War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0103 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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a in the diagram, in which case the rope marked fff would become entirely useless.

In spite of the earnest entreaties of all the officers present, namely, the engineers of the Eighth New York, and others who were at the time constructing another raft near by, he persisted in having his own way, covering his ignorance by his own presumed superior knowledge. Lieutenant Sprandel, of the staff of General Blenker, who was commanded to assist Captain Schulz and myself in transporting the troops, informed him that if he insist in his mode of conveyance, which he was sure would lead to the death of many men, he should be compelled to leave, as he could not assume any of the responsibility thus incurred. Still he persisted. Lieutenant Sprandel left in disgust, not being satisfied to become a willing witness to the scene that he had predicted was bound to follow such a foolhardy undertaking.

General Bohlen commanded Companies I and K to be conveyed across. After there had been more than 70 persons aboard and the boat began to draw water, Lieutenant Winter, my unfortunate brother, protested against having more men aboard, as the boat could not carry, the men already in it; but still General Bohlen ordered several more, about 7 or 8, to go aboard. No precaution was taken to draw the boat on the opposite shore, and when within 20 yards of its destination the boat remained permanently fixed, drawing more and more water, and was expected to go down at any moment.

Quartermaster Weik now ordered the men to draw the boat on shore on the rope which was tied on the tree. Several experienced boatmen that I had employed told him that it was impossible to draw the boat on the shore upstream, as this would run the boat under water. Not willing to take advice or listen to the experience of others, and in spite of all protestations, going even so far as to order the men to keep their mouths shut, he called on Captain Wyck, of Company K, to command his men to draw upon that rope. The order was obeyed; but no sooner was it done when the bow was drawn under water, the boat careened, and swamped. The scene that followed beggars description. Not much help was to be done, and the greater part of the men swept away by the rapid current of the Shenandoah.

The loss, as far as known, consists of: Company I, Lieutenant Winter and 22 privates; Company K, Captain Wyck and 24 privates; Captain Wilson, commissary of Third Brigade; one pioneer of Company A; one servant of Lieutenant Shindler, Company K. Total, 51 men.

Under these circumstances I would respectfully ask that the Department appoint a court of inquiry to investigate the matter and to determine the cause of the mishap.

Respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Captain Company I, Seventy-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols.


No. 89. Adjt. General 's Office, Washington, April 23, 1862.

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VIII. Brigadier General C. Grover, U. S. Volunteers, is assigned to duty in the Department of the Rappahannock, and will report without delay to Major-General McDowell.

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By order of the Secretary of War: