Adjutant and Inspector General Reports
Troops in the Field
Ninth Infantry Regiment
The NINTH REGIMENT, at the date of my last Report, were stationed at Yorktown, Va. They remained there until the 24th of October, 1863, suffering in the mean time, very severely from malarial disease incident to the locality, -- so severely, indeed, that at one time, of 350 present, there were but 36 privates for duty. On the 24th of October, the regiment sailed for Newbern, N. C., where they arrived on the 29th, and were ordered to Newport Barracks, at the junction of the coast mail route, from Beaufort to Wilmington, with the railroad, where they were stationed, performing garrison and picket duty, with ten detached companies of artillery and cavalry, -- Col. Edward H. Ripley, of the Ninth Regiment, commanding the post.
On the 12th of November a detachment of 100 men went on a reconnoisance to Cedar Point, N. C., a distance of20 miles, returning o the 15th. On the 2d of December the regiment suffered a severe loss in the death of Major Charles Jarvis, who died of wounds received in a slight skirmish, in which he was endeavoring to capture a rebel party. He was one of Vermont's most patriotic and self sacrificing sons, and his loss was painfully felt in the regiment and State.
On the 24th of December, Col. Ripley, with a portion of the regiment, accompanied Col. Jordan, with a portion of the 158th N. Y. Vols. And two gunboats, in an expedition down the coast, which resulted in the destruction of extensive Salt works, and the bringing in of many negroes.
On the 31st of January the regiment, in company with the troops in the sub-district of Beaufort, under Col. Jordan, started on an expedition for Onslow County, N C., and returned, after an arduous march, through deep mud, of 75 miles, having captured one lieutenant and 27 privates, with much valuable property.
On the 2d of February, the enemy made an advance upon Newport with about 2500 infantry, 8 to 12 pieces of artillery, and about 400 cavalry; first attacking upon the Barracks. At the time the outposts were attacked, the recruits, who had then recently joined the regiment, were unarmed, and the regiment numbered less than200 muskets. Arms were obtained for the recruits, before the attack was made upon the Post, and they were hastily instructed how to load, and, with pockets filled with cartridges, were taken out upon the skirmish line, -- which was the only line that, from the open nature of the country and the immense superiority of the enemy, could be opposed to them. A gallant resistance was made, and the position was held until nearly dark, when the regiment was compelled to fall back over the bridges and burn them, to avoid capture, and retire, by the way of Beaufort to Morehead City. In this affair the regiment lost two lieutenants and 64 men killed, wounded and missing. Most of the missing were recruits, who, being cut off from the rest, and unacquainted with the country, were unable to escape. The regiment on this occasion, was commanded by Capt. Kelly, of Company B, Lieut. Col. Barney being in command of the Post, and Col. Ripley having just left for Fortress Monroe with prisoners and despatches for Maj. Gen. Butler. The regiment, being re-inforced, returned to Newport Barracks on the 5th of February.
The reports of the affair, by Lieut. Col. Barney, will be found in Appendix C.
On the 16th of March Major Amasa Bartlett died. He had just received his promotion, and had exhibited unusual ability in his new rank. Hiss loss was severely felt in the regiment.
On the 26th of April, Captain Kelley, of Company B, with 29 men, captured the fishing party of six men on Bogue Bank, sent out by the rebel Commissary Department, and destroyed valuable property; and on the 29th, with 40 men, he dashed into Swansboro', capturing a Lieutenant and 16 men, with horses, arms, boats, and a large quantity of Government stores.
On the 20th of June the regiment marched, with other troops, upon an expedition into the interior, with a view of cutting the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. The expedition proved fruitless, and the regiment returned, after an absence of a week, having marched 75 miles and back. On the 11th of July, four companies, under Major Brooks, were ordered to Newbern and assigned to duty at the various outposts; and during the ensuing ten days, the residue of the regiment followed them to that place.
On the 31st of August, the regiment was ordered to Bermuda Hundred, to participate in the more stirring events of an active campaign. They arrived there on the 15th of September, and were assigned to the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, of the Eighteenth Army Corps; and on the 17th they were joined by 170 recruits, making an effective strength, of men present, of nearly 875.
The regiment left their camp at Point of Rocks about 1 A. M. on the 29th of September and crossed the James River, at Aiken's Landing, about day break, and then advanced about four miles, to Chapin's Farm (Chaffin's Farm), where the brigade, consisting of the Eighth Maine and Ninth Vermont, was ordered to charge one of the enemy's works. The Eighth Maine having become entangle in a swamp, the Ninth Vermont charged alone, over half a mile, over uneven ground covered with fallen timber and a thick growth of underbrush and carried the work, capturing two guns and about fifty prisoners. The enemy were also driven from a line of rifle pits connecting the captured fort with other works. The regiment was under fire the entire day, and every man, including the recruits who had joined the regiment but a few days previously, behaved with the greatest courage and gallantry. The Ninth Regiment has proved itself worthy of being numbered with the other gallant representatives of Vermont. I annex in Appendix C, the Report of Major Joseph C. Brooks of this engagement.
The casualties were, -- Killed, 7; Wounded, 38; Missing, 13; Total, 58. I annex, in Appendix C, the Report of Col. Ripley, covering the operations of the year, to Sept. 1st.
The changes and casualties in the regiment, during the year, have been as follows: -- Transferred to Invalid Corps, 24; Discharged, 22; Deserted, 10; Died, 58; Total, 109.
The following Table shows the condition of the regiment at the several data specified:
A B C D E F G H I Sep. 30, '63 Yorktown, Va. 529 263 255 2 - 9 - Oct. 31, '63 Newport, N. C. 516 282 220 13 - 1 - Dec. 1, '63 " 506 282 212 11 - 1 - Dec. 31, '63 " 499 297 183 16 2 1 - Feb 1, '64 " 844 684 142 13 1 4 - Feb. 29, '64 " 876 675 192 7 - 2 - April 1, '64 " 866 707 147 2 - 10 - May 1, '64 " 875 740 121 2 - 12 - May 31, '64 " 864 656 189 13 2 4 - June 30, '64 " 858 708 130 14 - 6 - Sep. 1, '64 Newbern, N. C. 863 688 156 9 - 10 -
Legend:A - Date
B - Station.
C - Aggregate
D - On Duty
E - Sick
F - Absent with Leave
G - Absent without Leave
H - In arrest or confinement
I - Prisoner of War
Eighth Infantry Regiment Tenth Infantry Regiment