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Doc. 117.-Colonel Lakeman's report

Of the operations of the Third Maine regiment.

headquarters Third Maine regiment, in the field, Upperville, Va., July 21, 1863.
Adjutant-General State of Maine:
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements of my regiment, with its respective brigade and division of the Third army corps, since leaving Potomac Creek, Va.:

On Thursday, June eleventh, my regiment was relieved from picket-duty on the Rappahannock River at twelve M., and at two P. M. took their position in line, and with the brigade marched to Rappahannock Station, from thence to Bealton Station, Catlet's Station, Manassas, Bull Run, Centreville, Gum Springs, and from thence to Monocacy, Md., where we arrived on the night of the twenty-fifth, performing a forced and very tedious march of twenty-seven miles that day, the rain having fallen heavily during the entire afternoon and evening. At Gum Springs, Va., four of my officers were captured by guerrillas, while breakfasting at a farm-house about one mile from the camp, Lieutenants John R. Day, and Geo. F. Blake, company H, Lieutenant H. M. Anderson, company I, and Lieutenant S. L. Gilman, company F.

The regiment marched from Monocacy to Point of Rocks, on the twenty-sixth, and from thence through Middleton, Frederick City, Walkersville, Woodborough, and Taneytown, where we arrived on the thirtieth and mustered the regiment for pay. Immediately after taking up the line of march for Emmittsburgh, where a temporary halt was made, when the entire corps were ordered on a forced march to Gettysburgh, Pa., at which place, or in its immediate vicinity, we arrived at ten o'clock on the night of the first instant, and at daylight on the following morning took position in line of battle and momentarily expected to meet the enemy. At nine o'clock A. M., the attack by the enemy on the extreme right of our line was commenced and carried on in a spirited manner, while the left, and in our front, was ominously still. General Sickles ordered a reconnoissance of the position, and chose from the corps my regiment, and one hundred sharp-shooters to “feel for and find the enemy at all hazards.” At this time my regiment numbered one hundred and ninety-six rifles, and fourteen officers, but they are all heroes, as their conduct that day proved. The duty thus assigned me, with so small a command, was an arduous one; but on looking at my little line of well-tried men, I had no fear of the result. At the words, “Column forward,” they advanced with measured steps and defiant bearing, and for half a mile outside our lines pierced the enemy's territory, when a dense wood obstructed my front. Here, I found a line of battle, the skirmishers covering my front. As this was the most likely spot to find the enemy, we advanced some half a mile through the wood, when the skirmishers became hotly engaged, and drove the enemy's pickets and skirmishers before them. I then advanced my regiment, and found the enemy concentrating his forces in mass on our left, with the evident intention of turning that flank. I engaged him, and for half an hour, or near, held them in check, though they came forward upon me in thousands, my gallant men, notwithstanding the disparity of force, refusing to yield one inch of ground. The brigade commander complimented me highly on the conduct of my officers and men. Said he: “Colonel, I had to send three times to you before I could get your regiment to retire. I believe you intended to stop there all day; they did nobly, sir, and your officers and men are deserving unbounded praise.” For myself, I can only say that I am truly gratified with, and proud of the manner in which my officers executed my commands, and for the masterly manner they handled their companies in that trying position. In this engagement I lost forty-eight men in killed and wounded, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that five times that number will not cover the enemy's loss at this time, for, with every volley from the rifles of my gallant men, their ranks were fearfully thinned. Indeed, it is a matter of surprise to me, severe as was my loss, why I was not annihilated; but the fact of the enemy's random firing, while mine was measured and by command, must account for it.

My regiment retired in splendid line, giving volley after volley, long after the bugle had sounded to cease firing; but so impetuous were they to engage the enemy, that they did not seem to know or acknowledge a superior force. I then joined the brigade, and was again sent forward to hold a position in the extreme front, on the Emmittsburgh road, and placing my skeleton regiment in position in a peach orchard, which promised to be the most advantageous position I could select, and throughout the day, so harassed the enemy, that their skirmishers could not obtain a footing in our front; they charged us several times during the day, but were handsomely repulsed with great slaughter-my men obstinately refusing to relinquish the position.

In the afternoon, our position here was critical in the extreme, as we lay midway between our [396] own and the enemy's batteries; and many of our shells, in addition to theirs, burst among us, wounding a number of my men. During the latter part of the day, we did splendid execution on the enemy's flanks as they advanced in mass, for their sole object now would seem to be in turning our flank at any cost. The slaughter was terrible, and of the conduct of my officers and men in every instance during that terrible day, I cannot speak in terms of praise sufficient. There were no stragglers reported from my regiment, but each little squad of fifteen or twenty men, which composed the fighting strength of the companies, were a host in themselves! At five P. M. the battle raged in a most terrific manner, and our gallant heroes fell thick and fast all around us, but still, those unhurt stood up to their work with coolness and confidence surprising. The enemy having concentrated his heavy masses on us, pushed them forward with perfect maniac strength and ferocity, but for nearly two hours we held them back with frightful loss to them, the entire plain in our front being strewn thickly with his dead and struggling troops. Our left flank being found weak, the brigade fell back to let the batteries open — on the enemy, and my regiment, still holding its position, fell back at twilight with the First brigade, and immediately joined our own; the men being weary from hard marching, hard but glorious fighting, and scarcity of rations, were soon wrapped in slumber. The enemy were defeated along the entire line.

My entire loss throughout the day was very severe, in proportion to the strength of my regiment. My color-guard were all either killed or wounded. Captain Keene, of the color company, fell pierced by four bullets, and so severe was the engagement from four o'clock till dark, that scarcely a single officer or man in my regiment escaped without a shot through some portion of his clothing or equipments. Indeed, General Sickles did us the honor to say, that: “The little Third Maine saved the army to-day!”

On the morning of the third, I was placed in command of the brigade, and Captain Wm. C. Morgan in command of the regiment. I moved to the centre at about ten o'clock A. M., by order, to the support of General Hancock, of the Second corps, who was reported to have been heavily pressed by the concentrated columns of the enemy. I moved forward with my own gallant little regiment occupying the right and front, (with the Fourth Maine, Twentieth Indiana, and Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania,) a post of honor none will dispute with them; and although my movements were of the most hurried nature, we only arrived in time to witness the total rout of the enemy, the capture of some four thousand prisoners, and the entire field of forty acres a mass of struggling humanity; the sight was sickening, and the repulse of the enemy complete.

In this position, my regiment supported the batteries, while they shelled the mob of the enemy's troops, now rushing headlong to the cover of their earthworks, after which we moved to the extreme front and relieved the line of skirmishers, and occupied the first line of defence, supported by, instead of supporting the Second corps, till the morning of the fifth, when, finding the enemy had disappeared from our front, and on being relieved, I marched my brigade to the ground occupied by the division, afterward sending forward several squads of men to gather and bring in their deceased comrades, which was done with all the solemnity possible under the circumstances.

I regret to say, that on account of not being able to visit those portions of the field where my loss was greatest, from Thursday till Sunday, the dead were, in many cases, so disfigured as to defy identification, these persons having been robbed (as usual) by the enemy (who occupied the ground on the night of the second after we had retired) of every thing portable.

On the morning of the seventh, with the brigade, division, and corps, started in pursuit of the retreating forces of the enemy.

The following is a complete revised list of the casualties up to the present date:

Field and Staff--Major S. P. Lee, arm amputated at shoulder; Sergeant-Major Henry S. Small, killed.

Company A.--Corporal John L. Little, killed; Sergeant William Parris, wounded slightly, leg; Sergeant Charles N. Osgood, leg, severe; privates, Augustus Emery, side, severely; Ed. S. Ramsey, hand, slightly; Corporal Jona Newcomb, wounded and prisoner; privates,Wm. Hughes, prisoner; Wm. F. Crocker, missing; Phineas Small, missing; Oliver Webber, missing; Edgar W. Preble, missing.

Company B.--Sergeant Asa C. Rowe, killed; privates, John Jones killed; Nathan Call, leg amputated: First Sergeant Hannibal Johnson, prisoner; privates, Joseph Winslow, missing; Enoch Barker, missing; Charles Gannett, prisoner.

Company C.--Private Horace Dale, killed; First Sergeant Parlin Crawford, wounded in arm; Corporal Danforth M. Maxcy, leg amputated; privates, Daniel M. Moody, leg amputated; Charles M. Landers, head, slightly; John S. Lewis, hip, slightly; Charles H. Foye, foot severely; Orren Heath, hand, severely; Lyman C. Heald, leg, slightly; William H. Sturtevant, leg, slightly; Sergeant George F. Spear, missing; Corporal Charles F. Martin, missing.

Company D.-- First Sergeant Eben S. Allen, leg amputated; Sergeant Shaw, wounded slightly; Corporal George Farnham, heel, severely; privates, Joseph Roach, leg amputated; Jerry Wakefield, leg, slightly; James Fletcher, missing; Patrick T. Hartnett, missing.

Company E.--Sergeant George S. Chamberlain, shoulder, severely; privates, A. H. Sprague, leg amputated; Sherburn E. George, slightly; Silas F. Leighton, slightly; Charles W. Bancroft, leg, severely; George W. Bailey, leg, severely; Alden F. Murch, leg, severely; Charles B. Rogers, leg, severely; Seth Sweatland, prisoner; Stephen M. Symons, missing.

Company F.--Corporals, Henry B. Swan, (colorguard,) killed; Amos H. Cole, killed; privates, [397] Asbury Luce, killed; Thomas Currier, killed Sergeant J. P. Durgin, leg, slightly; Corporal Henry H. Chase, arm, severely; privates, William J. Rackliff, leg, severely; Charles L. Towle. thigh, severely; George E. Dorothy, leg, slightly: John H. Stevens, arm, severely; Sergeant Ora M. Nason, prisoner; privates, Frank Swan, prisoner; Luke T. Shattuck, prisoner; William H. Maxim, missing.

Company G.--Sergeants, William Brown, thigh, severely; George W. Davis, arm, slightly; privates, H. C. Webber, arm, severely; John E. Fossett, arm, severely; James Perry, leg, severely; Charles H. Arnold, prisoner; Charles C. Grover, prisoner; Henry Derocher, prisoner; Corporals Orren Austin, missing; A. P. Herrick, missing; Private, Samuel E..Frost, missing.

Company H.--Corporal Eben Farrington, killed; private, Albert Corson, killed; Color-Sergeant William Livermore, side, slightly; Corporals John Bacon, leg and arm, severely; J. F. Stanley, arm, slightly; privates, George Dickson, leg, slightly; William T. Preble, leg, slightly; C. Major, missing; P. F. Rowe, missing.

Company I.--Sergeants N. W. Jones, killed; Henry H. Lyon, killed; Corporal George L. Fellows, killed; private, Calvin Burdin, killed; Corporal H. W. Cooper, wounded; privates, Charles Bachelder, side, slightly; A. J. Bailey, hand, severely; H. W. Neal, foot, severely; A. J. Lewis, arm, slightly; Alexander Lewis, prisoner; William B. Palmer, missing.

Company K.--Captain John C. Keene, killed; privates, Albert Frost, killed; William Burgess, killed; First Lieutenant Henry Penniman, leg, severely; Sergeant Edward K. Thomas, eye, severely; Corporal A. G. H. Wood, leg and arm, severely; privates, Charles Smart, hand, severely; Henry Stearns, ankle, severely; Samuel G. Chandler, leg, severely; William Raymond, both legs, severely; William Heald, arm, severely; Henry Turner, shoulder, severely; George Perkins, knee, severely; James Ricker, prisoner; Elias Wood, prisoner: Hiram Cochran, prisoner; R. S. Key, prisoner; William Wilson, missing; George A. Butler, missing.

Making a total of one hundred and thirteen, namely, one field-officer wounded; one noncommissioned staff killed; one line-officer killed; one line-officer wounded; sixteen enlisted men killed; fifty-six enlisted, men wounded; seventeen enlisted men taken prisoners; and twenty enlisted men missing.

The prisoners having all been heard from, I fear we shall ultimately be compelled to reckon the missing amongst the killed.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

M. B. Lakeman, Colonel Commanding Third Maine Regiment. John L. Hodsdon, Adjutant-General State of Maine.

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Sickles (2)
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