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[213] to lead their respective brigades to the attack; and it is mainly due to their exertions that their lines of battle were maintained throughout the action. Col. Fenton left a sick-bed to command his brigade, and the bold, well-sustained charge of the Eighth Michigan regiment was made under his direction, as was that of the Seventy-ninth Highlanders, led by Morrison, was under the direction of Col. Leasure. All which these officers have to say in commendation of their staff, I know from personal observation to be true.

To my own staff I am under the greatest obligations, and it is owing to the great harmony and concert of action between myself and brigade and regimental commanders, and their respective staffs, that exact information was had in regard to the field, and that the command was not longer exposed, without purpose, to a destructive fire. My Assistant Adjt.-Gen., Capt. Hazard Stevens, was in all parts of the field carrying my orders and bringing me information, to the great exposure of his life, as was Aid, Captain William T. Lusk and my Acting Aid, Lieut. O. M. Dearborn, Third New-Hampshire volunteers. Lieut. Lyons, my Junior Aid, led the storming column; was the first man to cross the ditch and make the ascent of the parapet. My Division Quartermaster, Lieut. Jefferson Justice, One Hundredth Pennsylvania volunteers, volunteered his most acceptable services at the outer pickets and served on my staff throughout the action. He communicated with me and Leasure's brigade, and I call attention to his services so conspicuous for their gallantry, and to the mention made of him in Col. Leasure's report. My Signal-Officers, Lieuts. Taffts and Howard, are worthy of honorable mention. Lieut. Taffts took his station in an advanced and exposed part of the field, kept constantly in communication with Lieut. Howard at the gunboats, and Lieut. E. H. Hickock, Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania at the battery, and was perfectly efficient and self-possessed under the heavy discharges of grape from the enemy. In the latter part of the action he carried my orders and aided in the formations and movements.

The staff-officers of Col. Leasure, were:

Lieut. S. G. Leasure, One Hundredth regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, Acting Assistant-Adjutant General. Lieut. Jefferson Justice.

The staff-officers of Col. Fenton, were:

Lieut. S. C. Brackett, Twenty-eighth regiment Massachusetts volunteers, Acting Assistant-Adjutant General.

Lieut. H. G. Belcher, Eighth Michigan, Aid-de-Camp.

Lieut. Jas. B. Fenton, Eighth Michigan, Aid-de-Camp.

Lieutenant Belcher, though early and severely wounded, continued actively on duty throughout the action, and was the last man to leave the field.

Capt. A. P. Rockwell, of the Connecticut battery, deserves particular mention for his gallant bearing and skilful handling of his guns on that field. His senior Lieutenant, S. P. Porter, was remarkable for his energy, daring and persistence throughout. Capt. Sears, following with his engineer company the storming party, did most excellent service, first at the advanced hedge, under circumstances of great exposure, preparing embrasures for Rockwell's battery, and afterward at the road, removing obstructions therefrom, and arranging the openings in the hedge both for infantry and artillery.

There was no opportunity for cavalry movements proper; but the orderlies furnished from Capt. Sargeant's company did most gallant service, and the remainder of his company served effectively as videttes and pickets. Two men of his company were severely wounded and two horses were killed.

The firing from the batteries at the point by company F, Third Rhode Island volunteers, Capt. Charles G. Strahan commanding, was commenced immediately after the unsuccessful charge of our troops had been made upon the works of the enemy. Although having every gun but one disabled very soon after the commencement of the action, the firing was conducted with great precision and regularity, nearly every shot taking effect in the fort, or in the woods in rear of the work, where the large force of the enemy were lying. The single gun was worked with as much rapidity as possible during the entire engagement, in the course of which one sergeant was killed.

The gunboats Ellen and Hall came into action at a later hour, but by their excellent range, obtained by the assistance of Signal-Officer Howard, who had been upon the Ellen for several successive days, did very great execution among the ranks of the enemy. Although the gunboats did not advance up the river as far as could have been desired, in order to give a more effective flanking fire upon the fort, still much credit is due them for the wonderful precision with which their fire was directed at such long range.

The whole force which went into action was as follows:

First Brigade, Col. Fenton Comd'g.Field Officers.Officers.Men.Total.
Eighth Regiment Michigan Volunteers,421509534
Seventh Regiment Connecticut Volunteers,718573598
Twenty-eighth Regiment Mass. Volunteers,618520544
Total First Brigade,17571,6021,676
Two companies of the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts were on fatigue-duty, and did not join their regiment.    
Second Brigade, Col. Leasure Comd'g.    
Seventy-ninth Highlanders, N. Y. Vols.,321450474
One Hundredth Regiment Pa. Vols.,318400421
Forty-sixth Regiment, N. Y. Vols.,319452474
Total Second Brigade,9581,3021,369
Rockwell's Artillery, 47377
Strahan's Artillery, 38588
Sears's Company of Engineers, 25961
Sargent's Company of Cavalry, 24850
Total Special Arms, 11265276
General Staff, 10616
Grand total,   3,387

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