form the line of the First Brigade. The same disorder prevailed in a sufficient degree elsewhere to make it necessary that orders should be sent to different portions of the division without coming through its immediate commander. The significance of this is obvious; the fruits of it were the usual ones—contradictory orders, i. e., those issued by the corps commander without being transmitted to the division commander, differing from those issued by the commanding officer of the division, and the separation of the brigades of the division. These circumstances could only have occurred, and such orders could only have been rendered necessary by the almost total defeat of the division which preceded it into action. Under all these difficulties not an organization of this division was broken by the enemy (it repulsed the enemy and lost severely in so doing), but it held every position in the line to which it was assigned. I had wished to write this report of the operations of the First Division without referring to other troops or other organizations, but I have not been able to write the truth, which alone is valuable in papers of this character, without speaking freely of the conduct of other troops not under my command, and of the circumstances which affected the division and gave a character to its share in the great battle; it is a duty I owe to the division itself, and to its great number of heroic dead and wounded, including so many regimental commanders; it is only thus that I can show that they fell in important and honorable duty, essential in the conduct of the battle; that it was through no fault of theirs that they were deprived of the glorious and more congenial duty of continuing the attack, a duty which their conduct under the most try ́ing circumstances has shown they would have performed with a vigor which must have earned laurels and distinction. This report must show why it was that in an offensive, attacking battle, to which it advanced in column of regiments as a reserve ready to make that attack decisive, the division was at once reduced to staying a panic, holding a line, to occupying defensive positions widely separated from each other. In performing this duty the losses of the division were severe, but not one regiment of the division faltered. In the case of one regiment, the One hundred and fourteenth New York Volunteers, the percentage of killed and wounded is almost without a parallel in the history of the war. The night following the battle but sixty men were missing from the ranks of the division not accounted for in killed and wounded.
I desire to call attention to the distinguished conduct of Colonel Per Lee, of the One hundred and fourteenth New York Volunteers. He was twice wounded. After the colonel was borne from the field the regiment was commanded by Major Curtis, whose good conduct was conspicuous. Indeed, all the officers of this glorious regiment conducted themselves in a manner which is above praise. Colonel Thomas, of the