HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
January 27, 1865. (Received 12.25 p. m.)
General Orders, Numbers 3, respecting the colors of the Twentieth Massachusetts, appears to contain an error. This regiment was not deprived of its colors by General Orders, Numbers 37, of September 23, 1864, since the action of Reams' Station took place in August, and the language of the order is hereafter. The order of Major-General Gibbom of August 30, approved by General Orders, Numbers 37, does not mention the Twentieth Massachusetts as one of the regiments to lose its colors.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
January 27, 1865.
Commanding Second Corps:
General Orders, Numbers 3, was carefully considered; was submitted to General Meade in almost the exact words in which it was printed, and by him approved. Your telegram has also been referred to the chief of staff. The object of the order was to publicly restore to the Twentieth Massachusetts the colors of which it had been deprived by giving a retroactive effect to the first paragraph of General Orders, Numbers 37, of 1864. This might and perhaps should have been done by the immediate commander of the officer who committed the error. But the matter having been referred here for action, the commanding general considered that the most thoroughly restoring to the regiment the right it had lost was the principal object to be attained, and that the course which has been taken was the best calculated to effect this. The regiment had lost its colors in battle, had been deprived by a wrong construction of General Orders, Numbers 37, of the right to carry others, and the slight error in the recital which was necessary to bring the whole subject within the scope of the order is not considered as affecting its spirit or as affording any just cause of complaint.
I trust that, looking at the question from this point of view, you will concur in the foregoing opinion.
Very respectfully, &c.,
S. F. BARTSTOW,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
January 27, 1865.
Commanding Second Brigade:
GENERAL: General Warren having returned, General Crawford directs me to inform you he has resumed command of this division. He directs me also to say that you will resume command of the Second Brigade.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WALTER T. CHESTER,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.