New York, Colonel J. H. Hobart Ward, and the Fortieth New York, Colonel Riley, the other two regiments of this brigade having a mile back from the field been detached to join General Emory. The
Thirty-eighth New York was the regiment that, sent for by me, charged down the road and took the pits and abatis in flank. Colonel J. H. Hobart Ward has already been noticed as one of the "bravest of the brave." He reports that "Lieutenant-Colonel Strong certainly deserves mention for his gallantry. It would be unjust to mention any one line officers before another where all behaved so well. This regiment lost 128 men on the 21st of July last at Bull Run." This day there were 9 officers killed and wounded out of 19 in the regiment that went into action.
The Fortieth Regiment, Colonel Riley, performed noble and efficient service. Colonel Riley with great spirit held the right wing with half his regiment after the Thirty-eighth and half the Fortieth had been withdrawn to act under my personal direction. The part of the Fortieth acting on the road against the central pits and abatis charged down the road into the plain, passed beyond the enemy's flank, and drove off by their severe fire several pieces of artillery brought expressly against them. Fortune favored them.
The battle on the left of the line was a series of assaults by the enemy and repulses and onsets by ourselves,the fresh re-enforcements of the enemy continually tending to outflank us. General Berry was ever on the alert, and by good arrangements and personal example influenced the ardor of all around him. His regiments fought most desperately. Their loss attests it. They acted partly in the woods to the left of the road and partly in carrying the abatis. It was one of them, Colonel Poe's Second Michigan, more directly under my control, which maintained the key-point to our position. Two of its companies led off with the first success of the day whilst covering the artillery. Colonel Poe had already won a reputation in Western Virginia. He was a distinguished officer of the Union States Army before taking command of this regiment. I especially notice him for advancement. His talents, his bravery, his past services merit it.*
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The principal loss on the left of the other two regiments (the fourth of the brigade, Third Michigan, Colonel Champlin, having been detached with General Emory), serving more immediately under the eye of General Berry, was very severe. Colonel Hayman, commanding the Thirty-seventh New York, on the extreme left, was charged with guarding against the enemy turning our flank. This duty required vigilance and pertinacity.*
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Colonel Terry, commanding the Fifth Michigan, was principally engaged in carrying rifle pits (a redoubt) in the woods. His loss is the highest on the list of killed and wounded.*
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In closing this supplementary report on the location and merits of individual regiments it is proper to include, although not attached to my command, General Grover, who, with an untiring courage, while most of his men, having been relieved by our arrival, were taking the merited respite after their long hours of severe fighting, still brought up into line alongside of us several hundred volunteers, who followed his example, encouraging them to the fight.
*Casualty lists omitted are embodied in return,p.450.