The strength of the brigade at the commencement of the action was 1, 837 officers and men, out of which we lost 778, being nearly 45 per cent. of the entire number, showing the terrible fire to which we were exposed. The conduct and bearing of both officers and men were so good under the fatigues of the long and tiresome marches, and so gallant, brave, and steady in action, that it is almost impossible to particularize individual acts. It is enough to say that every officer and man in three command seemed determined to sustain the reputation of the brigade, earned on many a hard-fought field, and how well they succeeded is best shown by the loss sustained. Their members of my staff, Adjt. General J. P. Finkelmeier, Captain George Le Fort, acting assistant inspector-general, and Lieutenants J. A. Smith and [Edward A.], Belger, were very active on the field, and behaved in the most gallant manner, conveying my orders under the hottest fire. Major Finkelmeier and Captain Le Fort were both wounded, and obliged to leave the field before the action was over. The medical department of the brigade was under the supervision of Surg. C. K. Irwin, and all the wounded men bear testimony to his kind consideration and care.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. R. BREWSTER,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain CARSWELL McCLELLAN,
HDQRS. EXCELSIOR BRIG., SECOND DIV., THIRD A. C.,
August 21, 1863.
MAJOR: I respectfully beg leave to submit the following report of the operations of this brigade from July 9 to July 26:
July 9. -Marched from Frederick to a point on the South Mountain, passing through Middletown.
July 10. -General Price assumed command of the division, and we marched to a point near Antietam Creek, passing through Keedysville, and halted near General Meade's headquarters.
July 11. -Moved about 3 miles to the right, in support of the Fifth Army Corps. I was here relieved from command of the brigade by Brigadier General F. B. Spinola.
July 12. -Moved about 2 miles to the front, and remained until the morning of the 14th ultimo, when we relieved a division of the Twelfth Army Corps, ordered forward on a reconnaissance. About noon, having ascertained that the enemy had retreated, we moved forward about 3 miles, and bivouacked for the night.
July 15. -Marched to a point a short distance beyond Sharpsburg, passing through Fair Play.
July 16. -Marched to near Pleasant Valley.
July 17. -Crossed the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers at Harper's Ferry, bivouacking for the night on the Leesburg road.
July 18. -Marched to Hillsborough.
July 19. -Marched to Woodgrove.
July 20. -Marched to Upperville, passing through Snickersville,