Lieutenant Parsons, of the Fourth U. S. Artillery, who was in the thickest of the fight near my position all day, is also deserving of the warmest consideration of the Government for the efficient manner in which his battery was maneuvered.
To my staff also everything can be said in their praise. To Major R. L. Kimberly, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers,acting assistant adjutant-general; to Lieutenants William M. Beebe and E. B. Atwood, of the same regiment, aides-de-camp; to Captain L. A. Cole, Ninth Indiana, topographical officer, for intelligently carrying orders and assisting to post troops, under a galling fire, the whole day; to Captain James McCleery, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, acting inspector-general, for assisting to bring forward ammunition even after being wounded; to Harry Morton, Sixth Kentucky, volunteer aide-de-camp, for similar service; to Lieutenant F. D. Cobb, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, acting commissary of subsistence, for keeping me intelligently informed of what was transpiring beyond my immediate vision-all, for unqualified bravery, are deserving,as they have, my warmest thanks, and the consideration of the Government.
Dr. M. G. Sherman, Ninth Indiana, surgeon of the brigade, was acting medical director of the division, and removed from my immediate notice, yet I have reason to call favorable notice to this officer.
Lieutenant J. L. Chilton, Sixth Kentucky, acting brigade quartermaster in the absence of Captain Johnson, exercised great capacity in caring for and keeping from the enemy the train of the brigade.
I am under many obligations to the general commanding the division for the confidence reposed in me in vesting with me the management of so important a portion of the field. By seizing the little crest occupied by my troops early in the morning, not exceeding 2 feet in height, and later the railroad embankment, hundreds of lives were saved, the strength of my brigade doubled, and the position successfully held. This will account for the smaller list of casualties than that of some brigades which did less fighting.
I am happy to report, with some 20 miserable exceptions, no straggling in this brigade.
The casualties of my personnel were as follows: The colonel commanding the brigade was bruised by a ball upon the shoulder, and his horse, was killed; Captain James McCleery, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, acting inspector-general, shot through the leg; First Lieutenant William M. Beebe, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, aide-de-camp, wounded in the head, and horse shot; Captain L. A. Cole, Ninth Indiana topographical officer,slightly wounde in the foot; Orderly [Henry] Diedtrich, sergeant Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, mortally wounded, and horse shot, and Bugler Lehman, Sixth Kentucky, horse shot, and Bugler Lehmann, Sixth Kentucky,horse shot.
Close observation of the conduct and character of our troops for the past few days has confirmed me in a long-settled belief that our army is borne down by a lamentable weight of official incapacity in regiment organizations. The reasonable expections of the country can, in my opinion, never be realized until this incubus is summarily ejected, and young men of known military ability and faculty to command men, without regard to previous seniority, are put in their places. I saw upon the field company officers of over a year's standing who neither had the power to or knowledge how to form their men in two ranks.
On the 2nd instant my brigade was ordered across the river to support Colonel Grose, commanding the Tenth Brigade, then in reserve to General Van Cleve, whose division (the only one on that side of the river) had been vigorously attacked by the enemy. I reached the field about 4 p.m., finding his entire division put to rout. The enemy had been