HEADQUARTERS HAGOOD’S BRIGADE,
Petersburg, Va., August 22, 1864.
COLONEL: I am directed in a communication from department headquarters, just received, to forward a list of the casualties in my command sustained yesterday, and also to report all the circumstances attending the recapture of the flag of one of my regiment. I beg leave to inclose a tabular list, from which it will be seen that I took into action – line-officers and 681 men; only 18 officers and 274 men came out unhurt. The field of battle having been left in possession of the enemy, many are put down as missing whose dead bodies lie in front of the enemy’s works. The only prisoners are the wounded. Though perhaps out of place here, I hope I will be excused for testifying to the splendid gallantry with which these devoted men carried out the part of the attack assigned to them.
When the line had reached the enemy’s works, some 200 men having gotten into a re-entering angle, where they were exposed to a severe cross-fire, became confused, and a mounted officer of the enemy galloping out of a sally-port seized the colors of the Twenty-seventh Regiment and called upon them to surrender. Several officers and men began to surrender, but had not been carried in. Observing this I made my way to them from the part of the line upon which I was, calling to the men to shoot him. They either did not hear me or were bewildered by the surrender of part of their number and failed to do so. When I got up to him I demanded the colors from him, and that he should go back into his works, telling him that he was free to do so. He commenced arguing with me upon our desperate position, and I cut him short, demanding a categorical reply. He said no, and I shot him from his horse. Giving the colors to my orderly and mounting his horse I succeeded in withdrawing the men with as little loss as could have been expected from the terrible fire to which we were exposed in retiring. Probably half the men unhurt were brought off from this point.
I beg leave specially to mention the good conduct of my orderly, Private J. D. Stoney, of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, in this matter. He has always displayed gallantry, and would do credit to a commission.
List of casualties in Hagood’s brigade on August 21, 1864, in an attack on enemy’s works near Petersburg.
Brigade staff: Captain Molony, assistant adjutant-general, killed; Lieutenant Martin, aide-de-camp, wounded; making aggregate 450.
NOTE. – The wounded are those so slightly hurt as to get back of themselves from the field of battle. The killed are those whom we are certain were killed; their bodies are with the enemy. The missing are the killed and wounded left of the field, together with the few, if any, who remained there unhurt.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 936-937 ↩