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‘ [78] Mass.] was shot and fell to the ground, Sergeant Plunkett of Company E instantly seized the colors and carried them proudly forward to the farthest point reached by our troops during the battle. When the regiment had commenced the delivery of its fire about forty rods from the position of the rebel infantry, a shell was thrown, with fatal accuracy, at the colors, which again brought them to the ground wet with the life-blood of the brave Plunkett, both of whose arms were carried away. Color-Corporal Olney of Company H immediately raised the glorious flag and defiantly bore it through the remainder of the day. Color-Corporal Barr of Company C, who carried the State colors, was also shot, and his post of honor and danger quickly taken by Color-Corporal Wheeler of Company I. Color-Corporal Miller was also wounded.’

Of the 28th Mass. Infantry (Col. Richard Byrnes), which had, after the 20th, the largest list of killed and mortally wounded at Fredericksburg (thirty-six), General Meagher, its brigade commander, says in his report: ‘It is a substantial and splendid addition to the Irish Brigade. . . . It has sinew, heart and soul. It is commanded by an officer than whom it would be difficult to find one of superior aptitude for his command. . . . I have not a word, other than that of unqualified commendation, to bestow on this well-regulated and admirably disciplined regiment.’1

The 20th Mass. Infantry lost nearly fifty killed or mortally wounded in the whole battle, including Lieut.-Col. Ferdinand Dreher, Capt. Charles F. Cabot and Lieut. L. F. Alley; and Major-General Hancock personally expressed to Captain Macy, on the following day, his gratitude for the service rendered by the regiment. Col. W. R. Lee resigned the command of this regiment from ill-health after the contest at Fredericksburg, and Col. F. W. Palfrey and Colonel Macy were successively put in his place.

The 18th and 23d Mass. infantries were highly complimented at Fredericksburg by Major-General Martindale;2 and General Hartsuff said that he had commanded more than fifty regiments and had never found a better than the 13th Mass. Infantry (Col. S. H. Leonard). This last was

1 Official War Records, XXI, 245 Colonel Byrnes's report follows, p. 246.

2 In General Butterfield's report he says, ‘Captain [L. N.] Tucker, 18th Mass. Volunteers, Acting A. D. C., was severely wounded in the arm while in the discharge of his duties, and deserves special mention for his services.’ (Official War Records, XXI, 402.) The 18th once pushed on, through eagerness, in advance of the line. (P. 409.)

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