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 classmate, Private George F. Hodges,1 who himself died later in the service, as adjutant of the 18th Mass. Infantry. Twenty-two prisoners were taken from the 5th Mass., and were held for ten months before they could be exchanged. Of the 11th, two captains, a lieutenant and many wounded men were also taken prisoners, besides fifteen killed. The 1st Regiment took but little part in the battle, but lost Lieut. E. B. Gill, who was killed in the retreat. Its brigade commander, Col. I. B. Richardson of the 2d Michigan, reported of his brigade: ‘My brigade in general behaved itself nobly and always stood firm.’ Col. (afterwards major-general) W. B. Franklin criticised the 5th and 11th as firing badly and as making their movements somewhat unsteadily while under fire; but he ends by extending these criticisms over the whole of the raw troops on that day. ‘The firing of the rebels,’ he says, ‘was better than ours.’2 The battle of Ball's Bluff or Edwards' Ferry (Oct. 21, 1861) was the last of the early amateur battles, as they might be called, in which the Massachusetts troops were engaged in 1861. The commanding officer, Gen. C. P. Stone, under whose orders3 troops were sent across a rapid stream and exposed to a greater force, without intrenchments and with the stream behind them, was a Massachusetts man and a regular army officer. So was Gen. Frederick W. Lander, who fell in the battle, and was the first of her general officers to die in the service,—as he had also been the first of all men, it was claimed, to offer his services to the general government.4 The 15th Mass. Infantry (Colonel Devens) and the 20th (Col. W. R. Lee) were (with the 71st Pennsylvania) the regiments chiefly engaged, the two companies of the 19th not being in action. Placed in a hopeless position, and hopelessly outnumbered, they did as well, doubtless, as any raw troops could have done; and when they retreated at last, every man for himself, across a river which, as the writer heard Colonel Devens say
1 See his memoir in Harvard Memorial Biographies, I, 351.
2 Official War Records, II, 376, 407.
3 ‘My telegram did not contemplate the making an attack upon the enemy or the crossing of the river in force by any portion of General Stone's command.’ (Report of General G. B. McClellan, Official War Records, V, 290.) It is probable, on the other hand, that General Stone believed himself to be carrying out General McClellan's intentions, nor did he ever forfeit that general's confidence. Compare McClellan's Own Story (p. 187) and Battles and Leaders of the Civil War (Century War Book), II, 131. It is now generally admitted that General Baker's inexperience was largely to blame for the defeat. Good descriptions of the battle may be found in the Comte de Paris, Civil War in America (translation), I, 417, and in Palfrey's Bartlett, 17. On the ‘folly’ of Ball's Bluff, see Gordon's Brook Farm to Cedar Mountain, 61, 64. General Baker's case is stated in Senator E. D. Baker's Defence at Ball's Bluff.
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