War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0292 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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Such were the operations of the division during the great battle of the 19th of September; they were all that could be wished in its conduct in fulfilling the duties demanded of it; they were unsatisfactory from the circumstances attending its being put into action. No division ever came into action under more unfavorable and sid heartening surroundings-it was preceded by two strong lines of the Second Division, being two full brigades, nearly, if not quite, equal in numbers to itself, viz, the First and Fourth Brigades of the Second Division; it came into action with both of these brigades, or a great portion of both, flying in panic from before the enemy, who were advancing in pursuit of them. So great was the confusion, so numerous those who burst through its ranks, that it was difficult to form the line of the First Brigade. The same disorder prevailed in a sufficient degree elsewhere to make it necessary that orders hold be sent to different portions of the division without coming through its immediate commander. The significance of this is obvious; the fruits of it were the usual ones-contradictory orders; i. e., those issued by the corps commander without being transmitted to the division commander, differing from those issued by the commanding officer of the division, and the separation of the brigades of the division. These circumstances could only have occurred, and such orders could only have been rendered necessary by the almost total defeat of the division which preceded it into action. Under all these difficulties not an organization of this division was broken by the enemy (it repulsed the enemy and lost severely in so doing), but it held every position in the line to which it was assigned. I had wished to write this report of the operations of the First Division without referring to other troops or other organizations, but I have not been able to write the truth, which alone is valuable in papers of this character, without speaking freely of the conduct of other troops not under my command, and of the circumstances which affected the division and gave a character to its hare in the great battle; it is a duty I owe to the division itself, and to its great number of heroic dead and wounded, including so many regimental commanders; it is only thus that I can show that they fell in important and honorable duty, essential in the conduct of the battle; that it was through no fault of theirs that they were deprived of the glorious and more congenial duty of continuing the attack, a duty which their conduct under the most trying circumstances has shown they would have performed with a vigor which must have earned laurels and distinction. This report must show why it was that in an offensive, attacking battle, to which it advanced in column of regiments a reserve ready to make that attack decisive, the division was at once reduced to staying a panic, holding a line, to occupying defensive positions widely separated from each other. In performing this duty the losses of the division were severe, but not one regiment of the division faltered. In the case of one regiment, the One hundred and fourteenth New York Volunteers, the percentage of killed and wounded is almost without a parallel in the history of the war. The night following the battle but sixty men were missing from the ranks of the division not accounted for in killed and wounded.

I desire to call attention to the distinguished conduct of Colonel PerLee, of the One hundred and fourteenth New York Volunteers. He was twice wounded. After the colonel was borne from the field the regiment was commanded by Major Curtis, whose good conduct was conspicuous. Indeed, all the officers of this glorious regiment conducted themselves in a manner which is above praise. Colonel Thomas, of the