also Major Staples and my quartermaster, Lieutenant Burt, who had volunteered with the Third Maine. They were at their posts and doing their duty. Colonel Whiting was at his post when I left for the second line, and I refer to his report for notice of his field and other officers. They were not wanting. Colonel Dunnel I have previously mentioned. I noticed Major Hamilton trying to rally and encourage his men. I wish particularly to speak of the ready and fearless maner in which my aides, Lieutenants Buel and Mordecai, assisted me.
My brother, Charles H. Howard, gave no little assistance in the midst of danger, and my orderly, John Zantish, followed me closely, fearless of exposure. I shall trust to the commanders of regiments to do justice to the officers and soldier of their commands. The fallen have given their lives, and deserve the highest praise for their good conduct, which is all we can send of comfort to their stricken families at home. The readiness of these soldiers to sacrifice themselves for their country deserved a better result. God grant it be different in the future.
Herewith please find a list of killed, wounded, and missing.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. O. HOWARD,
P. S.-I wish to testify to one thing that I observed on that memorable day and have since ascertained to a greater extent: "The best men in camp are the best in the field."
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.
No. 52. Report of Major Henry G. Staples, Third Maine Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRD REGIMENT MAINE VOLUNTEERS, Clermont, Va.,
July 27, 1761.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operation of the regiment under my command, Third Maine Volunteers, at the battle at Bull Run, Sunday, July 21, 1861. My regiment left camp at Centreville at 2.30 o'clock on the morning of the 21st, with the Third Brigade, under your order. After a tedious march, we arrived at Bull Run, to within half a mile of the enemy's battery. At 2 o'clock p.m. at this place the regiment was halted under cover of the woods in front, to recover from their fatigue. After remaining in this position some fifteen minutes we were ordered into line of battle, and proceeded to engage the enemy. They were marched to the top of the hill, one-fourth of a mile from their resting place, when the enemy's battery opened upon us from the right with terrible effect. The men stood firm in their position, firing in volleys about twenty rounds with good effect, when they retired to the foot of the hill, reformed, and returned to the encounter. Finding we were wholly unsupported, there being none of our troops in sight and no batteries to assist us, we again retired, after a desperate struggle of about fifteen minutes, under a raking fire from the batteries of the enemy. My regiment retired from the field over the plain, in full view of the enemy, in good order, but on reaching the
*Embodied in division return, p.405.