The valuable assistance and daring gallantry of my assistant adjutant-general, Captain Thomas Rowland, and volunteer aide, Dr. H. J. Davis, deserve my warmest commendations. They three times each during the day traversed the entire front of my line, descending and returning from the road, thus six times running the gauntlet of a most fearful fire.
I am much indebted to Lieutenant E. A. Thorne, ordnance officer for the division, for his devotion and energy. Whatever might have been the duration of the battle, so long as ammunition could have been had I felt sure that my troops would be supplied. After the battle he collected about 2,000 small-arms. Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp [William E.] Broadnax rendered valuable aid.
I should fail in my duty if I did not notice the splendid dash of General Kershaw and his staff. Lieutenant [R. P.] Landry, of Captain [V.] Marin's battery [I believe called the Donaldsonville Artillery], by direction of Captain [Osman] Latrobe, acting adjutant and inspector general, took his piece from behind the epaulement in order to dislodge a body of the enemy upon whom the battery could not play. Most effectually he performed this service, but in doing so lost several of his men, and had his piece disable. His conduct was admirable, for during the time he was exposed to a direct fire of six and an enfilade fire of four guns.
With sadness we mourn the loss of many gallant men, but I will pay a special tribute to the intrepid General Cobb, who fell, mortally wounded, in the midst of his men, while nobly defending our righteous cause. His brigade throughout the day remained at the post of honor in the front line.
Among those who fell, and those of his comrades who lament his loss, there was not one more meritorious than the modest, but brave and manly, Major [J. M.] Kelly, of the Thirty-fifth North Carolina Volunteers. To two of my couriers-Private De Vane, Twenty-fourth, and Private Hood, Thirty-fifth North Carolina Volunteers-I am truly indebted for their devotion, gallantry, and intelligence during the several days.
I herewith inclose a complete list* of the casualties in my division; in the aggregate, 530. The wounded bear a large proportion to the killed.
Before the town there were not engaged, all told, on our part, more than 5,000. It is impossible to estimate exactly the number of the enemy who were opposed to us. From prisoners taken it is certain that all of Sumner's grand division and part of Hooker's was brought against the position. Among these can be named specially Hancock's and Whipple's divisions, the Irish Brigade, and the whole of the regular infantry of the old United States Army, the latter under Sykes.
The enemy's loss in killed must have been very large. Each of the nights of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the enemy bore off large numbers. On Tuesday I walked over the field, and the slain lay in many places piled upon each other. As I understand an accurate count of those buried has been made, I will not hazard an opinion as to the real number killed. The havoc was appalling.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. RANSOM, JR.,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Major [G. MOXLEY] SORREL,
Asst. Adjt. General, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
*Not found; but see Report No. 265, p.659, and Addenda, p.629.