I, as commanding general of the Army of the Potomac, the right to deprive a regiment of its colors of misconduct or other cause? Second, if this right is granted, was I justified in this instance, where the division commander had considered the case so strong as to have assumed the responsibility himself, to deprive the regiment of them, and where the corps commander in transmitting the division commander's action took to exception to the justice of the act, but expressed the opinion that other guilty parties, to me unknown, should also be punished. As to General Hancock's recapitulation of the heroic deeds of the corps he commands he commands it seem s only necessary for me to say that I have never disputed to denied these claims. I do not see their relevancy to the questions here in issue, and therefore submit the matter to the decision of the lieutenant-general commanding without further comment.
GEO. G. MEADE,
[Inclosure Numbers 5.]
HEADQUARTERS THIRTY-SIXTH WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS,
October 10, 1864.
ACTING ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL:
SIR: I have the honor to make the following statement of the circumstances under which our national colors were lost at Reams' Station, August 25, 1864:
Our regiment was ordered into position in the cut of the railroad in the rear of and as a support to the main line of our works. When the enemy charged the line our front broke and fell back in confusion. The officer commanding our regiment immediately ordered it forward, but finding ourselves opposed by a superior force, the enemy at the same time advancing on both flanks, the order was given by the officer commanding to fall back, and in so going we lost 140 men and 8 commissioned officers, who were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. Our regiment numbered at the commencement of the engagement 175 men and 10 commissioned officers. Consequently, only two officers and thirty men escaped. The bearer of our national colors was killed while nobly doing his duty, and our colors were captured by the enemy. I will here state that every man did his duty, and the entire regiment never behaved better in action, as our losses will attest. These are the circumstances under which our national colors were lost, and believing that the general commanding, when he shall fully understand these facts, will reconsider General Orders, Numbers 63, by which we were deprived of the privilege of carrying a national stand of colors, we would most respectfully ask that such permission be granted without delay.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE A. FISK,
Captain, Commanding Regiment.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE,
October 10, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded approved.
J. W. WELCH,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.