War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0332 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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and the First Minnesota Volunteers, under Colonel Dana, the same line on the left, the regiments between the bluff and the river were silently withdrawn and transferred to the boats as they arrived. Next, the regiments outside the line of the bluff were withdrawn, the artillery with its support, the Andrew Sharpshooters, and (as fast as flat-boats could be secured) the cavalry with their horses. Finally, when none remained excepting the outlying pickets and the two regiments, sufficient boats were secured along the bank to receive at once all that remainder, and the pickets were rapidly withdrawn by the left and right and marched to the boats. The delicate and responsible duty of calling in these pickets was admirably performed by Captain Charles Stewart, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant Gourand, Van Alen Cavalry. I should also mention in this connection Brigade-Surgeon Bryant, of Lander's brigade, who accompanied me through the day, making all necessary arrangements for his department, and at night performed most valuable service in transmitting with rapidity and exactitude many of my orders.

The pickets having been recalled and placed on the boats, the Sixteenth Indiana and First Minnesota were withdrawn from the bluff, formed on the river bank, and embarked, and at about 4 o'clock a. m. on the 24th the last boat containing troops pushed from the Virginia shore, not an accident having occurred in the entire operation. Having seen what appeared to be the last of the command safely afloat, I was pulled in a row-boat, under charge of Captain Williams, Seventh Michigan Regiment, up and down the river lo inspect the shore opposite the lines which we had occupied, and being satisfied that not a man or horse had been left behind, I crossed the river and reported at headquarters near Edwards Ferry.

I beg leave to record my high sense of the bearing of the troops, and especially of the First Minnesota Volunteers and the Sixteenth Indiana, whose steadiness and coolness could not have been greater had they been the first instead of the last to leave the ground. General Abercrombie and Colonel Dana were indefatigable in heir labors, and displayed the same coolness and self-possession which they have long since shown in other campaigns, and which here insured the quiet and successful embarkation of all. Colonel Grosvenor, Seventh Michigan Volunteers, remained long after his regiment had passed over, aiding in the embarkation. Colonel Patrick, thirtieth Pennsylvania, crossed with the main body of his regiment had passed over, aiding in the embarkation. Colonel Patrick, Thirtieth Pennsylvania, crossed with the main body of his regiment, and returned to await the calling in of the pickets, because one of his companies was on that duty and he would not leave the Virginia shore until the last of his men had crossed. Dr. James s. Mackie, of the State Department, who had rendered me most valuable service as volunteer aide-de-camp for several days previous, placed me under renewed obligations by his active and intelligent services on this night. Major John Mix, Van Alen Cavalry, again proved himself a most valuable officer. Although he had been almost continually in the saddle for the preceding forty-eight hours, his labors were through the night incessant and effective. General Gorman speaks highly of the services of Lieutenant Foote, quartermaster Second New York State Militia, in managing the boats; and I am informed that Quartermaster Goff, of the Van Alen Cavalry, was peculiarly active and useful in the same service.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac.