War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0314 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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Regiment, under command of Colonel Jenifer, and the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Mississippi Regiments, with a squadron of horse and battery, the whole under command of General Evans.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing cannot be determined, as large numbers of wounded and unwounded were drowned when the boats were swamped as well as in attempts to swim the river during the night, and no reports as yet have been sent to me. The Fifteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts Regiments, Baker's California regiment, and a part of the Tammany regiment lost a large number of men, who wee made prisoners. Colonel Lee and Major Revere, of the Twentieth, and Colonel Cogswell, of the Tammany regiment, are reported missing. Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts, was severely wounded. We have lost two howitzers and one rifled gun belonging to Captain Vaughan's Rhode Island Battery, and a considerable number of small-arms (say 1,500), with equipments. I shall make a further report of the killed that were identified before burial.

I have to report that the remnant of the Tammany regiment, under command of Major Bowe, deserted its post in the entrenchments on the island at an early hour in the forenoon of the 22nd, and passed to the Maryland shore in disobedience of orders, while I was engaged in arranging for the removal of the wounded and the burial of the dead.

I cannot close this report with justice to our troops, who fought valiantly, without commenting upon the causes which led to their defeat and complete rout. The means of transportation for advance in support or for a retreat were criminally deficient, especially when we consider the facility for creating proper means for such purposes at our disposal. The place for landing upon the Virginia shore was most unfortunately selected, being at a point where the shore rose with great abruptness for a distance of some 150 yards, at an angle in many places of at least 25 degrees, and was studded with trees, being entirely impassable to artillery or infantry in line. At the summit the surface is undulating, when the enemy were placed in force, our of view, an cut down our troops with a murderous fire, which we cold not return with any effect. The entire island was also commanded by the enemy's artillery and rifles. In fact, no more unfortunate position could have been forced upon us by the enemy for making an attack, much less selected by ourselves. Within a half mile upon either side of the points selected a landing could have been effected where we could have been placed upon equal terms with the enemy, if it were necessary to effect a landing from the island. My judgment, however, cannot approve of that policy which multiplies the number of river crossings without any compensation in securing commanding position thereby.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel Nineteenth Mass. Vols., Commanding Brigade.

Brigadier General F. W. LANDER.

NOTE. - The fact that the remaining fragment if the Tammany regiment had left the island without orders was construed by the Confederate commandant as a violation of the stipulation that no movement of troops should be made from the island to the Maryland shore while the burying party was employed.


Camp Benton, Md., November 4, 1861.

SIR: General Orders, No. 24, this day received an promulgated to this