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[27] the latter including the Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major, and Adjutant. The killed, with those who died of their wounds, numbered 75, or over 28 per cent. of those engaged — a percentage of killed unequalled in military statistics.1

The next largest percentage of killed occurred at Spotsylvania, in the Fifteenth New Jersey. This regiment belonged to the First Jersey Brigade, Wright's Division, Sixth Corps, and lost 116 killed or mortally wounded at Spotsylvania. Unlike the sudden loss of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg, its casualties occurred in three different actions: 31 were lost on May 8th, 5 on May 10th, and 80 on May 12th, at the Bloody Angle. It may be urged that, these being three different affairs, the losses should not be consolidated. If they had occurred at different places, as, for instance, South Mountain and Antietam, the criticism would hold good; but this fighting was done at one place, and the continuous nervous strain made it as heroic as if the lose had occurred in one brief charge. This regiment crossed the Rapidan May 5th, with 444 effective men.2 It sustained but a slight loss at the Wilderness, and took 432 officers and men into action at Spotsylvania, of whom 116 were killed or died of wounds — a loss of 26 per cent. Within nine days after breaking camp, it was reduced to 5 officers and 136 men available for action.

Next, in percentage of killed in particular engagements, is the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts at Cold Harbor, then in Stannard's Brigade, Martindale's Division, Eighteenth Corps. This loss occurred in the assault on the earthworks at Cold Harbor, where it was subjected to a terrible fire. A Confederate officer, describing the advance of the Twenty-fifth against his works, writes that the heroic regiment struggled forward under a fire which seemed to literally annihilate them; that the whole line seemed to disappear; and he expresses wonder that any could have survived. The loss was 53 killed, 139 wounded, and 28 missing, “out of 310 reported for duty that morning.” 3 On the following day there were only 4 officers and 62 men left on duty. Many of the missing were killed. The muster-out rolls of the Twenty-fifth bear the names of 74 officers and men who were killed or mortally wounded during the quarter of an hour which covered that assault; a loss of 24 per cent. in killed, and over two-thirds in killed and wounded. The small number taken into this action was owing to the heavy losses which the regiment had just sustained, a few days previous, in the Drewry's Bluff campaign. The Confederate officer just referred to, states further that his men were massed five ranks deep behind their breastworks; that the front rank alone fired, while the others passed up loaded rifles, which were discharged as rapidly as they could be fired; that, in addition to this, the artillery posted in the salients, poured a flanking fire of canister into the ranks of the doomed regiment.

A smaller loss as to the number killed, but equally remarkable as to percentage, is found in the record of the One Hundred and Forth-first Pennsylvania at Gettysburg. This regiment was, at that time, in Graham's Brigade, Birney's Division, Third Corps. It had already lost at Chancellorsville 235 (killed, wounded, and missing) out of 417 engaged there. At Gettysburg, only 198 answered to the morning roll call,4 of whom 25 were killed, 103 wounded, and 21 missing; total, 149. The killed, with those who died of wounds, numbered 49, or 24 per cent. of those engaged. The one Hundred and Forty-first fought at Gettysburg in the famous Peach Orchard.

One of the most remarkable losses in the war, both in numbers and percentage, occurred at Manassas, in Gen. Fitz John Porter's Corps, in the celebrated Duryee Zouaves (Fifth New York), of Warren's Brigade, Sykes' Division. General Sykes, in his official report, states

1 There have been affairs known as “massacres,” in which all, or nearly all, have lost their lives. In the battle of the Little Big Horn (1876), a fight between some hostile tribes of Indians and detachment of the Seventh U. S. Cavalry under Gen. Custer, the entire command of the latter was annihilated. Fourteen officers and 230 enlisted men were killed, including Gen. Custer. Not one escaped; each refused to surrender, and fought to the death.

2 Foster: New Jersey in the Rebellion.

3 Capt. J. W. Denny: Hist, 25th Mass. Vols.

4 S. P. Bates: Hist. Pennsylvania Vols.

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