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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports
XIII. MONTHLY RECORD OF EIGHTH REGIMENT VERMONT VOLUNTEERS, FROM FEBRUARY 18, 1862, TO JANUARY 1, 1865.
Head Quarters 8th Regt. Vt. Vols.
Camp Holbrook, Brattleboro, Vt., Feb. 28th, 1862.
The regiment, including the 1st Vt. Battery, were mustered into the United States service, on the 18th inst., and have remained here since that time, drilling. The 2d Vt. Battery, which also belongs to the regiment, was previously mustered in and are encamped at Lowell, Mass.
March, 31, 1862.
The regiment, including the 1st Battery, left Camp Holbrook, March 6th,for Ship Island, Miss., and arrived at New York on the 7th; six companies embarked on board the ship James Hovey, and four companies and the 1st Vt. Battery on the ship Wallace; all sailed the 10th; am having a very rough time; nearly all are sick; have not seen the Wallace since the first day of sailing.
Ship Island, Miss., April 30, 1862.
The regiment arrived at this place on the afternoon of the 6th,--the Wallace arriving a few hours after the arrival of the Hovey--not having seen each other since the first day of sailing; disembarked on the 7th, having been 27 days at sea, with head winds, at times blowing a gale; the men have suffered from sea sickness the most of the way. Private Davis, of co. I, died on the voyage, on board the Wallace, and was buried at sea. The regiment has been quite sickly since arriving here; are much troubled with diarrhea; two have died--Lamb, of Co. D and Walker, of Co. G.
New Orleans, La., May 31st, 1862.
The regiment left Ship Island on board the ship James Hovey, on the 6th, having left the sick, and Chaplain Williams, to look after their interest. Arrived here the 12th, the men having suffered much from being too much crowded, and are badly debilitated, the weather being exceedingly hot. Laid off the mouth of the river two nights, awaiting a steamer to tow the ship to New Orleans. Private Shontell, Co. E, became sick on the voyage and died the 14th. The regiment first quartered in the Union Cotton Press, but moved to the Mechanics Institute, and have been doing the police duty of the city, while a regular police is being organized. Private Victory Rotary, of Co. G, was shot and mortally wounded, while attempting to run the guard. Lieut.-Col. E. M. Brown has gone into the Delta office and is publishing a newspaper. The regiment is moving to Algiers, to-day.
Algiers, La., June 30th, 1862.
The regiment, except Co. D, moved to this place and quartered in the R. R. Depot, on the evening of May 31st; have guarded the right bank of the river and the New Orleans, Opelousas & Great Western Railroad, to Lafourche, at which point three companies were stationed until the 20th, when two returned to Algiers, and the other, (Co. H,) fell back to Bayou Des Allemandes, where a train of cars was kept. On the 22d, Capt. H. F. Dutton sent a squad in, in cars, under command of 1st Lt. Franklin, on a reconnoisance to Raceland. As the cars were emerging from the swamp, which extended seven miles above the station, the rebels, who were in ambush, fired upon them, killing four, and a citizen, the fireman,named Stoots, wounding eight others, including Lts. Franklin and Holton, very severely. The train returned to camp, thence thirty-two miles to Algiers, where the wounded were well cared for by Assistant Surgeon, Gillett, Surgeon Gale being absent without leave. Two other companies were then sent, and relieved Co. H.
Algiers, July 31st, 1862.
The regiment has guarded, during the month, the right bank of the river from the cut-off road, five miles below, to the company canal, 8 miles above the railroad, to Bayou Des Allemandes, thirty-two miles; policed the town, and arrested some thirty prisoners attempting to pass out of our lines. It has been quite sickly this month. Lt. Rand, Co. A, Lt. Child, Co. D, and Lt. Kellogg, of Co. E, have died.
Algiers, August 31st, 1862.
The regiment has done the same guard and police duty they did the past month; have arrested a large number of prisoners attempting to pass our lines to the enemy. The Colonel made an excursion up the river, about fifty miles, with Co. A, Capt. Grout; Co.C, Capt. Foster; a section of artillery, under command of Lt. Morse, of Co. I, and a company of cavalry, Lt. Perkins in command. The enemy were found in small force. Engaged and routed them, wounding and taking some twenty prisoners, then returning took about 2,000 head of cattle, horses and mules, and a large number of sheep. 500 head of the cattle had arrived the night before from Texas, supposed to be on the way to the rebel army. Arrived safely in camp, without the loss of a man, followed by a large concourse of contrabands, 500 at least--making about 3000 now in the camp, protected by the regiment, having marched the last twenty eight hours forty miles.
Algiers, Sept. 30th, 1862.
The regiment have guarded the same territory which they did in August, until the 4th, when the enemy, estimated from 1200 to 1500 strong, made an attack upon Bontee Station, 24 miles from Algiers, capturing the pickets, then laying in ambush until a train from Bayou Des Allemandes, eight miles above, under the command of Capt. J. S. Clark, of Co. K, containing 60 men and one twelve pounder, came down to see that the road was clear, and to protect the up train from Algiers. The train was permitted to arrive opposite the enemy, when they fired upon the men, who were upon platform cars, killing, wounding and taking forty-five prisoners. the cars ran upon a side track, they having turned the switch and put obstructions upon the track, to run the train off and capture it. The cow-catcher cleared the track, and a soldier, who was wounded, seeing the lower switch wrong, jumped from the cars, righted it and got upon the cars, which continued on, meeting the up train about one mile below the station, which would have been captured, but for the information from this down train. Both trains then proceeded to Algiers. The enemy destroying the station and water-tank, and destroying the track and culverts for some miles below, then proceeded up the track towards Bayou Des Allemandes, destroying the track as they proceeded. When near the station they sent forward a flag of truce and demanded a surrender. Capt. Hall of Co. E, being in command, surrendered the garrison, consisting of 137 men, four officers, one twelve pounder, two Ellsworth guns and ammunition.
The trains arriving at Algiers in the afternoon, it was ordered by Maj. Gen'l Butler, that the available force of the regiment, at Algiers, with one section of artillery, should go by cars to Bontee Station, and arrived there at nine o'clock a.m., next day, to meet the 21st Ind. Vols., who were to go up the river by boat. The train started with the troops, as ordered, but when within some ten miles of Bontee, the train ran upon an ox, throwing it off the track, breaking up several cars, killing one man and wounding severely several others. The locomotive could not be got upon the track until near three o'clock -p.m., it then having been ascertained that the road had been destroyed above and Bayou Des Allemandes captured, and as the command could not march to Bontee in a less distance than fifteen miles, which could not be reached before late in the evening, therefore returned to Algiers, to go up by boat, as the most expeditious way to reach there. BUt when going on board of a boat, the 21st Ind. Vols. arrived back, bringing five wounded, whom they found at Bontee, and General Butler ordered the expedition stopped. From Sept. 6th, the regiment guarded the river nine miles above Algiers, and to the cut-off road below; kept two companies at the Company Canal, to which place they kept the railroad open, and captured a large number of the enemy endeavoring to escape through the lines. There are now about 5000 contrabands in camp, to whom the regiment furnishes government rations.
Bayou Des Allemandes, La., Oct. 31st, 1862.
The regiment remained at Algiers until the evening of the 25th, when seven companies, with the 1st Regt. La. Native Guards, (colored) Col. Stafford, all under the command of Col. Thomas, went on board of train, for the purpose of opening the railroad and telegraph communication to Lafourche, and open communication with Brig. Gen'l Weitzel, who had gone up the river with a brigade, via. Donaldsonville. The trains was unable to proceed but twelve miles during that night, the men suffering intensely from the cold, as a severe northern wind was blowing.The train was pushed forward from day to day, repairing the road, until it arrived at Bayou DEs Allemandes, on the evening of the 28th. The enemy had set all the buildings on fire, also the double track railroad brigade, 475 feet long, the fire having progressed too far to be extinguished. Where the track was not destroyed, the train could not proceed, only as the men pulled the grass in advance of it, which covered the rails, the whole command preceding the train for that purpose.
The train was returned to Algiers, the night of the 28th, after timber to rebuild the bridge, and returned the next night. On the morning of the 29th, Co. A, Capt. Grout; Co. F, Capt. Perkins, and Adjt. Barstow went forward to Lafourche, and Adjt. Barstow reported to Brig. Gen'l Weitzel, above Thibodaux, all returning the next morning. The railroad bridge at Lafourche had been set on fire, which they extinguished. On the morning of the 30th, the colored regiment was sent forward to Lafourche, and the companies of the 8th commenced the bridge, which they completed, and went with the train to Lafourche on the evening of the 1st of November, having also built fifteen miles of telegraph, and made other extensive repairs, which were superintended by J. Elliott Smith, military Superintendent of Telegraphs. The command pulled the luxuriant grass from over twenty miles of track, built eighteen culverts, from ten to twenty feet in length, rebuilt what was estimated at four miles of track in detached pieces, rebuilt a bridge 475 feet long, rebuilt the telegraph, drove the enemy from the road and captured seven cannon, in one week, for which they received from Maj. Gen'l Butler a high compliment for "energy and skill."
Bayou Boeuf, Nov. 30, 1862.
Seven companies of the regiment arrived at this point to build the railroad bridge, 675 feet in length, which was destroyed by the enemy, and completed the same in five days, cutting and hewing most of the timber and drawing it from two to four miles.
The prisoners captured at Bayou Des Allemandes, Sept 4th, arrived at New Orleans on parole and were, by order of Gen'l Butler, sent to ship Island, until they shall be exchanged. They are in very bad health; three have died while absent and four soon after arriving at New Orleans. Seven men, who were enlisted at New Orleans, were tried by a pretended court martial and ordered to be shot, because they were liable to the rebel conscription. The sentence was carried into execution, at Bayou Des Allemandes, two days before we re-took the place, and were buried in two graves. Four others, of co. G, were retained at Vicksburg by the enemy, for having deserted from them, to wit: Ryan and Kane, whom they shot, and Sergeant Wills and private Spear were retained as hostages, as they claimed. Wills afterwards returned, but Spear died.
Brashear City, Dec. 31st, 1862.
Arrived at this place from Bayou Boeuf, on the 8th. Having been doing picket duty and drilling. Lieut.-Col. E. M. Brown was discharged from the service on the 23d, having been in the Delta office since in the month of May last.
Brashear, Jan. 31st, 1863.
The regiment moved up Berwick Bay with the command of Brig. Gen'l Weitzel, on the 13th; landed at Pattersonville, and on the 14th was ordered across the Bayou Teche for the purpose of attacking upon that side the gunboat Cotton. It was landed about three miles below, where the navy had already engaged the Cotton, and went at double quick to the scene of action, where the gunboat Calhoun, the flag ship, was grounded, and Com. Buchanan had been killed. On arriving in sight of the enemy in rifle pits, who were within short rifle range of the Calhoun, charge upon them on the run, with tremendous cheers--which were re-echoed by the navy--killing 7, taking 42 prisoners and some 200 stands of arms, the balance of the enemy taking to the swamp, through a field of cane, which hid them from view, at a few yards distance. The regiment now pushed up the bayou after the Cotton, which had retreated until ti came under the fire from the enemy's fort upon the opposite side of the bayou, when it halted to await the coming up of the main army upon the opposite side of the bayou, which was near one mile to the rear. Night having arrived, the regiment bivouacked, building numerous camp fires far beyond the picket line. The men suffered severely from cold, a heavy northern wind prevailing. During the night the cotton came down, having been set on fire, and was destroyed. In the morning received orders to rejoin the command on board boats, which they did, returning to camp without the loss of a man. The regiment received from the officers of the navy, the credit of having saved the gunboat Calhoun; the high approval of Gen'l Wietzel, for "intrepid gallantry," and a complimentary order from Colonel Thomas, who, in his report, made special mention of Capt. Dutton, Co. H, who commanded sixty sharp shooters selected from the regiment. Lieut. McFarland, Co. A, who was upon the skirmish line, and Adjt. J. L. Barstow, for their good conduct on the occasion. The officers and men, with but two or three exceptions, did well.
Camp Stevens, Feb. 28th, 1863.
The regiment marched to Camp Stevens, near Thibodaux, thence to Brashear, thence to Camp Stevens again. The prisoners taken Sept. 4th, 1862, having been exchanged, and returned to duty on the 17th. Lieut.-Col. Dillingham, who has been absent at New Orleans, upon a military commission since the first of October, has returned to duty.
Bayou Boeuf, La., March 31st, 1863.
The regiment marched from Camp Stevens to Brashear City, thence to this place, and are encamped on the right of the army. Capt. John S. Clark, of Co. K, died at the Hospital Hotel Dieu, at New Orleans, on the 20th.
Opelousas, La., April 30, 1863.
The regiment marched from Camp Reno, Bayou Boeuf, to Brashear City, where they went on board of boats, with the 2d Brigade, to which it had been attached; crossed Berwick Bay on the 9th, thence moved forward on the 11th, and on the 12th attacked the enemy strongly entrenched near Bisland, at 4 o'clock p.m., the regiment support Co. A, 1st U. S. Artillery, Capt. Brainbrigde, at the front, the fire of the enemy from their artillery and navy upon the bayou being very severe, until sundown. Our forces then fell back a short distance and bivouacked, moving forward next morning, attacking the enemy and continuing the battle until after dark, then sleeping upon the field. Moved forward the next morning at dawn of day for the purpose of charging the enemy's works, but found they had retreated during the night; pursued them by forced march that day to Franklin, taking a large number of prisoners, ordnance, quartermaster and commissary stores, &c. Loss of the regiment: 1 man killed and 12 wounded. the pursuit was continued to this place, capturing some of the enemy daily, until arrival here.
Port Hudson, May 31st, 1863.
Capt. S. G. Craig, of Co. G, died at Opelousas, on the 4th and was buried in the graveyard. The regiment left Opelousas, with the 2d brigade, for Alexandria, on the Red River, distance ninety-one miles, which it reached in three days', marching thirty-three miles the third day, during extreme head and dust. Thence up the river thirty-eight miles, to the Pine Woods, then returning, for the purpose of going to Port Hudson, arriving there on the 25th, via Simms Port and Bayou Sara. On the 27th the regiment moved forward in line of battle on the right of the brigade, for the purpose of charging the enemy's works, being the third line from the front when the move commenced, but soon went to the front, driving in the enemy's pickets and skirmishers, consisting of two regiments, in our front, killing and capturing many of them, pushing forward through timber, which had been fallen to prevent the approach of troops, and deep ravines, until arriving upon a plateau of cleared land in front of and on a level with their works, varying in distance from their fortifications, from seventy-five to one hundred yards. Here Colonel Thomas, who was in command of the brigade, gave orders to halt and to have the men take cover under the crest of the ravine at the margin of the timber, to await the coming up of the support. Orders were soon given, to hold the position taken. One half the command has been kept under arms during each night, the balance sleeping upon their arms, but frequent alarms has called the whole command into line to repel the attacks of the enemy. The regiment was commanded by Lieut.-Col. Dillingham, and lost on the 27th, in killed and wounded, 88 men.
Port Hudson, June 30th, 1863.
The regiment have continued in the seige of Port Hudson during the month, losing men daily by the enemy, as they are enabled to get an enfilading fire frequently, which it was impossible to prevent, and was engaged in the assault, at down of the day of the 14th. They were moved up a ravine, without protection from the enemy's fire, which was enfilading. The regiment was moved out of the ravine to a slight cover, and ordered to lay upon the ground, where they were compelled to stay in the burning rays of a Louisiana sun until dark, before they could fall back without receiving the fire of the enemy--the wounded suffering intensely. At dark the regiment was withdrawn, and assumed their former position in the seige. The loss was 96 men and two officers killed and wounded, Lt. S. F. Spaulding, Co. B, being among the killed.
Camp Hubbard, Thibodaux, July 31st, 1863.
The regiment continued in the seige at Port Hudson until the 9th, the enemy having agreed upon a capitulation on the evening of the 8th. On the morning of the 9th the regiment marched in with the army and received their surrender, having been in the seige forty-six days, under the enemy's fire forty-four days, having lost men each day, either killed or wounded. The men have become much debilitated, from laying in the trenches without tents or suitable conveniences of washing, short of rations, and without vegetables. On the 9th, the regiment went on board of boats with the brigade, for Donaldsonville. They arrived on the 10th, and were in battle at Donaldsonville on the 13th, but were held in reserve; thence marched to this place, arriving this day.
Camp Hubbard, Aug. 31, 1863.
Remained at this camp during the month, recruiting the men, drilling and doing picket duty.
Tarleton Plantation, La., Sept. 30, 1863.
The regiment left Camp Hubbard, Sept. 1st, proceeded to Algiers, embarked on board steamer Cahawba, with sealed orders, which, when opened, as directed, in the Gulf, directed the proceeding to Sabine Pass, Texas. Arrived there on the 6th, and without disembarking, returned to Algiers, arriving there on the 11th--the steamers Sachem and Clifton, with their crews, having been captured; thence to Brashear City, on the 15th; thence to this place.
Barricrowquet Bayou, La., Oct. 31, 1863.
The regiment marched from the Tarleton Plantation, driving the enemy up the Bayou Teche, via Vermillionville, Opelousas, to this place, skirmishing with the at several points and taking several prisoners.
New Iberia, La., Nov. 30, 1863.
The regiment moved back again from Barricrowquet to this place. On the way some of the army skirmished.
New Iberia, La., Dec. 31st, 1863.
The regiment remained at this place. HAve guarded the town and have had very heavy picket duty to perform. The men have suffered much from the extraordinary cold, stormy weather, making alternately frost and mud.
Franklin, La., Jan. 31st, 1864.
Some 330 men of the regiment re-enlisted as veterans at New Iberia, on the 5th,when there was snow upon the ground, mixing with the mud, which was very deep in the camp, and a northern wind blowing a gale, so that it was with the utmost difficulty that the men could endure the severity of the weather. General Emery, who was in command at the time, on learning the fact the next morning, issued an order, commending the regiment for their patriotism in re-enlisting under such unfavorable circumstances "in a Louisiana camp, with the snow and mud knee deep during such sever weather." and recommending the regiment to the favorable consideration of Major General Banks, for "their zeal in the cause of their country." Moved from New Iberia, on the 7th, arrived at Franklin on the 9th, and fitted up winter quarters.
Franklin, La., Feb. 29th, 1864.
The regiment has remained at this place during the month, drilling and doing picket duty. Col. Thomas arrived with300 recruits from Vermont, who were duly assigned to the several companies.
Algiers, La., March 31st, 1864.
The regiment arrived at Algiers from franklin. have made muster-out rolls, and the veterans have been re-mustered in and are preparing to go home on furlough. Many of the recruits are sick, undergoing acclimation to the camp and climate.
Montpelier, Vt., April 30th, 1864.
The Veteran portion of the regiment embarked on board the steamer Continental on the 8th, arriving at Montpelier on the 16th, and the men were furloughed on the 18th, for thirty days,--having been received at New Haven, Ct., by the city authorities, and welcomed to the city, where a fine collation was served to the regiment. The regiment was received at Montpelier by a special committee of citizens, who welcomed them home and gave them an excellent supper, which was served by the ladies, greatly to the satisfaction of the regiment. The non-veterans and recruits of the regiment were left at Algiers, under the command of Major J. L. Barstow, to be perfected in drill.
On board steamer McClellan, at Sea, May 31st, 1864.
The veteran portion of the regiment assembled at Brattleboro, on the 18th, there waiting six days for transportation, when they left for New York, thence sailing on the steamer McClellan. Private Wheeler, of Co. F, was knocked from the top of the cars, severely wounded, and left at Springfield, Mass.
Morganzia, La., June, 30th, 1864.
The veteran portion of the regiment arrived at New Orleans, on the 3d., where they were rejoined by the newly enlisted men from Camp Hubbard, the non-veteran portion being under orders to proceed to Brattleboro, Vt., under command of Major Barstow, to be mustered out of the service, and sailed on the 5th. The regiment embarked on board a steamer and arrived at Morganzia at 9 o'clock p.m., on the 11th, and were ordered to remain on board and proceed to Waterloo, and arrived three at daylight next morning, to drive guerrillas who were reported to be there. The order was obeyed, but no trace could be found of the guerrillas, and the regiment proceeded to Morganzia, and went into camp. On the 19th, embarked on boats with one division; proceeded up the river to Tunica Bayou, landed, took several prisoners, re-embarked in the evening, proceeded up the river to Fort Adams, Miss., arriving at daylight, the next morning landing, remained until evening, and being unable to find the enemy, re-embarked and returned to camp.
Camp near Frederick City, Md., July 31, 1864.
The regiment left Morganzia on the 2d, arrived at Algiers, on the 3d. Embarking on board steamer St. Mary, sailed under sealed orders the evening of the 5th, which, being opened in the Gulf, ordered the regiment to report at Fortress Monroe; arrived there on the 12th, and was ordered to report at Washington; arriving on the 13th, in the afternoon, proceeded to Tennallytown and bivouacked. On the 14th marched twelve miles, bivouacked at Rockville, men being very foot-sore. 15th, marched twelve miles, bivouacked at Poolsville, Md. 16th, marched to Leesburgh, Va., twenty-five miles, forded the Potomac at White's Ford, guarded the town, and on Sunday, 17th, by orders from the General, searched every building in town and arrested every man capable of bearing arms. On the 18th, marched twenty-five miles, guarding the wagon train through Snickers Gap, bivouacked late at night. On the 20th, moved forward, fording the Shenandoah, passing through Snickers Gap, marching all night, arriving at Leesburgh at daylight next morning, and halted to make coffee--having marched and countermarched since the previous morning, thirty-four miles, short of rations and without meat. Continued the march to Goose Creek, thence crossing Chain Bridge, encamped near Georgetown, Md., on the 23d. On the 26th, marched twenty miles, to Hyattstown. The 27th, marched to Monocacy, twenty miles. In the evening of the 28th, moved forward, guarding the wagon train. Halted to make coffee at daylight next morning, then moved forward, bivouacking at 4 o'clock on the mountain at Harper's Ferry; thence to Halltown, Va., arriving at 11 o'clock, a. m., and received orders and marched at once, without dinner, having been upon half rations of bread without meat, for three days. Marched until 4 o'clock next morning and halted, made coffee, then proceeded to three miles beyond Frederick City, Md., and bivouacked. The men have suffered intensely from the extreme heat, want of rations and sore feet.
Halltown, Va., Aug. 31st, 1864.
August 4th, moved from near Frederick to Monocacy. Same night took cars for Harper's Ferry; arrived next morning, went on to the mountain and encamped. On the 6th moved to Halltown; thence, on the 10th, to Berryville. On the 11th marched and countermarched skirmishing with the enemy. On the 12th, marched, via Middletown, to near Cedar Creek,--smart skirmishing. On the 13th, went out as grand guard on the Front Royal Pike. On the 15th, at 11 o'clock, p.m., received orders and marched for Winchester. Arrived there at daylight next morning. On the 17th, at 4 o'clock a.m., marched to Berryville, thence on the 18th, to Summit Hill, manoeuvering night and day with the enemy, and arrived at Halltown on the 21st, and fortified. On the 28th, moved upon the enemy, bivouacked near Charleston, and fortified, the enemy being near at hand.
Harrisonburg, Va., Sept. 30th, 1864.
Marched from Camp near Charles Town. Encountered the enemy near Berryville. At once fortified extensively and substantially, working day and night, the enemy being near, the pickets encountering them frequently. On the 19th, at 2 o'clock a.m., moved out of camp with the army. First encountered the enemy at Opequan Creek--the engagement soon becoming general and severe. Passing through a piece of woods n line of battle, Co. F, Capt. Smith, was thrown forward as skirmishers. Here the color bearers of the 14th N. H. Vols with their colors were found and placed in line by the side of those of the 8th. Arriving at the opposite margin of the woods, a temporary halt was made, and two companies--Co. D, Capt. Getchel, and Co. K, Capt. Ford--were, by the order of Brig. Gen'l McMillan, sent to the right, to fill a space beyond the right of the ridge. The balance of the regiment was sent to the front, with the 12th Ct. Vols., to relieve Molineux's brigade, and took the position designated, in an open field, the enemy occupying the woods in front, from which they had a short time before driven the 2d division, under brevet Maj. Gen'l Grover, which was within rifle range, their musket and artillery fire being very heavy.The position was held for near three hours, and until the 8th corps, under Maj. Gen'l Crook, was seen near a mile at the right, charging down upon the enemy, when the 8th, with the 12th Ct. Vols, under Capt. Clark, without orders from the General, under command of Col. Thomas, moved forward at double quick, charging and driving the enemy from the woods, which they had taken from the 2d division, re-taking that gallant and brave officer, Lt.-Col. Babcock, commander of the 75th N. Y. Vols., who had been mortally wounded; halted at the further margin of the woods, where Cos. D, F and K rejoined the regiment, and Gen'l McMillan, brigade commander, arrived. The enemy were in force about four hundred yards to the left, behind a rail fence. the regiment was wheeled to the left, firing deadly volleys upon them, and they soon took flight. The balance of the brigade here came up, and the regiment, with the 160th n. Y. Vols., Lt.-Col. Van Pitten, charged and drove the enemy from behind a stone wall. Here large numbers of the enemy's dead and wounded were seen at the rail fence, where the regiment had fired upon them; and there the 14th N. H. Vols. cam up and their colors, which had been side by side with those of the 8th during the whole afternoon, were given up to them. The pursuit of the enemy was continued until dark, when the regiment bivouacked and received the congratulations of Brig. Gen'l McMillan and the Colonel for its gallant conduct. Loss during the day: 8 killed and 30 wounded, including Lt.-Col. H. F. Dutton, who was wounded early in the action.
The Colonel, in his report of the battle, apologized to the General for leaving the position to which he had been sent with the regiment, and, with the 12th Ct. Vols., charging forward upon the enemy in violation of orders,--the cause for which was the withdrawing of the enemy's fire from the regiment and its being turned upon the 8th corps, who were moving upon their left.
On the morning of the 20th at 4 o'clock, a. m., moved forward rapidly, bivouacked near Strasburg, on the 21st moved upon the hill to the right of Fort Banks, on the right of Strasburg, and engaged the enemy; on the morning of the 22d, at 4 o'clock, moved into the woods, fortified under the fire of the enemy, and at about 4 o'clock p. m. commenced the charge, routing the enemy and driving them, amid great shouting from Fishers Hill; continued the pursuit all night, arriving at Woodstock before light in the morning. During the pursuit, being at the front, in the darkness came upon the enemy, who opened fire with musketry and artillery, which was soon silenced. Loss: one officer and three men wounded. Arrived at Harrisonburg on the 25th and encamped, having pursued the enemy each day and skirmished with them most of one day, near Newmarket, when at the front, supporting the artillery; moved up the valley to beyond Mount Crawford, thence back to this point.
Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 31, 1864.
Moved from Harrisonburg on the 6th, arrived at this place on the 10th, fortified, remaining until the morning of the 19th, when firing was heard at the camp of the 8th corps, who were on our left, and at the extreme left of the army. The regiment was at once in line of battle, numbering 140 men and 16 officers,-the balance of the effective strength being on picket; moved at once with the brigade, to the left, towards the Pike, and were soon ordered by Brevet Maj. Gen'l Emery to take position in a piece of woods left of the Pike, on the left crest of a ravine, being on the left of the brigade. The order was obeyed at once, facing towards the 8th corps. Skirmishers were thrown forward, and when going into position large numbers of the 8th corps were met, running panic stricken to the rear. The skirmishers were soon driven back, and the enemy cam up rapidly in overwhelming force, flushed with the victory over and rout of the gallant 8th corps, whom they, were driving in great confusion, but were stopped by the fire of the regiment and brigade, until they flanked the brigade on the right and left and pierced the center through a deep ravine, when it fell back and attempted to stop the enemy in the ravine at the margin of the woods, when they again flanked the regiment, shot down the color bearer and engaged hand to hand; falling back to the Pike another attempt was made to stop the enemy, but with the same success as before, and fell back from point to point, checking the enemy, until the balance of the division was reached, about one and a half miles from the right of the camp, and there halted, under the fire of the enemy from our guns, which they had captured. A further retreat of about one and a half mile was made, when the whole army came to a halt, it now being between 9 and 10 o'clock a.m., and the report was that Maj. Gen'l Sheridan had arrived from Washington, which caused great cheering. Here 1st Lieut. Henry Carpenter, Co. F, arrived with the pickets. The army here came to the right about and commenced to advance upon the enemy, fighting and charging upon them from point to point, taking many prisoners, and making a perfect rout of them,--the regiment, with the brigade, returning in the advance into the camp, which the corps left in the morning, before dark, as the enemy left the other side; resting for a short time for the men to make coffee, they not having had anything to eat during the day, then pursued the enemy to Strasburg, went on to the hill far to the right of the town, thence back to Fort Banks and bivouacked, the men suffering severely from the extreme cold many of them without blankets and all without tents or fire. After driving the enemy the next day from and beyond Fishers Hill, commenced to return to this place. Col. Thomas being in command of the brigade, the regiment went into the fight under command of Maj. J. B. Mead, who was wounded in the early part of the action and left the field, when Capt. McFarland took command. The loss of the regiment during the day was, 1 officer killed, Lt. Cooper, and 12 wounded--Capt. Hall, Co. E, and Lt. Cheney, co. K, mortally, and 14 men killed and 95 wounded or taken prisoners. Most of the loss occurred early in the morning on the left of the Pike, where 13 out of the 16 officers were killed or wounded. The regiment and brigade were unsupported while on the left of the Pike, but checked the enemy sufficient to enable the withdrawal of most of the army and wagon trains, except the 8th corps. Although the position was destructive to the regiment and brigade, it was beneficial to the army.
Col. Thomas, in his report, made especial mention of the regiment, and of Capts. McFarland and Franklin, recommending the latter to be breveted major.
Camp Russell, near Newtown, Nov. 30th, 1864.
Moved from Cedar Creek on the 9th, on the 11th engaged the enemy near Newtown and put them to flight, commenced very heavy and substantial fortifications, and are preparing the winter quarters.
Summit Point, Va., Dec. 31, 1864.
Marched from Camp Russell at 4 o'clock, p.m., on the 20th, arrived at Summit Point, at 10 o'clock a.m., on the 21st, amid a severe snow storm, having gone a circuitous route and marched twenty-five miles; commenced winter quarters next day, which were soon completed, and are building stockades and block houses upon the lines of the railroad and have guarded five miles of the road.
Co. 8th Vt. Vet. Vols.