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[19] battle had continued for almost six hours since the time when the Second brigade had been engaged, with every thing in favor of our troops and promising decisive victory, when some of the regiments engaging the enemy upon the extreme right of our line, broke, and large numbers passed disorderly by my brigade, then drawn up in the position which they last held. The ammunition had been issued in part, when I was ordered to protect the retreat. The Seventy-first regiment, New York State Militia, was formed between the retreating columns and the enemy by Colonel Martin, and the Second regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, by Lieutenant Colonel Wheaton. The First regiment Rhode Island Volunteers moved out into the field at the bottom of the gorge, near the ford, and remained for fifteen minutes, until a general retreat was ordered. The regiment then passed on to the top of the hill, where it was joined by the remainder of the brigade, and formed into column. Large bodies of stragglers were passing along the road, and it was found impossible to retain the order, which otherwise would have been preserved. Yet the brigade succeeded in retiring in comparatively good condition, with Arnold's battery of artillery and Capt. Armstrong's company of dragoons bringing up the rear. The retreat continued thus until the column was about emerging from the woods and entering upon the Warrenton turnpike, when the artillery and cavalry went to the front, and the enemy opened fire upon the retreating mass of men. Upon the bridge crossing Cub Run a shot took effect upon the horses of a team that was crossing. The wagon was overturned directly in the centre of the bridge, and the passage was completely obstructed. The enemy continued to play his artillery upon the train carriages, ambulances, and artillery wagons that filled the road, and these were reduced to ruin. The artillery could not possibly pass, and five pieces of the Rhode Island battery, which had been safely brought off the field, were here lost. Captain Reynolds is deserving of praise for the skill with which he saved the lives of his men. The infantry, as the files reached the bridge, were furiously pelted with a shower of grape and other shot, and several persons were here killed or dangerously wounded. As was to be expected, the whole column was thrown into confusion, and could not be rallied again for a distance of two or three miles.

The brigade reached Centreville at nine o'clock P. M., and entered into the several camps that had been occupied the night before, where the brigade rested until ten o'clock, when, in pursuance of orders from the general-commanding, the retreat was continued. The column reached Washington about nine o'clock A. M., Monday morning, when the several regiments composing the brigade repaired to their respective encampments.

In the movements of my brigade, upon this unfortunate expedition, I was greatly assisted and advised by his Excellency Governor Sprague, who took an active part in the conflict, and who was especially effective in the direction and arrangement of the battery of Light artillery attached to the Second regiment Rhode Island Volunteers. It would be invidious to mention officers of the different corps who distinguished themselves upon the field for coolness and bravery, where all performed their duty so well. I cannot feel justified in specifying particular instances of fidelity. The officers and men were prompt, steady and brave, and performed the several parts assigned to them in the most gallant manner.

Our loss has been very severe. The Second regiment particularly suffered greatly. The death of Colonel Slocum is a loss, not only to his own State, which mourns the death of a most gallant and meritorious officer, who would have done credit to the service, while his prominent abilities as a soldier would have raised him high in the public estimation. He had served with me as Major of the First regiment of Rhode Island Volunteers, and when he was transferred to a more responsible position, I was glad that his services had been thus secured for the benefit of his country. His associate, Major Ballou, of the same regiment, is deserving of the highest commendation as a brave soldier and a true man.

Captain Tower, of the Second regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers, received his death wound at the very commencement of the battle. He was a young, brave, and promising officer, who is deeply lamented by his comrades and friends. Captain Smith, of the Second Rhode Island Volunteers, was known among us for his many good qualities of head and heart. Lieutenant Prescott, of the First Rhode Island regiment, was also killed in the early part of the action, while gallantly encouraging his company. He was a noble-hearted Christian man, whose memory will be ever fresh in the hearts of his friends. Among those who are missing I have to mention the names of Lieutenant Knight, of the First regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, and Dr. James Harris, of the same regiment. Both are men whom we can hardly afford to lose, and I trust that some measures may be taken by which their fate may be known. Dr. Harris was especially active upon the field of battle in dressing the wounds of disabled soldiers; and, knowing no distinction between friend and foe, treated the enemy's wounded with the same kindness and consideration as those of our own troops. He is probably a prisoner. Other officers might be mentioned, had I the data at hand to specify; but I have not yet received reports from the Seventy-first New York and Second New Hampshire Volunteers.

I append a list of casualties so far as reports have been received. It is a sad duty to record a defeat, accompanied with the loss of so many valuable lives. But defeat should only make us more faithful still to the great cause of humanity and civilization, in order that every

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