massing all his veteran troops on your right flank, on the 7th of October the enemy drove in the cavalry, with the loss of some pieces of horse artillery, but meeting the steady troops of the Tenth Corps were repulsed with slaughter, losing three commanders of brigades killed and wounded, and many field and line officers and men killed, wounded, and prisoners.
Such is the glorious record of the Army of the James-never beaten in a battle, never repulsed in an assault by a larger portion of it forces than a brigade.
All these triumphs have not been achieved without many loved and honored dead.
Why should we mourn their departure? Their names have passed into history emblazoned on the proud roll of their country's patriot heroes.
Yet we drop a fresh tear for the gallant General H. Burnham-a devoted soldier leading his brigade to the crest of Battery Harrison, where he fell amid the cheers of the victorious charge. In his memory Battery Harrison will be officially designated Fort Burnham.
Of the colored soldiers of the Third Division of the Eighteenth and Tenth Corps and the officers who led them, the general commanding desires to make special mention.
In the charge on the enemy's works by the colored division of the Eighteenth Corps at Spring Hill, New Market-better men were never better led, better officers never led better men. With hardly an exception officers of colored troops have justified the care with which they have been selected. A few more such gallant charges and to command colored troops will be the post of honor in the American armies. The colored soldiers by coolness, steadiness, and determined courage and dash have silenced every cavil of the doubters of their soldierly capacity, and drawn tokens of administration from their enemies; have brought their late masters even to the consideration of the question whether they will not employ as soldiers the hitherto deposed race. Be it so; this was is ended when a musket is in the hands of every ablebodied negro who wishes to use one.
In the present movement, where all have deserved so well, it is almost invidious to name, yet justice requires special gallant acts noticed.
Major-Generals Ord and Birney receive the thanks of the commanding general for the prompt celerity of the movement of their corps, both in time and manner, thereby securing thorough co-operation, although moving over different lines. Their active promptness cannot be too much commended as an example in other operations. To be able to move troops in exact time is quality as scarce as it is valuable.
General Ord received a severe wound while directing the occupation of a captured redoubt.
Brigadier-General Stannard is practicularly distinguished for his gallantry in leading his division in the assault until he lost his arm. The commanding general takes pleasure in recommending General Stannard to promotion for meritorious services.
First Lieutenant C. W. Cook, Twenty-first Connecticut, acting aide to Brigadier-General Stannard, has special mention for distinguished gallantry and is recommended to His Excellency the Governor of Connecticut for promotion.
All commanders of divisions and brigades acquitted themselves to the satisfaction of the commanding general in the fight. The manner of the march of some of their columns can and will be improved.