It is hoped that the bearing and whole career of this brigade of regular troops during the five days' conflict were of a character to meet the approbation of the major-general commanding the division.
The brigade was not without the ambition of deserving also the commendation of Major-General Thomas, commanding the center, whose experience has been so successful and so long, and likewise of the commander-in-chief, whose uniform success inspired confidence. In fine, the brigade having combatted so well, we need hardly search for examples, but should rest satisfied that there are none to excel it in courageous action and mournful losses.
Of 77 officers with the battalions, 5 were killed and 21 wounded, some mortally; and of 1,366 enlisted men, 90 men were killed and 469 wounded, many mortally, besides 47 missing, supposed to be prisoners. The casualties of the battery were not so great, on account of its position and of its fire dispersing every line of the enemy approaching sufficiently near, at one time completely routing the Second Arkansas [rebel] Regiment, causing it to abandon its colors, which were picked by skirmishers of the Second Regiment Ohio Volunteers before the officers sent for it reached the ground where the regiment was broken; and 22 rebel prisoners were taken during the day.
Captain Guenther's battery, attached, could scarcely have been excelled for the skill and effectiveness of its fire, and the cool, brave conduct of its officers and men. For six days and nights the harness was never taken from the horses either for food or water, the horses being kept patiently on the alert at the pieces.
Appended is a list of the officers killed and wounded, and a consolidated report of the total killed and wounded; also the reports of chiefs of battalions and of the battery. They are admirably drawn, and exhibit more minutely the operations of the particular commands, and are of great interest.
The honor of this brave conduct of the brigade belongs properly to the chiefs of battalions and of the battery, respectively, Majors King, Carpenter, Slemmer, Townsend, and Caldwell; and, after majors King and Slemmer were wounded and Major Carpenter was killed, to their successors, Captains Crofton, Sixteenth, Fulmer, Fifteenth, Mulligan, Nineteenth Infantry, and also to Captain Guenther, commanding Battery H, Fifth Artillery. Great credit is reflected by the good condition of their respective commands.
The brigade staff, Captain Kinney, quartermaster; First Lieutenants Mills, commissary, and Sutherland, Eighteenth Infantry, acting assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, accompanied me into action with the brigade, and performed the duties of carrying orders and all the other duties required of them with courage, zeal, and ability. Assistant Surgeon Lindsly, acting brigade surgeon, and Acting Surgeons Patton and Henderson were actively and zealously occupied at the various hospitals during the whole time. Dr. Lindsly visited at different times the field.
Resting in the hope that this brigade, but recently organized, has displayed in this great battle of five days' duration a career worthy the approbation of the Government and the cause in which engage, I have the honor, respectfully, to subscribe myself, very truly, your humble servant, &c.,
O. L. SHEPHERD,
Lieutenant-Colonel Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, Comdg. Brig.
Major-General LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU,
Comdg. Third Division, Center, Fourteenth Army Corps.