hours after it had deserted its post fresh troops arrived upon the towpath, by which it might have been relieved had it remained at its post.
Consequently it became my duty, however disagreeable,to report the fact in precisely the terms that I used. For this report of facts, which as yet remain undisputed, I have been censured in orders. I therefore respectfully request a court of inquiry, as provided in the ninety-second article of war. I beg further to state that I had and now have no desire to cast any aspersion upon any regiment or body of men in the service of the country, much less upon the gallant spirits who rallied to the call of cogswell, or dashed upon the foe with O'Meara; but truth compels me to state that had the men of the Tammany regiment upon the island put forth but a single response to my directions to being a boat form the maryland to the Virginia side of the island, many, if not all, of O'Meara's men now in imprisonment would have been rescued form their perilous position on the Virginia shore to engage against in their country's battles. And the act of desertion by this remnant of the Tammany regiment seemed to me to be the more reprehensible, from the fact that they were fresher troops than any others there stationed, and were called upon to do less of duty and encounter less danger than any others upon the island, and all other troops vied with each other in kind offices to the wounded and ready response to calls for laborious duty in the burial of the dead, the erection of additional field works, and the digging of rifle-pits to render our position more secure. Upon the men of my own regiment, as well as the Twentieth Massachusetts and Captain Vaughan's Rhode Island Battery, I hesitated not to impose any task, and had but to speak to be obeyed; but to intimate, and the work was done, notwithstanding nearly all of them had been for two successive days and nights subjected to constant and fatiguing duty.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
EDWARD W. HINKS,
Colonel Nineteenth Mass. Vols., Commanding First Brigade.
Commanding Corps of Observation, Poolesville, Md.
COLONEL: Three companies of the Second Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Gordon, have been ordered to your assistance, and will report to you after supper. They will take post on this side of the river, and will not cross to the island unless you shall deem it necessary. After dark you will withdraw your artillery and public stores from the island and then proceed to evacuate it, taking post with your regiment on the Poolesville road, out of the range of shot. The Second Massachusetts will remain doing picket duty until further orders.
By order of Brigadier-General Hamilton:
L. H. D. CRANE,
Major Third Wisconsin, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. CORPS OF OBSERVATION,
No. 24. Poolesville, Md., November 4, 1861.
The general commanding has, with deep regret, observed in a report rendered to Brigadier-General Lander by Colonel E. W. Hinks, commanding Nineteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, of that he (Colonel