17th Vermont Infantry
Hon. Joel H. Lucia,
First Lieutenant Seventeenth Regiment
The history of this regiment is a peculiar one. Its birth was almost shrouded in mystery; its infancy and early life a continued struggle for existence. For many months its growth was so slow and precarious as to raise grave doubts whether it would ever attain the dignity of a regimental organization.
Its recruiting was authorized by the government July 2, 1863, and August 3, 1863, Gov. Frederick Holbrook directed that it be raised. The intention was to put into the field a regiment of veterans. Gettysburg had just been fought and won. The Second Vermont Brigade, composed of nine months men, having there won glory and renown and made an enviable record, had recently been mustered out, and it was expected that many of these men, flushed with their great victory and justly proud of the record made, would be eager to enlist in the new regiment. This did not prove to be the case, and recruiting was slow indeed.
October 17, 1863, President Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 men to fill up the regiments then in the field. It was just at that time that Gov. J. Gregory Smith came into office, and with the push, energy and persistency which characterized him in whatever he undertook, with eager patriotism and possibly with the pardonable pride of wishing to put a regiment into the field, he succeeded in getting the orders relating to recruits so modified as to allow them to be put into the regiment then being raised. Nearly every town in the State contributed to its ranks. So cosmopolitan was it that it would be difficult to name a locality from which any one company originated.
The following statement, giving the names of the Captains will be of some assistance perhaps:
Company A--Stephen F. Brown, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, with a few from other parts of the State.
Company B--Andrew J. Davis, Chittenden and Addison counties, together with a few from Lamoille.
Company C--Frank Kenfield, Lamoille and Washington counties, with several from Addison and others.
Company D--Henry A. Eaton, Windsor county principally, but several from other counties.
Company E--George S. Robinson, Washington county mostly.
Company F--Lyman E. Knapp, Windham and Windsor counties, with some from nearly all the others.
Company G--Eldin J. Hartshorn, Caledonia, Essex and Windsor counties, with a few from the other counties.
Company H--Charles W. Corey, Addison county with a sprinkling from the other counties.
Company I--Daniel Conway, mostly Orange and Rutland counties.
Company K--John L. Yale, Chittenden and Washington counties mostly.
Enlistments for the original organizations began as early as August 21, 1863, and ended September 22, 1864. The regiment was mustered into service from time to time, mostly in squads; nearly all of company A, and more than half of B, on January 5, 1864, but it was almost nine months later when the last squad of company K was mustered and that company organized. Parts of company C, D and E were mustered in March, 1864. April 12, 1864, most of F and G, with a squad of H; the balance of H in May, 1864; I, in April, May, July and August, and K in August and September, 1864.
February 10, 1864, a commission as Colonel was issued to Francis V. Randall, who had seen service as Captain in the Second Vermont regiment and had distinguished himself as Colonel of the Thirteenth Vermont at Gettysburg, but he could not be mustered until the ten companies of his regiment were organized and did not join the regiment at the front until October 27, and never had the opportunity of leading into battle the regiment he had worked so long to recruit.
The first detachment, a battalion of seven companies, left Burlington April 18, 1864, under Lieut.-Col. Charles Cummings, who had served with credit in the same rank in the Sixteenth regiment. The organization was further perfected by the appointment of William B. Reynolds, a captain of the Sixth Vermont as Major, James S. Peck, late adjutant of the Thirteen Vermont as Adjutant, Buel J. Derby, late of the Twelfth Vermont as Quartermaster, P. O'Meara Edson, assistant surgeon of the Vermont Cavalry as Surgeon. No Chaplain was appointed, a fact which caused much conjecture. The regiment was fortunate in its officers, field, staff and line. They were men of tried bravery and discretion--brave, not rash--careful of their men, but sparing not when blows were needed. No regiment ever had a more capable, earnest and faithful surgeon than Dr. Edson. Made up as it was, the battalion had not had opportunity for drill and but little for discipline. Its third attempt at battalion drill was on the bloody field of the Wilderness to the sound of the enemy's guns. It reached Alexandria, Virginia, April 22, and three days later was assigned to the Second Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Corps. The brigade consisted of the Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh New Hampshire regiments, with the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Maine regiments and was commanded by Col. Simon G. Griffin of the Sixth New Hampshire. The division by Gen. R. B. Potter and the corps by General Burnside.
The regiment began at once its active service, going almost directly from its rendezvous to the field of battle. April 27, it marched with the brigade for Bristoe Station, stopping for the night near Fairfax Court House; on May 4, to Bealeton Station; on the 5th, crossed the Rappahannock at Rappahannock Station, and on the same day the Rapidan at Germanna Ford. The measles were breaking out in the regiment, which, with the hard marching new to most of the men, so reduced their numbers that only about 400 halted at night on the battlefield of the Wilderness near the Sixth Corps. Ignorant of the extent of the carnage of the first day's fight, as well as of what the morrow held in store, tired, foot-sore, exhausted, they threw themselves on the ground for rest and sleep. Soon after midnight they were awakened, and at 2 a. m. were off, leading the advance of the corps along the Germanna Plank Road, thence to the center of the Union lines, where the division was placed in readiness for a general assault to be made at dawn. The corps failed to get into position for the assault at the time fixed, though Griffin's brigade was in line of battle at sunrise, the Seventeenth having the right of the line, and advanced through woods and open fields until the skirmishers struck the enemy's line and were driven back to the woods. About 9 a. m., the Seventeenth advanced through the pine undergrowth, at times crawling on hands and knees, drove the enemy's line from behind a rail fence and occupied its position. This it held during the forenoon, although disconnected and without support on the right, and until after the regiment on its left had gone back. Here, alone and exposed, it repulsed an attack upon both flanks, holding its position until noon. Several were wounded here, among them Captain Brown of company A., who lost an arm. About noon the brigade moved some distance to the left. A little later, the regiment being on the right of the division line formed in the rear of Hancock's Corps which were holding the line without attempting to advance, was exposed to a sharp musketry fire, when Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings received a scalp wound and was taken to the rear, and the command devolved on Major Reynolds. Captain Kenfield of company C and Lieutenant Marton of company E were wounded at this time. About 2 p. m., Griffin's brigade was ordered to attack the enemy occupying some log breastworks in the wood beyond a swampy ravine. It moved out rapidly and passing over troops lying in front, charged and drove back the enemy's line. Two hundred prisoners, some of them officers, were taken by the brigade in this advance. The enemy attacked the brigade with re-enforcements and it fell back to near its former position, which it held during the remainder of the day and night, throwing up breastworks, and until withdrawn later, without being again actively engaged.
In this, its first battle, the regiment gave undoubted evidence of the possession of the same high qualities of courage, daring, coolness and persistency which had made the First Vermont Brigade so famous throughout the entire army, and had won so proud a name for the Second Brigade at Gettysburg. The official report says: "No colors were advanced beyond those of the Seventeenth in this charge." It is sufficient praise to say that the regiment did its full share of the brigade's fighting, and that its men acquitted themselves on that field in all respects like Vermont veterans. Its losses, ten killed, sixty-four wounded, ten of them mortally, and six missing, a total of eighty out of 313 men, much greater than those of any other regiment in the brigade, show the work to which it was put. On May 10 the regiment moved with the corps towards Spotsylvania Court House, crossing and re-crossing the Ny River. On the 11th, it took up position before the enemy's entrenchments north of the Court House. For three days some of the other corps had been engaged in severe fighting here without definite result or advantage. The space allotted to this sketch will not permit details of each engagement in which the regiment took part; yet it may truthfully be said that in the bloody work of this most unsatisfactory battle, to every call made upon it, whether to hold a position of great danger, to advance in skirmish line or in line of battle, to charge the enemy in open field or behind entrenchments, to repel a charge, to support an assaulting line or column, to silence a troublesome battery, to change position in open field under severe fire, or to check the retreat of a repulsed line, it gallantly and promptly responded, and by its soldierly conduct increased the admiration of its officers and the confidence of its associates. To all this the official reports bear testimony. The regiment's loss here was twelve killed, fifty-eight wounded and two missing, a total of seventy-two out of about 250. Captain Knapp of company F, Lieutenants Gilmore of company A and Kingsbury of company F were of the wounded.
The movement from the vicinity of Spotsylvania Court House to the North Anna began by the brigade on the evening of May 20; on the 23d, Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings resumed command; on the 24th, the regiment, with the brigade, crossed the North Anna and began at once to entrench the position, and were under fire on the 25th and 26th. On the 26th the river was re-crossed and the regiment marched easterly, then southerly until the night of the 28th, when it crossed the Pamunkey at Dabney's Ferry, near Hanover Town. On the 30th it advanced almost to Totopotomoy Creek, and on the afternoon of the next day advanced with the brigade, driving the enemy in front from their works and sending them some distance on the run, its loss being one killed and four mortally wounded. This position was occupied for two days, when the corps was withdrawn towards Cold Harbor. While this was in progress its rear was attacked by a strong force and was in great peril until the divisions of Potter and Wilcox got into position near Bethesda Church and held the enemy in check. Late in the afternoon the division was attacked in the rear, but the attack was met and warded off by Griffin's brigade chiefly. The next day, June 3, Griffin's brigade had the right of corps and held the extreme right of the army near Bethesda Church, and took no active part in the general assault of the morning. In the afternoon, in a movement of Griffin's brigade to support the First Brigade in an assault on the enemy's works, the regiment was on the extreme right and came into open field at right angles with the brigade line and fully exposed to the sharp enfilading fire of the enemy's skirmishers. A part of the regiment was detached and sent to the right to assist our skirmishers and the annoying fire was soon silenced. In front of the line was found a strong rifle pit filled with the enemy, and a masked battery. The brigade, not receiving the support expected on the right, withdrew, keeping up, meanwhile, a rapid fire. The loss of the regiment was one killed, seventeen wounded--five mortally; of these were Captain Davis of company B and Lieutenant Gibson of company D. On the 7th and 8th the regiment participated in the fighting and had two men mortally wounded. Under date of June 8, Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings in his official report says: "During the last 15 days we have been under fire every day but 3, and 2 of these days we were on the march."
June 8 company H, Captain Corey, with fifty-seven men reported to the regiment, increasing its numbers to 235 muskets. On the 9th the corps was moved to a position near Cold Harbor, and here the regiment remained on the front line, constantly under the fire of the pickets and sharp-shooters of the enemy, until the general move to Petersburg. After dark on the night of the 12th, the corps was withdrawn from its position and moved towards the James, which it reached, after a march of 48 hours, on the night of the 14th, with but four or five hours for rest and sleep. Here the regiment halted for 24 hours, waiting for the bridge to be laid and the wagon trains to come up, as rations had run short. At 9 p. m. of the 15th, the regiment once more took up the line of march, crossed the James some distance below Charles City, and pushed on toward Petersburg, making that night the most severe march of its entire service, over roads of deep sand and on short rations. So telling had been the pace kept up through the night that when the halt was ordered for breakfast, not a company of the regiment had more than eight men in line to stack arms, and some only four. A short rest and the march was resumed, and about noon, having covered 22 miles, marching the last few hours to the booming of guns, the regiment was in the front of Petersburg. No time for rest here, for before night, the regiment having changed position several times, was in line of battle with the brigade to support a portion of the Second Corps about to make an assault on the enemy's entrenchments. The line advanced gallantly across the open field, and although fully exposed to the fire of the enemy's batteries, the regiment suffered no loss. That charge was only partially successful, resulting in the capture of two redans, so arrangements were made for Griffin to assault at daylight, with his and Curtin's brigade of the same division. The night was intensely dark and was wholly spent in getting the troops into position for the proposed assault, now crawling over felled timber and through underbrush, then moving a little this way and that, all through the night maintaining the deepest silence, but without sleep or rest. At the first sign of coming day orders were whispered along the line and the men spring to their feet, not a shot is to be fired, the bayonet the sole reliance, and rush forward up the hill, carrying the enemy's skirmish line before them, and are at and over the breastworks before the half awakened enemy is aware whether it is friend or foe that call with so little warning. The charge was successful and resulted in sweeping the line of the enemy for a mile or more and in the capture of 600 prisoners, 1500 stands of arms, a stand of colors, four pieces of artillery, caissons and horses. The colors, two of the guns and many of the prisoners were taken by the Seventeenth. A peculiar coincidence of the affair was that on June 17, the Seventeenth Vermont captured the colors, Adjutant and about 70 men of the Seventeenth Tennessee. The regiment lost six killed and twenty wounded, seven fatally, going into the charge with 135 men. Lieutenant Guyer of company C was one of the killed. The regiment advanced its lines on the 18th and 19th having four men wounded on the skirmish line on the 18th, two mortally, and on the 19th, in the trenches, three killed and two wounded, one of whom died. From that time until July 29 it occupied the advance line which it could only approach by a covered way, close up to the enemy's works and constantly exposed to his fire. The loss during that period in killed and wounded was about one each day. This was the most severe and trying time of its service. Some evidence of its exhausting nature is furnished by the fact that from June 25 to July 21 the number for duty was reduced from 250 to 150, by the loss above states, by the wearing effect of the strain of being constantly under fire, with some sickness, in spite of the return of many who had been sick or wounded earlier in the season.
July 30 that most important affair, the explosion of the mine under Elliott's Salient occurred. The story of the mine has often been told, but seldom fairly. Great injustice has been done General Burnside in the recitals. The gallant corps that made the fight unaided and alone, losing more than 4000 of its men, deserves better treatment considering that affair than historians have accorded it. General Burnside had fixed upon his plan of assault, his troops had been drilled with special reference to its execution, and all his arrangements had been made with that in view. On the evening before the assault he is compelled by his superior officers to change his plan in entirety and in detail and sent out to fight single handed, not his battle, but theirs. It seemed almost the irony of fate, not only that he should have been sent to make the fight contrary to his own better judgment, but that his associates, on the right and left, should have failed to fire even a single gun to attract the enemy's attention while he withdrew his poor broken, bleeding corps, when it became evident to spectator and participant that there was nothing to stay for longer except death. It is some consolation to find that General Grant, too great and just to be opinionated, admitted in his testimony before the committee on the conduct of the war, that he was then of the opinion that if Burnside had been permitted to carry out his own plan, the assault would probably have been successful, and that meant the capture of Petersburg in July, 1864, instead of April, 1865. General Meade does not go so far, but he admits that he may have been mistaken. Of the work of the Seventeenth in that affair little need be said, and no member of the regiment need blush for the part he played that day. Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings had been ill for some weeks and unfit for service, and Major Reynolds led the regiment, numbering eight officers and 120 men. All that the men could do they did, but in vain, and when all was over,
"They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of death,
Back from the out of hell,
All that was left of them."
The loss of the regiment was ten killed, forty-six wounded, eighteen missing, total seventy-four. Major Reynolds, than whom no braver officer could be found in any regiment, was killed while encouraging his men to beat back the enemy. Of the other officers who were with the regiment, Lieutenants Martin of company E, Hicks of company F, Bingham of company G and Converse of company H were killed; Captain Kenfield of company C and Lieutenant Pierce of company D were captured, leaving only one, Lieutenant Needham of company H, to come back from the enemy's lines, and he died a week later from wounds received that day. The fragment of a regiment that remained was divided into two battalions under First Sergeants Judson and Lucia of companies A and H respectively, and Adjutant Peck, the only commissioned officer present except the Surgeon, assumed command, although sick. The regiment numbered hardly more than 100 now present and many of these were under the surgeon's care. It was a sorry time. Peck was soon succeeded in command by Captain Knapp, who was released from detached service that he might return to his regiment, and he in a short time by Captain Eaton, who was also allowed to return and soon after promoted to Major.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings soon after went to Vermont because of his health and Major Eaton continued in command. August 13, company I, Capt. Daniel Conway, with 87 men, joined the regiment. Officers and men began to return to the regiment and September 1 there were 233 present for duty. About the 18th of August the Fifth Corps, occupying the line next on our left was moved to the left to take the Weldon railroad, and our corps moved along to occupy the vacated position. On the 19th Potter's division, with two other divisions of the corps, went to the support of the Fifth Corps that had been attacked. With this aid the Fifth Corps held its position on the railroad and even gained some ground which was enclosed within the Union entrenchments. Two days later the enemy made a desperate attempt to drive the Fifth Corps from its position on the railroad. Potter's division took part in the fighting, the regiment was in line, but was not put in and sustained no loss. For a few days the regiment occupied Fort Sedgwick, commonly called Fort Hell, just opposite the rebel Fort Mahone, which usually was called Fort Damnation, appropriate names for the two.
During most of September the duties of the regiment were of a less dangerous nature, strengthening the works on the line to the left of the Jerusalem Plank Road. Late in the month it was proposed to force back the enemy's right and swing our left in towards Petersburg to get possession of certain roads, and perhaps ultimately to reach the Southside railroad. The junction of the roads aimed at was at Pebbles farm five or six miles south and west of Petersburg. An advance line of Confederate works about a mile in front of this main line guarded the position. The movement was made by General Warren with two divisions of the Fifth Corps and General Parke with the Second and Third divisions of the Ninth Corps. Early in the forenoon, Warren swung his line around, pushing before it the enemy's skirmishers and his advance line, which fell back reluctantly but without stubborn contest. The divisions of the Ninth Corps being in reserve at the right had to march some distance to reach the position assigned them at the left of the Fifth Corps. Shortly after noon the Seventeenth, with Griffin's brigade, had passed beyond the former line of the Fifth, across the field over which that corps had fought earlier in the day and was well around the left of the Fifth as then deployed, and facing north. Through someone's fault the brigade was sent much too far to the left, and after being partly deployed in some woods, was re-called, moved a mile or more to the right, then to the front passing close by the Peebles house, and along the road at the right of the woods. When the line was being formed for the advance, Surgeon Edson requested Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings to send with him a good man to take charge of the Stretcher Corps, who would see that they did not lag behind. Lieutenant Lucia, who had returned on the 28th from a few days stay in the hospital at City Point, and was awaiting the arrival of his commission sent out but recently, volunteered for the duty. It is said that on this occasion the Stretcher Corps and stretchers kept on the advance line steadily abreast with the colors, but were not needed. By one of those inexcusable mysteries, blunders really, so common during the war, a portion of the Fifth Corps failed to be in place, leaving a wide gap over low woodland between the right of Griffin's brigade and the left of the Fifth Corps. Through this gap a large force of the enemy made its way to our rear, and while the brigade was pressing the enemy in front it was savagely assaulted in flank and rear, and at the same time in its front. On the discovery of the force in our rear the order had been given to fall back, but its execution was another thing, and in doing so many of the brigade were killed, wounded and captured. It was here that Lieutenant Lucia, in trying to bring off his little command, lost his left arm. Griffin's brigade having the right of the line, with the Seventeenth its right regiment, was driven back in great disorder. The First Brigade shared a similar fate, as also one brigade of the Third Division. Potter's whole line was forced back more than a mile, losing heavily in prisoners. Near the Pegram house a final stand was made, the broken and disordered fragments of the Ninth Corps were halted, and with the aid of a division of the Fifth Corps, checked the advance of the enemy about dark and permanently held the line. The loss of the regiment was eight killed, three of them officers, forty wounded, two mortally, and twenty-seven missing, nine of whom died in the hands of the enemy, total seventy-five. Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings fell gallantly encouraging his men, and his last order was, "Look out for the colors." Major Eaton, conspicuous there as elsewhere for his coolness, was killed, as was also Lieutenant Tobin of company I. There was a woody swamp and stream to be crossed in falling back, and here, with the confusion into which the troops had already been thrown by the appearance of the enemy in their rear, they became inextricably mixed. Adjutant Peck on his way out, made several attempts to rally the scattered men around the colors. In this he met with some success, and at one point the temporary line so formed retarded the progress of the advancing enemy long enough to enable a section of a battery to withdraw and save its guns. Captain Knapp, after making his way out of the swamp and woods with such members of the regiment as he had been able to collect, found Adjutant Peck with the color-guard and colors and assumed command, and reported the regiment as on duty near the Peebles house, where it remained that night, and the next morning was ordered to a position in the new line which had been formed a half mile to the rear and near the Pegram house. A day or two later Adjutant Peck, with Captain Conway and Lieutenant Norton, were sent to the hospital, and Captain Knapp for nearly a month commanded the regiment, having at first but 84 men, Surgeon Edson being the only other commissioned officer present for duty. October 27, company K, Captain Yales, with 95 men and Colonel Randall joined the regiment. The losses of the regiment in killed and wounded up to this time exceeded by nearly one-third the number it took into its first fight.
October 27 the regiment participated in the movement made by the Second, Fifth and Ninth Corps on the enemy's works at Hatcher's Run. The burden of the fighting fell to the Second and Fifth Corps, and the regiment sustained no loss. The next day it returned to its position on the line. Sometime in November the corps was moved to the extreme right with its line extending from the river to the left as far as Jerusalem Plank Road. Griffin's brigade had the left of this line, and Colonel Randall was placed in command of Fort Davis situated on the brigade's line, with his, the Thirty-first Maine and Fifty-sixth Massachusetts regiments and two batteries, and there all remained until February 11, 1865, when the regiment was moved about a mile to the left where it occupied a position on the advance line until the final breaking up in April. During the winter the regiment took part in frequent skirmishes between pickets, varied with occasional artillery duels between Fort Davis and its neighbors across the field, and lost several men, but was in no pitched battle. In November, Seth W. Langdon was appointed Assistant Surgeon in place of Dr. Spohn, resigned. February 27, 1865, Surgeon Edson resigned and took with him the love and respect of every man in the regiment. In March, J. C. Rutherford, Assistant Surgeon of the Tenth Vermont, was appointed to the vacancy, and he proved a competent and efficient surgeon and worthy successor. In November,1864, Captain Knapp had been promoted to Major, and in December to Lieutenant-Colonel, and several changes and promotions had also occurred in the line. Early in March Colonel Randall went to Vermont on a thirty days' leave, and he returned to the regiment at Burkesville on the day after Lee's surrender. In the final assault at Petersburg the regiment, as always, performed its part well; Lieutenant-Colonel Knapp had command. On the night of April 1, moving out after midnight, the regiment, with the Second Maryland, pierced the enemy's picket line between Forts Sedgwick and Davis and sweeping to the left took it entirely in to the point where the Ninth Corps line joined the Sixth, gathering in about 250 prisoners by the move. It then took position in the rear of Fort Davis ready to join in the assault to be made at daybreak. In the assault, the regiment and brigade, after some fighting and repulse, rallied and forcing the enemy back, then, being in turn forced back, finally obtained so firm a lodgment in the enemy's works that the attempt to drive them out was abandoned. Firing was kept up for some time, but the battle was already won. And thus in a manner worthy of the organization that had so bravely made its first fight, its last was ended. Its loss was ten killed and thirty-nine wounded, five fatally. Lieuts. J. Edson (sic) Henry of company K and C. W. Ellsworth of company B died a few days later of wounds received. The list of wounded included at least five officers; an equal number were brevetted for gallant conduct on that occasion. On the morning of the 3d the regiment passed through Petersburg and took up the march in pursuit of Lee, reaching Burkesville on the 8th. Complimentary orders for our conduct at the assault and now and then official announcements of captures by Sheridan's force or other parts of the pursuing army, assisted in the weary march. On the 9th we moved towards Farmville, but on the receipt of the official report of Lee's surrender, were ordered back to Burkesville. Here Colonel Randall joined the regiment and was put in command of the place. Guarding the town, the immense quantities of captured property and the numerous prisoners, kept the regiment on duty until the 20th, when it joined the brigade and marched to City Point, and thence by transports went to Alexandria, reaching that place about April 30. Going into camp about three miles southwest of the city, it remained, performing guard and patrol duty, taking part in the grand review at Washington, May 23, and having some of its officers and men on detached service at the city, until July 14, when it left for Vermont. Arriving at Burlington on the 18th, the men were welcomed back by the people, cheered with speeches and refreshed with a good breakfast, well served by the good ladies of the place, then marched to the Marine Hospital, where, on the 24th, they were paid off and went to their homes, and the Seventeenth passed into history.
General Griffin, and no one could so well know as he, says: "The Seventeenth Vermont bore an active and honorable part in Grant's Campaign through the Wilderness, in the siege of Petersburg, and in the capture of Lee. It was composed of the best material, and was one of the regiments upon which I could always rely with perfect confidence, however difficult or dangerous the duty to be performed. It was a regiment which reflected great credit upon the State, and one of which the people of Vermont have a right to be proud."
The logic of figures does a seeming injustice to the fair record of this regiment. In the final statement it is shown to have among its gains, "Recruits 232." Of this number, 120 were men who enlisted as substitutes or were drafted and never went to the front. They were never more than paper men, yet the regiment is charged with them and they swell its aggregate.
In officers, its death loss was fourteen, exceeding that of any other Vermont regiment. And its percentage of entire death loss in battle, even including in the aggregate of its men the 120 whose records stands, "Deserted, never joined company," is only exceeded by one Vermont regiment. Considering its period of service, it is a record which tells of duty faithfully performed and one of which any Vermonter may well be proud.
"When can their glory fade?"