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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1864 Report

Appendix F

HEADQUARTERS 5TH VERMONT VOLUNTEERS,
Camp near Lee's Mill, Va.,
April 17, 1862.

Capt. Theodore Read,
A..A. G., 2nd Brigade
Smith's Division.

SIR: I have the honor, pursuant to instructions, to make the following report of the operations of my regiment in the action of yesterday.

Obedient to orders, I marched my regiment in rear of and as a support to the Third Regiment, holding, as directed by my general, my regiment in reserve, covering the road to the left of the open space in which our brigade hospital is established. We held this position until ordered to occupy a position in which our wings would cover both sides of this road. A picket was established in our front. Though many wounded men of the Third Regiment were taken to the rear no call was made upon my regiment to support them, and, indeed, none was asked. Sixty-five non-commissioned officers and privates and three officers, all under command of Capt. Dudley, Company E, were detached as sharpshooters, and, I have reason to believe, did excellent service in picking off men at the enemy's guns and their officers. Two guns were completely silenced, I have been informed, by the shots of these men. This company was relieved by another about 4 p.m., they having fired away nearly all their ammunition. Four companies of my regiment, under command of Lieut.-Col. Grant, were unemployed during the day, they having been upon picket until nearly dark. These, with the company of Sharpshooters, reduced the force with me to only five companies.

Orders were issued about 5 p.m. for my regiment to advance across the field in rear of the Sixth, which was to attack the enemy's position. This order was executed until the Sixth fell in my rear, leaving me in front. A picket guard was established in my front, which was afterwards relieved by one from the Sixth, and at about 10 o'clock p.m. I withdrew my regiment to the camp assigned it by the general, having held without attack the place in front of the enemy which I occupied when the Sixth retired. About dusk I was joined by Lieut.-Col. Grant and the four companies under his command which had been relieved from picket.

My men, though not greatly exposed, with the exception of 130, who were acting as sharpshooters, behaved with coolness, daring, and in an entirely subordinate manner.

I regret I have to report a few casualties, viz., 2 men killed, 7 wounded (of which 2 are dangerously wounded), and none missing.

I am, Captain,
Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
H. A. SMALLEY,
Col. 5th Vt. Vols.

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