No. 125. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James M. Comly, Twenty-third Ohio Infantry, of operations September 19 and 22 and October 19.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-THIRD OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Camp at Harrisonburg, Va., October 4, 1864.
SIR: In reply to circular from your headquarters, I have the honor to report as follows:
At the battle of Opequon, September 19, this regiment formed part of the first line on the extreme right of Crook's command, we occupying the right center of brigade in all its movements throughout the action. These movements having been under the personal direction of the colonel commanding brigade, it seems unnecessary to particularize. I desire simply to say for my officers and men that they fought splendidly and contributed their share to the success of the day.
I regret to have to mention the loss of the following officers of this regiment, all of whom will be disabled for a considerable time, if not permanently: Captain Russell Hastings, acting assistant adjutant-general, First Brigade, a most gallant and efficient officer, wounded severely in leg; Captain John U. Hiltz, of Company C, and excellent officer, had his right leg amputated; First Lieutenant and Adjt. William E. Sweet, as brave a man as lives, and a very valuable officer, had his leg crushed by a shell. In addition to these, Lieutenant Charles W. Atkinson was slightly wounded, the wound being very painful. He was carried off the field insensible, but joined his command next morning.
I have already furnished an official list of casualties. Enlisted men killed,5; wounded, 41 (since died, 4).
I respectfully refer the matter of special mention of officers who distinguished themselves to the brigade commander, who had them all under his own eye. The Twenty-third sent to the rear over 200 prisoners. A party armed with Sazony rifles was sent out under Lieutenant McBride and did very efficient service in shooting artillerists' horses to prevent the enemy from getting off his artillery. This officer with his company skirmish line captured Colonel Edgar and 102 men and officers.
At the battle of North Mountain the regiment formed part of the second line, against on the extreme right. As soon as the charge commenced this regiment, with the remainder of the second line, charged so impetuously as to break all lines, and the charge became a wild race to see who could reach the intrechments first. Breaking over the breast-works, the command charged with perfect fury up the whole line of entrenchments, the enemy scarcely making a stand at all, flying in utter rear, abandoning gun after gun after gun to our hands.
Our loss was only (of enlisted men) 1 killed, 1 mortally wounded, and 6 others more or less severely wounded.
The conduct of all officers and men in this action was beyond praise. One squad of fifty-seven prisoners sent to the rear by this regiment; but little attention was paid to prisoners, however.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. COMLY,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers.
Lieutenant W. S. STANLEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First-Brigade.