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[125] himself at Cold Harbor, and indeed everywhere else, was killed on the skirmish line; his brevet as brigadier-general being afterwards dated back to that day.

The Massachusetts troops took part—generally by one or two regiments at a time—in various skirmishes during the Petersburg campaign, generally with small loss; as the 4th Cavalry near Petersburg (June 10), the 5th Cavalry at Baylor's Farm (June 15), the 1st Cavalry at Samaria Church (June 24), a detachment of the 2d Cavalry at Aldie (July 6), and the 32d Infantry with the 10th Battery in reserve at Deep Bottom (July 21). A more important affair, also at Deep Bottom, occurred on July 27-28, when the 28th Mass., as a part of Barlow's skirmish line, under command of Colonel Lynch (183d Pa.) and under the immediate direction of General Miles, advanced with two other regiments against entrenchments held by both infantry and artillery, and did it so skillfully as to carry them by skirmishers alone, capturing four twenty-pound Parrott guns.1 At later periods of the fight the 19th and 20th Mass. and 1st Heavy Artillery were in action with small loss, and the 11th and 26th Infantry, with the 10th Battery, without loss.

In the terrible disaster of the Mine (or the Crater) at Petersburg (July 30) it is rather a satisfaction to know that Massachusetts had but a moderate share. It is one of the few affairs which seem to have been so thoroughly mismanaged that the friends of the Union cause prefer to pass them lightly by.2

1 ‘Never, I think, did men of the 2d Corps so greatly enjoy riding Confederate cannon into camp.’ Walker, p. 563.

2 ‘The wretched fiasco of the 30th of July.... Had adequate arrangements been made and had the troops at hand been put in, with even the lowest degree of vigor, noon of that day must have seen Petersburg in our power and a third of Lee's army lopped off at a blow.... Had the division assigned to the assault been properly led, it could have gone straight to the crest which overlooked the enemy's works, receiving scarcely a shot in its way. But neither General Ledlie, the commander of the leading division, nor General Ferrero, commanding the first supporting division, was in a position from which he could see either the enemy's line or his own troops.... Never before or after, in the history of the Potomac army, was such an exhibition made of official incapacity or personal cowardice.... At the Mine two division commanders were hiding in bomb-proofs, while their troops wandered aimlessly from lack of direction or halted in front of obstacles which a single manly effort would have overcome. This unhappy day cost the Union army 4,000 men.’ (Walker's 2d Army Corps, pp. 567-568.) Maj. J. H. Powell, U. S. A., who was one of General Ledlie's staff at the Crater, says that he and all of them remained ‘during the entire engagement in or near a bomb-proof within the Union lines.’ (Century War Book, IV, 550.) ‘This talk and these orders, coming from a commander sitting in a bomb-proof inside the Union lines, was disgusting.’ (The same, p. 556.) ‘With the notable exception of Gen. Robert B. Potter,’— a Massachusetts man,—‘there was not a division commander in the crater or connecting lines, nor was there a corps commander on the immediate scene of action.’ (The same, p. 560.) Two other very graphic descriptions of the scene may be found in the same volume.

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