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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1864 Report

Appendix F

HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,
April 20, 1862.

SIR: I herewith transmit the reports of the different regimental commanders of the parts taken by their respective regiments in the action of the 16th. I can heartily indorse the commendations of the different officers and men mentioned by them. The 2d Vermont was held in reserve and was not engaged during the day; hence no report is made from that regiment. In passing, however, through the field, from our right to the left, in which the batteries were placed, that regiment was fired upon and had 1 man killed.

It is with great satisfaction and pride that I feel able to bear testimony to the coolness and daring and general bearing of the officers and soldiers of the brigade throughout the day. The bravery and determination exhibited by those companies that crossed the stream under a most galling fire of the enemy, concealed in rifle pits, are only to be equaled by disciplined veterans or by American citizens who only assume the uniform of soldiers when their country is in danger. In my report of the 18th I made mention of the names of Col.s Stoughton and Lord, as being at the head of their companies in the movement that took place late in the evening; the first a soldier by education, the last a soldier by nature. They fully realized the high anticipations formed of them. Col.s Hyde and Smalley are also deserving of notice for their activity and the dispositions made of their regiments during the day. I beg leave to call attention to Capt. Harrington, 3d Vermont, who commanded the four companies of that regiment, in conjunction with Capt. Bennett, 3d Vermont, that first crossed the stream and took possession of the enemy's works. His report is transmitted herewith.

Although not of my command or under my direction, yet as acting in concert with the brigade, I feel that it is not out of place to express my admiration of the skill and efficiency of the different batteries of artillery under Capt. Ayres' command, and especially of the services rendered by Mott's battery, the first to take part in the engagement. So also of Lieut.s Merrill, Engineers, and Bowen, Topographical Engineers, who were both exceedingly active and bold in their reconnaissances, and, in addition to his proper duties, Lieut. Bowen found time to aid the wounded of the 4th Vermont off the field. In this connection I beg to refer you to Col. Stoughton's report.

Most efficient aid was rendered on the field by Surgeons Janes, 3d Vermont, Chandler, 6th Vermont, as also by Assistant Surgeons Goodwin, Third, and Tuttle, 6th Vermont. The wounded were promptly brought into places of safety, and although the darkness of the night was great, and the ambulance stations remote from each other, the wounded were sheltered and their wounds dressed by 1 o'clock a.m. Assistant Surgeons Shaw and Carpenter, and the former State assistant, Phillips, were unwearied in their attention to them through the night.

In conclusion, I beg to mention the names of the officers of my staff: Brigade Surg. E. E. Phelps, Capt. Theodore Read, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieut. E. M. Noyes, 3d Vermont, aide-de-camp.

Dr. Phelps' services with this brigade may most properly be considered a "labor of love." At first he was delegated by his State to look after the well-being of her children sent to defend the Government, and in furtherance of this object he sought the position he now most faithfully and ably fills. During the action and ever since he has been unremitting in his attentions to the wounded. The labors of Capt. Read and Lieut. Noyes throughout the day were incessant and most useful. The reconnaissance of the enemy's works by Lieut. Noyes was mentioned in my first report. Both of these officers were during the day much exposed to the enemy's fire while in the execution of their duty, transmitting orders, &c. They were distinguished for their coolness under all circumstances. I beg leave to transmit a copy of an order issued by me the day after the action.

Very respectfully,
W. T. H. BROOKS,
Brig. Gen., Commanding Brigade.

Capt. L. D. H. Currie,
A..A. Gen., Smith's Div.,
4th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.

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