War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0318 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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At about 3 o'clock on Tuesday morning I was ordered to mach with all my remaining troops, including even the camp guard, to the river, and cross and join the advance. I did so, and we returned this morning. We were under fire for a few moments, and in a position of great peril all the time. I have had to go through such fatigue and anxiety for the past four days, and had so much to do in arranging what is left of this gallant and unfortunate regiment, that I can only write briefly, and at a late hour, to state the principal facts of the sad story.

All the accounts agree that the conduct of officers and men was gallant in the extreme. The enemy paid them the highest tribute when they permitted our burying party to and the following day.

You will see from the following table that our loss was about 50 per cent;

Officers engaged .............................. 22

Officers safe ................................. 9

Killed ........................................ 1

Missing ....................................... 7

Wounded ....................................... 5

Rank and file engaged ......................... 318

Killed, wounded, and missing* ................. 147

I may add that I was ordered to remain in charge of the camp, and that I was called from attendance on the wounded, who were arriving all night, to form my men for the advance to the other side. I brought all my men back in safety. I shall endeavor to write at greater length by the next mail.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANCIS WINTHROP PALFREY,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Twentieth Regiment Mass. Vols.

To His Excellency Governor ANDREW.

No. 7. Report of Captain William F. Bartlett, Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry.

CAMP BENTON, October 23, 1861.

GENERAL: I have to report that 100 men of the Twentieth Regiment crossed from Swan's (or Harrison's) Island at 3.30 a.m. on Monday morning, October 21, to support the detachment of the Massachusetts Fifteenth and cover its retreat. We climbed the steep bank, 150 feet high, with difficulty, and took post on the right of the open space above, sending out scouts in all directions. The detachment of the Twentieth consisted of two companies, I and D, in all 102 men, under command of Colonel Lee. A little after daylight First Sergeant Riddle, of company I, was brought in, shot through the arm by some pickets of the enemy on the right. At 8 a. m. splendid volley was heard from the direction of the Fifteenth, who had advanced half a mile up the road leading from the river, and soon wounded men were brought back towards the river. We were then deployed by Colonel Lee as skirmishers on each side of the road mentioned, leaving and opening for the Fifteenth to pass through in retreat. They fell back in good order at about 10 a. m. At 11 the other companies of the Fifteenth arrived from the island, and Colonel

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*See report No. 3.

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