War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0323 Chapter XIV. BALL'S BLUFF AND EDWARDS FERRY, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

have learned, boldly held fast to his colors, waved them in front of the line, cheering the men to the defense of their flag.

Of the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment I would particularly mention Captain Browman, who, in addition to gallantry on the field, volunteered to assist the fast companies which formed on the bluffs to cover the passage of the river.

Reports of the Fifteenth Massachusetts and the Fist California Regiments have, I understand, been made direct to your headquarters. No report has been received by me from the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment.

Of my own regiment, the Tammany, I cannot speak too highly, nd would mention the conduct of Captain Alden, who brought two companies into action, drove the enemy back, checked them, and fell nobly doing his duty. Captain Gerety and O'Meara brought their companies in good order to the field after the repulse, and with their brave men held the bluff until long after nightfall, thus saving the command a long time from a murderous fire. In this duty Captain Gerety lost his life and the regiment a most valuable officer. Lieutenant Gillies, who acted as my adjutant and aide-de-camp during the day, performed his duty most gallantly, and gall after the final repulse.

Before closing my report I deem it my duty as commander of the field during the last part of the action to state my convictions as to the principal causes of the untoward results of the day: First. The transportation of troops across the two branches of the river was in no way guarded or organized. There were no guards at any of the landings. No boats' crews has been detailed, and each command as it arrived was obliged to organize its own. No guns were places in position either on the Maryland seed of on the island to protect the passage, although several pieces were disposable on the Maryland shore near the landing. Had the full capacity of the boats been employed, more than twice as many men might have crossed in time to take part in the action. Second. The dispositions on the field, as they might have been without loss, it would have been impossible to dislodge us, and we might have been indefinitely reenforced. As the lines were formed it was impossible ever to bring more than 300 or 400 men into action at a time, and yet from the choice of ground those men not in action were still exposed to fire. The whole brunt of the action fell, as had been pointed out to the commander, on the left and the right, and the reserve could render no service or assistance to their were themselves being shot down at their separate posts.

I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,

M. COGSWELL,

Colonel Forty-second New York Volunteers, Commanding.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE.

No. 9. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James J. Mooney, Forty-second New York Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS TAMMANY REGIMENT,

Camp Lyon, near Poolesville, Md., November 4, 1861.

SIR: I herewith transmit to you a complete report of an engagement with the rebels at a point on the Potomac River, in the State Virginia,