of the infantry left here this evening, and the remainder will go early in the morning. The artillery will get off in the morning on boats that will go through. No provision need be made for it.
T. S. BOWERS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
November 3, 1864.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor herewith to return the letter of Honorable A. W. Randall, dated September 30, 1864, and statement of Lieutenant George E. Albee, Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, in relation to an order issued by me concerning the loss of the colors of the Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Regiment in battle. Those communications were referred to me by you for a report on the 4th of October. The Eighth New York Artillery, One hundred and sixty-fourth New York Volunteers, and Thirty-sixth, Wisconsin, August 25, Major-General Gibbon, commanding the division to which those regiments belong, published a general order (copy herewith marked A*), depriving the regiments named of the right to carry colors, until, by their conduct in battle, they should show themselves competent to protect them. General Gibbon, in doubt as to his authority to issue such an order, referred his order to me through his corps commander, Major-General Hancock, for confirmation. There being nothing in the indorsements of Major-Generals Hancock and gibbon on the order which led me to suppose that the regiments had been improperly deprived of their colors, but, on the contrary, believing that the approval of the order by me was desired and expected, I issued the general order (copy inclosed marked B*). As my order was based solely on the order published by General Gibbon, and as in his detailed report of the 30th ultimo upon the subject herewith, he does not ask for a revocation or modification of my order, in justice to him I feel constrained to adhere to the order. At the time my order was issued, as my attention was not specially called to any other cases that those mentioned in the order, I overlooked the fact that other regiments had been reported as having lost their colors at Reams' Station. In transmit herewith, for the information of the Department, all the papers tht have reached me upon the subject of the order in question. My action in the matter will fully appear from my indorsement of September 29, 1864, upon the letter marked C,+ addressed by Major-General Hancock to Lieutenant Colonel T. S. Bowers, assistant adjutant-general, headquarters Armies of the United States, and my indorsement of October 16, 1864, upon the letter marked D, addressed by Captain George A. Fisk, commanding Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, to the acting assistant adjutant-general, headquarters First Brigade, Second division, Second Army Corps.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
GEO. G. MEADE,
*See Part II, pp.595,981.
+See Part II, p.1071.