bringing them through he narrow channel, and the feeling which led him to land at the head o his men was the prompting of a gallant spirit which deserved to find more imitators.
At the time of Colonel Hoyt's landing great confusion existed in the second and third divisions of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Regiment, and a retreat commenced. It is impossible to discover which boats first led off the disgraceful movement, the occupants of each declaring that others were retreating before they themselves turned.
These divisions falling back in confusion, the One hundred and twenty-seventh shared the general movement, and the whole expedition returned to Paine's Dock.
Colonel Gurney, One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Regiment, commanding Morris Island, who was charge with sending the expedition, did not accompany it, but remained at Paine's Dock. There seems no sufficient reason for this conduct. The presence of a commanding officer when the landing was effected would have been of the greatest service in preventing the retreat. The chief cause of failure was the lack of spirit, energy, and power of command on the part of subordinate officers. In such an expedition the commanders of boats exercise in a great measure an independent authority, while at the same time they are able to hold the men completely under their control. It is on them the main responsibility must rest, and it is plain that many of them were totally unequal to the occasion. Among those who seem to have been most wanting in decision and determination were major Jayne, Captain Weed, and Lieutenants Farr, Moses, and Hollingsworth, of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Regiment, and the confusion in the boats of this regiment could only have arisen from a very lax state of discipline.
The One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Regiment showed more coolness and better discipline; still they not only retreated without proper orders, but were gravely in fault for not obeying the peremptory order of their commanding officer, Major Little (who seems to have done everything that could be done), to land at once. From this censure must be excepted Captain Henry and Lieutenants Little and Abercrombie, who brought their boats to shore and landed. Captain Weston, too, deserves favorable mention. The officers and men of the Third Rhode Island Artillery appear to have behaved well. The expedition was well planned and would have succeeded, had it not been for he absence of the commanding officer and the want of spirit and energy on the part of many of his subordinates.
The major-general commanding regrets that he has felt it his duty to make known the results of investigation into an affair which reflects so little credit on most of those concerned. He had reason to hope that many are heartily ashamed of their conduct, and he trusts it will be a lesson to the whole command, and especially to officers of all grades, how indispensable to the success of the most promising plan is the possession of determination and soldierly spirit by those who are to execute it.
By command of Major General J. G. Foster:
W. L. M. BURGER,