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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1864 Report

Troops in the Field

Sharp Shooters

The three companies of Sharp Shooters have proved themselves, in the present campaign, to be a most valuable arm of the service. Constantly upon the skirmish line and deployed as sharp shooters, they are always put forward to seek danger, and, like the Cavalry, perform the most arduous service, with the least opportunity of recognition. Their services should be appreciated by the State as they deserve.

The FIRST COMPANY OF SHARP SHOOTERS (Co. F, 1st Regiment U. S. Sharp Shooters,) have been attached to the Second Corps, and have participated in all the severe fighting of that portion of the Army of the Potomac.

On the 1st of November, 1863, they were encamped near Warrenton Junction. On the 7th they proceeded to Kelley's Ford, marching as flankers through a wooded country, for 12miles, and in great haste, in order to surprise the enemy. Upon arriving at the Ford they were deployed as skirmishers in front of Gen. Birney's division, and engaged the enemy, who were soon forced to retire, when the Sharp Shooters forded the river, under a severe fire from the enemy's rifle pits, and the regiment, numbering less than 200, captured 506 prisoners, of whom more than two hundred surrendered to Company F. The loss was one man killed. The next day they advanced to Brandy Station, where they remained until Nov. 26th. On that day they crossed the Rapidan, and the next day had a severe engagement at Locust Grove, losing several wounded. Three days after they were engaged on the skirmish line at Mine Run, driving the enemy three-fourths of a mile. On the first of December they went into winter quarters at Brandy Station, and remained there until may, doing picket duty and engaged in reconnoisances.

On the fourth of May Company F, numbering two officers and 43 enlisted men, crossed the Rapidan, with the main army, and the next day, in the Wilderness, they were deployed on the left of the Vermont Brigade, -- Company F having the right. The troops upon the right being forced back, the Sharp Shooters were attacked in flank by the enemy in line of battle, and the right crushed easily, - for force of the blow falling upon Company F. Although the men fought manfully, they were they were compelled to retire, as the enemy were gaining their rear. Their loss in five minutes fighting, was thirteen. -- five being killed or mortally wounded and two taken prisoners. On the next day there were engaged in the severe battle upon the plank road, -- losing one man killed. On the 7th Company F, and another Company were deployed on the right of the road, the residue of the regiment being upon the left, and advanced about a mile, driving in the enemy's pickets, and advancing to within forty yards of their entrenchments. The skirmishers were then ordered to charge; but as soon as the line advanced, the enemy opened upon them with severe fire of musketry and artillery, and they were compelled to retire about 100 yards to the rear, where they held the position, until the Union forces were withdrawn to go further to the left. In Company F, two were killed and two wounded. In the movement to the left the Sharp Shooters served as the rear guard.

They were engaged in skirmishing daily until the 12th, when the Second Corps charged upon a strong position of the enemy, surprising them and capturing several thousand prisoners and eighteen pieces of artillery. Company F was engaged with the enemy during the entire day, losing one killed, two mortally wounded and two wounded severely.

On the 21st of May they marched 28 miles, crossing the Matapony River below Bowling Green, skirmished some, and on the 23d marched to the North Anna, where they were skirmishing every day, until after dark o the 27th, when they marched to the Pamunkey River, which they crossed on the 28th, having marched 28 miles. Here they fought daily, until the night of June 1st, when they moved to Cold Harbor, where they fought each day on the skirmish line until the 5th. They were then on picket, &c. until the 13th of June, when they marched to James River, crossed to Wilcox Farm on the 14th, and the next day marched about 25 miles, to Petersburgh. From the 16th to the 20th of June they were engaged with the enemy every day, as skirmishers and sharp shooters, losing several killed and wounded. On the 22d the Second Corps was flanked by the enemy, losing heavily in prisoners and killed and wounded. Company F lost 2 killed, 2 wounded, and one captured.

In the recent operations north of the James River Company F has been on the skirmish line and engaged in as severe fighting as any during the campaign. Wherever placed, the officers and men of the company have distinguished themselves and won the high appreciation of their commanders. I annex, in Appendix C, the detailed Report of Capt. Charles D. Merriman.

Their term of service having expired, those of the company who had not re-enlisted, 20 officers and men in all, were mustered out of the service of the United States on the 12th of September.

The casualties and changes in the company, during the year, have been as follows: -- Mustered out of service 20; Transferred to Invalid corps 3; Discharged 3; Deserted 1;died 21; total 48.

The following Table shows the condition of the Company at the date specified:--


Sep. 30, '63 Culpepper, Va. 75 52 22 - 1 - -
Nov. 1, '63 Warrenton Junction 73 52 20 - 1 - -
Dec. 1, '63 Brandy Station, Va. 71 48 22 - 1 - -
Dec. 31, '63 " 68 51 16 1 - - -
Feb. 1, '64 Camp Bullock Va. 73 57 16 - - - -
Mar. 1, '64 Brandy Station, Va. 75 60 8 7 - - -
April 1, '64 " 76 63 13 - - - -
May 1, '64 " 76 56 20 - - - -
June 20, '64 Near Petersburg, Va. 61 30 31 - - - -
Aug. 1, '64 " 53 19 33 - 1 - -
Sep. 1, '64 " 54 27 27 - - - -
Oct. 1, '64 " 46 32 14 - - - -

TheSECOND AND THIRD COMPANIES OF SHARP SHOOTERS (Co.'s. E and H, 2d Regiment U. S. Sharp Shooters,) have had severe service during the year. In September, 1863, the Second Regiment of Sharp Shooters, to which the companies belonged, was attached to the 2d Brigade, 1st Division of the Third Corps, and were encamped near Sulphur Springs, Va. From thence they marched to Culpepper, where they remained, doing picket duty, until October 11th, when they marched to Rappahannock Station, the 2d Regiment having the rear of the column, skirmishing with the enemy a few miles. On the 13th they marched to

Greenwich, 25 miles, -- having a skirmish with the enemy at Auburn. On the 14th they reached Centerville, and on the 15th marched to Fairfax Station, from whence they proceeded to Warrenton Junctions, 55 miles, arriving there Oct. 30th. This march, from the 11th to the 30th, was rapid and severe, each man carrying eight days' rations and forty rounds of ammunition in addition to his other necessary loading.

On the seventh of November they marched to Kelley's Ford, the Regiment having the advance, with Company E as flankers, and participated in the engagement at that place, driving the enemy's pickets across the river and capturing a few prisoners. The next day, being in rear, the regiment was ordered to the front and deployed as skirmishers, and drove the enemy about four miles, under a brisk fire from his batteries and Cavalry. In this affair the regiment was particularly distinguished. On the 26th the regiment left camp at Brandy Station and marched to Jacob's Ford, 12 miles, and crossed the Rapidan, and on the 27th moved in a direction to strike the old pike running from Fredericksburgh to Orange Court House, and met the enemy at Orange Grove, 10 miles from Jacob's Ford, and were engaged in the battle which ensued. On the 28th they marched by way of Robinson's Tavern, to mine run, 10 miles, where the regiment were deployed as skirmishers in front of the line of the 1st Division, and held that position until the night of the 30th, skirmishing with the enemy and driving them, under a sharp fire, to their entrenchments. Company E sustained no loss. Company H had five men wounded. In this series of engagements the men behaved with great courage. They then returned to Brandy Station, where they remained until January 5th.

All the original members of Company H, excepting one, having re-enlisted, the company returned to Vermont and received their veteran furlough, rejoining the regiment February 24th. Nearly all the original members of Company E also re-enlisted and the company, in a body, returned to Vermont and received

their veteran furloughs, returning to the regiment on the 23d of February. After this they remained in camp near Brandy Station until the opening f the present campaign. In the mean time, the Third Corps was consolidated with the Second Corps, and the Second Regiment was attached to the 1st Brigade, 3d Division of the Second Corps, and has been attached sine3 that time, excepting for about one month, during which the First and Second Regiments of Sharp Shooters were formed into an independent Corps, and used expressly as Sharp Shooters.

On the 3d of May the Second Regiment marched to Chancellorsville, 22 miles, and were engaged in the battles at the Wilderness on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th of May. On the 6th Capt. Albert Buxton, of Company H, a brave and valuable officer, was killed. Four enlisted men from Co. H were also killed, 19 wounded and 2 missing. On the 12th the regimen was again engaged at Spotsylvania; and also participated in the engagement at the North Anna River. From the 5th to the 18tyh, the casualties in Company E were 3 killed and 20 wounded, -- total 23; in Company H 5 killed, 19 wounded, and 2 missing, -- Total 26.

On the 31st of May the regiment charged and carried the enemy's works, capturing nearly as many prisoners as there were men in the regiment. The regiment was again in battle at Cold Harbor, June 11th. From thence they proceeded to the lines in front of Petersburgh, actively engaged with the enemy nearly every day, -- Companies E and H suffering severe loss. They were also engaged in the severe fighting on the north side of James River on the 26th of July and the 13th of August. Col. Homer R. Stoughton, commanding the Second Regiment, was captured in front of Petersburgh, and is now a prisoner. The severity of the campaign has greatly reduced the effective force of the two Vermont Companies. But both officers and men have everywhere distinguished themselves, and have done their full share

in procuring for the troops from this State the high reputation which they have obtained in the Army of the Potomac. I annex in Appendix C the report of Sergeant William H. Churchill, commanding Company H.

The casualties in Company E, during the years, have been as follows: -- Transferred to Invalid Corps 8; Discharged 6; Deserted 3; Died 18 -- Total 35. In Company H they have been as follows: -- transferred to Invalid Corps 5; Discharged 3; Deserted 3; Died 16 -- total 27.

The following Table shows the condition of Company E at the dates specified:--


Oct. 31, '63 Near Warrenton Junction, Va. 60 37 23 - - - -
Nov. 30. '63 Near Brandy Station 59 38 21 - - - -
Feb. 29, '64 Culpepper, Va. 96 77 18 - 1 - -
Mar. 31, '64 In the field, Va. 95 78 16 - 1 - -
April 30, '64 Brandy Station, Va. 91 74 14 3 - - -
June 30, '64 In the field, Va. 82 30 52 - - - -
Sep. 1, '64 " 83 34 49 - - - -

The following Table shows the condition of Company H, at the dates specified:--


Sep. 30, '63 Culpepper, Va. 5130 20 1 - - - -
Oct. 31, '63 Near Warrenton Junction, Va. 46 29 17 - - - -
Nov. 30. '63 Mine Run, Va. 50 25 25 - - - -
Mar. 15, '64 Culpepper, Va. 104 80 24 - - - -
Apr. 15, '64 Brandy Station, Va. 101 82 19 - - - -
May 31, '64 In field, Va. 103 82 20 1 - - -
July 1, '64 " 85 34 51 - - - -
July 31, '64 " 83 35 48 - - - -
Aug. 31, '64 Near Petersburg, Va. 74 33 40 - 1 - -

A - Date
B - Station
C - Aggregate
D - On duty
E - Sick
F - Absent with leave
G - Absent without leave
H - In arrest or confinement
I - Prisoner of War

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