(Dam No. 1/Burnt Chimneys), April 16, 1862
Vermont units present/engaged: The data-base is temporarily unavailable
There were no Vermonters awarded the Medal of Honor as a result of this battle.
At Lee's Mill, April 16th, where the other regiments of the brigade received their first baptism of blood, the Second (Vermnont Infantry) was held back as a support, and lost but two men. (Footnote: William Fuller of Co. F., killed outright by a piece of shell, and John H. Savory, Co. B., mortally wounded. He died of his wound two days after. (Source: Benedict, i:101)
If you are interested in helping to preserve a similar piece of America's heritage, please contact one of the partipating organizations in the Vermont Civil War Council.
The engagement known as that of Lee's Mill, was a notable one, as being the first assault on an entrenched line made by the Army of the Potomac, as an exhibition of remarkable bravery in the troops engaged, and as one of the bloodiest actions, in proportion to numbers engaged, in which the Vermont troops took part during the war. It was also one of the most useless wastes of life and most lamentable of unimproved opportunities recorded in this history. (Read further...)
Site of the initial attack made by the 3rd Vermont Infantry
Trenches in the Confederate earthworks.
Parrot gun and ammo wagon.
Additional trenches in the Confederate earthworks.
Newport News, Va., City Park has preserved a good portion of the battlefield, as evidenced by the photographs above. Photographs courtesy of Erick Bush, 3rd-great-grandson of Private Michael Stack, 12th Vermont Infantry and Daniel Westford Sullivan, 1st Vermont Cavalry.
Bravery at Lee's Mills
"Among the incidents of the fight at Lee's Mills, Va., on the 16th of April, 1862, was the recovery from a fever of Sergeant Fletcher, of Company E, Third Vermont, on the sick list, and excused from duty, and the use he made of his temporary health. He crossed the stream and went through the fight; then, on his return, was among those who went back and rescued the wounded. On his return to camp he went into hospital, and resumed his fever, with aggravation.
"John Harrington, a beardless orphan boy, of seventeen, unarmed, went over and rescued out of the rifle-pit a disabled comrade.
"Lieutenant Whittemore commanded Company E. This officer, with his revolver, covered Harrington in his hazardous expedition, and killed several rebels who aimed their pieces at they boy. His most intimate friend in the company, private Vance, had been killed in the rifle-pit. Whittemore, enraged with sorrow, burst into tears, and seizing the dead soldier's musket, stood over him, and threatened death to any who should retreat; and then stooping down, he took cartridge after cartridge from his friend's box, and killed his man with every fire -- raging with a divine fury the while.
"Among the phenomena of the fight was the condition of the uniform of Captain Burnett, of Company K, Third Vermont. It had eight bullet holes in it, one through the collar of his coat, one through the right coat sleeve, one through his pantaloons below the left knee, one through both pantaloons and drawers above the right knee, and four though the skirts of his coat. There was not a scratch upon this man's skin."
(Source: Waite's Vermont in the Great Rebellion, pp 278-9.)