once occupied that position or that of a support or any other than that of an attacking force.
I cannot close this feeble report, sir, without calling your attention to a matter which my sense of duty impels me to mention-the strong, immediate necessity for the strictest, most severe discipline. Had we but had this discipline there would not now be an enemy's foot pressing the soil in the vicinity of our late battle. I am convinced that nothing but the daring courage exhibited by a large portion of our force enabled us to sustain ourselves.
Deeming it a duty also to suggest anything that in my opinion may tend to correct what I regard an evil, I must say that the volunteering system, as far as my experience goes, is an evil, the greater in an inverse ratio as is the term of service short. Be assured, general, that we never can cope successfully with our foe unless we discipline our forces, and that the discipline necessary to perfect our military organizations can never be obtained under the volunteer system. We must have recourse to drafting or conscripting. The scenes, sir, we both witnessed on the 6th and 7th instant, when stragglers would fall from their own lines and, retiring under cover of another line, fire recklessly to the front, must convince you of the justness of my remarks, not in this alone, but the disorders resulting from want of proper discipline were numberless; the most fatal to the consummation of a success so gallantly begun being the lawless spirit of plunder and pillage so recklessly indulged in. While our foe throws down all the barriers of constitutional liberty in his career of oppression and invasion we are fatally lacking in the most important element of resistance; not that I would imitate his example, but our laws are amply sufficient to correct the evil did we but enforce them.
I regret to be compelled to report quite a severe loss in my command. It is as follows: 5 killed on the field, 5 mortally wounded, 1 dangerously wounded, 20 severely wounded, 14 slightly wounded, and 1 missing; total casualties, 45.
My actual force in the field was 144 muskets and 9 officers.
To the gallant bearing of my officers I cannot bear too high a tribute. Ever present until disabled, they rendered most efficient service.
To my assistant quartermaster, Lieutenant Monheimer, is due great credit for the efficient manner in which he kept the battalion supplied with ammunition and took off the wounded.
In the death of First Lieutenant Macbeth, of Company B, I lost a most valuable officer and his country a noble and brave son.
Captain Macmurdo, after conducting his company through both days with singular coolness and bravery, was disabled in the last charge by a severe contusion in the breast from a spent ball.
Captain Fowler and Lieutenants Hyatt and Hardie were severely wounded while gallantly discharging their duty.
Adjutant Price and Lieutenants Bonner and Browne rendered very efficient service.
From the report of Captain Macmurdo, of Company A, I desire to call your attention to the gallant bearing of Privates Harris and North, of his company, who after the color-sergeant was wounded bore the flag of the battalion gallantly in the front until severely wounded.
Lieutenant Price, in command of Company B, mentions with much approbation the brave conduct of Color-Sergeant Doyle and Private Cluff, of that company.
In conclusion, sir, when I reflect that this command had never been under fire before, that they were called on to meet the enemy after a most