I would also bring to your notice for gallant and meritorious conduct Sergt. Henry O. Ripley, the color-bearer of the regiment, whose daring and gallantry won for him the admiration of all-thirty-one bullet holes being put through the flag and the staff shot off from his hands. His color guard all being killed or wounded, he waved his flag defiantly in the face of the enemy.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Captain Fourth Maine Volunteers.
Captain JOHN M. COONEY,
Numbers 146. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin
L. Higgins, Eighty-sixth New York Infantry.
HDQRS. EIGHTY-SIXTH REGIMENT NEW YORK VOLS., August 5, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that at 6 a. m. July 2 my regiment left camp with 268 men for line of battle, and moved with brigade to take position in line, which position was obtained about 7. 30 a. m. behind a stone wall, with the Twentieth Indiana on my right and the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York on my left. After remaining inactive until 10 a. m., I was ordered by General Ward to send forward a sufficient body of men, under charge of a commissioned officer, to demolish all stone walls and fences in our front to the Emmitsburg road. I immediately sent Captain Baker, of company G, with 35 men on that duty. At about 11 a. m. Captain Baker returned, and reported his mission accomplished. About 12 m. I received orders (which I immediately obeyed) to march my regiment to the right by the flank until I cleared the stone wall, then move to the front in line of battle, retaining the same position in reference to other regiments of the brigade as when first formed in line of battle. After advancing about half a mile to the middle of a wheat-field, and halting, we were ordered to march the regiment by the left flank, which we did to the summit of the hill near the extreme left of our line. The line was formed, the regiment still retaining its relative position with the Twentieth Indiana and the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York. My regiment, excepting the left company, was in the woods, in which position i remained inactive until about 4. 30 p. m., when the enemy commenced shelling us, and our skirmishers began to be driven in followed by a large force of the enemy in line of battle. At this time I was ordered to commence firing. We held our position here, keeping up active firing, for about fifteen minutes, when we were ordered to advance. This was done promptly for about 50 yards, when we were ordered to halt and commence firing. In this position my regiment remained actively engaging the enemy for about half an hour, when, being wounded, I was obliged to leave the line, the major succeeding me in command. The regiment was then ordered to about-face and march to the rear,