flank, that the First Brigade had given way, and I immediately ordered the Twenty-fifth Ohio, under Colonel Richardson, to wheel to the right in column, and deploy on the double-quick into line facing the approaching enemy. This was done with as much precision as if on parade, and as soon as possible the regiment opened fire,k and remained firm until ordered back.
Its commander, Colonel Richardson, was severely wounded while leading his men with great gallantry. The regiment could not have done more against the greatly superior numbers of the enemy, and it was also prevented from doing as much execution as it might have done by the rush of fugitives through its lines. By the retreat of the First Brigade, the right flank of my regiments in the rifle-pits was exposed to a severe enfilading fire of artillery and musketry, which they bore in their positions until it was evident they must be totally destroyed if they remained. Under these circumstances, they left the rifle-pits and endeavored to form in the rear of the Twenty-fifth, but the rush was so great as to prevent any effective organization for resistance.
From the reports of the regimental commanders, herewith submitted, it will be seen that each regiment of this brigade resisted in their position as long as was possible, under the circumstances. They were all exposed to a tremendous fire of musketry and grape and canister from artillery.
Colonel Meyer, of the One hundred and seventh Ohio, and Colonel Noble, of the Seventeenth Connecticut, were both wounded with their regiments.
Lieutenant-Colonel Walter, of the Seventeenth Connecticut, fell, it is feared, mortally wounded, in the assigned position of his regiment.
Major Stevens, of the Fifty-fifth Ohio, is missing; his fate unknown.
Colonel Lee, of the Fifty-fifth Ohio, is the only commanding officer in the five regiments of the brigade that escaped unwounded.
The retreat from our position was rapid, and it was impossible, among the mass of fugitives, for a considerable time to rally any portion of the brigade, and no organized resistance as a brigade was made again that night, although portions of the different regiments were rallied by me at different points before we reached our camp. In our retreat from the right flank of our position, we found the enemy had swept around in heavy masses into our rear, and a delay of only a few moments would have enabled them to cut us off entirely.
The loss has already been reported to you so far as ascertained.*
You were wounded during the engagement, and one of my staff informed me, by your request, that I was in command of the division, after our troops were in full retreat. I used every possible effort to rally as a brigade, but without success, until we had reached a position within half a mile of General Hooker's headquarters, and I then succeeded in restoring some order, and marched back to the place where we encamped for the night.
My staff suffered severely during the action. Captains [Edwin H.] Powers, [Otto] Weber, and [Oscar] von Meusel were all wounded. The two latter I have not seen since the action, and have no certain knowledge of their fate. They were left upon the field, and are either prisoners or killed.
I can attach no blame whatever to my brigade for the disastrous results of the battle. The manner and force of the attack precluded the hope of a successful resistance, and our position was such that the
* See revised statement, p. 182.