NT: October 20, 1910 National Tribune: Ream’s Station Again

   

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in Siege of Petersburg

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte.

Ream’s Station Again.

Editor National Tribune: Thru the courtesy of the President and Secretary of the Veteran Association of the 5th N[ew]. H[ampshire]., held at The Weirs, N. H., Aug. 24, I am in possession of resolutions adopted at that meeting relative to a “controversy marked by incidents, which we cannot but regret, between Lieut.-Gen. Nelson A. Miles and surviving members of his old and gallant regiment, the 61st N[ew]. Y[ork]., and Lieut. James E. Larkin, of the 5th N[ew]. H[ampshire].”

As I have no way to communicate with either of the officers of the Association, I ask you to kindly give the following reply to those resolutions a place in The National Tribune:

First. There is nothing in the resolutions to which Gen. [Nelson A.] Miles and every member of the 61st N. Y. will not heartily subscribe; that is, the superb heroism of Dauchy’s Battery1; the great gallantry and dauntless spirit of Comrade Larkin in leading a small band of stampeded men “back along the abandoned breastworks nearly to the position of Dauchy’s guns” and there remaining under safe and close cover while their comrades of the First Brigade2 were fighting a quarter of a mile in front and holding the enemy back and protecting the guns and the retreating troops from further danger, together with the heroic services of the 81st P[ennsylvani]a. We gladly concede all this.

Second. The resolutions do not touch the controversy at any point, and have no bearing whatever upon the points at issue.   They are, therefore, by so much misleading , evasive, incompetent and irrelevant.

Third. The points at issue are Maj. Larkin’s deliberate charges, made in insulting language, that Gen. Miles willfully and knowingly misrepresented in his official report of the battle, and that the 61st N. Y. did not participate in and was in no way connected with the “countercharge” which swept the enemy back from the works beyond the location of Dauchy’s Battery. These charges of Maj. Larkin contradict every officer of sufficient rank to make a report of the battle, from Gen. Hancock down to his brigade and battery commanders, and to authentic history. It goes further, and by inference charges Gen. Miles with “doctoring” the reports of [Second Corps commander Winfield Scott] Hancock, [Francis A.] Walker, [George K.] Dauchy, and of Historians [William] Swinton, [Andrew A.] Humphrey, [Regis] De Trobriand, [Adam] Bedeau [sic, Badeau] and others.—R[udolph]. R. Riddell, Secretary, 61st N. Y. Association, Albany, N. Y.3

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: The 12th Battery of New York Light Artillery.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: Both Larkin’s 5th New Hampshire and Riddell’s 61st New York were members of the First Brigade, First Division, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, along with the 81st Pennsylvania listed later in the article.
  3. Riddell, Rudolph R. “Ream’s Station Again.” National Tribune 20 October 1910. 7:3.

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