men, left in charge of knapsacks, my brigade took its full
duty-strength into action.
A list of casualties of the different regiments, prepared with great care by the colonels, I herewith send you, making my total loss 4 officers and 46 men killed; 29 officers and 294 men wounded, and 83 men missing.* Of the latter I have good reason to believe a large majority were either killed or severely wounded.
The position first assigned us on the right of the Plank road subjected us to an enfilading fire from the enemy's batteries on the crest of the hill beyond. Of our loss there I am unable to give an accurate account, from the fact that we did not again occupy that position after crossing to the left of the road. The loss there is principally accounted for among the missing.
I was delayed somewhat in the formation of my double line of battle, on the left of the road, by the constant passing of limbers to the rear and front, and the deep mud along the whole line. As soon, however, as the formation was complete, I ordered the charge sounded, having previously cautioned the command not to fire a gun until ordered to do so by me. The brigade moved forward in as good order as the muddy condition of the ground on the left of my line would admit, until we came upon a body of officers and men lying flat upon the ground in front of the brick house, and along the slight elevation on its right and left. Upon our approach, the officers commanded halt, flourishing their swords as they lay, while a number of their men endeavored to intimidate our troops by crying out that we would be slaughtered,&c. An effort was made to get them out of the way, but failed,and we marched over them. When we were within a very short distance of the enemy's line, a fire was opened on our rear, wounding a few of my most valuable officers, and, I regret to say, killing some of our men. Instantaneously the cry ran along our lines that we were being fired into from the rear. The column halted, receiving at the same time a terrible fire from the enemy. Orders for the moment were forgotten, and a fire from our whole line was immediately returned. Another cry passed along the line that we were being fire upon from the rear, when our brave men, after giving the enemy several volleys, fell back.
It will be impossible for me in this report to mention the many acts of heroism on that bloody field, but it is due the officers and men to state that they performed their duties well, and they need not higher encomiums than to know that their conduct on the field was highly complimented by their division and grand division commanders.
Lieutenant-Colonel O'Brien, One hundred and thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, led the right front; Colonel Frick, One hundred and twenty-ninth Pennsylvania, the left; Colonel Elder, One hundred and twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry, the right rear, and Colonel Gregory, Ninety-first Pennsylvania Infantry, the left, discharging their respective duties creditably and satisfactory, their voices being frequently heard above the din of battle, urging on their men against the terrible shower of shot and shell, and, last but not least, the awful musketry, as we approached the stone wall. Of the conduct of these officers I cannot speak too highly.
Major Thompson, of the One hundred and thirty-fourth;
Lieutenant-Colonel Armstrong and Major Anthony, of the One hundred and twenty-ninth, are entitled to great credit for their efforts and officer-like conduct during the engagement. Colonel Elder received a serious wound
*See revised statement,p.137.