enemy's fire before it broke in confusion, and the most strenuous efforts of Colonel Hawley and its own colonel, assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Hall, of my staff, could not reform or rally it, and this regiment counted as nothing during the remainder of the engagement. The Eighth U. S. Colored Troops formed promptly in position, lead by the gallant young Fribley, but he soon fell, and these men also, losing the stimulus of his command, gave way in disorder. The enemy closed up after these yielding regiments, and brought a close fire upon the artillery, which, nevertheless, was worked by its admirable officers with perfect tenacity and coolness. An unremitting fire was maintained upon the enemy's infantry, with the very best effect. Barton's brigade, close at hand, was now formed on the ground occupied by the Seventh New Hampshire, and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts had replaced the Eighth U. S. Colored Troops a rapid fire was opened, the influence of which was soon visible. The left of the enemy's line was forced backward, and in the hope of still effecting my original intention, the First North Carolina was brought up to the right of Barton's brigade by Lieutenant-Colonel Reed in the most brilliant manner. The entire force was now hotly engaged save the cavalry. Colonel Henry watched the flanks and prevented on the left a movement of the enemy's cavalry that threatened trouble. But the disparity in numbers was too great and the defense too obstinate to permit of decisive results. The struggle continued until dusk, and ended with cheers of defiance, and finding it hopeless, under existing circumstances, to advance farther, the troops were withdrawn in perfect order to Sanderson and then to the Saint Mary's, Colonel Henry's cavalry, supported by the Seventh Connecticut, serving as rear guard. From loss of horses alone, I was compelled to leave six guns on the field, and a small portion of the badly wounded were left in the power of the enemy from sufficient means to remove them.
The losses had been heavy, particularly among superior officers. Colonel Fribley, a young man of high promise, had died in the full performance of his duty, nobly encouraging, his men to theirs. Lieutenant-Colonel Reed was mortally wounded while managing his regiment with conspicuous skill, and his major (Bogle) was severely hurt. Colonel Moore, of the Forty-seventh, and Colonel Sammon, One hundred and fifteenth New York, were both wounded, and Colonel Sammon, although badly disabled, remained with his command until it left the field. Captain Vandeveer, of the One hundred and fifteenth New York, an officer justly held in high esteem, lost his life-one of the greatest misfortunes of the day.
A losing battle receives little praise, but officers and men, nevertheless, often display soldierly qualities far beyond those that are brought out by success. The conduct of Colonel Barton's brigade was glorious, and I cannot too highly commend the pertinacity with which it held to its work. Its commander deserves greatly. Colonels Hawley and Montgomery, also commanding brigades, conducted their troops with great personal intelligence and valor. Besides Colonels Moore and Sammon should be mentioned Major Coan, Forty-eighth New York; Captain Skinner, Seventh Connecticut, and Colonel Hallowell, Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, as meriting more than usual praise for their excellent conduct. Colonel Henry kept his cavalry in constant activity, watching and neutralizing that of the enemy, and by important and gallant
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