Adjutant and Inspector General Reports
On the 18th of April a telegram was received by the Governor from the Secretary of State, stating that in a recent engagement (at Lee's Mills) the troops from Vermont had suffered a loss of thirty-two killed and ninety wounded, and it was desirable, that the wounded should be sent home as speedily as possible, to be attended by their own physicians and their friends, and inquiring what hospital accommodations existed in Vermont, and where. To this a reply was made, asking whether the Marine Hospital at Burlington could be used by the State, and requesting, that the wounded me be at once sent to the State Military AGent at New York, Colonel Frank E. Howe, to be by him forwarded to Vermont.
After a delay of some days, the wounded men not having reached New York, by direction of the Governor I went to Washington, arranged for having the Marine Hospital, at Burlington, turned over to the State, and furnished with a Hospital Surgeon and all needed supplies by the United States, and obtained authority to proceed to Fortress Monroe and send home all wounded soldiers, at Government expense. I proceeded at once to Fortress Monroe, in company with Quartermaster General George F. Davis, and found and sent home, under charge of Gen. Davis, one hundred and fifteen wounded and sick soldiers, and made full arrangements for the future transmission to New York, and thence to Vermont, of all disabled men of the Vermont regiments.
In procuring transportation for these men, collecting them together from the different hospitals in which they had been placed, and obtaining for them needed supplies of clothing, and all articles necessary for their care and comfort in their transit to New York, I was under very great obligations to Hon. John Tucker, Assistant Secretary of War, then at that place, and to Dr. j. M. Cuyler, Medical Director of the Post. By their aid, and kind and thoughtful care, I was enabled to collected together and send away the men, without the slightest unnecessary delay.
The arrangement then made was intended to be permanent, and will be found detailed in Special Order No. 8, (Appendix B.) dated May 7, 1862.
Under this arrangement more than two hundred sick and wounded soldiers were sent from the different hospitals on the Peninsula, and from their regiments, to Vermont, -- most of them to their own homes, where they could receive the kind attention and careful nursing of their friends. Great pains were taken to prevent any abuse of the privilege. Each man was required to report by letter, to this office, each two weeks, his location and condition; and the men were returned to their regiments, from time to time, as they became able to perform duty. THe duties pertaining to the hospital at Burlington were faithfully performed by Dr. Samuel W. Thayer, who was employed by the United States as Hospital Surgeon; and all the men, thus entrusted to the care of the Stated, have been accounted for, either by returning them to service, or by their discharge by the proper office.
But other States partially adopted the same arrangement, and through their defective execution of its details, serious difficulty was occasioned in the public service, and the privilege granted was rescinded. Effort was made for its continuance, but without avail, -- although no complaint was made in respect to the manner, in which the arrangement had been carried out by this State.
Since the termination of this arrangement, the disabled solders from front have been distributed among various United States' hospitals; in many instances their officers are unacquainted with their location; and it became a matter of serious importance, that some system should be devised, by which the location and condition of these men should be known.
Of the men in hospital at Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island, I have received frequent lists from dr. Edwin M. Snow, of Providence, formerly a resident of Vermont, who has manifested great interest in their welfare, and has done much to their comfort. Of those in the hospitals at New York, lists are forwarded, from time to time, by Col. Frank E. Howe, the State Military Agent. Monthly lists of those in the hospitals at Philadelphia are regularly received from Robert R. Corson, the State Military Agent at that city. There were, in the hospitals at Philadelphia, on the 21st of October, 1862, two hundred and seven soldiers from Vermont. These lists are of great importance, in enabling me to give information of the location and condition of the men, both to their friends in Vermont, from whom numerous letters of inquiry are received, and to the officers of the regiments.
But in respect to the hospitals in and about Washington, Alexandria, Georgetown, in Maryland, and at Fortress Monroe, I have no means of information. It would be well that provision be made, by which regular monthly lists of Vermont soldiers in all hospitals, wherever located, should be promptly prepared and transmitted to this office.
While recruiting for the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Regiments was in progress, it was found, that the service was injured by the presence, in the State, and more especially in the northern part, and near the Canada line, of numbers of enlisted men, who were absent from their regiments without authority. Many were in fact deserters; many had come home on furloughs, and had remained beyond the leave allowed them; and some were men who had never been mustered into the United States' service, but had remained at home, for one reason, or another, when their regiments left the State: -- and all had been so long overlooked, that they had forgotten the obligations of their enlistment contract. General Order No. 9 (Appendix B.) was issued July 29, 1862, calling the attention of selectmen of the towns to this evil, and directing them to report all such cases to the proper United States' officer.
This duty has been performed, to a considerable extent, by the selectmen. The necessity for careful supervision, in this respect, has much increased, since the issuing of that order, in consequence of the large number of men enlisted since that time; and it is to be hoped, that the selectmen of every town in the State will cheerfully assume the performance of a duty so essential to the public service.
The regiments in the field, from this State, during the present year, have performed excellent service, having acquitted themselves bravely, whenever occasion required, and have worthily sustained the honor and reputation of the State. The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth regiments have constituted the "Vermont Brigade," under the command of Gen. W. T. H. Brooks, and have participated in some of the severest fighting on the Peninsula and during the recent campaign in Maryland. It is a matter of State pride, that no braver troops are to be found, than those from Vermont.
The SECOND REGIMENT has been under the command of Col. Henry Whiting since its organization. Lieut. Col. George J. Stannard, of this regiment, was appointed Colonel of the Ninth Regiment, at its organization; and Major Charles H. Joyce was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Capt. James H. Walbridge, of Company A, was appointed MAjor. Returns of alterations in this regiment have been received to June 30th. On that day there were in the regiment 965 officers and men, of whome 769 were present for duty. Since that time 246 recruits have been mustered into the regiment.
The THIRD REGIMENT has been under the command of Col. Breen N. Hyde during the year. Lieut. Col. Wheelock G. Veazey having been elected Colonel of the Sixteenth Regiment, Major Thomas O. Seaver has been appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and Capt. Samuel E. Pingree, who was severely wounded in the engagement at Lee's mills, April 16th, has been appointed Major. Returns have been received from this regiment to OCtober 3d. At that time it numbered 804, of whome 405 were present for duty. Of the residue, there were on detached service 90, absent sick 291, prisoners of war 18. There have been mustered into the regiment 164 recruits.
The FOURTH REGIMENT has been commanded by Col. Edwin H. Stoughton since its organization. Lieut. Col. Harry A. Worthen resigned, July 17th, by reason of sickness, and Major Charles B. Stoughton was appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and Capt. George P. Foster of Company G, was appointed Major. Returns of alterations have been received to September 20th. At that time there were in the regiment, as shown by the Roster in this office, 798 officers and men. There have been mustered into the regiment 109 recruits.
The FIFTH REGIMENT was commanded by Colonel Henry A. Smalley until September 10th, when his leave of absence from his command in the regular army was revoked by the War Department. Major Redfield Proctor resigned his commission July 11th, by reason of sickness. Lieut. Col. Lewis A. Grant has been appointed Colonel; Capt. John R. Lewis, of Company I, was appointed Major, in place of Major Proctor, and was subsequently appointed Lieutenant Colonel; and Capt. Charles P. Dudley, of Company E, has been appointed Major. Returns have been received from this regiment to July 15th. In then numbered 859 officers and men, of whom 516 were present for duty. Of the residue, 29 were absent on detached service, 4 absent with leave, 153 absent without leave, 163 absent sick. There have been 90 recruits mustered into the regiment.
The SIXTH REGIMENT has been under command of Col. Nathan Lord, Jr., since its organization. Lieut. Col. Asa P. Blunt was elected Colonel of the Twelfth Regiment; Major Oscar S. Tuttle has been appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and Capt. Elisha L. Barney, of Co. K, has been appointed Major. Returns of alterations have been received to October 1st. There were then in the regiment, as shown by the Roster, 838 officers and men. there have since been 163 recruits mustered into the regiment.
The FIRST REGIMENT OF CAVALRY have participated in all the most severe service in Virginia, and have suffered great hardship and exposure. In every engagement, both men and officers have distinguished themselves for the most daring bravery. There have been many changes, during the year, in the Field Officers of the regiment. Colonel Lemuel B. Platt resigned his commission, and Jonas P. Holliday was commissioned Colonel, feb. 14, 1862. Major john D. Bartlett resigned, and Capt. Edward B. Sawyer, of Company I, was commissioned Major April 25th. Col. Holliday committed suicide, and Charles H. Tompkins, of the U. S. Army, was commissioned Colonel, april 24th. Lieut. Col. George B. Kellogg resigned july 18th; and Col. Tompkins resigned Sept. 9th. Capt. Addison W. Preston, of company D. was appointed Lieut. colonel, and Capt. Josiah Hall, of Company F, was commissioned as major. Returns of alternations in the regiment have been received to August 31st. The regiment then numbered, as shown by the Roster, 852 officers and men. There have been mustered in 200 recruits for the old companies of the regiment; and one new company has been added, numbering 104 officers and men.
The Seventh and Eighth regiments and the First and Second Batteries were sent to Ship Island and have since been stationed at or near New Orleans.
From the SEVENTH REGIMENT returns have been received to June 30th. The regiment then numbered 1004 officers and men, -- of whom 574 were present for duty. Since that time the regiment has suffered severely in the expedition to Vicks burgh, and in the battle of Baton Rouge. From all the reports received, it is believed, that the result of the official inquiry, which has been demanded of the Secretary of War, will show, that this regiment has been subjected to great injustice, in respect to its conduct in that battle. Col. George T. Roberts was killed in the battle of Baton Rouge, and Lieut. Col. Volney S. Fullam soon after resigned. Major William C. Holbrook has been commissioned as Colonel; Capt.. David B. Peck of Company A. has been appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and Capt. Henry M. Porter, of Company G. has been appointed Major.
The EIGHTH REGIMENT has been stationed at Algiers, opposite New Orleans, during the summer, and detachments from that regiment have been stationed at different points in the vicinity. On several occasions these detachments have suffered severely, and especially at Bayou des Allemands, September 45h, where the loss amounted to 16 killed, 20 wounded, and 141 missing, -- among the latter, Capt. Edward hall and Lieut. andrew J. Sargeant, of Company E, and Lieutenants Greene and Mead, of Company G.
Whenever opportunity has offered, the officers and men of the regiment have fully sustained their own reputation for bravery, and the honor of the States. No changes have occurred among the Field Officers of the regiment. Returns have been received to October 15th. It then numbered 767 officers and men, of whom 619 were present for duty.
From the FIRST BATTERY returns have been received to August 31st. It then numbered, as shown by the Roster, 137 officers and men.
From the SECOND BATTERY returns have been received to September 30th. It then numbered, as shown by the Roster, 151 officers and men.
The FIRST COMPANY OF SHARP SHOOTERS have participated in most of the severe fighting in front of YOrktown and near Richmond, and have performed excellent service. Returns from the company have been received to September 2. It then numbers, as shown by the Roster, 75 officers and men; but the effective force of the company has been very greatly reduced below that number by the exposures and hardships of the campaign. Fifty recruits for the company have been raised in the State, and have been mustered in since the date of that return.
The SECOND AND THIRD COMPANIES OF SHARP SHOOTERS have been stationed at and near Fredericksburgh during the greater portion of the summer, and have suffered severely from the nature of the service, in which they have been engaged. The Second Company went into the action of September 17th, at Antietam, with 14 men, and came out with four. There have been mustered 43 recruits for this company.
The Third Company, of the first of August, reported 41 enlisted men present for duty, and 29 absent sick. No returned have been received from this company, since the recent battles in Maryland, in which it was engaged. thirteen recruits have been mustered in for the company.
The NINTH REGIMENT has been stationed at Winchester, va., during most of its term of service, where the men were actively engaged in constructing fortifications. The regiment was captured at Harper's Ferry, at the time of the surrender of that post in September, and paroled, and has been since stationed at Chicago. Returns have been received from the regiment to October 15th, at which time it was numbered 858 officers and men, of whom 653 were on duty, -- but only such duty, as is permitted to paroled prisoners. The regiment is composed of most excellent material, officered by men desirous of doing their whole duty to the country, and its services should not be lost, unnecessarily, a single day. It is hoped, that the measures now in progress, under the direction of the Governor, will result in the speedy exchange of this regiment, and their restoration to the service.
The TENTH REGIMENT was sent to Washington, and is now stationed above that city, on the Potomac. Lieut. Col. Edson resigned; and Major Wm. W. Henry has been commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel. Returns have been received from the regiment to October 15th, at which time it numbered 1005 officers and men, of whom 985 were on duty.
The ELEVENTH REGIMENT was sent to Washington, and is now distributed, by companies, among the different forts near that city. Returns have been received from the regiment to October 15th. It then numbered 1010 officers and men.
The Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Regiments were sent to Washington, and are now stationed at that city.
It will be perceived that, although a sufficient number of men were enlisted in September, to fill the ranks of the regiments in the field, yet that the casualties of the service since that time, have so reduced their numbers that more recruits are required.
The brave men, who peril their lives in the cause of their country, and who have defended to the utmost, at all times, and in all places, since their service commenced, the flag of the Union and the honor of the State, are entitled to ask constant support from home. The recruiting service for those regiments ought not to cease. Towns should fill their quotas and keep them full. A sufficient number of three years' men are now due from the different towns, to fill each regiment to the maximum. The duty to raise the men is plain, and ought not to be neglected, even though the strict quota of the State should be exceeded, and more should be done by Vermont than her exact proportion, as compared with what has been or may be done by other States.
The armament of the State, at the present time, consists of five brass and four iron six pounders, 504 smooth bore muskets, many of them unservicable, 60 Windsor rifles, 934 cartridge boxes, 902 cartridge box belts, 995 waist belts, 830 bayonet scabbards, 10 swords. There is not an organized company in the State.
In the midst of war, with the experience of the past two years before us, I think I may be allowed to recommend that the militia law of the State receive careful attention. The constitutional idea of a militia is, that all the able-bodied men in the State, between certain ages, shall be armed, organized, and to some extent drilled, -- its principal strength consisting in the fact that it is armed and organized. But if, at the present time, this should not be deemed advisable, it would seem that, provision should be made for an active militia, in suitable number, fully armed and equipped, and as thoroughly drilled as militia can be, and for keeping the number at all times full.
The present existing companies of active militia, who have responded to the call of the Commander-in-Chief, should have their organizations preserved. And the commissions, held by various officers in the State, of the old militia of 1842, should be discharged.
The labors of the year, in this department, in their varied character, complications and extent, and their attendant consequent anxiety and responsibility, have been exceedingly severe. Without precedent, or forms, existing at the commencement of the year, the machinery of enlisting men with rapidity, and for the preservation of proper records, has been systemized, necessary instructions for recruiting officers prepared and published, and returns of recruiting officers received and recorded, blanks for descriptive rolls, medical inspection rolls, and pay rolls prepared, the varied wants of enlisted men and regimental officers attended to, companies organized, regiments, assembled, inspected, mustered, paid and sent out of the State, allotments rolls prepared and their execution supervised, commissions prepared, recorded and issued, to the number, during the year, of six hundred and eighty-one, an extensive and varied correspondence attended to, the returns from the regiments in the field received, a Roster of al the troops prepared, and the constantly occurring changes recorded, and information of the changes communicated to the Treasurer, returns of the sick and wounded soldiers in the State, and in hospitals abroad, received and recorded, and forms for procuring the pay of deceased and discharged soldiers prepared and distributed, deserters looked after, two enrolments provided for and the returns verified, town credits ascertained and adjusted, town quotas computed, and all necessary provisions for an actual draft provided and instructions issued.
Early in the year, under the direction of the Governor, I employed the services of a clerk, Henry B. Bradley, of Woodstock; and when the Ninth REgiment was enlisting, I employed another, Charles L. MEad, of Brattleboro. Much of the success of the year is due to the faithful and indefatigable labor, with which these gentlemen have attended to the duties pertaining to the office. By reason of the greatly increased labor, consequent upon the enrolment and draft, and the enlistment of the five regiments of nine months' men, and the short time allowed for its performance, I have also found it necessary to employ temporarily several additional clerks. The necessity for this additional assistance will cease, as soon as the manifold papers, accumulating in the officer during the summer, shall have been put in proper form for preservation and record.
In performing the duties of the year, I have had reference both to their present execution, and to the preservation of the results in convenient form for future reference, as an important part of the history of the State. It is gratifying to know, and to be able to announce, that the entire number of men, required from Vermont, have been promptly raised and sent into the service of the United States, and that full and perfect records of the transactions of the year have been preserved and can at any time be submitted to examination.
PETER T. WASHBURN
Adjutant and Inspector General