South Mountain by Rick Reeve

South Mountain by Rick Reeve
South Mountain by Rick Reeve depicting the wounding of General Garland

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"The conduct of the troops on this occasion is worthy of commendation."

The following is the official report of Brigadier General William T.H. Brooks, commanding the Vermont Brigade. Brooks would lead the brigade it its assault against the extreme right of the Confederate line.









Headquarters Second Brigade, Smith's Division.
Hagerstown, September --, '62

The Assistant Adujutant-General,
Division Headquarters, 

Sir: I have to report on the operations of this brigade in the battle of Crampton's Pass, September 14:

The brigade was ordered to pass through the town of Burkitsville, with the view of support Slocum's main attack on the right, by following the main road that crossed the mountain. After passing through the town, under a heavy fire of artillery from the crest of the mountain on the left, we found the enemy in position behind a stone wall at right angles with the road. From this position they kept a harassing fire, not only on this brigade, but upon Slocum's left. Skirmishers were thrown out to dislodge them, with little effect. As soon as the nature of the ground and the exact position of the wall could be determined, the Fourth Vermont, Lieutenant-Colonel Stoughton, was deployed with the Second Vermont, under Major Walridge, in support in second line, and the other three regiments in support on the edge of town. In this position an advance was made against the wall, which was carried immediately, and some 15 or 20 prisoners captured. The advance was continued by the Fourth and Second without further opposition, until the top of the mountain was reached, when the Fourth was ordered to take the crest to our left, toward the battery that fired upon us as we passed through the town. The Second continued on down the other slope of the mountain and reached the base as the troops of Slocum's division had scattered the enemy. The Fourth proceeded on the crest of the mountain about a mile, and captured another party of prisoners, all belonging to the Sixteenth Virginia. In the last party was the Major of the regiment, who commanded, and the battle-flag of this regiment was also captured. The other regiments followed the above movements by the main road. The brigade bivouacked at the point where Slocum's division ceased the pursuit, and, on throwing out pickets, a 12-pounder howitzer, with horses, &c., complete, and but slightly disables, was found abandoned by the enemy, which was turned over to Captain Cowan. 

The conduct of the troops on this occasion is worthy of commendation. Exposed to a plunging fire of artillery while passing over a space of a mile and more, and afterward to that of the enemy sharpshooters, not the least hesitancy was observed. It gives me pleasure to call especial notice to the good conduct of Lieutenant Colonel C.B. Stoughton, commanding Fourth Vermont, and Major Walbridge, commanding Second Vermont, also to Lieutenants Parsons and Wheeler, of my personal staff, who were active in the discharge of their respective duties. 

Very respectfully,

W.H.T. Brooks,
 Brigadier-General, commanding brigade. 

Source:

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of of the records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Series 1, Volume 19 (part 1), pgs. 407-408.

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