War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0245 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

John Smith, Captain Nagle, Captain Clarke, Lieutenant James B. Turner, and other intelligent and brave officers like them are still to the good work.

In the Sixty-third New York Volunteers I have lost, for some time at all events, the services of Major Joseph O'Neill, services ever most promptly and liberally rendered wherever his military obligations or patriotism required them.

Had I time it would be indeed a truly pleasing duty for me to speak, in connection with the Sixty-third, of such officers as Captain Gleeson, Captain Condon, Lieutenants Moore and Brady, and others whom it is now difficult to mention, not having the leisure to speak of them in terms of adequate commendation.

Within the last two months two regiments were incorporated in the brigade. Pennsylvania contributed the One hundred and sixteenth Volunteer Regiment of that State; Massachusetts contributed the Twenty-eighth Volunteer Regiment of the old Commonwealth. The fact that Colonel Heenan and Lieutenant-Colonel Mulholland, of the former regiment, were badly wounded, speaks sufficiently for the intrepidity and metal of the men of which it is composed. When there are such officers there must be staunch men.

The Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, as I have already mentioned, was raised for the brigade, but, owing to some mistake, was kept aloof from it until, by a most fortunate vicissitude of the war, it was restored to us two weeks ago. It is a substantial and splendid accession to the Irish Brigade. It has sinew, heart, and soul. It is commanded by an officer (Colonel R. Byrnes) than whom it would be difficult to find one of superior aptitude for such a command, combining as he does the practical experience and matured capacity of a soldier of some years' standing with the natural qualities which enable one to figure successfully in military life. I have not a word, other than that of unqualified commendation, to bestow on this well-regulated and admirably disciplined regiment. Major Caraher, one of the best of its excellent officers, was wounded in the head.

The chaplains and surgeons of the brigade could not be excelled in their devotion to the wounded. Their services were unremitting and most zealously rendered. Drs. Francis Reynolds, [J.] Pascal Smith, and Laurence Reynolds, with their assistant surgeons, behaved nobly. The first-named officer again vindicated the brilliant reputation he brought with him from the Crimea, and his conduct is all the more deserving of eulogy and gratitude, as a day or two before the battle he had obtained leave of absence, but, greatly to his inconvenience, remained with the brigade rather then be absent from his post at such a time.

A correct return of the killed, wounded, and missing of the brigade has been forwarded to the headquarters of the division.*

I close with especially recommending to the most favorable notice of the brigadier-general commanding the division every member of my staff. Captain W. G. Hart, of the Eighty-eighth New York Volunteers, the acting assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, was active, fearless, and indefatigable throughout the action. Lieutenant John J. Blake, of the same regiment, was not less distinguished for his courage and his energy' but in displaying these qualities on the day referred to, he displayed the courage and the energy which distinguished him in every battle in which the brigade has been engaged. Lieutenant Richard Emmet, also of the Eighty-eighth, astonished all who were the witnesses of his conduct,

---------------

*Embodied in revised statement, p.129.

---------------