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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1864 Report

Appendix F

Camp Winfield Scott, Va.,
April 17, 1862.

Capt. Theodore Read, A. A. General,

SIR: I herewith beg leave to report in regard to the engagement of yesterday.

At 5 o'clock p.m., in compliance with orders received, the order was given by me to advance for the purpose of carrying the enemy's fortifications by storm. The companies, led off by Companies A and F, advanced fearlessly and in perfect order. The creek, which at the point selected to cross is about 20 rods in width, varying in depth from 2 to 4 feet, was crossed by Companies A and F without firing a shot. In the mean time the succeeding companies of the regiment successively entered the water, gradually forming in line of battle, with a view of taking the rifle pits of the enemy at the point of the bayonet. Before this could be accomplished, and at a distance not to exceed 30 yards from the rifle pits of the enemy, a most rapid, galling, and destructive fire was opened, telling with fearful effect upon the men who were advancing to make the assault.

At this time, seeing that the concerted attack previously arranged to be made by a portion of the 4th Vermont Regiment and the 6th Vermont Regiment under cover of the artillery, must inevitably fail on account of an unexpected fire from the fortifications of the enemy and directed toward the 4th Vermont Regiment, and seeing, also, that the men of my own command were falling under the cross-fire from the enemy's rifle pits at such a rate as would have left only a remnant to charge upon a greatly-superior force and at the greatest disadvantages in relative position, I gave the order to withdraw. The order was reluctantly obeyed, the men displaying throughout a determination to succeed in their undertaking, without regard to loss or disadvantages. The wounded were all recovered, many of them, however, receiving fatal wounds while they were being taken from the water by their comrades.

I report with deep regret the loss of Capt. Edwin F. Reynolds, of Company F, than whom there was no braver or better man.

When all do nobly it were unjust to particularize, but I cannot forbear to mention the heroic conduct of Second-Lieut. Bailey, of Company D, and Second-Lieut. Kinne, of Company I, both of whom were wounded. Sergeant Holton, of Company I, rescued the colors, which had fallen in the water-- the color-bearer having been shot down. Capt. Davenport, of Company H, was seriously wounded in the thigh while bravely leading his men to the attack. Corporal Cox, of Company A, was taken prisoner, but by his adroitness succeeded in effecting his escape. Corporal Duggan and Sergeant Danshee, of Company A, and Sergt. Porter Crane, of Company H, merit all praise for their bravery. With such officers and men the enemy's fortifications can be taken. The colors of the regiment were pierced by eleven bullets.

Accompanying this you will find a statement of killed, wounded, and missing.

Very respectfully,
N. Lord, Jr.,
Col. 16th Regiment Vt. Vols.

Return to theIndex to Appendix F, Reports of Engagements