Reports of Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Carr,
U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43] -- Gettysburg Campaign
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., THIRD CORPS,
Camp near Beverly Ford, Va., August 1, 1863
Maj. CHARLES HAMLIN,
Asst. Adjt. Gen. Second Division, Third Corps.
SIR: In compliance with orders from headquarters Second Division, Third Corps, I have the honor to transmit the following report of the operations of my command from the beginning of the campaign up to and including the 8th ultimo:
On Thursday, June 11, by direction of the division commander, I broke camp, marched my command to Hartwood Church, and bivouacked for the night.
At 6 a.m. on Friday, June 12, took up the line of march toward Rappahannock Station, reaching that point at 7.30 p.m. Here, by order of Major Hamlin, assistant adjutant-general of division, I formed my command in a field, in column of regiments, and soon after moved out and advanced to near Beverly Ford, reaching that place at 10 p.m., establishing picket line along the river and at the ford. During this day's march, nearly 25 miles, many men were compelled to quit the ranks in consequence of exhaustion, consequent upon the excessive heat and unusually dusty roads.
On Saturday, June 13, at 9 p.m., a detail of 200 men reported at brigade headquarters, in accordance with instructions, for the purpose of throwing up intrenchments, but as the tools did not arrive until 2 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, work was not commenced until that hour.
At 9 p.m. moved from Beverly Ford, passing Bealeton at 10 p.m. Monday, June 15, reached Warrenton Junction at 8 a.m., and halted one-half mile from the station.
At 1 p.m. left the Junction and marched to Manassas. This march was one of the most severe in my experience, the air being almost suffocating, the dust blinding, and the heat intolerable. Many men suffered from coup de soleil, and a large number sank by the wayside, utterly helpless and exhausted.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, June 16, my brigade halted and went into bivouac. At noon the location of my camp was changed a short distance to the right and rear, where the men were permitted to rest.
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17, I moved 2 miles in the direction of Centreville, and halted in a grove by the side of Bull Run Creek, to enable my men to bathe.
At 4 p.m. I pushed on to Centreville, and went into camp at 7 p.m. near a fine stream of water.
On Thursday, June 18, at 6 p.m., changed location of camp 1 mile to the right, and established a picket line, with Colonel McAllister, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, as officer of the day. At 2.45 p.m. on Friday, June 19, we marched to Gum Springs, reaching that place at 7 p.m., and immediately throwing out a picket detail, consisting of the First and Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers.
On Thursday, June 25, received orders to be in readiness to move at 5.40 a.m.; moved at 10 a.m., passing through Fairfarm and Franklinville, and crossing the Potomac into Maryland at 5 p.m. Marched along the canal to the Monocacy Aqueduct, halting at 1 o'clock on the morning of Friday, June 26, with about 300 men, the remainder having fallen out during the march, weary and exhausted. Early in the morning I sent back a field officer, who brought up the stragglers at 10 a.m.
At 11 a.m. marched to Point of Rocks, and bivouacked at 5 p.m.
On Saturday, June 27, marched to Jefferson, and halted for two hours.
At l p.m. left Jefferson, and marched to Burkittsville, where I relieved a brigade from the ------ Corps, and threw out a strong picket force.
At 9.20 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, left Burkittsville, and marched to Middletown, halting an hour for dinner. Pushed on to Frederick, passing through the city at 6 p.m.; halted just outside the city for supper, and then crossed the Monocacy, going into bivouac at 10.30 p.m.
Monday, June 29, left at 5.20 a.m., and marched to Taneytown, passing through Walkersville, Woodsborough, and Ladiesburg.
At 4.20 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, left Taneytown, and marched to Bridgeport, going into bivouac at 6.30 p.m.
At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, left Bridgeport, and marched to Emmitsburg, reaching that place at 1.15 p.m. After a halt of two hours, received orders to move with all possible haste to Gettysburg, as General Howard, commanding Eleventh Corps, had attacked the enemy and been repulsed. General Humphreys, commanding the division, being absent by orders from corps headquarters, for the purpose of selecting a position for the corps, and believing the enemy to be near at hand, I immediately ordered the division under arms, and took up the line of march toward Gettysburg, leaving one battery and the Third Brigade (commanded by Col. George C. Burling) at Emmitsburg.
When about I mile from that town, General Humphreys joined the division, and resumed command. The column was guided by a civilian (a doctor) from Emmitsburg and Lieutenant-Colonel Hayden, assistant inspector-general of the corps. When about 3 miles from Gettysburg, we crossed Marsh Creek and advanced on the left-hand road about a mile, when we were suddenly halted by General Humphreys as a measure of precaution. Lieutenant-Colonel Hayden, who had been in advance with the guides, soon after rode up to General Humphreys, and stated that we were but 200 yards from the enemy's pickets.
General Humphreys rode forward to the Black Horse Tavern, on the road from Fairfield to Gettysburg, and finding the information to be correct, and that the enemy occupied the road in heavy force, and believing that an engagement with him at the distance of 3 miles from the rest of the army, with the enemy between the army and his division, would be inconsistent with the plan of battle, faced the division about, and marched to the rear until striking the main road, upon which we proceeded to Gettysburg, reaching that place and going bite bivouac at 1.30 a.m. on Thursday, July 2.
This position I retained until 12.30 p.m., at which hour I was ordered to move to the front and form line of battle on the prolongation of a line composed of the First Division of the Third Corps, connecting on its right After disposing of my command as above directed, the position I occupied, as nearly as I can judge, was the left center. About 11 a.m. I had sent out a regiment as skirmishers (the First Massachusetts Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin commanding), and this regiment now covered my front.
At 4.08 p.m., by order of General Humphreys, I advanced my line 300 yards to the crest of a hill, and at the same time detailed 100 men from the Sixteenth Massachusetts Volunteers to occupied an old building, situated in an orchard on the left of my line. This detail perforated the house in several places, and materially aided in checking the advance of the enemy. My left first became engaged, and its position was held until the regiment on my left (the Collis Zouaves, of the First Division) gave way, when the enemy advanced in considerable force on my left flank, which compelled me to change my front; but no sooner was it accomplished than the enemy made his appearance on my right flank, pouring in a most destructive cross-fire.
Notwithstanding my apparent critical position, I could and would have maintained my position but for an order received direct from Major-General Birney, commanding the corps, to fall back to the crest of the hill in my rear. At that time I have no doubt that I could have charged on the rebels and driven them in confusion, for my line was still perfect and unbroken, and my troops in the proper spirit for the performance of such a task. In retiring, I suffered a severe loss in killed and wounded.
After I had reached the position designated by General Birney, the brigade was rallied by my assistant adjutant-general and aides, and moved forward, driving the enemy and capturing many prisoners. I continued to advance until I again occupied the field I had but a few moments previous vacated. Here my command remained until morning, the officers and men assisting in removing from the field as many of the wounded as the time and facilities would admit of. I may be pardoned, perhaps, for referring in my report to the conspicuous courage and remarkable coolness of the brigadier-general commanding the division during this terrific struggle. His presence was felt by the officers and men, as the enthusiastic manner in which he was greeted will testify.
At daybreak on the morning of Friday, July 3, the enemy opened with his artillery, and kept up a continuous fire for an hour or more, with but little injury to my command.
At 6 a.m. I was ordered to the rear, where the balance of the corps was in bivouac. After replenishing my supply of ammunition, I was ordered to the front and left of the line, to support a division of the Fifth Corps, which was in the first line.
At 3. 22 p.m. I was ordered to the center of the line, to support the Second Corps, which was engaged with the enemy.
As I lay column of battalions, closed in mass, I suffered severely from the artillery fire of the enemy, losing several valuable officers and a number of men.
At dusk I was ordered to my former position, where I remained until 3.30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7, at which hour my brigade moved from bivouac and marched to Emmitsburg, where we rested until 1.15 p.m., when we pushed on to Mechanicstown, going into bivouac about 1 mile from the town.
At 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, marched to Frederick, going into camp outside the city at 10 p.m.
At 4 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, Major Hamlin, assistant adjutant-general, turned over to me the command of the division, Brigadier-General Humphreys having accepted the position of chief of staff to the major-general commanding the army.
In closing, I desire to call the attention of the general commanding the division to the gallant and meritorious conduct of Col. Robert McAllister, commanding Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, twice wounded; Lieut. Col. Porter D. Tripp, commanding Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers; Lieut. Col. Waldo Merriam, commanding Sixteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, wounded; Maj. Robert L. Bodine, commanding Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers; Maj. Philip J. Kearny, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, seriously wounded (since dead); Major McDonald, Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers, wounded; Captain Tomlinson, Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, acting lieutenant-colonel; Captain Goodfellow, Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, wounded; Adjt. John Schoonover, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, who was twice wounded, but remained in command of his regiment; and to the following officers of my staff, to whom my sincere thanks are due for valuable services rendered: Capt. Le Grand Benedict, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. George E. Henry, First Massachusetts Volunteers, acting aide-de-camp, and Lieut. John Oldershaw, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, acting assistant inspector-general.
Lieut. James Johnson, aide-de-camp and acting assistant quartermaster, and Lieut. James A. Cook, acting commissary of subsistence, are entitled to great credit for the promptness and efficiency displayed in the execution of the duties pertaining to their respective departments.
In justice to the surviving officers and men of the veteran brigade, who have on many hard-fought battle-fields distinguished themselves for gallantry and undaunted courage, cannot close this report without expressing my admiration for their soldierly conduct on this occasion. At the same time I may be permitted to express my deep and heartfelt sympathy for those who now mourn the loss of husbands, fathers, brothers, and friends, who have sacrificed their lives on the altar of their country in upholding its honor and integrity.
I append herewith a tabular statement of the casualties up to and including the 8th ultimo:
Command Officers Killed Men Killed Officers Wounded Men Wounded Officers Missing Men Missing Officers Total Men Total Aggregate General staff --- --- 2 --- --- --- 2 --- 2 1st Massachusetts 1 15 8 75 --- 21 9 111 120 11th Massachusetts 1 22 7 89 2 8 10 119 129 16th Massachusetts 3 12 4 49 --- 13 7 74 81 26th Pennsylvania 1 29 10 166 --- 7 11 202 213 11th New Jersey 3 14 9 115 --- 12 12 141 153 12th New Hampshire 1 13 5 62 --- 11 6 86 92 Total 10 105 45 556 2 72 57 733 790
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. B. CARR,
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., THIRD CORPS,
Camp near Beverly Ford, Va., August 13, 1863.
Maj. CHARLES HAMLIN,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Division, Third Corps.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my command from July 9 to 3.1, inclusive. My report of the campaign up to and including July 8 has already been rendered.
On Thursday, July 9, Major Hamlin, assistant adjutant-general, turned over to me the command of the division, Brigadier-General Humphreys having accepted the position of chief of staff to the major-general commanding the army.
The brigade moved at 5 a.m., and marched to Middletown, where rations were issued to the command. At 10 a.m. marched to South Mountain, where I halted until 6 p.m., at which hour we marched across the mountain, going into bivouac at 7.30 p.m. At 6.30 a.m. on Friday, July 10, I was relieved of the command of the division by Brigadier-General Prince, and resumed command of my brigade. Marched to Antietam, and bivouacked at 9.30 p.m.
At 10 p.m. the brigade was again in motion, and, after marching about 5 miles, went into bivouac at 2 a.m.
On Saturday, July 11, at 6 a.m., advanced 2 miles to the front. At 4 p.m., again advanced 2 miles to the front, and bivouacked for the night.
On Sunday, July 12, at 3 p.m., moved about I mile, and went into bivouac.
At 5.25 a.m. on Tuesday, July 14, moved to the support of the Twelfth Corps, about three-quarters of a mile to the front, and at 3 p.m. marched I mile and bivouacked.
On Wednesday, July 15, left bivouac near Williamsport at 6.15 a.m., and marched to Sharpsburg, passing through the town at noon and going into bivouac at 1 p.m.
On Thursday, July 16, left bivouac at 6 a.m., and marched by way of Brownsville to near Maryland Heights, encamping at 2 p.m.
At 4.30 p.m. on Friday, July 17, marched to Harper's Ferry, crossing the river on pontoons. Pushed on 5 miles farther, and went into bivouac at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, July 18, marched at 3 a.m. to Hillsborough, and halted at noon for the night.
On Sunday, July 19, marched to Woodgrove.
On Monday, July 20, left at 4.30 a.m., and marched to Upperville, at which place I was directed to be prepared at any moment to meet the enemy.
On Tuesday, July 21, marched to Piedmont, and bivouacked at 5.30 p.m.
On Thursday, July 23, in accordance with orders from Brigadier-General Prince, I broke camp at Piedmont at 4.30 a.m., marched to Manassas Gap, 9 miles distant, and halted for two hours. I was then ordered to the front, and at the same time notified that the enemy was advancing in force. Reaching the rear of the First Division, I was directed to form in column of battalions, closed in mass, to support the division in my front; also to send out one regiment to support the left of the line of skirmishers, and one regiment to support Winslow's battery. For these duties I detailed the First Massachusetts Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin commanding, and the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Major Bodine commanding. During the course of the afternoon, I assumed several positions by direction of the brigadier-general commanding the division, but did not become engaged.
At 7 o'clock on the morning of Friday, July 24, I was ordered to move my command in the rear of the Third Brigade of this division, in the direction of Front Royal. When within a mile of that place, I formed line of battle on the right of the Third Brigade, throwing out skirmishers to the front, with two regiments to support them. This position I sustained for one hour without advancing. The enemy opened fire from one of his guns, but without doing any injury whatever. I then advanced over a lofty hill thickly studded with undergrowth, and through Front Royal, halting on the west side for one hour, when I took up the line of march in the direction of the Gap, reaching Markham at dusk, having marched about 20 miles.
At 4 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, I marched 3 miles to Piedmont, halting near that place until 12 m., at which hour, by direction of Brigadier-General Prince, I proceeded with my command 3 miles beyond Salem, going into bivouac on the Warrenton road at 5.30 p m.
On Sunday, July 26, left camp at 5.25 a.m., and marched to and through the town of Warrenton, and formed camp 3 miles beyond.
During these operations but one casualty occurred in my command, viz, Private Thomas Richards, Company C, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, wounded in leg by musket-ball.
I have the honor to remain, your most obedient servant,
JOS. B. CARR,
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